TIME: Catholics are worked up for nothing about FOCA

The dreadful Time has a piece about FOCA

My emphases and comments.

The Catholic Crusade Against a Mythical Abortion Bill
By Amy Sullivan / Washington Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

The U.S. Catholic Church’s crusade [NB: when liberals use the word "crusade", that is a bad word meant to make the Church look bad.] against the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has all the hallmarks of a well-oiled lobbying campaign. A national postcard campaign is flooding the White House and congressional offices with messages opposing FOCA, and the Catholic bishops have made defeating the abortion rights legislation a top priority. In the most recent effort to stop the bill, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia sent a letter to every member of Congress imploring them to "please oppose FOCA."

There is only one hitch. Congress isn’t about to pass the Freedom of Choice Act because no such bill has been introduced[I have wondered aloud if FOCA isn't just a head feint to keep people focused in the wrong direction while they undermine pro-life legislation in other ways.]

At a time when the United States is gripped by economic uncertainty and faces serious challenges in hot spots around the globe, some American Catholics are finding it both curious and troubling that their church has launched a major campaign against a piece of legislation that doesn’t exist and wouldn’t have much chance of becoming law even if it did. To many critics, it feels like the legislative equivalent of the the Dog That Didn’t Bark. (See 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis.)  [This is an echo of the idea that "pro-life" issues are really not as important as other issues.  We should not focus on abortion when we have all these other burning issues to worry about.]

The campaign against FOCA, which would essentially codify the Roe v. Wade decision [and THAT is why Catholics should oppose it] by saying the government can’t place limits on abortions performed before viability, began shortly after Barack Obama’s election in November, at the annual general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In a unanimous decision, the bishops voted "to mobilize the resources of the USCCB, dioceses and the entire Catholic community" to oppose the Freedom of Choice Act.

A chain e-mail of unknown origin soon began making its way into Catholic inboxes, warning of an imminent threat to the anti-abortion cause. "For those of you who do not know," it read, "the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed if Congress passes it on January 21-22 of 2009. The FOCA is the next sick chapter in the book of abortion." The e-mail urged Catholics to say a novena — a devotion of dedicated prayer for nine successive days — beginning on January 11 and ending on Inauguration Day. (See pictures of Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to America.)

When January 22 came and went without a Freedom of Choice Act becoming law, the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities announced a nationwide postcard campaign to blanket congressional offices and the White House with appeals to stop FOCA. Anti-FOCA groups on Facebook soon had more than 150,000 members and added thousands more each day. Priests started preaching against the legislation and churches began circulating petitions to oppose its passage.

In the midst of all this activity, the fact that there was no Freedom of Choice Act before the 111th Congress went largely unnoticed and unmentioned.

A Freedom of Choice Act was first introduced in the 108th and 110th Congresses (from ’03 to ’05 and ’07 to ’09, respectively), by Rep. Jerold Nadler, a New York Democrat. It was developed at a time when the future of Roe was in doubt because it was unclear if George W. Bush would have the opportunity to appoint another justice to the Supreme Court. But FOCA had a hard time gaining traction — even under Democratic control of Congress, the bill was not only never voted on but never made it out of committee. [Will anyone have the political will to push it through?] And now abortion rights advocates are breathing easier with Obama in the White House — so much so that when a coalition of 63 organizations sent the Administration its top 15 priorities for reproductive rights and health, FOCA did not even make the list. (See pictures of Barack Obama’s Inauguration.)

Congressional Democrats have also been less than enthusiastic about the proposal. A spokesman for Nadler says that while he expects the legislation will be reintroduced, "it won’t be anytime soon." Even if FOCA is reintroduced in the current Congress, Speaker of the House [pro-abortion] Nancy Pelosi has indicated she has no intention of bringing it up for a vote. And even if she did, there are not enough votes in Congress to pass the bill.

In some respects, President Obama only has himself to blame for the current controversy. As a presidential candidate, the then-Senator himself pointed a spotlight on the legislation he co-sponsored when he told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2007 that "the first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do."

But FOCA has also provided ammunition for those on the right who want to paint Obama as "the most pro-abortion president ever." It’s been less than a month since he took office, but so far the President has given social conservatives little evidence to back up that charge. He did repeal the Mexico City policy banning federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provide abortion referrals or services — but so did Bill Clinton. At the same time, Obama has directed his Presidential Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to make the issue of abortion reduction one of its top priorities.

