Pres. Obama’s pick for Surgeon General

Some developments:

Apparently, when Pres. Obama announced his nomination of Dr. Benjamin for Surgeon General, he also pushed his health reform bill. 

Catholic League reported that on 25 June, 19 Democrats, 11 of whom are Catholic, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they will not vote for healthcare reform “unless it explicitly excludes abortion funding” from the plan.

"According to Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee, the bills being considered ‘contain multiple provisions that would result in federally mandated insurance coverage of abortion on demand, massive federal subsidies for abortion, mandated creation of many new abortion clinics, and nullification of at least some state limitations on abortion.’  So where does Dr. Benjamin come in on all of this? On June 19, the House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor announced that a new Advisory Committee will decide which services will be covered. And who is in charge of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee? The Surgeon General."  [The plot thickens.]

Catholic League adds: "Dr. Benjamin should not wait until the Senate considers her appointment to let the public know where she stands. As a practicing Catholic, she cannot chair a committee that would support mandated abortion coverage in employer insurance plans."

_________

ORIGINAL POST 13 July 2009 3:42pm

Some interesting news!

As we are about to get Judge Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, we have a new appointee for Surgeon General.

From the Catholic League:

July 13, 2009

SURGEON GENERAL PICK IS EXCELLENT

Catholic League president Bill Donohue praised President Barack Obama for his selection of Dr. Regina Benjamin as the new Surgeon General:

President Obama picked the right person to be the new Surgeon General. Dr. Benjamin is a hero to all those victimized by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Her tireless and selfless efforts are a model for all physicians.

Dr. Benjamin is an African-American Catholic public servant who has been recognized by Pope Benedict XVI: the Holy Father awarded her the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal for distinguished service. When the pope celebrated Mass in Washington, D.C. in 2008, Dr. Benjamin was there to receive his blessing. Moreover, she has also received the National Caring Award, an honor which was inspired by Mother Teresa. “Church was always a very important part of my life,” she told Catholic Digest. “I believe I am carrying on the healing ministry of Christ. I feel obligated to help continue his works.”

So… now we are supposed to give Pres. Obama this appointment high marks

And if anyone points out that perhaps the Surgeon General is not quite as important a position as the Sec. of Health and Human Services or a Justice on the Supreme Court, or what he may be doing with the other hand, then we will be criticized. 

They will say, "Look! See?  This is clearly a gesture of ‘common ground’!  See?  The meeting with the Pope really paid off! She got a medal! See? She‘s Catholic! SEE?"

No, my children.  That is not what this is.

Lifesite has an article on her. 

I understand that she has done a great deal of work among the poor.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Pres. Obama’s pick for Surgeon General

  1. Sieber says:

    A precursor of our future “Not for Profit” doctors??

  2. Xavier says:

    You are right on target, Father!

  3. Gordon says:

    So, she seems to be, essentially be a promoter of abortion … I wonder why Donohue is so thrilled about her?

  4. Harrison says:

    Well, when you read the LifeNews article, it says that they should be taught the ethics and so forth involved in it. I don’t see anything in there about her saying that they ought to be taught a) how to perform abortions b) that abortion is morally ok. We have to be careful in implying a meaning into a statement that is, unfortunately, to vague. She may very well desire to promote abortion, but the statements quoted by LifeNews are too vague to allow for such an interpretation.

    Only LifeNews says that she has an agenda of promoting abortions, but there is no hard evidence that she in fact has done this herself. We must be objective in such cases to ensure we are being fair.

    -Harrison

  5. Ken says:

    Donohue has been way too optimistic lately. He was also the source for a front-page Washington Times article a few weeks ago saying the current Supreme Court nominee may actually be pro-life.

    While it’s good to recognize the lesser of two evils (both the Surgeon General and Supreme Court picks could be much worse on abortion), there is no reason to get so excited to the point of endorsing these ladies.

    Yes, the Surgeon General pick is Catholic and one of her mentors was Louis Sullivan, former HHS secretary under George H. W. Bush. But the LifeSite News piece shows the details. Those details should prevent good men from using words like “excellent.”

