Kennedy vs. Catholic bishops

By David Waters Confusion over whether and how government health-care reform will or should deal with abortion has resulted in … Continued

By David Waters

Confusion over whether and how government health-care reform will or should deal with abortion has resulted in an equally confusing war of words between Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin.

In an interview last Friday, Kennedy — a Roman Catholic and son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who spent much of his career pushing for health-care reform — called U.S. Catholic bishops’ concerns about the abortion issue a “red herring” that fans “the flames of dissent and discord.” Kennedy added: “If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health-care reform, because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive.”

In a sharply-worded response, Tobin called Kennedy’s position on the matter “irresponsible and ignorant of the facts . . . Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to

the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state.”

Tobin’s response seems a bit chippy, especially for a bishop. But Kennedy’s comments do seem to ignore some crucial facts: Most importantly — as Georgetown/On Faith blogger Thomas J. Reese points out — U.S. Catholic bishops for decades have been at the forefront of the campaign for health-care reform. “The bishops are appalled that more than 46 million people do not have health insurance,” Reese wrote.

Should Kennedy be appalled that they are threatening to pull their support over the issue of abortion? Not if he’s been paying attention.

Kennedy made his comments in response to a question about an Oct. 8 letter the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent to Congress. In the letter, the bishops stated that they would “vigorously” oppose a final health care bill unless it were changed to include language that explicitly prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions. According to the bishops, no current version of the health-care bill meets that standard. “If final legislation does not meet our principles, we will have no choice but to oppose the bill,” the bishops said in their letter.

Said Kennedy: “I can’t understand for the life of me how the Catholic Church could be against the biggest social-justice issue of our time where the very dignity of the human person is being respected by the fact that we’re caring and giving health care to the human person – that right now we have 50 million people who are uninsured. You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life-saving health care? I thought they were pro-life. If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health-care reform because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive. So this is an absolute red herring, and I don’t think that it does anything but to fan the flames of dissent and discord, and I don’t think it’s productive at all.”

You can argue about whether Catholic bishops are putting too much emphasis on abortion in this case — especially given the Administration’s assurances that laws prohibiting federal funding of abortions will remain in place. No doubt some bishops have politicized the issue of abortion to the point of becoming partisan shills. But as a group, Catholic bishops have spoken out consistently and courageously for universal health care — especially on behalf of the poor — as a basic human right.

As Reese points out in his blog post, the bishops have been entirely consistent about their support for universal health care — as long as it doesn’t also include support for abortion. In their 1993 statement “A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform: Protecting Human Life, Promoting Human Dignity, Pursuing the Common Good,” the bishops laid out eight criteria for evaluating health care reform, including:

• Respect for Life. Whether it preserves and enhances the sanctity and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
• Priority Concern for the Poor. Whether it gives special priority to meeting the most pressing health care needs of the poor and underserved, ensuring that they receive quality health services.
• Universal Access. Whether it provides ready universal access to comprehensive health care for every person living in the United States.

Those criteria haven’t changed. In their Oct. 8 letter to Congress, bishops stated these three goals for health-care reform legislation:

• No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion.
• Reform should make quality health care affordable and accessible to everyone, particularly those who are vulnerable and those who live at or near the poverty level.
• Ensure that legal immigrants and their family members have comprehensive, affordable and timely access to health care coverage. Maintain an adequate safety net for those who remain uncovered.

“Catholic moral tradition teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential to protecting human life and dignity,” the bishops wrote. “Much-needed reform of our health care system must be pursued in ways that serve the life and dignity of all, never in ways that undermine and violate these fundamental values.”

Given that even Democrats don’t agree on whether current versions of health-reform legislation will or should cover abortions, don’t the bishops’ concerns seem perfectly reasonable and consistent?

About

  • ccnl1

    Kennedy is speaking on behalf of the “Immoral Majority” i.e. (The fastest growing and largest USA voting bloc: The 70+ million “Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers” of aborted womb-babies” whose ranks grow by two million per year.) Note: the Immoral Majority now rules the land and will do so in the foreseeable future. How very sad and disturbing!!! 2008 Presidential election – popular vote: 69,456,897 votes for BO, 59,934,814 votes for JM

  • Athena4

    You tell ‘em, Patrick! If people are really “pro-life”, they should be the ones out there pushing for health care reform. After all, they’re saving babies by allowing their mothers to get pre-natal care. Oh, and CCNL… I hear that some folks are having a fundraiser for Scott Roeder’s legal defense. Maybe you can cut and paste a few things related to that for us? Since he’s your hero and all that.

  • ccnl1

    “Thou Shall Not Kill” pertains to all human life, inside and outside the womb. Athena4, your comment “Oh, and CCNL… I hear that some folks are having a fundraiser for Scott Roeder’s legal defense. Maybe you can cut and paste a few things related to that for us? Since he’s your hero and all that.” is very offensive and has been reported as such.

  • Athena4

    Not as offensive as your continuous off-topic rants about abortion.

  • linguine33

    Given the history of the Catholic Church regarding Protestants, Jews, Muslims, blasphemers, heretics, witches, etc., can someone pinpoint the time when it actually believed life was sacred,

  • csintala79

    The position that abortion should not be covered by health insurance is baffling, regardless of one’s positon on the subject. The hardest hit by this restriction would be poor, single mothers. Wealthy and middle class women would manage to pay the cost for abortions if that is their choice. It would be the working poor and those on welfare that probably could not manage to pay the full cost of the procedure. What moral standard would this serve? In effect the poor would be denied a choice available to the affluent, which would likely reduce a poor women’s ability to improve their status. It is no mystery that large families do not improve the poor’s chances of rising above poverty.

  • ravitchn

    Patrick Kennedy has as much brain power as the bishops he attacks.

  • patisok

    Did they think life was sacred when 6 million Jews were executed. They knew about it but did nothing or very little. Did they speak out forcefully over the last 8 years when we sent millions of people including our soldiers to death in 2 wars, one of which was started on what we know now was a pretext to get oil from Iraq. I grow weary of the one sided discussion.

  • cprferry

    “What moral standard would this serve? Posted by: csintala79″ What’s moral about white media, white abortion providers, and white politicians working to abort 1/3 of all black pregnancies annually? What’s moral about forcing developing nations to make abortion legal before offering them loans from the World Bank? What’s next? Forcing welfare mothers to be sterilized (that happened from 1930-1970)? The health care bill included language about birth spacing counseling though. Giving federal funds to the poor to get abortions just seems like a bail out to Planned Parenthood to me. Oh, wait, who has advocated for its inclusion? PP. Who funds many of the bill’s proponents’ campaigns? PP. No bail out to PP!

  • douglaslbarber

    When Rep. Kennedy says that the issue of insurance coverage for abortion is a “red herring”, he seems to me to insinuate that the US Catholic bishops really oppose universal health insurance in principle, and use the abortion issue as a smokescreen to hide their underlying position. There may be a very few US bishops so tied into the conservative movement that they do in fact oppose universal health insurance as a matter of political principle – I could imagine, for instance that this could conceivably be true of Chaput in Denver. It is assuredly not true of Tobin in Providence. I’d bet my bottom dollar that he genuinely yearns for universal health care in the USA, but can’t stomach taxing people to pay for abortions provided under the guise of “health care”. Tobin, by the way, has also spoken out boldly in defense of the rights of immigrants, and I think it’s likely he’s concerned that some immigrants may find their access to health care more precarious under current proposals than it is under current policy. He is no right wing shill with a hidden agenda opposing national health care.

  • lxp19

    A woman is a person, an actual life. A fetus is a potential person, a potential life: there is no guarantee that it will ever be born. The proof is that a significant percentage of fetuses end in miscarriages. So: I don’t understand why we allow people who choose potential lives over actual lives to call themselves “pro-life.”

  • penniless_taxpayer

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why the democrats couldn’t include a provision to prohibit the use of insurance money for abortion. Republicans tried to include just such a provision and democrats voted it down. Bishop Tobin is right and Patrick Kennedy is a lying pile of moral excrement, just like his father.

  • cprferry

    “I don’t understand why we allow people who choose potential lives over actual lives to call themselves “pro-life.”" If you’re arguing that potential life impends on people’s ability to enjoy their lives, I think you have a very shallow, utilitarian, perhaps even capitalist view of life that denies recognition of the soul and true dignity to humans.

  • tfburke19

    LXP19 wrote: “A woman is a person, an actual life. A fetus is a potential person, a potential life: there is no guarantee that it will ever be born. The proof is that a significant percentage of fetuses end in miscarriages.” The bishops currently teach that life begins at fertilization (not uterine implantation) and thus any abortion (volunatary or involuntary – aka miscarraige) should be considered the murder of a real, live human being and as a result criminal charges would have to apply just as they would for you or me. Ostesnibly, this is why the bishops want to prohibit federal funds for abortion, though the ultimate goal is overturning the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in the United States.

  • douglaslbarber

    tfburke19 either argued that the bishops teach that an unintended miscarriage is a murder and should result in criminal charges, or expressed himself so badly that his words admit of that interpretation. The bishops most certainly teach no such thing. An unintended miscarriage is no more a murder that should result in criminal charges than is an unintended fatal heart attack.

  • fabricmaven1

    I don’t want my tax money to fund wars. Everyday we are killing innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is morally wrong. I’m sure the Government and The Pentagon would tell me to get over myself. Most of you Warhawks would say the same. People who find the idea of a Woman having an Abortion morally repugnant should just get over themselves. Our tax dollars pay for things everyday that cause death to living breathing human beings. So lets all stop our selective moral outrage. No one forces anyone to have an Abortion, yet we force many to suffer and die against their will everyday.

  • lxp19

    CPRFERRY wrote: “If you’re arguing that potential life impends on people’s ability to enjoy their lives, I think you have a very shallow, utilitarian, perhaps even capitalist view of life that denies recognition of the soul and true dignity to humans.” That is not at all what I am saying. To phrase it that way is to conveniently deny the fact that pregnancy and childbirth are a much more likely to maim or kill women than legal abortions. And the birth of a child is just the beginning of a lifetime of responsibilities. Giving a baby up for adoption is not a simple solution, either, so we should not pretend that it is. Judging by the high number of unwanted pregnancies in this country compared to other postindustrial societies, the prospect of potential life has done nothing to impede on men’s “ability to enjoy themselves.” Whether or not abortion remains legal and within women’s means, men will still be able to enjoy impregnating women and then blame them for not wanting to take on a child–in other words, avoid taking responsibility for the child they helped to create. I will remind you that every man is capable of practicing birth control if he is not ready to take on the responsibility of a child. Look at the govt website and you will see that only about 40% of divorced fathers pay the child support they owe and on time. (Unwed fathers are not mentioned, I don’t think, but I could be wrong.) That, I think, “truly denies recognition of the soul and true dignity of human life.” Life is complicated. No law forces women to have an abortion; no law should force them to give birth.

  • willemkraal

    ok thank you jezus pleeze listen up ,one thing is for certain while the bishops and catholic priest have their argument with mr kennedy all little girls and boys will be safe from molestation!!

  • dottydo

    Now the arrogance of the Kennedy booze runners is telling the church what to beleive? If Uncle Tedddy had empathy, Mary JO would have had a long life as a Mother.

  • tojby_2000

    Both exposure (infant abandonment) and abortion were legal under Roman and local Palestinian law at the time of Jesus. Had it been thought immoral, either or both entities could have acted. They did not and neither did Jesus. Nowhere in either the Gospels or Apocrypha is there a whisper or rebuke against these common practices. If abortion didn’t faze the Christian chief deity, why do his modern followers have their knickers in a twist?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    In the letter, the bishops stated that they would “vigorously” oppose a final health care bill unless it were changed to include language that explicitly prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions. According to the bishops, no current version of the health-care bill meets that standard. “If final legislation does not meet our principles, we will have no choice but to oppose the bill,” the bishops said in their letter. ————————————— If, as private American citizens, the bishops wish to follow the instructions of the Pope in Rome, there is no problem that I can see. Once they start lobbying Congress there is a problem. ONce they start directing their congregants on what political position they should take, there is a problem. And all of the foregoing will occur. Bottom line: End tax exempt status for religious institutions.

  • douglaslbarber

    tojby_2000 wrote, “Both exposure (infant abandonment) and abortion were legal under Roman and local Palestinian law at the time of Jesus.” Please do point me toward evidence that infant abandonment and abortion were legal under what you call “local Palestinian law” at the time of Jesus.