Still, FOCA is proving to be the perfect political issue for anti-abortion advocates — and for congressional Republicans, who have taken up the cry as well. Unless and until FOCA is voted on by Congress, they can invoke it as a looming threat. And the longer it remains a dormant issue, the more credit they can take for their own "proactive" efforts to "defeat FOCA," as a letter from House Republicans to Cardinal Rigali on Tuesday put it.

James Salt, director of organizing for the progressive organization Catholics United, thinks the USCCB has been prodded into focusing on FOCA by misinformation from right-wing groups. "These right-wing organizations are deliberatively misleading people in order to stoke the culture war," says Salt. "They’re using this as a fundraising tool, as a way to gin up their relevancy. And unfortunately some of these groups have the ear of certain bishops."

After worried parishioners started contacting Catholics United about the postcard campaign, the group sent out an alert to its supporters telling them that "FOCA is not going anywhere" and urging them to contact their local bishops. "In this time of increasing job layoffs, poverty, and food insecurity across America, we should instead be calling on Catholics to commit increased resources to helping children and families survive the collapsing economy," read the message. 

Some of the USCCB’s own policy staffers are reportedly frustrated by the attention given to FOCA. And a few Catholic officials have even taken the rare step of speaking out to correct misinformation about the issue.

While the USCCB’s literature about FOCA has been generally accurate, the chain e-mail has disseminated a number of false claims, including warnings that the proposal would force Catholic hospitals to shut down and lead to at least 100,000 more abortions each year. Some versions of the e-mail even claimed that FOCA could "result in a future amendment that would force women by law to have abortions in certain situations — and even regulate how many children women are allowed to have."

In response, Catholic News Service — the official news agency affiliated with the USCCB — ran an article that began, "Internet rumors to the contrary, no Catholic hospital in the United States is in danger of closing because of the Freedom of Choice Act." Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, told the news agency that the legislation "has never contained anything that would force Catholic hospitals or Catholic personnel to do abortions or to participate in them." She added, "I don’t believe that FOCA will pass." [Really?]

 

So… what is this article trying to accomplish.  After all… if it is in Time it isn’t just news.

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38 Responses to TIME: Catholics are worked up for nothing about FOCA

  1. Chris says:

    As much as it pains me to say it, Time is right.

    Father, why can’t our priests and bishops show the same zeal for a fight against the real crisis of contraception as they do the phony threat of FOCA?

  2. Bobby Bambino says:

    That’s a good point, Chris. Contraception is the very heart of the culture of death, particularly abortion. Not that we should stop fighting FOCA, but it is true that there is little to nothing said about the evils of contraception in our Churches.

  3. Chris says:

    Almost every priest either disagrees personally on the can on contraception or is too scared to talk about it because, outside traditional Mass centers, 90 percent of the congregation is contracepting — either artificially or naturually by their warped understanding of NFP.

    Contraception is a greater offense to God than abortion yet it’s almost never talked about. It’s almost as if it doesn’t excist yet it is the root cause of the destruction of the Church, the so-called vocations crisis, the crisis of our Catholic schools (no priests, no nuns, no schools), etc.

    It’s like the world is collapsing because of contraception but no one is noticing.

  4. Father, as a new reader of your site I would like to first say how much I enjoy it. I am an Anglican who has been peering over the bank of the Tiber for a while, and reading thoughtful and interesting sites like yours definitely makes me want to jump in and swim!

    One problem with this article, which stems from the public’s relative ignorance of the legislative process, is a sort of “bait-and-switch.” Many people, and many Time readers included, don’t understand that just because a bill isn’t currently pending under the rules of either house of Congress doesn’t mean that the idea isn’t under consideration by powerful people in our government–as Obama’s prior statement makes clear. But what the author of the article would have us believe is that because no bill has been introduced in this Congress, there’s no “risk” and that anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish. The idea that the issue is of such great moral importance to Catholics that preemptive action might be warranted never occurs to her. Nor does the fact that, as is all too evident of late, Congress can introduce and steamroll legislation through at great speed and without much time for consideration. Not to mention the psychological value of making it clear to Congress that there is a large and easily mobilized bloc of voters who will be angered by any action taken to make abortion easier.