  6. She is nothing more than a stealth candidate, in the mode of Kmiec, to divide the Catholic Church in America.

  7. Tom says:

    Bill can be slow to pick up some times. Recall how long he defended Marcial Maciel.
    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/note.jsp?did=0906-notes-donohue

  8. Demers says:

    Obama knows he almost certainly has to Catholics on his side to maintain power. Well, he got the Catholic vote last year and keeps on appointing Catholics. He received very good publicity in his meeting with the Pope. He’s courting Catholics very effectively.

    In the Obama war with conservative Catholics, the thing at Notre Dame was the final battle and it has to be admitted that Obama won. So good luck to Dr. Benjamin, because she’ll be our next Surgeon General. And look for Obama to win in 2012.

    We’ve just got to accept the fact that Obama definitely has more Catholics on his side. If the Vatican would’ve stood up to stop Notre Dame from honoring Obama and giving him great credibility, then we could’ve stopped Obama in 2012 and even now. But they didn’t.

    If Bishop Williamson would’ve been the man of honor at Notre Dame, you can bet that the Vatican and every bishop in America would’ve made sure that the ceremony never saw the light of day. But now, it’s too late to stop Obama. He’s got too much support in the Church.

  9. Matt Q says:

    Tokenism. Tokenism. If this was really an effort at “common ground” rather than common contempt, he already would have appointed an actual Catholic. Any position in the Cabinet or other high-ranking spot with any real meaning effecting the president’s policies would be unhealthy for the person or his job to go against, so why bother?

  10. Terry says:

    Count me among those who’ve accepted the fact that Obama has been treated so well and been honored so much by top people in our Church that it’s too late to stand up to Obama and his agenda, which is anti-Catholic at its root.

    Don’t these people realize that by treating Obama like royalty, it makes it impossible to convince enough Catholics that Obama’s agenda is actually anti-Catholic.

    Pardon my shouting, but WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF THE CHURCH? WAKE UP! STOP WORSHIPING OBAMA!

  11. moon1234 says:

    What you fail to realize is that the poorly cathecised are now in power in the church in many places. Look around the parking lot the next time you are at church and count how many cars have some type of Obama support on them. It will make you ill. Then go out and see how many cars have a pro-life sticker on them.

    The church will grow much smaller and more faithful over time as it will need to shed the secular dead weight or die under it’s overgrowth. Many people CALL themselves Catholic, but are nothing of the sort.

    Sort of like me calling myself black when I am white. Eventually, if I do it long enough, I could convince many people that I am really black and anyone who says otherwise is inciting hateful speech against me. See how silly that argument is, yet it is used by many liberals to get conservatives to shut-up.

  12. Amy, MEV says:

    So a Catholic gets to author the latest “smoking kills you” and “pregnant women shouldn’t drink alcohol” stickers. Whoop-de-doo.

  13. Rancher says:

    I’m afraid Agnes B Bullock is right in her assessment. In addition to Lifesite the mainstream media is making it clear that she is not pro-life consistent with true Catholic teaching. While this doctor has many admirable qualities being staunchly pro life appears not to be one of them. I also share the concern that the Church is officially recognizing and honoring too many folks of this sort. I cannot help but wonder what the reaction would have been if the Church had honored Hitler in a similar fashion.

    I am having a difficult time not with Bill Donahue (because he is not an official Church spokesman) but the Bishops and the Vatican honoring anyone who is less than completely pro life. There is no way to justify honoring someone who, in any fashion, advocates, supports or facilitates the murder of innocents. Training doctors how to perform abortions, even if you do not advocate doing them, falls into that catagory I believe.

  14. Xavier says:

    Also of note, Dr. Benjamin is a member of “Physicians for Human Rights”, which did not want President Bush to expand the Mexico City Policy. Recall that the Mexico City Policy was indeed good in that federal funding would not go to non-governemntal organizations that perfromed or promoted abortion. So, Catholic Dr. Benjamin was part of a group that was against this policy.
    Furthermore, Physicians for Human Rights also promotes the use of condoms (among other things) to “fight” HIV/AIDS and promotes “family planning” / “reproductive health”.
    I respect Bill Donahue and the Catholic League, but they dropped the ball on this one.