  • Athena4

    The Hyde Amendment, which dates from the 1976, stipulates that no Federal money be used to fund abortions. It would encompass any Federally-administered health insurance. The “pro-life” side conveniently ignores this in order to make it a convenient smokescreen to oppose any health insurance reform. Also, the House Energy and Commerce Committee adopted a resolution, the Capps Amendment, which would prohibit “elective abortions” to be covered under any publicly run health care plan. The anti-choice media is misrepresenting this as “pro-abortion” legislation.

  • Matthew_DC

    RE: “If, as private American citizens, the bishops wish to follow the instructions of the Pope in Rome, there is no problem that I can see. Once they start lobbying Congress there is a problem.” This fuzzy church-state separation ideology is not adequately thought through. Most of what passes for conventional “morality” is just a manifestation of current feelings based on individual preferences. Those preferences can be organized into a system or they can be haphazard. The theists base their feelings on a collection of ideas which make up their “religion”. The non-theists have a similar approach, they simply don’t call their collection of ideas or their ultimate source a “religion”. It’s an arbitrary and artificial distinction to say that ideas and feelings which originate from a body of beliefs not labelled a “religion” are admissible, but if the label “religion” is attached to the this body of beliefs, it is beyond the pale. In the competition between human ideas, it is the idea itself which should be evaluated, not the source. Many people with no theistic leanings at all can reach the conclusion that abortion on demand is very destructive, not just of human life at its inception, but of the society which generally condones it.

  • speedylegs

    The hypocrisy of the bishops is mind boggling, especially this twit Tobin. They say they care about unborn fetuses because of their apparent belief that they are “lives.” Yet they do virtually nothing to protect the lives of existing human beings. They close down parishes and schools in urban neighborhoods, allowed their clergy to engage in rampant sex abuse for decades, do very little to stop unethical wars and the death penalty, and now are willing to block health care reform if private insurance policies cover abortion and similar procedures. Bishops: Come back and try to convince us that a fetus is equal to an actual living human being when you can produce a record of a true commitment to all forms of human life and not just potential human beings.

  • Maerzie

    Bishops, like Rhode Island Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, are exactly the kind who give a bad reputation to the Catholic Church! They actually BELIEVE they have the authority to judge and legislate “PEOPLE’s CONSCIENCES”!! This narrow-minded troublemaker should instead ask himself: “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?” Does he REALLY think Jesus would want droves of people to be WITHOUT health care? Dooes he not recall: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s!” This Bishop, and those LIKE him, want to be GOD and CAESAR!! Regardless of ANY warped thinking this guy has, GOD has given each person a conscience and a free will. If a person chooses to murder her unborn baby, health insurance paid, or NOT health insurance paid, she will STILL get her abortion, just as has been happening since the beginning of time. She will take potions, instrumentally or mechanically commit or procure a back alley type abortion, which frequently also kills the mother, etc. Insurance or no insurance has NOTHING to do with the determination! This Bishop should instead begin performing his REAL OBLIGATION and resume teaching more morality to the grade school and high school children, instead of closing the Catholic grade schools because of MONEY!!(The Catholic Church is one of the RICHEST INSTITUTIONS in the WORLD!) These children need to learn a little more about self control and using their God-given brains regarding children having pre-marital sex and creating babies they cannot afford. THAT would be within a Bishop’s DUTIES and authority, NOT judging and legislating GOD-given consciences!

  • douglaslbarber

    Speedylegs, if you could explain to me how a man who believes that life begins at conception becomes a hypocrite when he decides to close a church building, I’d be much obliged.

  • cprferry

    Athena4, The Hyde Amendment does not extend to all federal bills, but annual disbursements from HHS. Health care reform proposes to operate outside of that framework, hence the questionable application of the Hyde Amendment and the call for clarity. The Capps Amendment is an improvement, but as you noted only passed one committee. And it barely passed that that House committee by the vote of 30-28. Similar bills have been rebuked by Pro-choice Democrats, such as Patrick Kennedy. It appears as if Pro-choice Democrats are trying to hood-wink us into funding abortions. Kennedy and his peers refuse to address the matter. Until they do, the bishops are right to hold off on their endorsement of the health care reform effort, that they have been one of the leading proponents of for years.

  • julcubdish

    why this individual still in Congress amazes me and many others. A drunk,an addict,a mental case.

  • dotellen

    JonathanPNichols wrote “Taxayak, are you serious when you say, “Besides one of abortions benefits is a reduction in crime in this country because many potential criminals are never born”? …..that is the single stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone say about anything.” —————— Obviously you have never read chapter 4 “Where have all the criminals gone?” in Dr. Steven Levitt’s book, “Freakonomics.” He lists the legalization of abortion (1973) as one of four main factors in the decline of crime rates in the 1990′s.

  • supersonic2

    Kennedy has no right to tell the church how to believe or behave. He does not have to be a Catholic. I also do not want my tax money to pay for abortions. There are too many forms of birth control these days for women to end up with unwanted pregnacies. That goes for men too. Abortion has ended up being the “birth control” choice for to many people in this country. And, can I ask why adoption is not easy? If you don’t want the kid, why do care who raises it? That’s right, you want to be in control. Grow up and be responsible.

  • tsnyder888

    The bishop came very close to endorsing Kennedy’s election defeat, something that places the Church’s tax emempt status at risk. He’s clearly let the issue became personal. From the Church’s perspective, both the elimination of abortion and universal health care are matters of morality. I’m disappointed that the bishop didn’t show more restraint and charity toward someone with whom he disagrees. I would have expected engagement and mutual respect from a person in such a high position. Generally, bishops are ultra-conservatives, theologically, morally, and politically. To me, there is nothing more disillusioning about the Church as when bishops and priests allow their political stripes to show. Interestingly, the Church in Europe is more politically liberal than the American Church. Pope Benedict didn’t demand concessions on abortion to meet with President Obama, despite Obama’s campaign rhetoric to support a woman’s right to choose. Yet some conservative priests and bishops refused to hear Obama speak at Notre Dame University in the spring. In my opinion, American bishops should take a cue from the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ.

  • WISEOWL1

    I predict that he will never be re elected again. He is indeed, a dissapointment!

  • Maerzie

    The fact is that the Bishop has no business sticking his nose into any policy or legislation at all! His business is in maintaining his flock and instructions/teachings to be considered and weighed by each individual conscience. However, the Church has NOT been doing its teaching as its obligation, so now this bishop wants to “begin” new control where he doesn’t belong! If he would tend to his sheep and help them build healthy consciences to make good judgments, he wouldn’t have to be sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong. He’s trying to cover up that he hasn’t done his REAL job!! Bishops are not responsible for individual conscience’s results! However, they are HIGHLY responsible/liable for SHIRKING their duties in helping to shape those consciences to the will and commandments of God! Closing Catholic Schools for financial reasons is a HUGE ERROR and I would assume, a HUGE SIN in the eyes of God! The Catholic Church finds all sorts of money to pay legal judgments from pedophile priests, created by the Church’s phoney reasons for the celibacy “REQUIREMENT”! There would BE no wierdos in the priesthood if the men were allowed to have the normal sexual outlet of marriage instead of squelching the appetite! Sex is a God-given need, exactly like eating, breathing,sleeping, eliminating! It is an extremely RARE man who can succeed in sublimating this normality into some holy outlet, and DEFINITELY there would NEVER be enough of these RARITIES to maintain the Catholic Church!! If the new Pope is a closet liberal, it’s far past time to make celibacy voluntary and retractable! Christ NEVER mandated any apostles to be celibate, but HE wasn’t MONEY-ORIENTED!!

  • wapoisrightwingrag

    Even the Religion columns of the Washington Post lean right. After the disgusting and hateful screed by the loathsome William Donohue last week, it is clear what Sally Quinn and Jon Meachem consider “discourse”. For moderates, and God help us progressives and liberals, Quinn and Meachem endorse attacks upon us. For the conservatives, we get these weepy and weak pieces by David Waters which acknowledge that the Bishops politicize abortion over every other issue, but calls the Bishops “courageous” for ineffectually paying lip-service to helping the poor with health care for years. If you are at all fair, you will see over and over The Washington Post attacks and excoriates any liberal/progressive and defends conservatives to the point of absurdity. I am still waiting for Quinn and Meachem to explain why Donohue’s Beer all Rants are part of a “conversation” on anything, much less “religion and faith”.

  • jonathanpnichols

    DOTELLEN: On what does Dr. Levitt base that assertion? What evidence does he offer to support his claim? I stand by my statement, regardless of whether a pseudoacademic book has also raised the possibility. Had I read the book first, I would have reserved my comment for the author of the book as opposed to the individual who raised it here. Point being: the genesis of the comment is irrelevant, it’s stupid no matter who says it.

  • hill4990

    Oh that’s rich. Arrogant, just like daddy. So now abortion is a human right? Sickening. Stop regarding him and his family with so much respect. They have the gall to set themselves up as a model Catholic American family. Everyone talks about Ted’s record and all he did…spare me. Millions of innocents were murdered under his watch. Maybe he was trying to give Mary Jo a family, posthumously. If you murder one so blatanly and get away with it, you then have the courage to murder millions and call it something else and have no one question you. People talk about a Kennedy curse? That family created it with their words and actions. Immoral as hell and without a conscience. No wonder Ted was for abortion. If you slept with as many women as he did, you would be for it too.

  • garoth

    tojby, thanks for your reference, but I think it points out that what you initially said was incorrect – at least as I read it. Although it was a common practice in Rome to let unwanted children die of exposure on the walls of the city, the practice in Palestine was not the same. There, killing a child was murder. In fact, much of the growth of the early church came from “rescues” of children who had been left on the walls to die. However, your reference points up a problem with Catholic theology: Jews did not consider a person to be a person until they drew their first breath. Until then, they were part of the mother. Catholic theology fails to acknowledge this, and so is faulty. Arguments that personhood begins at conception might be inferred from scripture (they are usually drawn from O.T. passages), but the scriptures also can be used to argue against that understanding. The Catholic Church has denied the older scriptural understanding without cause, thus violating its own hermeneutic, which deems that traditional and historic understandings of scripture are to be given preference. The Jewish understanding is based on the creation account, that God breathed life (“ruach” – breath or spirit) into the first man and he became a living being (Genesis 1). On the other hand, we also have Psalm 139, usually used to support “life from fertilization,”but which actually declares that God saw his “unformed substance” in the “depths of the earth” – that is, before it took substance in the mother’s womb; then there is the call of Jeremiah (1:5), in which God declares that he “knew” Jeremiah before he was “in the womb” (“knowing,” in the Bible, refers to conception), which would indicate that life begins with God’s “conceiving” of the individual, before human conception. How do we legalize that? At any rate, the Catholic Church is on shakey theological ground to begin with. Then there is the matter of how they treat women and sexual issues generally – but that has been pretty well-covered here. If I were a woman, I’d be pretty cautious about anything the church says. Their record isn’t too good, and they speak with a very patriarchal mindset. Certainly the church has every right to speak on issues. So does Kennedy, and I think he’s right here: it’s a red herring. The reason that no anti-abortion statement has been included is because, whatever it is, it would not be deemed enough by the church, which allows for no abortions, according to its theology. The endless discussion of the issue would also further delay the bill, and probably be its demise – which is the goal of the Republican Party. The bill has been sitting around for far too long already – let’s get it done.

  • j2hess

    The bishop’s position has been consistent, but there is a vocal faction that can’t distinguish between the authority and responsibilities of a constitutionally limited of government and those of the Church. They want to use the power of the sword – government power – to enforce their set of moral precepts when they have failed in their duty. The duty of the Church is to help people make the moral choice through developing their consciences. The place of the bishops is the pulpit, not the doctor’s office. If a woman wants to bring the teachings of the bishops into her decision, it is her right, not theirs. And ‘we will have no choice’ is always a reason for suspicion as it tries to lay off responsibility for one’s own actions to another. They’ve made many choices – to build abortion into a bigger social and political issue than the issues given by Jesus, for one. They’ve avoided developing a theology of the proper limits to government power. They’ve chosen to make the Church into an insiders’s club rather than the body of Christ. The bishop’s position on health care reform is a bigger red herring for the Church than it is for the rest of us.

  • ejgallagher1

    I think the Bishop’s words certainly reinforce the perception that for most of the Church leadership abortion isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. As far as tax dollars paying for killing innocents, we’ve been doing that in wars for years.

  • lufrank1

    This is JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG in Having a Particular Religion impose its Dogma into the United States Government. Where are you..Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin when we need you???? SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? OR RETURN TO DARK AGES – - PRIME EXAMPLE-SAUDI ARABIA!

  • Hispana

    The bottom line here is that NO FEDERAL FUNDS should be used at all to pay for abortions. The current laws in our land give women the freedom to choose and we have to abide by this law, but it does not stipulate that abortions should be paid by federal funds. We can debate this issue to death and we would continue to disagree on the issue of abortion, but using federal funds to pay for it takes it to another level. I refuse to have my tax dollars support such an act! Mr. Kennedy needs to sensitize himself more to the values of a great majority in this country!