  5. Lourdes says:

    I always get a little suspicious when a major publication spends so much ink on telling us we should not be worried. Why are they so interested in telling pro-lifers to “move along”? I think it’s because the pro-life constituency is actually pulling together and the anti-life side is getting nervous. FOCA isn’t a head feint…it’s a distinct possibility, especially with the egotistical and power hungry Congress and Administration we have in office.

  6. DavidJ says:

    Chris, how can you say that contraception is a greater offense to God than abortion? One is flat out murder and most closely affects three people, whereas contraception is not murder and most closely affects only two people(leaving aside that some contraception does indeed induce an abortion and understanding that perverting the marital embrace is certainly a great offense before God).

  7. W. Schrift says:

    Chris said: “Contraception is a greater offense to God than abortion.”

    While I certainly don’t disagree with any of the other points that Chris made in his comment, I have to wonder if this is true. Murder is a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance. How contraception, a breach, likewise, of natural law, but one less direct than the sin of murder, could be more offensive to God, I do not understand. Can anyone enlighten me?

  8. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    FOCA was last introduced into both the House (with 109 co-sponsors) and the Senate in 2007. Obama was one of the co-sponsors in the senate, and he promised to push for FOCA as president. Are to believe that the Democrats introduced the bill in 2007, but won’t do so with a majority in the House and Senate, and a FOCA fan in the White House? If FOCA were a fantasy, would the pro-abort crwod really be trying to talk pro-lifers out of worrying about it?

    Contraception is immoral, and all Catholic politicians should oppose it, inasmuch as it’s still possible to oppose it in a politically viable way: e.g., they should oppose state funding of programs that encourage its use, etc.

    But abortion is a far more serious issue. Unlike non-abortifacient contraception, abortion is a direct attack on human life. It’s murder.

  9. Aaron says:

    The premise of the article is silly. Didn’t it occur to them that maybe there’s no FOCA on the floor of Congress BECAUSE Obama’s extremism prompted a strong and united effort to stop it? Were we supposed to wait around until they had a bill in place, and then try to wake people up? It doesn’t take them that long to push new laws through, after all: see the stimulus bill.

    Besides, even if they never intended to push FOCA specifically right now, why won’t a motivated pro-life movement automatically work against other attempts to advance abortion? Seems to me if the fear of FOCA builds pro-life support and funds, that’s helpful across the board.

  10. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Many years ago, as a Protestant, I read a book by Presbyterian writer Mary Pride called “The Way Home”. She made quite a Biblical case out of the slippery slope from contraception to abortion. One idea really tugged at me. She said, the world will not take Christians seriously about ending abortion until Christians start looking at children as blessings.

    Out went our contraception! And God sent us seven blessings. This alone has made such a pro-life statement to my little world. When people comment on my large family, I can tell them that children are a blessing from the Lord. And that opens the door to talk about pro-life issues.

    Knowing that the Catholic Church stands firm on contraception being sinful is one reason that I looked into converting, but it would be better if the Church taught even more on this is local parishes.

  11. Ken STL says:

    A few thoughts.

    1. Time magazine is in bookstores, grocery stores and libraries.
    2. FOCA goes way way beyond Roe v. Wade. It’s not a simple codifiction.
    3. I don’t think FOCA would pass.
    4. It’s still bad that Obama once promised to sign it first thing.
    5. Catholic health care would not have this problem if it simply refused to accept government dollars, as do some other Catholic institutions. Hospitals have become too secularized.

  12. Chris says:

    The way it was explained to me, and explained wonderfully in audio form on the Keep the Faith website by Theresa Ickinger, is that contraception was traditionally taught as a great offense to God than abortion because abortion affects the natural and contraception the supernatural. And every time someone contracepts, that’s a life possibly denied. Think about that — abortion takes one life. Contraception takes one life per every 30 days of a woman’s cycle.

    I am not a theologian nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But my basic understanding is that contraception is worse than abortion because it denies a human’s very creation.

    And David J, it doesn’t just affect two people. Those of us who are married are in a three-way marriage with Jesus Christ.