  • MikeL4

    The basis for “social justice”, the very root of it, is respect for the dignity of Life. This is what Rep. Kennedy does not grasp. You cannot have social justice if you are willing to kill, or allow to be killed, developing human beings in the womb. The dignity and respect for human life and the potential of that life, are essential portions of any social justice program. Health care reform AND no gov’t subsidy, however inadvertent, for abortion. Remember, White House assurances are not law.

  • Jumpy66

    I grow weary of the one sided discussion. Posted by: patisok | October 26, 2009 6:46 PM __________________________________________ Hey patisok, take your lies, anger, hate and Catholic-bashing somewhere else. Maybe over to rushlimbaugh.com if you’d like to have a conversation based on half-truths.

  • fizzy1

    The Catholic Church wants to have it both ways. On one hand, it wants to protect the unborn. On the other hand, its own policies are directly responsible for much of the extreme poverty throughout the developing world in which it had a hand in colonizing and subjugating during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

  • sjag1

    The Catholic Church in Canada refused to give the Sacrament of Holy Communion to two former Prime Ministers, both Catholic, for allowing and then not voiding, a free vote in the House of Commons over abortion, a right overwhemingly approved by that body. However there is little play in the Catholic press about child molestation by priests right up to and including the rank of Bishop. The horrors this religion has perpertrated on Fist Nations/Reform School kids is now is full view and the disgust for the whole rotten outfit is easily understood. Now they’re doing it in Africa were family planning is considerd a mortal sin and denied to an uneducated people, a S.O.P. Along with the Infallibe crap another silly concept came out in the 19th century. Birth/gestation was considered the deposit of a molecular but fully formed person in the womb and there grew on menstrual blood until big enough to exit the birth canal, a not unusual thought for the time, hence the dogma. Rome just can’t get over science at all.

  • jerkhoff

    The Catholic Church has no business meddling in United States politics. The separation of Church and State works both ways. If Catholic bishops continue their recent history of personal attacks on politicians, the United States should reexamine the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church. Bishop Tobin, please get your nose out of our politics…

  • lizard2

    Patrick Kennedy is atraitor to the Catholic faith as was his father and two Uncles.The Church has a right to exercise its voice as Citizen ,opinunated individual,or as gaudian of souls.What ive been reading here,is liberal arrogance denying to the Church what it would give to itself!!he Chuch has amandate from Jesus Christ Himself to straighten the Social Order.

  • cprferry

    The Church sponsors more hospitals than any one, and its bishops are believed to be the teaching authority of the Church on all matters of faith and morality to many doctors, nurses, administrators, taxpayers and voters. It’s commitment to quality and affordable health care for all persons is unquestioned as is its belief that abortion is mortal sin that no one should endorse or participate in. Why are they placing the bishops in the position of potentially supporting abortion? If the pro-choice Democrats are truthful in their promises that health care reform will not subsidize abortion, why won’t they pass a bill to clarify it? Why did they vote 28 to 30 on the one amendment to pass one House committee? Why have they blocked other amendments? Is it possible that Democrats are lying through their teeth? Pushing through funding for abortion while claiming not to, and attacking any one who claims otherwise? Show your true colors, Kennedy and pro-choice Democrats! Truthfully tell America you want to bail out Planned Parenthood, and see how many support you. Go on, try it. You won’t, because you know that it will be rejected. So you’ll resort to lying, deflecting the issue and attacking bishops and others that question you.

  • jeffc6578

    F**k the Catholic church. All they’ve ever done to my family is work to destroy it – all my aunt’s and uncles were beaten by nuns in the name of God, and we suspect my uncle was molested by a priest. Why should we give these deviants a say in our health care debate?

  • Wallenstein

    If it weren’t for religion, do you think we’d even be having a discussion of public health care? Public health care IS FUNDAMENTALLY A RELIGIOUS IDEA. Anyone who advocates for it is, if not a professed Christian, is at least a closet Christian. I don’t run into many amoral nihilists. Little illiterate idiots. The Church still would welcome you back; swallow your pride.

  • tarded2much

    Hey, Kennedy where does Jesus say to stick a gun in people’s faces and demand things of them? Oh wait, nowhere. I look forward to you burning in hell along with your drunkard father.

  • NoWeCant

    Such lack of education on the Reps part makes ones wonder the level of maturity of people writing legislations today.

  • dricha8548

    Kennedy is pathetic, “the biggest social-justice issue of our time”. I guess the destruction of 43+ million “fetus’ ” is not an issue to Rep. Kennedy. Pathetic.

  • norriehoyt

    So Patrick Kennedy has been “a great disappointment” to his Church. No politician or office holder has any obligation whatsoever to not disappoint his Church. His obligation is to follow his conscience [even the Roman Church is said to believe in this rule] and serve the common [not just R.C.C.] good. TRUE STORY: In Yugoslavia in WWII, Catholic soldiers would ask children if they were Christian. When they said yes, they were told to make the sign of the cross. If they made it the wrong way (right to left] they revealed themselves as Othodox and were shot. FABLE: A priest came across a man lying ill in a roadside gutter. He asked the man if he favored abortion rights. When he answered “yes”, the priest passed by on the other side. Do these stories remind you of David Waters’ column today? They should. They’re interconnected.

  • mdnc

    It warms my heart to know that Patrick Kennedy is a disappointment to the Catholic Church. That is a badge of honor in my book. Keep up the good work Mr. Kennedy!

  • maiapapaya

    When the Catholic church or any other non-profit organization starts paying taxes, then they can involve themselves if policy/politics. Until then, it should be illegal for any of these groups to involve themselves in the discussion.

  • dotellen

    JONATHANPNICHOLS: I am not going to try to condense the 30-odd pages of statistics and analysis in chapter 4 of Levitt’s “Freakonomics” for you. The book is available in most libraries, I should think, (though I own a copy). Let your intellectual curiosity stimulate you sufficiently to phone your local library and ask. If they don’t have it, you can find a used copy for less than $10 at

  • terencef100

    The bile, venom, and pute hatred of anti-Catholic bigots never fails to amaze me. These Washington Post forums are full of their pointless, useless invective. Shame on them.

  • herzliebster

    It is obvious to anybody except those who (like most of the commenters here) are deliberately claiming to miss the point, that what Kennedy is saying about this bishops is this: the single-issue focus on abortion to the point that they would withdraw support for universal health care on this issue alone, is morally myopic — to the point of being harmful to the basic principle of reverence for life of which resistance to abortion is only one part. This is the moral Achilles’ heel of ALL single-issue mindsets. The so-called “perfect” becomes the enemy of the good. If the rest of universal health care (and economic justice in general) were fully in place, there would be far less demand for abortion, because women would be healthy, would have adequate access to birth control (yeah I know the bishops don’t like that either, but at least they don’t make a single-issue shibboleth out of it), and they would have far less economic vulnerability, so they would be far more likely to be able to make room in their lives for a new baby even if it was unplanned.

  • Mindboggle

    Kennedy is not a Catholic; he is a Pelosi-type. If he cannot live and believe as a Catholic he should go to some other church. Kennedy like so many others goes where the votes are and he believes he gets more from the Abortion people. He should refrain from Communion; he is not a nice person and is not in a state of grace.

  • maiapapaya

    I have great difficulty listening to a group of men who allowed, over many many years, the rape of young boys in their charge. To give these men any credibility is absurd. I’m reminded of the saying, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Good for Patrick Kennedy for speaking truth to the empty power of the Catholic Bishops. A badge of honor indeed!

  • tojby_2000

    wallenstein wrote: If it weren’t for religion, do you think we’d even be having a discussion of public health care? Public health care IS FUNDAMENTALLY A RELIGIOUS IDEA. ___________________________________________________ Wrong. Religion is the ritualization of denial. Sometimes it behaves in a moral manner and sometimes it doesn’t. Our communitarian (health care) impulse arises out of our DNA’s adaptation to favor species survival.

  • EastCoastnLA

    Where is the seperation of Church and State,,, it bothers me greatly that the Catholic church is discussing the use of taxpayers funds for ANY purpose. They recieve a federal tax exemption and being a church,, what are they doing wading into the operational affairs of the federal government. They would immediately protest the US Gov intruding into the operations of the Church. The fact that they are threatening to use their influence which includes the expenditure of money to influence a political outcome, this is so blatant,,,, Where is the call by Congress to put them in their place when it comes to running the government and making legislation, which is a secular exercise, supposedly not influence by religion WE NEED HELP NOW AND WE NEED OUR ELECTED LEADERS TO CALL ON THEM TO BACK AWAY FROM THEIR INFLUENCE PEDDLING

  • tony55398

    I really don’t believe Christ wanted the Church to get into a fight with any government about forcing people to believe what it does, I don’t know what you believe Christ meant when He said give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but He was holding a coin at the same time, duh. I believe life begins at conception, but you can’t force people to hold the same belief. I believe the Church is chasing up the wrong pole, you don’t push your beliefs you lead. The Church has become far too intellectual, It has forgotten the heart of being Christian. After all salvation springs from the “Love” of God, not man’s head, or his laws, including the salvation of the unborn, of not just this country but all.

  • JCS3

    As a Catholic, I gave up on the clergy years ago. Somehow what they say and do does not conform to basic human morality. But then remember they are men who are afraid of losing their power. The number of practicing catholics is dwindling and you’d think they would want to understand why. After all, aren’t we all “created in the image and likeness of God”-not just the powerful clergy.

  • GDWymer

    More nonsense form the shallow thinkers at “On Faith.” The Catholic dogma and its political ideas are and always have been so defined as to defy what most rational people would consider the perfect absurdities once espoused by the Scholastics of the Dark Ages. That’s how most Catholic, let’s face it, most religious doctrines of the Abrahamic cults, use a strange logic that they feel is consistent. David Waters may state that the bishops have been consistent within the smaller framework of the abortion issue. But when one looks at the wider issues of life, the purpose of a constitutional government and the protection of its citizens (those of us who are actually living outside the womb), then their so-called logic becomes a classic exponent of that strange nature vs grace, Augustini/Aquinian mess of a philosophy. It may serve the parishoners of the Catholic church who wish to believe in all that nonsense; but for the rest of us, those who believe in a secular and constitutional government, science, reason, compassion for the living, things like that, then it simply will not do. The prelates want respect for the dignity of life? We rarely ever hear any Catholic prelate speak out against the inordinate and unaccounatble military expenditures and murderous expeditions conducted by the U.S. government around the world not theri ardnet opposition to the many failures of this (barely still) demmocratic government’s life-threatening policies. Finally, rare is the occasion I have discussed with a Catholic their own views contra ecclesia without a wink-wink and a litany of lame apologetics. And how many “practicing” Catholics actually agree with their prelates? I would love to hear Mr. Water’s honest answer to that.

  • jmcdavisum

    Talk about red-herrings! Liberal Democrats love to say that everyone who does not agree with their vision of healthcare reform is against reform itself. What a load of malarkey!

  • maxtel1910

    Said Kennedy: “I can’t understand for the life of me how the Catholic Church could be against the biggest social-justice issue of our time where the very dignity of the human person is being respected by the fact that we’re caring and giving health care to the human person – that right now we have 50 million people who are uninsured. You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life-saving health care? I thought they were pro-life. If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health-care reform because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive. So this is an absolute red herring, and I don’t think that it does anything but to fan the flames of dissent and discord, and I don’t think it’s productive at all.” I can’t believe Kennedy,et al. won’t just take the abortion stuff out to get the bill passed. Why is he being so stubborn? Besides with free healthcare, free education,food stamps, welfare, need based college financial aid,Pell Grants,Medicaid,free day care, etc. what cost is there to raising a child? Cell phone charges?