  13. MargaretMN says:

    So it “doesn’t exist and wouldn’t have much chance of becoming law even if it did.” Actually it does exist, (funny to use that language)and it has many co-sponsors. Also it can be reintroduced at any time, or the gist of it as part of an HHS bill, for example, not just going through on it’s own where it might meet more opposition. Amy flunks Government 101.

    Contraception was the first step on the footpath to the death culture but lets not lose sight of the fact that we are already living there and it is they who are trying to shut the door on the culture of life. FOCA would certainly be a way to do it, either the bill itself, or as separate pieces of legislation as Fr. Z suggests.

    Ken, it would be nice to think that Catholic Hospitals could refuse government dollars and still survive but if they didn’t accept medicare and medicaid reimbursement they would become either limited private clinics for the super rich or they would cease to exist. The Medicare mandate covers many more people than it used to (President Bush expanded it and President Obama’s stimulus package and S-Chip expanded it to include even more people.) One interpretation of FOCA might make insurers liable to lawsuits if they reimbursed hospitals that didn’t perform abortions so they might not even get those reimbursements either. How many people pay their hospital bills in cash?

    We are headed to perdition on the issue of universal healthcare because there is so much the government can control when it controls the healthcare of every single person in the country, not just the poor and the elderly. We are not in a good place now but we stand to be much worse off. Right now at least, catholic hospitals can opt out. Under FOCA and FOCA type legislation they will not be able to.

  14. Papabile says:

    As one who works in a legislative capacity in Congress and has been on the Hill for years, I would say, don’t be fooled.

    FOCA is much more likely to be introduced somewhat down the road, and first used as a political fundraising tool. They’ll have their hearings, and there will probably even be a vote at some point. It probably CAN pass the House, especially if a few (not even the majority) of the Blue Dogs agree to message it as simply codifying Roe.

    FOCA goes MUCH farther than that. It goes far beyond Roe and enshrines abortion as a right…. similar to how Connecticut did so in the early 90′s.

    There are plenty of other bills that will come forward before then. In particular, the Appropriations pro-life riders like Dickey-Wicker and Hyde Amendment will also likely come under attack. If those are the first real fights, we’ll then be able to determine what the real bar is for FOCA.

    The Bishops were acting in good Faith, particularly because of what several senior Democrats were messaging previously. Yes, it has likely been kicked down the road, but like a vampire, these horrific bills always rise from the dead.

  15. Aaron says:

    I doesn’t seem to be just about the unlikelihood of FOCA but about how pushing abortion is (supposedly) not on this president’s agenda. It makes a point of him telling his staff to make abortion reduction a priority, which I think goes towards the agenda of saying “big bad wolf not so bad.” Of course, the paragraph containing that factoid exposes the rank hypocrisy of the administration by containing just a few sentences earlier the administration’s action to fund abortion providers overseas – not exactly a move designed to reduce abortions, now, is it?

  16. Tzard says:

    Are the assurances (and “expert” analysis) that FOCA is not an issue – the *real* misdirection here?

    Why all this concern how we spend our time? It seems they’ve taken multiple straw polls in Congress – for what? To prove we’re wrong? It doesn’t sound like a compassionate concern. No, it’s to see if it could pass. Someone is trying to get it passed.

  17. Jenny says:

    90 percent of the congregation is contracepting—either artificially or naturually by their warped understanding of NFP.

    Not to quibble, but couples using NFP with a warped understanding are not using contraception. They may be sinning in other ways, but they are not committing the sin of contraception. I think it is an important distinction. If you did not mean to imply that they were sinning in that way, please forgive me.

  18. Matt says:

    Chris,

    keep the faith is a great organization! At the same time…

    contraception was traditionally taught as a great offense to God than abortion because abortion affects the natural and contraception the supernatural

    abortion is surely natural and supernatural, as is contraception. If it was traditionally taught it should be easy to find reference in catechisms or other authoritative sources, I haven\’t found any.

  19. Baron Korf says:

    I guess TIME is just saying that we shouldn’t take the president at his word…

  20. Ken STL says:

    Margaret, point well taken. I’m not in health care, but it seems to me that perhaps we will need to re-think the Catholic approach to health care at some point. Guvmint money always comes with strings, which is why my Catholic high school and college always refused to accept them.

    And while it is easy to assume that 90 percent of Catholic are contracepting, I wonder about the charity of making such a claim that so many in the pews are guilty of mortal sin. Of course, more needs to be said and done about it, but I don’t want my kids to have to listen to endless homilies about birth control.

  21. Romulus says:

    couples using NFP with a warped understanding are not using contraception.

    Maybe, maybe not. What can’t be disputed is that NFP can be used with a contraceptive mentality — a systematic and open-ended desire not to conceive — and that the prevailing anti-culture makes it easy for this mentality to take hold, even even among Catholics of good will. Speaking only for myself, I am uneasy about the Church’s readiness to promote NFP.

    To return to the point of the post: the TIME article has a certain whiff of “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”.

  22. IS says:

    True re: the word crusade… sadly i love it.

  23. JohnE says:

    “But FOCA has also provided ammunition for those on the right who want to paint Obama as “the most pro-abortion president ever.” It’s been less than a month since he took office, but so far the President has given social conservatives little evidence to back up that charge. He did repeal the Mexico City policy banning federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provide abortion referrals or services — but so did Bill Clinton. ”

    So he’s just as pro-abortion as Bill Clinton, but not more?. This is supposed to be some sort of argument that Obama’s pro-abortion views should not be a concern? I think the article’s intent is to downplay the seriousness of the abortion issue and perhaps pull a few of those fence-sitters back into the Obama camp or at least take a little wind out of their sails. They’re acknowledging that we caught the head feint in the hopes that we will be satisfied with that.

  24. Paul M says:

    …Father, why can’t our priests and bishops show the same zeal for a fight against the real crisis of contraception as they do the phony threat of FOCA?
    Comment by Chris — 19 February 2009 @ 10:56 am

    Chris,

    I don’t see how bishops and priests can really make an effective point about contraception when half the public (and a large percentage of Catholics) thinks abortion is OK. If you can’t even get Catholics to agree that life indeed begins at conception and that abortion is murder, how are you going to win the contraception argument?

    Papabile makes an excellent point above, one that all pro-lifers should take to heart. In fighting FOCA, the bishops are also setting the table to win these other battles that Papabile so clearly states.

    To address Fr. Z’s question of what the article is trying to accomplish, I think it’s an extension of the “Catholics for Obama” media campaign. Look at the inclusion of the statement from the guy from “Catholics United” and the “frustration” of USCCB staffers. It’s essentially promoting the “seamless garment,” which is a staple of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. In the new issue of America, there is an article by a member of “University Faculty for Life” that the “seamless garment” is at the core of the pro-life movement. Link is Here although you need a subscription to read it. Make no mistake, these people are emboldened by Obama’s election and are going on the offensive. Publications like Time and Newsweek, etc. are only too happy to give these people the opportunity to propagandize.

    Is it any wonder that that the progressives are also leading the charge against the Pope in the Williamson flap? Weaken the Church and you weaken the pro-life movement. Peel off the uninformed on one issue and convert them on another. It’s divide and conquer and the progressives are very good at that game.

  25. Francesco says:

    FOCA is just a tool of the Hegelian Dialectic. (look it up, learn something)

    FOCA is also a tool of those pro-life “advocates” who make their money off your donations get to further justify their existence.

    North Dakota’s house just passed one of the most pro-life bills in the history of the world and ask yourself: Where is Judie Brown? Where is Frank Provolone? Where is Thomas Euteneuer? They are off being shrill about FOCA and not actually working on real pro-life work.

    Always beware of those people who need to be outraged about something in order to perpetuate their existence.

  26. Francesco says:

    I wish you could edit your own posts. I take back what I said about Judie. I shoot from the hip sometimes:

    Led by American Life League Associate group North Dakota Life League, the personhood movement celebrated the passage of The Personhood of Children Act (House Resolution 1572), introduced by State Rep. Dan Ruby, in a 51-41 vote.

  27. Chris says:

    Jenny: “Not to quibble, but couples using NFP with a warped understanding are not using contraception. They may be sinning in other ways, but they are not committing the sin of contraception.”

    That is exactly what I was saying. If a couple is using “NFP” for years at a time for a reason that is not “dire” than they are contracepting naturally. They have a contraceptive mentality and the sin is the same as using a condum or the pill.