  • maiapapaya

    cprferry said “The bishops currently teach that life begins at fertilization (not uterine implantation)…” The Catholic Church once said the world was flat, and anyone who disagreed was a heretic. In the Phillipines, the Catholic Church’s position on birth control is preventing that country’s exit from extreme poverty. Government plans to provide free contraceptives is meeting resistance by the Catholic Church. nytimes.com/2009/10/26/world/asia/26iht-phils.html?_r=1

  • ccnl1

    The tainted RCC bishops and the religious leaders of other faiths must speak out when there are such obvious violations of the following rules that have evolved over 100,000 years of human history: “Thou Shall not Kill” “Thou Shall not Steal” “Thou Shall not Bear False Witness” “Thou Shall not Commit Adultery” “Thou Shall not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods/Wife/Husband/Partner” The Violations: One million murdered womb-babies/year x 35 Bill Clinton and other leadership adulterers 19 million cases of STDs/year The Medicare/Medicaid (60 Minutes last Sunday), Enron, Tyco, Bernie Ebbers and Bernie Madoff scandals The 50% divorce rate

  • anitapreer

    Patrick Kennedy is right. The Catholic Church is the most anti-women’s health organization in the world. Against birth control, against a termination of pregnancy for any reason (let the mother die!!) Against allowing pregnant girls to go to school with their peers. (Ship them to unwed mothers’ “homes.”) These are the people who had to pay millions for the actions of their pedophile priests. I was a Catholic, but I have come to see the Catholic Church as a place for men to validate their subjugation of women. Even divorce is prohibited. Even if your husband is beating you!!! If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. Keep your hands off my body, however, and stop vilifying women who have had to have an abortion, for health, or for poverty, the two main reasons. The Catholic Church gets a “0″ on reproductive health for women, whom they see as “creatures”, victims of their biology. My sister, unwed and pregnant, was talked into giving up her baby for adoption by a lot of priests and nuns. A year later she got married, could not find out anything about that baby,was haunted her whole life…. this is healthy????? Good for Patrick. Keep up the good work.

  • fury60

    I thought being a liberal and a catholic was mutually exclusive these days.

  • jama452

    Against abortion, don’t have one. There will always be abortions, if Roe v Wade were overturned, then rich women would get a doctor and have a d&c abortion, and poor women would be forced to back alleys and coat hangers again. The Catholic church and pro-lifers should spend as much time investigating the pedophiles that abused their priesthood.

  • foxtrot1

    You never know when an unaborted fetus will grow up to work for Planned Parenthood.

  • TwoCents2

    Does the Catholic Church require its followers to refuse private health insurance provided by their employers if that health insurance plan pays for abortion? I didn’t think so. All insured parties pay into the health insurance pool to pay for health care services for all the parties so insured. If you have insurance at work and you participate, you are just as much “supporting” the abortion services covered by the insurance plan. Having the US government acting as the insurance provider (instead of a private insurance company) doesn’t change the reality that your premiums pay into the pool of money part of which will be used for the health care of others, which may include abortion services. The Catholic Church is hypocritical on this matter as it is on many issues. Come on, Catholics, are you going to refuse your employer-provided insurance because the plan pays for abortion services? I thought not.

  • tonyprzy

    It’s a good article. Basically, the bishops have consistently supported healthcare reform; however, abortion is a deal-breaker. It’s not a “red herring.” While many people feel the way that Mr. Kennedy does about compromising on abortion, the church will always stand against abortion. Mr. Kennedy doesn’t see abortion the way the church does: as– in the majority of cases– the sacrifice of a child’s life for the sake of his/her mother’s economic well-being. The church can’t compromise on such a thing even for the sake of healthcare coverage for the poor.

  • klausdmk

    The Catholic bishop speaks as a chosen priest in the things pertaining to God. Kennedy speaks as a politician who wants to please the ideological tenets of the liberal Democrat Party politics. Does government have the right to decide that abortion is a civil right of a pregnant woman? We have the Constitutional right of freedom of speech, but the government does not have to pay for it. The individual choice for an abortion is not the question. It is who is required to perform the abortion. The killing of the formation of life within a woman is against the teachings of the Catholic Church and it is against teachings of the word of God as written in the gospel of Christ. A women may think she has a right to an abortion; however, she will have to answer to God one day about that decision. Why was the beginning of life terminated?

  • ponderer

    Tell me again what the point of this On Religion column is. It is and provokes the most hard-line, dogmatic, mean-spirited, uncharitable, un-Christian commentary and comments anywhere to be seen. It’s hard to see what the goal is and what it is achieving that it is kept. Is it some vain (in all senses of the word) attempt by Sally Quinn to be relevant and meaningful? Doesn’t seem to be working!

  • wapoisrightwingrag

    This is typical. “terencef100″ complains of “The bile, venom, and pute hatred of anti-Catholic bigots”. The biggest spewer of bile and venom here has been William Donohue, whose Beer Hall Rants against anyone who does not worship the Pope and Mary are the most hateful writings seen anywhere this side of The Protocol of Zion. Roman Catholics are filled with world-class bullies, haters, and self-piteous sissies like Raymond Arroyo and the entire gelded-male sopranos and would be Tony Soprano’s. Sally Quinn and Jon Meachem owe an explanation to readers of why they publish such a cheap fascist ranter like Donohue. Donohue is the face of the Catholic Church that has lost all its priests and moral authority. The only thing EWTN Catholics have is abortion, Mary-Idolatry, and smug hatred. It is a shame, because the Roman Catholic church is important and it has built great hospitals, schools, and Churches, but its greatness, like that of the Washington Post, is all in the past before the conservatives seized control of everything and ran ot into the rocks.

  • cprferry

    maiapapaya, I believe you were addressing tfburke19, but contrary to reports, the Church does not teach irresponsible family planning and population control. In fact, the Church teaches families be mindful of the responsibilities and resources (emotional, financial, environmental) necessary to raise a child. The Church also counsels its members and the world to any number of methods to experience sexual intimacy within marriage while being open to life. Unfortunately, many have separated sexual activity from love of God, spouse, family and life. To address the failures that inevitably result from ignoring His will, they continue to distance themselves from love for Him and their neighbors by separating the flesh union, altering hormone patterns, and killing human life. The promiscuity-abortion axis is an incomplete, immoral and dangerous model. It leads only to the destruction of man by destroying his dignity and status. First by exploitation of the self, then of others, and eventually among fractions through eugenics, policy and violence. Against this tide, the Church will always stand opposed and will win. Alas, there lies the hope, which promises more joy and love than any earthly creation can offer. It’s in the selfless love of the Lord, and love for Him through obedience to His will and His loving intentions for us. The Creator made us, knows us and has built each of us for a specific purpose. We’d be fools to claim that we, or any one/thing else, knows better than the Creator.

  • Athena4

    “If the rest of universal health care (and economic justice in general) were fully in place, there would be far less demand for abortion, because women would be healthy, would have adequate access to birth control (yeah I know the bishops don’t like that either, but at least they don’t make a single-issue shibboleth out of it), and they would have far less economic vulnerability, so they would be far more likely to be able to make room in their lives for a new baby even if it was unplanned.” That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people all along. The single issue of abortion is a smokescreen to prevent health care reform. The “pro-life” crowd is being used by their Republican masters once again. The Capps Amendment was an attempt to compromise with the anti-abortion side. You see how well that went over with the screamers here. For those of you who want to criminalize abortion, how many years will a woman get in prison for having an abortion? Or, will she get the death penalty? What’s going to be the statues of limitations? If someone had an abortion 20 years ago, and is now a mother of two, is she still going to be arrested for murder? Also, does that mean that we can claim the fetus as a dependent on our taxes if the pregnancy spans a calendar year?

  • Windknot1

    This should be a non-issue. Mr. Kennedy and his liberals cohorts are showing that they are getting progressively dumber as this Health Care debate continues. From a tactical standpoint, this is a complete an utter “FAIL”. Let’s make this simple: Include a provision that explicitly prevent federal funding of abortion. THIS DOES NOT MAKE ABORTIONS ILLEGAL. Next, get the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to support the bill. Now you have moral cover and can bracket the opposition’s arguments along secular (read logical) avenues. Instead, the m o r on spawn of the Kennedys picks a tired and old fight with the Catholic Church. He and his cohorts have successfully keep the spiritual and beliefs (read emotional) opposition arguments in play (actually he intensified it). No minds are changed in “I believe this…” arguments.

  • capryor-1

    To: wapoisrightwingrag You are clearly a very confused and disturbed person. Facts mean nothing. The fundamental difference between “conservative” and “orthodox” means nothing. “Mary Worship”? Really? Please go read what the Church teaches and stop setting up straw men.

  • ONWAPO

    WE [i] Think that ‘Little Brethren”, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.); is the one where the “Kennedy Curse” will be No-MORE! May “Teddy” Edward Kennedy [pbuh et al] be happy! i [WE] like this Apocalyptarian Potentiate! VOTE: YES! For P.J.K. & CO.!

  • hipshot

    I asked my fetus friend, Mary, about this. Me: This is what Kennedy said: “If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health-care reform, because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive.” Fetus: You will notice that even without health care reform people still have the opportunity to develop their skills, work hard, and save their money for health care. Many of us will never get that opportunity.

  • cprferry

    “The Capps Amendment was an attempt to compromise with the anti-abortion side. You see how well that went over with the screamers here. Posted by: Athena4″ Talk about a smokescreen. Athena4, the Capps Amendment barely passed one committee. Similar amendments have been rejected by other committees. If pro-choice Democrats were serious about not funding abortions, why are they voting against these amendments?

  • hipshot

    I asked my fetus friend, Mary, about this: Me: This is whast Kennedy said: “If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health-care reform, because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive.” Fetus: Even without health care reform, people have the opportunity to develop their skills, work hard, and save their money for health care. Many of us will never get that opportunity.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Midwestmiddle: The last Irish Catholic Church Magdalene SLAVE LABOR LAUNDRY closed in 1996. Young girls kidnapped and imprisoned. Given numbers, not names. Beaten. Raped. Put into cells. 150 years of CC abuse of 30,000 young women in Ireland.

  • tojby_2000

    mindboggle wrote: “…He (Kennedy) should refrain from Communion; he is not a nice person and is not in a state of grace. _________________________________________ At least he’s not in a state of denial.

  • bobtich

    Pro life means be for the fetus before it becomes a baby, especially a female baby. It means encourage the poor to have more children and not use birth control so there can be more subjects to send money to Rome while living in poverty themselves. Also provide more little boys for the amusement of the priests and bishops. Many cheers for Patrick for standing up to the purveyors of sexist claptrap and superstition.

  • wtjoyce1956

    Can you say separation of church and state? Sure, I knew you could.

  • L_Stevens64

    HI ,, To Readers , It may be a very bad thing about abortions.. as the peoples giving birth are younger in todays years. but what about the score cards .. to how the Priests are doing also.? I do not choose to be Catholic or go with a certain church’s doctrine. even though I have gone to a few protestant churches to pray.. even though I cannot provide any kids this last 19 years .. and bear my own tattoo of a cross on myself.. We will keep to Our Own family thank you. what does trouble the World , .. how much of pollutants caused by what Nations,.. how many of what wars . or the start of the 1957 Bikini islands Nukes testings ,or what waste.? then there is the fruit of the good and bad of what.peoples. What is decided is beyond this persons even of a want.. or is it what a many peoples wants,,, could this of all be of a satisfactory doing and so what then.. make that into some lobbyists bill.? this is the New testament .. I sure do not really want Jesus to come back in my lifetime .. I am so sure they are angry to a many of whom… But to try to be for one day at a time,,, one week also mo. to mo. and the Holidays,,, to try to live for our home and just reside in what we are able to do for our home and our Family .. is enough for me also. what they say is it all about an economy ,, or is the people the making for what is to the economy also.. whom makes the Law is also in time subject to a many of the Laws also …. do unto others as thee would have they do unto thee.. if they do thee wrong then they show themselves as they are if they do OK then ? well good luck find out whom your friends are to count on in a pinch,. watch out for thee selves also. have a nice day . from Larry

  • Curmudgeon10

    What you have in the advocacy by the Catholic Church and many others to include quite specific language in health care reform prohibiting the use of federal funds under any provision of the bill to fund abortions is merely reflective of the growing sophistication of voters. They understand much more now than ever how Congress produces language that creates loopholes, loopholes through which many large societal trucks can drive through, and often do. The other side seems to think that the Hyde amendment is akin to fairy dust from Tinker Bell. Merely mention its name, and nothing bad will happen. This is the same as saying because we have traffic laws, nobody is going to speed.

  • DwightCollins

    seems this kennedy was not raised as a catholic… if he is one… he should be excomunicated for his support of abortion… he has condemned himself…

  • segeny

    Like his uncle, TubbyTeddy, little Patrick is not a “Roman Catholic” – - he is a “cafeteria catholic”, trying to keep the votes of Catholic R.I.

  • ATrueChristian

    Anitapreer said: “A year later she got married, could not find out anything about that baby,was haunted her whole life…. this is healthy?????” __________ So, if the priests and nuns had talked her into an abortion, she’d not be haunted?!

  • ATrueChristian

    “Can you say separation of church and state?” ____________ Can you say “First Amendment”? The Church has every right to voice its support for or against whatever legislation comes up. The separation clause only applies in that the Church cannot take over the government, for ex. by getting members and priests elected into the House and Senate and Presidency with the intended consequences of turning the country over to the Pope. The same would be true for any other church/religion. A group of Bishops voicing the Church view does not rise to a Church/State violation. Of course Liberals can’t see it that way because they’re too blind. They claim to be for the First Amendment, then pass a law against “hate”.