    I have friends, a married couple. They both work although he makes a ton of money. They have been married for 8 years and have one child. And she says it’s fine because they are doing so with NFP. That is the “warped” idea of NFP I was talking about and it is the same as contracepting artificially.

    And, Paul, I would reverse what you’re saying. How can Catholics ever think abortion is wrong if they think contraception is OK?

  28. Steve Karlen says:

    Francesco,

    It’s a shame you had to throw some of the most dedicated pro-life advocates we have under the bus. Judie Brown, Fr. Pavone and Fr. Eutenaur do fantastic work, and the real travesty would be if they are not outraged.

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. Perhaps some posters should consider this before attacking pro-lifers first.

  29. supertradmom says:

    Maybe the fact that many of us Catholics filled out petitions and postcards against FOCA has influenced Obama. We need to pay close attention to the second phase of this attack. The Mexico City agreement revision is the first.

  30. Terence Coyne says:

    Lots of good comments here, but no one points out that most contraception actually causes an abortion some of the time. In approximately one in fifty menstrual cycles the low dose pill does not prevent the uniting of the sperm and egg in forming a new life. It prevents the attachment of the new life to the lining of the uterus. It may not be an intended effect, but it nevertheless is an abortion

  31. Joan says:

    Obama was the one to raise the issue pre-election promising to sign it “first thing.” A very clear statement. The bishops have, to their credit, not waited around for it to be re-introduced. And why would it not be if it was before and now we have huge pro-death majority in Congress? Then the Congressional mailroom is FLOODED with thousands of postcards from Catholics nationwide within 2 weeks of the inauguration. Then Pelosi says she won’t introduce the bill (like we can believe anything she says anyway), and wow, Time Magazine doesn’t think it will be introduced other, what a reliable source! HEY! Maybe the reason it won’t be (or they are saying so and stalling) is BECAUSE of the Bishops UNANIMOUS stand, their letters and our postcards.

    Don’t fall for this leftist slant. The bill is not active, but it’s not dead, and OF COURSE we should tell the President right away we oppose it since he made it so clear it was his “first” priority. I think FOCA is not being pushed thru right this minute is because our Congressmen got the message loud and clear.

  32. Laura Lowder says:

    I don’t see how FOCA couldn’t pass into law at this point. We have the most outrageously pro-abort politician ever in the White House, we have a pro-”choice” Democratic-controlled House and Senate. They can introduce it, run it through and thumb their noses at us.

    I think the Jan 22 date was recycled from 2007; that’s the date I found when I tried to substantiate the alarmist email I was sent. It’s hard to fight these things en masse, however – doing a “Reply All” and asking them to send the corrected data back up the line isn’t effective, and blogs and Twitter aren’t very effective in stemming a tide of such magnitude as I saw in that email chain.

    I agree with Matt – FOCA does enshrine abortion. But what people need to be taught is that this is old news. Abortion “rights” have become so inculturated that people are immune to other issues now. We heard hardly a whimper when the Mexico City policy was overturned, and even less when funding was restored to UNFPA. Maybe that’s what Fr Z means about using FOCA to divert our attention while other nastiness ensues?

    We’ve got to watch the whole arena. This includes euthenasia now. The stimulus package is supposed to limit the health care available to the elderly, through increased government restrictions and limitations – this amounts to a “knocking off” of those who can no longer contribute to the “public good” via tax base, and who “parasite” off society. Where’s the outrage over the potential destruction of human life, there?

    This is all part of a nihilistic, neo-pagan paradigm that has been blindly accepted by “good christian people” for the past 40-50 years.

    How do we effectively oppose this philosophy?

  33. John Smith says:

    “Obama was the one to raise the issue pre-election promising to sign it ‘first thing.’”

    Well, obviously he didn’t do that — and couldn’t — because the bill had not been introduced in this Congress, let alone passed. That has to be done before he can sign a bill.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    The O is first busy mortgaging our future which will affect all our children, born and unborn, then he will move on to other more diabolical matters. I believe that FOCA will be passed one item at a time under the veil of secrecy. Thank God we have a few men in congress who have not sold their souls who will keep us updated on what is in the wings waiting to be made into law. I also feel certain that the left is nervous about the growing uprising of the pro-life phenomenon. Since we have had 40 Day for Life in our city, groups that were fractured and splintered have come together for a common cause. We are now sharing knowledge and techniques that are helping us become a force for the unborn. Weekly, I write to my Congressmen and remind them that I am not going to sit idly by while they pass laws that destroy our future.