  • shuttdlrl

    I agree! I do not want my tax dollars killing innocent babies. shuttdlrl

  • Marks1153

    Representative Kenedy is not in communion with the Catholic Church. Peopledon’t seem to realize that the Church is not another branch of government, not a lobbying group, or an interest group. Those of us who are members don’t believe it is a “democracy” and would never suggest that it shoulbe be. We are old-fashioned enough to belive that something called Truth exists, and that it isn’t susceptible to negotiation or horse-trading. Just because “everyone” wants or believes something, that doesn’t make it the best course of action. Insofar as I know, the Holy Spirit has not begun conducting focus groups!

  • ATrueChristian

    Patisok wrote: “Did they speak out forcefully over the last 8 years when we sent millions of people including our soldiers to death in 2 wars,…” ___________ Source? I’d like to know where you get that “millions” were killed “over the last 8 years”? A couple hundred thousand, at the absolute most maybe, but certainly not “millions”. You seem to have a fundamental problem with terms of scale.

  • tjhall1

    Kennedy should go back to his crack pipe and drive his car.

  • ATrueChristian

    Hipshot wrote: “Fetus: Even without health care reform, people have the opportunity to develop their skills, work hard, and save their money for health care. Many of us will never get that opportunity.” _________________ Don’t know if this was tongue in cheek or what, but this is EXACTLY the problem with abortion. People think, hey I’m an actual person, I should decide what to do with my own body. Wrong! If you don’t have a fundamental right to actually live, then all other rights do not matter. What does the First through tenth amendments mean to an aborted fetus? Nothing. What good is universal health insurance to an aborted fetus? No good. The way I see it, I don’t want my tax dollars going toward paying for other people’s abortions. If they want to have an abortion, they can pay for it themselves. I just love the irony here at the WashPost, an article a little while back generated a bunch of liberals to scream that they don’t want to pay for “unhealthy lifestyles” (i.e. people who are overweight or otherwise unhealthy would pay more for healthcare than those who fit some guidelines as being “healthy”), yet are more than willing to volunteer my money to pay for other people’s abortions.

  • capryor-1

    Thank you MARKS1153 and ATRUECHRISTIAN, you both are exactly right. Personally I am tired of “Catholic” politicians pandering to the social liberals for votes. Idiotic comments about “Separation of Church and State”, “a ‘fetus’ not being a human being” and “War being equal to abortion” show how little people know about the issues and how much they react with only emotion. The Church has the RESPONSIBILITY to put a VOICE to the TRUTH and Patrick Kennedy, who somehow still considers himself Catholic, needs to sit down, shut up and learn from the Bishops. Then maybe he can represent the Church’s social teaching in CONTEXT. Something he and other of his ilk have trouble doing. Not a sermon, just a thought.

  • vavoter

    Let’s see, the people who brought us the inquisition, the crusades, turned a blind eye during the holocaust, hid child molesters for decades, and encourage women to stay in abusive marriages to preserve the sanctity of marriage think they have a moral voice in protecting life?

  • MidwestMiddie

    Kudos to Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Anyone ready to take on the noisy and incompetent CC is a fine citizen and worthy of support. For years, the CC did not help rape victims but subjected them to unholy grief by not allowing the solution to end unwanted RAPE pregnancies. I believe this is still an unsolved issue in some states. Imagine! The Catholic Church with its past and recent history of abuse should be quiet. How many of their members use birth control which is a mortal sin? How many of these members are refused Communion? None! Why? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Priests haven’t noticed the majority of their parish families consist of one to two children? Ha! I’ll bet the Bishops haven’t missed a meal or a necessary doctor’s appointment …………… EVER! Tell the CC to stay out of politics. OR PAY TAXES!

  • Prosperity2008

    This obsession with abortion above all things is what is driving me away from teh Catholic Church. While I agree that abortion is bad, I am really sick of abortion dictating the Catholic Church position on everything. The money that they waste on this campaign could be better spent on food, education and counseling so that the number of abortions would go down. This is just another issue driving me and thousands of other Catholics like me toward the Episcopal Church.

  • sablerm25

    The Catholic Bishops care not a wit for the health of children. They allowed known predatory priests to rape, molest and defile the most innocent of victims!. They are tired old reprobates who in a truly enlightened world would be in prison!

  • douglaslbarber

    Abortion debates generally strike me as consisting of two groups of people, both wearing earplugs, shouting slogans at each other. It might be helpful for everyone to recognize that this issue pits the value we place on self-determination against the value we place on protecting the weak from the strong.

  • sourcreamus

    It is telling how the Democrat party is willing to risk one of its main agenda items over tax payer funding of abortion. They have had many chances to allay the bishop’s concerns and have passed each time. It is clear the Democrats now in power would rather have tax payer funded abortions than health care reform. Yet they continue to pretend they are merely pro-choice and not pro-abortion. We should pay attention to what politicians do and not what they say.

  • ravitchn

    Catholic bishops have an excuse for being stupid; they are chosen for administrative and fund-raising talents, not for intelligence or even for theological discernment. What is Patrick Kennedy’s excuse for being a fool?

  • dy19spider57

    LXP19 wrote: “A woman is a person, an actual life. A fetus is a potential person, a potential life: there is no guarantee that it will ever be born. The proof is that a significant percentage of fetuses end in miscarriages.” ————————- aren’t you glad that your mother was Pro-Life.

  • MidwestMiddie

    The last Irish Catholic Church Magdalene SLAVE LABOR LAUNDRY closed in 1996. Young girls kidnapped and imprisoned. Given numbers, not names. Beaten. Raped. Put into cells. 150 years of CC abuse of 30,000 young women in Ireland.

  • Dieterman

    Tobin on behalf of the Catholic church says that Kennedy “owes them an apology” and that they’re “disappointed” in him. “Owes them an apology” because he, a duly and democratically elected representative of the people of Rhode Island, disagrees with the church’s position? I think not. They do still long for the days when kings and queens bowed humbly and kissed the ring, it seems.

  • capryor-1

    Thank you, MIDWESTMIDDIE, for another example of inane, uninformed bigotry. Been there, this site is loaded with crap.

  • MikeL4

    The basis for “social justice”, the very root of it, is respect for the dignity of Life. This is what Rep. Kennedy does not grasp. You cannot have social justice if you are willing to kill, or allow to be killed, developing human beings in the womb. The dignity and respect for human life and the potential of that life, are essential portions of any social justice program. Health care reform AND no gov’t subsidy, however inadvertent, for abortion. Remember, White House assurances are not law.

  • weethreepigs

    David, I have been looking for an email address for you since you left Memphis. Our family has moved to KC. It is nice to track you down and read your articles. Interesting times. jawanda & rachel

  • flonzy3

    I am not religious and I am pro-choice but I 100% agree that tax money should not be spent on abortion. The government should stay out of the eugenics business. I praise the Bishops for sticking to their moral standards, there is no need to compromise on this issue.

  • jhtlag1

    Oh, gosh, another Kennedy spends 30 minutes in deep thought and comes up with this. Talk about red herrings. For whatever reasons, the Catholic Church has been consistently been against abortion for a long time. That, of course, is an entire debate in itself. Kennedy’s sophomoric attempt to claim that the Catholic Church is against health care because they are against abortion (I don’t play the pro-life/pro-choice doublespeak) is the very definition a red herring, or at least a “does not follow.” If you want of argue pro or anti abortion, fine. but the Catholic Church has been consistent in its argument against abortion, Kennedy’s rambling argument makes a weak attempt to widen the argument for health care as another reason to allow abortion. One of the greatest farces of the last past half century is the idea of a Kennedy providing moral leadership. I shake my head. JT PS And you got me wrong, As a practical matter I’m all for abortion.

  • boredbybaseball

    Like father, like son. Knuckleheads both.

  • MidwestMiddie

    CAPRYOR-1 If you don’t like this link taken from the Daily News – Ireland newspaper. Google and do your own research. Nothing written in the above link is false. Sadly for the CC, many of their Victims and their family members are alive and gave testimony about the slavery, abuse, etc. along with the final admissions from the nuns and bishops. Sorry you are so disadvantaged while having a computer available to you.

  • rohitcuny

    I see absolutely no inconsistency inn saying, “We favor health care reform” and also, “We oppose taxpayer funded abortion.” To be sure, the Catholic Church has sometimes behaved badly, but that does not affect our evaluation of their position right now, which is pro-life in both dimensions. To say, as liberals do, “We want to save lives, and we also want to kill the unborn” does not seem very consistent to me.

  • Dieterman

    How is it possible that the Catholic church can profess such concern for the “unborn”, yet allowed, even abetted, the sexual abuse of thousands of children for decades (or centuries, for all we know)? Could it be that this hand-wringing over fetuses is merely a sort of “moral cover” and that their real concern is the patriarchal goal of putting women back in their traditional role as keepers of hearth and home by denying them control over reproduction? That would explain another “contradiction” – their opposition to any and all birth control despite the fact that there’s no denying that contraceptives work very effectively toward reducing abortions.

  • tfburke19

    Let me parse my own words, Douglas. The bishops teach that life begins at fertilzation. Of course, bishops are not lawyers or judges, so they are not experts on the law. But the legal structures nonetheless would have to accommodate church teaching once it became the law of the land, which would in turn result in some form of criminal charge for abortion, whether it’s voluntary or involuntary. (I’m not saying it would be an equivalent form of punishment.) That’s because while a heart attack may not result in the loss of human life, an abortion always does. The bishops cannot want to change the law on the one hand and not expect there to be legal consequences on the other. The bishops may not want there to be any punishment, but the law demands it. Once laws are passed by Congress to state that human life begins at fertilization, the law will provide for criminal punishment for abortion and anything that might lead to abortion.

  • ravensfan20008

    Ouch. The Church calls you a disappointment. Crushing.

  • thetravelingmasseur

    I note that the Catholic church has a couple enormous blind spots: 1)their views on population and population growth and how many people our world can handle; 2)sexuality and how it relates to the number of people in the world. There are other blind spots but that will do for here. Until they learn to have real world views — not their current fantasy views— Catholics are part of the problems, not part of the solution. If they choose to be part of the solution, they will be out here 1) arguing for a generation long discussion about how many people this world can sustainably support. 2) They will be in the forefront of sex education, particularly for women around the world. 3) they will be a voice that must be heard about the morality of killing, especially in wars; 4) they will be a voice for the poor and downtrodden throughout the world (including on healthcare) 5) they will be leaders in working for a sustainable environment and saving the vestiges of the Garden of Eden that is (so they teach) their God’s finest creation — our Planet Earth. Until such time, they are hypocritical — religiously, morally, ethically, and practically. I commend Representative Kennedy for his courage to speak as he spoke, and for his ethics and morals in speaking up for poor and middle class as he did on the issue of health care. I commend the Catholic Church for recently learning to live on a sphere in space, in a solar system in a gigantic Universe. They are getting there … i only pray that they won’t get there too late.

  • pgr88

    For the last 2000 years, the Catholic Church has dealt daily with so-called Catholics who claim to have their own better version of the faith – which often conveneniently matches these people’s political goals as well. If you ignore Patrick Kennedy, he will go away.

  • wheeljc

    With all due respect, not real sure that a Kennedy — especially this one — should be a recognized philosopher of the tenants of the Church.

  • Knuckledragger

    Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) can argue with the Bishops all he wants-come eternity his family name and connections will be of little value. He may think he is clever but he is more the fool.

  • capryor-1

    Why is the Post editing my utterly unoffensive comments?

  • LifeRunner

    So, let me get this straight – we have 46 million American uninsured and to fix that we need to overhaul the entire healthcare system? At the same time we are not allowed to limit any reform we do by eliminating illegal immigrants? While I must now spend my money insuring the uninsured I can not place any restriction on where they spend their money? – in other words they can’t afford $200 a month for health insurance, but have $45.00 cable bills, $80 cell phones, smoke, drink beer, wine or liquor, eat poorly, don’t exercise… We really need health care, but only if there is no language prohibiting abortions? We can not eliminate the federal laws restricting health insurance providers in order to promote competition and cost savings, but we need a tax payer funded public option to promote competition… right, the US Postal Service is a great model… Wow… got to love Obama logic.

  • slainte1

    Now it is official. The Kennedys have declared themselves above God.

  • jonathanpnichols

    Many of the comments here show that there is a general misunderstanding/ignorance of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The Constitution does not guarantee this so-called “separation of church and state.” This phrase actually originated in a letter from Thomas Jefferson in 1802, in which he called for a “wall of separation between church and state.” Obviously, Mr. Jefferson’s letter is not enforceable as law in any way, shape, or form. The establishment clause of the First Amendment merely states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Where does it say that any of the various churches or religious denominations can not have specific opinions on policy and law? If someone can direct me to that part of the Constitution or Bill of Rights that states as much, I would be greatly obliged. Catholic Bishops have every right to voice their support for prohibition of funding for abortion in any health care bill that passes. While these men are the leaders of the largest single religious denomination in the United States, they are also citizens of the United States and as such have the right to petition the government according to the dictates of their individual and collective consciences. This violates no law presently enforceable within these United States. Secondly, the Catholic Church’s position on abortion has been very clear and, frankly, unwavering in the Church’s 2000 year history, Nancy Pelosi’s contrary statements to that effect notwithstanding. Is anyone surprised that the Church would oppose a bill that does not prohibit federal funding of abortion? If you are, may I suggest removing your head from the sand and opening your eyes? Finally, whoever posted that the proof that a “fetus” is only a potential life is that a significant number of pregnancies end in miscarriage: a significant number (ie, all) of lives end in death. So… what exactly is your point?

  • csavferg1

    Thank God for Patrick Kennedy!!

  • lidiworks1

    The catholic church is just trying to make more political tracks. First of all, abortion is legal, period–whether you may personally agree with it or not, or just don’t agree with it for yourself. There is already seperate congressional legislation that prohibits government funded abortion except in cases of incest and female health. You don’t have to keep reiterating it in every legislation. It’s not like the Congressional Budget office is suddenly going to forget, nor are the insurance companies, which usually monitor their private and federal funds seperately. The legislation does not, however, stop private insurance companies from covering abortion. Once again, it is a legal procedure that didn’t just suddenly appear in human history. Organizations like the Catholic church and hard core right-wingers confused the “real issues” during the Gore-Bush elections by scaring the public about gay marriage. People got so worried about what homosexuals were doing, that issues like 1st ammendemnet rights, the wars, the economy, and basic human dignity were ignored and now we are dealing with the national mess we have today. Regardless of the hypocracy of the Catholic Church, they are still a religion which has a right to try and balance their beliefs with secular realities. But it should be Government’s business to make policy that preserves the general rights of everyone, not just the idealogy and purported morality of a group.

  • taxayak

    How about the greatest abortionist in the universe, god! Or did everyone forget about miscarriages all of a sudden. According to the priests everything is controlled by god. Isn’t it? Besides one of abortions benefits is a reduction in crime in this country because many potential criminals are never born.

  • MHawke

    All roads lead back to the abortion issue with today’s Church. Matthew 25:40 (“Least of my brethern…”) may also mean providing health care to everyone.

  • jonathanpnichols

    LIDIWORKS1, you state: “There is already seperate [sic] congressional legislation that prohibits government funded abortion except in cases of incest and female health. You don’t have to keep reiterating it in every legislation.” If you are referring to the Hyde Amendment, you should be aware that that specific piece of legislation applies only on a year-to-year basis, as it must be attached to the annual House appropriations bill. There remains, then, the possibility that the amendment may not be attached, which would therefore remove the restriction on federal funding for abortions. I am a bit suspicious of the legislation and the motives of those behind it if they are unwilling to add that explicit guarantee into the legislation, while they furiously point to the Hyde Amendment. There is nothing wrong with a little redundancy if it will quiet the concerns and opposition to the bill by so many. If they really wish to keep federal funds from paying for abortions, then it’s time for Congress to put its money where its mouth is, so to speak, and make that intention explicit.

  • onthejourney

    The Catholic church or any church for that matter should support health care as a fundemental right for all…the issue of abortion enters the fray when federal funds are used. In terms of a health care package there are cases where terminating a pregnancy may be warranted and that adds to the complexity of the entire debate.

  • onthejourney

    The Catholic church or any church for that matter should support health care as a fundemental right for all…the issue of abortion enters the fray when federal funds are used. In terms of a health care package there are cases where terminating a pregnancy may be warranted and that adds to the complexity of the entire debate.

  • TPaine1

    It is amazing to me how much hate, bigotry, ignorance and viciousness can be contained in people’s responses to articles. Patrick Kennedy is one person with an opinion – he is not evil incarnate. Bishop Tobin and the Catholic Church also have a viewpoint based on their values- they are not evil incarnate. Separation of church and state does not mean that religious leaders may not express their opinion about legislation according to their moral values. The Catholic church is not the only religious group to have committed grave errors over the course of its history. It may be the only church to have apologized for many of them. For those of you who feel the need to spew venom about the faults of others – judge not lest ye be judged. And bearing false witness is also immoral. And for those of you who attend church on Sunday, open your ears next time you attend. It is an old adage that people get the government they deserve – if your government representatives are not acting in what you consider to be a moral manner, perhaps that reflects the culture of those they are representing – which would be us -the entire uncivil, hateful, bigoted, judgmental and ignorant citizenry of this country right now, as expressed in many of the comments above.

  • DontGetIt

    Here’s the point – the healthcare bill isn’t going to solve the bigger moral issue of abortion rights. If every piece of legislation had to pass this litmus test, then lets shut off the lights and go home now – ballgame over. While a women’s right to choose is legal, then legislation involving healthcare and health insurance will be inclusive of all legal services. The Catholics know this, and yet choose to make this a red-herring anyway. Therefore, Congressman Kennedy is correct in his assertion.

  • fare777

    The Catholic Church is a blight on the country. Remember, the Catholic Clergy are not even Americans. They pledge to The Pope in Rome. The Catholic clergy bring us nothing but more division and maybe a little groping of the kids they can reach.

  • douglaslbarber

    Last night, Matthew_DC posted what strikes me as the most deeply thought out clearly expressed comment in this entire thread. Here I repost it in its entirety: ———————– RE: “If, as private American citizens, the bishops wish to follow the instructions of the Pope in Rome, there is no problem that I can see. Once they start lobbying Congress there is a problem.” This fuzzy church-state separation ideology is not adequately thought through. Most of what passes for conventional “morality” is just a manifestation of current feelings based on individual preferences. Those preferences can be organized into a system or they can be haphazard. The theists base their feelings on a collection of ideas which make up their “religion”. The non-theists have a similar approach, they simply don’t call their collection of ideas or their ultimate source a “religion”. It’s an arbitrary and artificial distinction to say that ideas and feelings which originate from a body of beliefs not labelled a “religion” are admissible, but if the label “religion” is attached to the this body of beliefs, it is beyond the pale. In the competition between human ideas, it is the idea itself which should be evaluated, not the source. Many people with no theistic leanings at all can reach the conclusion that abortion on demand is very destructive, not just of human life at its inception, but of the society which generally condones it.

  • littleoldlady

    The Church of John XXIII that I joined morphed into the Polish Church of John Paul II. I have left that church. It seems they have concentrated only the trees and forgotten all about the forest. It may become a “pure” church, a doctrinaire church, but it will be an irrelevant church as it had been for centuries … a church no more connected to the teachings of Jesus Christ than is my cat.

  • jonathanpnichols

    Taxayak, are you serious when you say, “Besides one of abortions benefits is a reduction in crime in this country because many potential criminals are never born”? If I understand you correctly, you are saying one justification of abortion is that some of those aborted would otherwise go on to become criminals, and we are doing our country a service by preventing that from happening. If that is in fact what you mean, then I can say, without even a hint of exaggeration, that that is the single stupidest thing I have ever heard anyone say about anything. That’s like saying we shouldn’t try to develop a cure for cancer, because some criminals get cancer and if they die it helps reduce the crime rate. The logical void is, in a word, staggering. I don’t think even the most vociferously pro-choice individual would cite that as a justification for legalized abortion.

  • outragex

    Most of this forum is an embarassment to the WAPO. Please hire a moderator soon before I give up on you. Or perhaps you can just invite a few responsible people to comment on your questions.

  • tojby_2000

    Douglas Barber asked that I post some backup for my contention that abortion and infant abandonment were legal and common in the time of Jesus. Here it is: “The Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 69b states that: “the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day.” Afterwards, it is considered subhuman until it is born. “Rashi, the great 12th century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, states clearly of the fetus ‘lav nefesh hu–it is not a person.’ The Talmud contains the expression ‘ubar yerech imo–the fetus is as the thigh of its mother,’ i.e., the fetus is deemed to be part and parcel of the pregnant woman’s body.” 1 This is grounded in Exodus 21:22. That biblical passage outlines the Mosaic law in a case where a man is responsible for causing a woman’s miscarriage, which kills the fetus If the woman survives, then the perpetrator has to pay a fine to the woman’s husband. If the woman dies, then the perpetrator is also killed. This indicates that the fetus has value, but does not have the status of a person.”

  • tojby_2000

    slainte1 wrote: Now it is official. The Kennedys have declared themselves above God. __________________________________________________ Quite the opposite. Anti-choice Christians have placed themselves above their principle deity- Jesus. Read the posting that comes just before this one.

  • TPaine1

    Fare777 – I am afraid you have underestimated the Catholic clergy in this country. They are all Americans, but they don’t pledge to the Pope in Rome – it’s more than you imagine – they pledge to God! Imagine that. What a blight! An organization of humans with all their frailties and faults aspiring to follow the teachings of God. Think of the effect of that on this country. And all those people attending the churches trying to do the same thing! Why they might decide to do something with real impact, like being the biggest provider of assistance and programs for the needy in Maryland and the surrounding area – well, someone should just step in and say something about that. I mean, it’s all private money donated by all those people attending the Catholic church… Can they do that?

  • map529

    Let’s say I agree with the Catholic church on Kennedy apologizig–When the Catholica Church apologizes for the Inquisition, the Crusades, the support of Hitler during the Holocaust, for having covered up, and continuing to cover up, the pedophilia in the Church, and for treating nuns in the U.S. who show compassion to those whom the Church are underserving of compassion–victims of AIDS, and women who seek control over their bodies. The Catholic church (and most others for that matter) have no moral ground for anything regarding social values. They support war, oppression of women, gays, childred, and minorities. The only reason they oppose birth control, and the right to choose, is because they want more good little Catholics who can give money and property to the Church, and to go get killed in wars. As to the vow of celibacy for Priests (other than promoting rape of nuns and childrens) it was to ensure the property of the Priests devised to the Church. It is no coincidence or accident the Catholic church is one of the largest land-owners in the world. But that’s a result of another sin–Greed. It’s a discussion for another time. So if the Church and the Bishop want an apology, maybe they should first look at the “log in their eyes” and take and honest stock of what the Church is really all about.

  • longbow1

    Whatever one feels about abortion, it sets a very dangerous precedent to make people who (defensibly) believe it is a form of homicide to pay for it. It makes people more comfortable with killing.

  • nosam32

    So, is the drunken one dialing in from the Cask’n Flagon on his lappy? Kennedy has done nothing in RI, except make a fool out of himself and his family. In fact, he gives fools a bad name.

  • bruce18

    Life is complicated. No law forces women to have an abortion; no law should force them to give birth. No law is forcing women to give birth. However, the time to make the choice is before conception not after. No sex and there wont be any children. Thats the only moral choice we have as human beings.

  • EarlC

    I stand with Patrick Kennedy. The bishops are willing to scuttle health-care reform if they do not have langauage that they want in the final version of the health-care bill. This is saying, “It’s my way or the highway.” Perhaps the illustrious bishops would submit the language that they would accept, or did I miss this? Apparently saying that federal funds would not support abortions is not enough. In which case, this is all about politics. Perhaps these same Catholic bishops will tell us what part of the holocaust the Catholic bishops in Germany did not understand when they were apparently sympathetic to Hitler. Perhaps these same bishops have problems with abortions that save the life of the mother. One is a living human being, the other has no guarantee of a successful birth. Abortion is the red herring of this age.

  • map529

    To “ATRUECHRISTIAN”: “Source? I’d like to know where you get that “millions” were killed “over the last 8 years”? A couple hundred thousand, at the absolute most maybe, but certainly not “millions”. You seem to have a fundamental problem with terms of scale.” Are you kidding me? To a “True Christian” it only matters if the killing in war is in the millions–only then should the Church voice a concern. In other words, it’s ok for the Church to support war, the death penalty, an other taking of life as long as it doesn’t get into the millions. Then I guess the Holocaust would qualify–but then when you deny it as the Church seemed to do when Benedict welcomed back the group of deniers, then I guess no concern needs to be raised. I true feat of manipulative logic–The only time war should be condemned by the Church is when it causes millions of deaths, and when it does cause millions of deaths, you deny it occured, then no opposition needs to be raised and the purity of the faith is preserved (particularly when those are the deaths of the Jews who “murdered” Christ as was the Church’s open and notorious teaching for centuries. It’s only gone underground, but it’s still there). Beautiful. Only a “true” hypocrite could conceive such logic.