    Now IS the time to work on the next election. There will be another one in less than two years. There are a lot of cracks in our catechesis that need to be filled and NOW is the time to change hearts and minds.

    Thank God for Godly deacons, priests and bishops who do not wait for the results of poll numbers before writing their homilies. Thank God for men who preach the truth in season and out of season. And for Catholic couples who live their faith out open in the public, despite what others think or practice. The future belongs to the fertile.

  35. John 6:54 says:

    Contraception causes abortions to occur. The number of abortions cause by contraception can not be known and I would say that in most cases these abortions should be considered manslaughter, and not murder, as it is usually not the intent or knowledge of the user that abortions are likely to occur in this situation. Most users are unaware that contraception can and does cause fertilized eggs to be aborted. I know I am probably guilty of this sin on numerous occasions in my past. May God have mercy on me.

    As for NFP causing a sin equal to using the Pill I just can’t go along with that statement. Just because a husband and wife use NFP and have financial means to support numerous children does not mean they should be pushing out families of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or more kids. God instructed us to go forth and multiply but why should my rate of multiplication equal your rate? There is so much more that goes in to raising a family than whether or not you have the health and wealth to have numerous children. I certainly will not stand in judgment of a couple who’s been married 8 years, who have used NFP, and have 1 child.

  36. nathan says:

    First, in a reply to my letter against FOCA, my pro-abortion congresswomen wrote why FOCA was a good thing and that she supports it. (present tense!!)

    Second, if a some Republican presidential candidate were to get up in front of The American Nativist Association and announce that “the first thing he would do” about immigration reform would be to the sign the “Pure America Act” which would allow for the immediate deportation of all non-citizens and the sealing of the borders. People would unhesitatingly call that candidate and dangerous yahoo and heap scorn upon him. Sure, such a bill would doubtless never pass congress, but the fact that he said he wanted to sign such a bill would be considered to be indicative of his character and policies.

  37. supertradmom says:

    Let us be proactive and not merely reactive. One of the reasons Roe v. Wade was decided in favor of abortion is that we were asleep at the wheel and thought nothing like this decision would ever happen in the Supreme Court. Vigilance and prudence must go hand-in-hand.

  38. Luke says:

    Ah yes: the crusades…it’s a wonder they didn’t fit Galileo into this article somehow. Times use of the word ‘crusade’ is a devious turn of phrase—to be sure. And duplicitous as well I might add. To me, however, this article misses the point in a manner far exceeding the one they accuse Catholics of missing. If I were a betting man, I would wager that ‘culture war,’ as it was used in this article, is being played off of ‘crusade.’ Many reasons could be enumerated for this. One stands out for me: that our abiding concern for human dignity is seen as “too much.” The idea that we’re “blowing things out of proportion,” seems to be expressed through this article.

    The second-century letter of Diognetus describes Christians as the soul of the world. Those of us who have accepted Christ’s call to unity become the means to bring the “body” of those outside the Church into subjection with its “soul” that is given life by Christ, and for the life of the world. And this so that we might all become “children of God without blemish” (Phil 2:15). Fr. Von Balthasar writes that “The Church’s ambition of embracing the world’s unity within its own is not arrogance but obedience to Christ in faith…It is the Church’s task to gather the world together under the headship of Christ, thus offering the world that unity for which it is striving deliberately but clearly in vain…[it’s our] task to put forward the idea of the “one salvation” in a way that people can believe in.”

    In the Body of Christ, nothing prospers except by the love of the members for one another, and everything that negates this must be abandoned and opposed (i.e.: abortion). Whenever human dignity is further threatened we should oppose the threatening forces, even at the small cost of being seen as “integralists,” or being called crusaders. The Church and the world will always be a paradox when compared, but then we know from the dictum of St. Paul that the body will always resist and oppose the spirit (Gal 5:17).

    I pray that all will come to the living stone of the Church, and like living stones themselves be built into a spiritual house (1 Pet 2:4), the house entrusted to God’s Son (Heb 3:6).