  • agapn9

    For all the wackos that blame the catholic church for Hitler – remember his father was an atheist who beat him unmercilessly. Pope Pius frustrated little Adolph so much he planned to have him assassinated. The Head Rabbi of Rome converted to catholicism because he was so impressed with the church’s commitment to human rights. The church was able to save over 800,000 Jews in Italy. Even Albert Einstein who was an agnostic at best said that the one organization he respected was the catholic church and he had hated the church before WWII.

  • EarlC

    Kennedy is speaking on behalf of the “Immoral Majority” i.e. (The fastest growing and largest USA voting bloc: The 70+ million “Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers” of aborted womb-babies” whose ranks grow by two million per year.) Note: the Immoral Majority now rules the land and will do so in the foreseeable future. How very sad and disturbing!!! 2008 Presidential election – popular vote: 69,456,897 votes for BO, 59,934,814 votes for JM Posted by: ccnl1 | October 26, 2009 3:06 PM * * * * Let me get this straight: President Obama won the election. He is the husband of only one wife. He has no sexual scandals in his past or present. He is a born-again Christian by any present-day definition. John McCain has been the husband of two wives. He was unfaithful to his first wife and lived a promiscuous life during the interim. Perhaps I am missing something. The immmoral majority? Are John Ensign, Larry Craig, and on and on part of the “moral majority.” Give me a break.

  • cprferry

    Speedylegs apparently forgot that the Catholic Church sponsors more schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages, shelters and elderly care facilities than any other private organization. As well as countless charities and programs created specifically for those most at risk of falling for the promiscuity-abortion axis. The Church respects life from conception to natural death, and every step in between.

  • jonathanpnichols

    I’m rather tired of people calling abortion a “red herring.” It is offensive, because it suggests that any opposition to abortion is disingenuous. Is it not possible, nay even probable, that there are organizations and individuals who are legitimately opposed to abortion, and that our opposition has altruistic and honorable motivation? Hard code language prohibiting federal funding of abortion directly into the bill, and I will line up in support of it, as will the USCCB. It’s that simple. Rep. Kennedy seems not to grasp that.

  • ccnl1

    Some observations: Abortion boils down to one simple question, when does human life begin? And one paramount observation/law: There is basic human morality that goes beyond the OT and NT. A fetus dies without nourishment. A baby dies without nourishment. I see no difference. It is obvious that intercourse and other sexual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of STDs per year in the USA alone. from the CDC-2006 “Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain STDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of STDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs associated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars.” How in the world do we get this situation under control? A pill to temporarily eliminate the sex drive would be a good start. And teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of sexual activity and that oral sex, birth control pills, condoms (see the latest Pew study) and chastity belts are no protection against STDs. Might a list of those having an STD posted on the Internet help? Sounds good to me!!!! Said names would remain until the STD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of sexual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a STD having sexual relations while infected??? Hmmm, so a growing baby is considered by some to be nothing more than an infection? Talk about having no respect for life!!!!! And Nature or Nature’s God is the #1 taker of everyone’s life. That gives some rational for killing the unborn or those suffering from dementia, mental disease or Alzheimer’s or anyone who might inconvenience your life??? We constantly battle the forces of nature. We do not succumb to these forces by eliminating defenseless children!!!!!

  • EarlC

    Life is complicated. No law forces women to have an abortion; no law should force them to give birth. No law is forcing women to give birth. However, the time to make the choice is before conception not after. No sex and there wont be any children. Thats the only moral choice we have as human beings. Posted by: bruce18 | October 27, 2009 11:50 AM * * * * True, the time to make the choice is before conception. However, way too many women have forced sex to allow us to ignore the plight of women. I bet there are rapists out there who are fundamentally opposed to abortion. Just like there are Larry Craig’s out there who are fundamentally opposed to gays and John Ensigns who are fundamentally opposed to unfaithfulness in marriage. My father was fundamentally opposed and very vocal about alcoholics in the church until we found out that he was an alcoholic. He was also very opposed and critical of those who looked at pornography until we found his stack of pornographic magazines. He was explicit in his objection to those who were unfaithful in their marriages until he was caught with the evidence that he was unfaithful in his. Beware those who go around with the holier-than-thou attitudes.

  • douglaslbarber

    There’s an additional issue which I’d guess concerns Bishop Tobin but hasn’t been addressed here. That’s the threat that a physician who chooses not to perform abortions or a pharmacist who chooses not to dispense “morning-after pills” could be denied a license to practice, or more subtly, could be cut off from insurance remuneration. That paragon of virtue Blagojevich pressed intently for the hard version of this, and he won’t be the last. I wouldn’t want to imagine a Catholic bishop who would sit still for a bill which allowed that sort of thing.

  • cprferry

    There’s a very simple solution to all of this and fulfill the federal governments’ promises. Pro-choice Democrats, like Kennedy, need to clarify the issue. To date, they have fought every proposal to clarify the issue. The Capps Amendment barely passed and only through one committee. Similar amendments have been rebuked. If Democrats claim that the health care reform bill will not subsidize abortions, why are they unwilling to clarify it? And why is Kennedy attacking the Church over its objections? It’s becoming quite clear that Kennedy and his ilk intend to break their promises and change the federal status on funding abortion. They intend to bail out Planned Parenthood. Because Bishop Tobin sees through the ruse is no reason to attack him, but an opportunity for Kennedy and PP-controlled Democrats to fess up and clarify what they really mean.

  • kerryberger

    Again the Roman Catholic Church and its clergy are violating our Constitutional Separation of Church and State by sticking their noses in a secular legal matter that has nothing to do with Health Care Reform. I concur with Rep. Patrick Kennedy that Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is creating a Red Herring and is promoting continued ignorance (through fear mongering) about the various Bills being discussed by the Legislative Branch. None of these bills has any support for payment of Abortion. This issue is a matter of law, and not the place for the clergy to interfere with. Perhaps, the dear Bishop would like the IRS to investigate how donations to his diocese should be taxed like any other business. After all, donations are income, and for most of us little guys in the real world, income is taxable.

  • wtjoyce1956

    The anti-establishemnt clause is in the First Amendment. The catholic church can voice its opinion all it wants, but it’s doctrine should NOT be the basis for government policy.

  • douglaslbarber

    Kerryberger wrote, “After all, donations are income, and for most of us little guys in the real world, income is taxable.” Do you really get a substantial part of your income from donations? Talk about “Red Herrings”.

  • ccnl1

    Our War on Terror and Aggression: An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression) The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent Body Count 1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured 1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh 2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured 3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops, 3,474 killed in action, 878 in non-combat accidents and 93,552 – 102,083 Iraqi civilians killed,

  • ccnl1

    Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression: – Saddam, his sons and major henchmen have been deleted. Saddam’s bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.) – Libya has become almost civil. Recently Libya agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the victims of their terrorist activities Apparently this new reality from an Islamic country has upset OBL and his “crazies” as they have threatened Libya. OBL sure is a disgrace to the world especially the Moslem world!!! Or is he??? – North Korea is still uncivil but is contained. With the opening up of rail traffic between North and South Korea after 50 years and with the assistance of the US Navy in retrieving NK ships and personnel hopefully a fresh sense of civility is afoot. – North Korea was taken off the terrorist country list recently. – Northern Ireland is finally at peace. – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. Unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “square one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!! – Bin Laden has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11. – Fanatical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanhistan and Pakistan. – Timothy McVeigh was executed. Terry Nichols will follow soon. – Eric Rudolph is spending three life terms in prison with no parole. – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the “nuns” from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished. – Islamic Sudan, Darfur and Somalia are still terror hot spots. – The terror and torture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Radovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war — charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina’s secession from Yugoslavia. – And of course the bloody terror brought about the Japanese, Nazis and Communists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

  • JohnnyBopp

    Wouldn’t it be far easier for Kennedy, Biden, Durbin, Kerry and all the rest of the Democrat putative Catholic contingent to seek out a religion that’s more in line with their pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage beliefs than to live a lie and pretend that they’re Catholics in good standing? U.S. Catholic bishops should give ‘em the nudge they sorely need by excommunicating them for their public and notorious anti-Cathoiic beliefs.

  • DavidCurrier1

    If the Catholic (or any) church wants to participate this fully in politics, then they need to have their assets taxed. I’ve had enough of the churches trying to run my life.

  • SUMB44

    Kennedy is blinded by arrogance and pride, a family trait. All he can see is the work he’s been committed to over his career and will stop at little to see his vision come to fruition. Still, it’s interesting to consider state sponsorship of abortion, as abortion disproportionately affects minorities and the poor. State sponsored abortion seems a bit like the worst kind of social planning aimed at reducing certain disproportionately affected populations.

  • dotellen

    I am really annoyed that my taxpayer funds are NOT used to provide abortions. I want a check-off, like the one for publically funded presidential campaigns, that allows me to donate $3 or so for Federal funding of abortions. The Catholic Church should stick to praying and keep their noses out of politics. Why aren’t they being taxed, or required to register as a political action committee?

  • mascmen7

    Some Kennedys think they are theologians in which abortion is a sacrament. Kennedys claim they are Catholics to get elected but then lead the charge against Catholic teachings. Ted kennedy may be in Hell now as the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Bayside, NY apparitions warned that he was on the road to Hell and I saw no change in his thinking before death.

  • rjciardo

    The Catholic Church is basically holding those without insurance hostage to its religious objection to abortion. While under our first amendment the Catholic Church has a right to respond in any way it likes to health care reform, what is evident to me in this position is not that “some lives are more important than others”, i.e. fetuses vs. sick adults, but a desire on the part of the Church to inject a theological exemption into public policy. They want to “get their way” and if they don’t they will, indeed, throw out the baby with the bathwater. Since the United States is a country with separation of church and state, it is outrageous to allow any church, Catholic or otherwise, to determine what constitutes the legitimate health care needs of someone who doesn’t subscribe to that church’s orthodoxy, or even someone who does but has decided they don’t believe in a specific prohibition of their own doctrine. Abortion is a legal medical procedure in the U.S. and arbitrarily denying coverage for it based on purely theological concerns would, in and of itself, violate the first amendment clause prohibiting an “establishment of religion”. The Catholic Church has the right to speak out and to oppose health care reform. Their motives for doing so are obvious. But accepting religious principles as part of public policy is, in general, against the law, against the constitution and against our American way of life. Forcing a non-Catholic woman, or a Catholic woman to obey Catholic dogma via a public law is iniquitous, pure and simple. The church’s only authority is over those within its flock and it has the right to both argue with, and if necessary excommunicate those who do not follow its dictates. Their authority ends there. Depriving any person of justified and legal health care is not within the purview of any religious body. Most actual Catholics will not vote against a health care reform that includes coverage for abortion, so the bishops can be safely ignored by policy makers, as well they should be. “Consistency” is ALSO a red herring, as if the Catholic Church was consistent in its teachings it would deny support for health care reform that included contraception services, which doesn’t seem to an issue. Italy, the home turf of the Vatican, has consistently defied the “policy advice” of the church in matters of personal choice, from divorce to abortion. Certainly, the U.S., which has no such tie, can do the same. Churches do not qualify to give policy advice to governments, only to their own followers. Anything other than that should, and easily can be, ignored.

  • MMH_DC

    The Catholic Church has long demonstrated its double standard. They have absolutely no moral standing in this issue when they kill a person’s infancy through their pedofile priests, and just act as if they had nothing to do with it. If they really are for the poor, health care, even including abortion, would save more lives than it would terminate. The catholic hierarchy is just despicable. I hope I get excomulgated because for now I count as a catholic and I am pro choice, I support euthanasia and I read the horoscope.

  • dotellen

    TOJBY_2000 wrote, “Both exposure (infant abandonment) and abortion were legal under Roman and local Palestinian law at the time of Jesus. ” I never heard of this. Could you please post a source? Because of the story of the birth of John the Baptist, we do know that infants in Jesus’ homeland were not named (which indicates they were not considered members of the community) until they were 8 days old.

  • tsantaniello

    What type of “health care” does the aborted child receive…?

  • douglaslbarber

    RJCIARDO wrote, “…what is evident to me…is…a desire on the part of the Church to inject a theological exemption into public policy. They want to ‘get their way’….” I don’t suppose that it’s occurred to you that people who regard abortion as the taking of a human life have any genuine (should I say, “authentic”?) feelings about the matter, and would like to be heard in the public forum, alongside those who feel otherwise? Everyone in this debate is “trying to get their way”, that’s what the argument’s about.

  • kare1

    The bishops currently teach that life begins at fertilization (not uterine implantation) and thus any abortion (VOLUNTARY OR UNVOLUNTARY- aka miscarraige) should be considered the murder of a real, live human being and as a result criminal charges would have to apply just as they would for you or me. Ostesnibly, this is why the bishops want to prohibit federal funds for abortion, though the ultimate goal is overturning the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in the United States. Posted by: tfburke19 _________________________________________ AMAZING SO basicaly you are saying that any WOMAN who has a miscarriage is subject to MURDER CHARGES. I guess you never though of a miscarriage as GOD’S WAY of aborting a damaged FETUS. And of couse you DO SUPPORT the idea that THE FATHER Of that MISCARRIED child is a murderer as well?? Let me see you stand up and defend that one? BUT YOU WON”T because you are a coward hiding behind some 10th century idealistic vision of some all-knowing ever PUHISHING GOD who hates women. ALL women. No women are good for the church unless THE MEN want them COOKING OR CLEANING. Catholic MEN hate women – end of discussion.

  • clankie

    Buffet religion strikes again.

  • jonathanpnichols

    If one would take away the Church’s tax-exempt status because it has a well-developed and thorough opinion on current and pending public policy, then maybe we should take a closer look at the other various tax-exempt organizations that have specific policy positions, like Planned Parenthood, for example.

  • Chagasman

    Every taxpayer in the US objects to some uses for his tax dollars. Does that mean he should stop paying taxes? No. Life is full of compromises, and people who don’t do what we want them to do. Get used to it. The government should start canceling the tax-exempt status of churches who can’t seem to stay out of politics.

  • cprferry

    “the issue of abortion enters the fray when federal funds are used. In terms of a health care package there are cases where terminating a pregnancy may be warranted and that adds to the complexity of the entire debate. Posted by: onthejourney” Note that the federal funding restrictions are for elective abortions. Please don’t use the flawed argument that the 3% of abortions from rape and incest justifies the other 97%.

  • Maerzie

    This problem was resolved centuries ago when Christ said: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s!” The fact that the Church hasn’t been doing its job to help Catholics develop conscientious consciences of their own doesn’t change the fact of separation of Church and state, which Christ obviously agreed with! The wrong and the sinfulness is coming from the lazy Bishops who have been shirking their duties of instructing their Faithful in developing good consciences, so then they want to switch the blame around because their “sheep” don’t have much conscience at all. They close Catholic schools or make the tuition so high that ordinary people can’t afford it, the Pope continues to insist on celibacy for priests so fewer and fewer men go into the priesthood and there aren’t enough instructors, and all of it is simply because of money. The fact of the matter is that the catholic Church has money coming out of their ears, but they want to hoard it in Churches of GOLD, vessels of GOLD, etc., obviously sins of GREED. They have endless amounts of money to pay for the weirdo priests who have had to repress their sexual appetites so the Church doesn’t have to pay for married priests’ wives and children, housing, etc. It’s all REALLY not that hard to figure out, but it’s always easier to point the blame at the sheep instead of the shepherds!! Regardless of what the government does with money or legislation, the FINAL blame rests only on an individual’s conscience. IF the Bishops and priests have not done their duty to instruct parishioners in their Faith, morals, and God’s laws, the blame rests completely on their shoulders. Otherwise, what the HELL are they for?? Just to walk around and look holy and pompous, and make a lot of money?? I am a practicing Roman Catholic with 16 years of Catholic education, but these guys and the entire Church have been doing less and less and blaming others more and more! That is EXACTLY what they do! Play their political games of reward and punishment with the parish priests, and walk around looking holy and pompous, believing that all the parishioners are stupid!! It’s time the Pope wakes up and smells the coffee!!

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, I believe the ACLU is tax exempt as are the Republican and Democratic Parties.

  • persiflage

    ‘Hmmm, I believe the ACLU is tax exempt as are the Republican and Democratic Parties.’ That’s no excuse for the tax exempt status of religious organizations – a constant source of complaint to the poster known as CCNL. One would think that dismantling the ‘superstitions’ of religion might better be accomplished sans the special protections afforded by tax exempt status….and which forbids the conspicuous meddling in politics that all religions in the USA are perpetually guilty of. As secular organizations without tax exemption, churches could then meddle in politics to their heart’s content! PS. The ACLU does tons of pro bono work and defends unpopular causes and/or unfairly accused defendants – and whose work otherwise allows the legal system & the Constitution to work for the benefit of many lacking sufficient resources, and that would otherwise be deprived of adequate representation. Whether or not that is the basis for tax exemption is not completely clear, but easy enough to determine one way or another….. Political parties are alleged to be non-profit organizations – the basis for their tax exemption also not much of a mystery.

  • ATrueChristian

    Map529 wrote: “Are you kidding me? To a “True Christian” it only matters if the killing in war is in the millions–only then should the Church voice a concern. In other words, it’s ok for the Church to support war, the death penalty, an other taking of life as long as it doesn’t get into the millions. Then I guess the Holocaust would qualify–but then when you deny it as the Church seemed to do when Benedict welcomed back the group of deniers, then I guess no concern needs to be raised. I true feat of manipulative logic–The only time war should be condemned by the Church is when it causes millions of deaths, and when it does cause millions of deaths, you deny it occured, then no opposition needs to be raised and the purity of the faith is preserved (particularly when those are the deaths of the Jews who “murdered” Christ as was the Church’s open and notorious teaching for centuries. It’s only gone underground, but it’s still there). Beautiful. Only a “true” hypocrite could conceive such logic.” ___________ Complete non-response to my question to Patisok. Nothing you mentioned had anything to do with the subject at hand, which was the erroneous information that Patisok was regurgitating false information stating that “millions” died over the last 8 years due to the two wars the US is involved in (i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan). Apparently your reading comprehension skills are as bad as your facts because everything you wrote is absolutely WRONG. Anyone with even a little bit of knowledge of the Catholic Church knows that they have spoken out against both wars and are against the death penalty, despite your lies stating otherwise. The rest of your unintelligible rant is just as wrong and not worth addressing. Anyone who can read can go to Wikipedia and read the unvarnished facts. +++++++++++++++ “Regime change begins at home.” – Micheal Taglieri

  • ccnl1

    And the RCC and other religious groups should remain quiet about the destruction of 35 million of our youngest citizens, government corruption, company greed and malfeasance???? These charitable work done by these religious organizations far exceeds the minor “free” work done by the ACLU. When the ACLU loses it tax exemption, get back to us. And what charitable work does the Democratic and Republican Party do to warrant their tax exeption?? Hmmm, a 5-10% tax on said parties should give us good start on paying for universal health care. I believe other countries do tax their political parties. Add that source of funding to the following: 1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcolholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??) 2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition). 3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving. 4. No universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs. 5. No univeral health coverage for abortions unless the life of the mother is at significant risk and judged to be so by at least two doctors. 6. No universal health coverage for euthanasia. 7. No foreign aid given to countries who abort females simply because they are female. 8. No more foreign aid to Israel and Egypt with said $8 billion/yr added to the universal health care fund.

  • gotero85

    If the right to life, the first of the unalienable rights enumerated in our Declaration of Independence, is trampled an violated as it is in our society today, any discussion about right to healthcare or anything else is moot. Every right follows from the right to life.

  • persiflage

    Since when does CCNL support superstition filled religious organizations? When it suits his purpose…. What a hypocrite!

  • persiflage

    Finding the ‘correct’ Catholic scholars to follow does not in any way make one less of a Catholic, only a particular kind of Catholic. And so it goes with Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Shinto, Hindu, Baha’i, Jews, Taoists, agnostics, atheists, humanists, et al. Everyone follows their own individual lights and their own particular philosophy…..everyone is other than me. Criticizing the religous for being ‘wrongly’ religous, when the critic is a religous practitioner with religious values as well, has absolutely zero critical validity. And so it goes with all values charged subjective criticism – based on a philosophy of one, as it must be….is nothing other than pure solipsism.

  • persiflage

    ‘That’s the threat that a physician who chooses not to perform abortions or a pharmacist who chooses not to dispense “morning-after pills” could be denied a license to practice, or more subtly, could be cut off from insurance remuneration.’ I don’t ever expect to see such a law enacted, but these same physicians and pharmacists should be required by law to refer patients to willing practitioners/pharmacists without delay. When a patient requests a legitimate service, that request should be honored and/or addressed….this holds true for medical specialists unwilling to directly meet a patient request for services, due to religious/ethical reservations and restrictions. I’m also doubtful that federal funding will ever be used to expense abortions – but I do expect that Roe V Wade will remain the law of the land and that women will retain sovereign rights over the reproductive processes of their own bodies. Anything else would be an atavistic reversion to medieval rule – something the Catholic Church knows quite a bit about. Something long overdue – eliminate tax exemptions for all religious organizations and affiliated causes. That puts religion/religious institutions on the same footing as all other social institutions – and right where they belong.

  • ccnl1

    Once again: It is obvious that intercourse and other sexual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of STDs per year in the USA alone costing $14.7 billion dollars/yr for treatment. How in the world do we get this situation under control? An anti-Erection pill to temporarily eliminate the sex drive would be a good start. Hmmm, how successful would an anti-E pill be?? Markets: Parents of teenagers, celibates, Catholic priests and men/women no longer interested in sex as starters. And then there is the birth control aspect of such pills. And said pills would definitely put a dent in the porn business. And it would be a great way to control pedophiles and sex addicts!!! And teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of sexual activity and that oral sex, birth control pills, condoms (see the recent Pew study) and chastity belts are no protection against STDs. Might a list of those having an STD posted on the Internet help? Sounds good to me!!!! Said names would remain until the STD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of sexual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a STD having sexual relations while infected??? And once again some incentives to live a healthy life style and also ways to pay for universal health care. 1. An added two dollar health insurance tax (or higher) on a pack of cigarettes. Ditto taxes on alcolholic beverages, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax. Ditto for any product shown to be unhealthy/dangerous (e.g. guns, high caloric/fatty foods??) 2. Physicals akin to those required for life insurance- the overly obese will pay signficantly more Medicare and universal health insurance (unless the obesity is caused by a medical condition). 3. No universal health care coverage for drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or using cell phones while driving. 4. No universal health coverage for drug addicts or for those having self-inflicted STDs 5. No univeral health coverage for abortions unless the life of the mother is at significant risk and judged to be so by at least two doctors. 6. No universal health coverage for euthanasia. 7. No foreign aid given to countries who abort females simply because they are female.

  • usapdx

    Rep.Patrick Kennedy whould be better off to study the 1913 law 501 (C) (3) and have congress up date it account of the violations by the groups that file tax exampt. The U.S.A. is a country of free speech yet thoes groups that file tax exampt must comply with the tax exampt rules of 501 (C) (3) of 1913.

  • ccnl1

    Again, do the tax exempt ACLU and the Republican/Democratic Parties come under the tax exampt rules of 501 (C) (3) of 1913. Then there are the Buddhist Dalai Lama, the former leader of the Tibetan government, and his “charities”!!!!! Augie’s Quest Australia Tibet Council BODHI International Campaign for Tibet Sea Shepherd Conservation

  • Athena4

    Too bad that ‘pro-lifers” aren’t more worried about the already-born children that are dying because of lack of insurance. 17,000 of them over the past 20 years, according to Johns Hopkins.

  • persiflage

    Eliminate all tax exemptions! Everybody pays!! The top 1% should be paying about 50% of their income in taxes in the USA – in order to match European countries that support the healthcare needs of entire populations. The myth of the sacred entrepreneur needs to be dispelled – godlike business minds that support entire economies from their Olympian abodes. Pure Ayn Rand….little did we know that we have a very substantial dose of libertarianism right here in River City…..nongod forbid that we should ever have a real libertarian president!! Rand’s devoted follower Alan Greenspan played no small role in the recent collapse of Wall Street, the banking industry, etc. Laissez faire economics taken beyond all reasonable limits – for the benefit of the very few. What did anyone expect? The GOP with a libertarian twist – Goodbye Medicare, goodbye Social Security, et al.

  • ccnl1

    No, No, No, Everyone pays a flat 17.5% federal tax on income. This will allow us to eliminate most of the bloated IRS empire and all of its complex rules and deductions.

  • coloradodog

    When you O’Reilly / Donahue Catholics care equally about healthcare for born children and about protecting young boys from several hundred pedophile priests still walking free and not defrocked, please do lecture the rest of us about abortion. Abortion is a convenient political wedge issue while being concerned about the living is socialism and pedophile priests are none of civil society’s business.

  • ds14

    I am ashamed to call myself a Catholic after years of a Catholic education. Isn’t caring for the sick one of the main tenants of the Catholic faith? The one-issue Bishops and their obsession with abortion is patently ridiculous.

  • ds14

    Go Patrick!——–

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