  15. Commenter Harrison is right that Lifesite is spinning in that typically dumb “pro-life, pro-lie” way. They should retract their comments until further information comes clear.

    Docs need to know a lot about abortion so they can help clean up the mess when the butcher cuts too deep.

    They also need to know how to help their patients suffering from the after-effects of the killing procedure.

    I hope Dr. Benjamin is very pro-life. If she is, we need more of her kind. Wise pro-lifers should then use her example to weaken pro-abortion resolve in the Democrats and to strengthen the pro-life position in the medical profession.

    Abortion won’t go away until doctors turn against it.

  16. Sandi says:

    “The church will grow much smaller and more faithful over time as it will need to shed the secular dead weight or die under it’s overgrowth. ”

    Isn’t it just as likely that the Church will grow much larger. Isn’t the Pope supposed to be restoring Catholic identity? Isn’t the TLM back and attracting many young people?

    Oh, and considering that the Democratic Party has a strong history in supporting more Catholic issues than the Republican Party and considering that Catholics have been traditionally Democratic, why is the world supposedly coming to an end just because Catholics support Obama?

    Barrack and Michelle Obama have done everything right with the Church, from treating the Pope with great respect to winning over bishops, priests and laypersons at Notre Dame.

    Maybe the Republican Party should stop catering to anti-Catholic fundamentalists.

    The Republican Party is phony and is desperate to reinvent itself to regain power and, particularly, the Catholic vote.

    The Republican Party played the Moral Majority crowd for all it was worth. But now, the Republicans are trying to out-Obama Obama to try to regain power.

    In yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, Dallas County Republican Chairman Jonathan Neerman said the following regarding his party:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-pointperson_0712edi.State.Edition1.224c1bb.html

    “It’s OK if you’re pro-choice. You can be a pro-choice Republican. There are people right now trying to change the party into a conservative movement, and when you do that, it’s very dangerous.

    “The people I talk to care about the basic issues; anyone who has young kids, it’s the same basic question. You’re concerned about the schools, home values, taxes – that kitchen-table kind of discussion.

    “They don’t care about gay marriage. They may care about abortion, but if you ask about their top 10 concerns, the social issues aren’t in there.

    “Their view of the party is that it’s gotten too conservative on certain issues and quit caring about others. And it’s those “other” issues that had been the meat and potatoes of our party for so long: fiscal conservatism, limited government, issues that families care about.

    “When Obama is winning Rowlett and Sachse and going into Sunnyvale, Republicans are in big trouble. Younger Republicans are waiting to be inspired; they’re waiting to be inspired by the Republican Obama.”

    Obama has won over Catholic voters. He’s promoting Catholics to the hilt. That’s more than the Republican Party can say. Deal with it.

  17. Xavier says:

    Kevin J. Jones,

    As a physician, I can tell you that the group to which Dr. Benjamin belongs, i.e. Physicians for Human Rights, is not pro-life. Please see my post of 6:02 PM.

    Thanks.

  18. Monroe says:

    I agree with the posts about the phony republican party. But unfortunately, there’s no real political alternative for Catholics to turn to — neither the republican nor democratic party.

    Sadly, the handwriting is on the wall. The majority of Catholics are pro-choice, pro-priestesses, anti-Latin Mass. There’s no stopping Obama. Dr. Benjamin will be our next Surgeon General. Judge Sotomayor will be our next Supreme Court Justice. That’s the price we pay for the tremendous loss of Catholic identity that’s swept through the Church.

    Most Catholics have no sense about the radical nature of Obama’s agenda. How can they when they have no sense of Catholic identity at the millions of Ordinary Form Masses they attend? Only when we go back to the TLM can we someday repel the likes of Obama and his agenda.

  19. Girgadis says:

    Does anyone have an actual link to the interview where this nominee said she wanted to teach doctors how to do abortions? I vaguely recall reading some years ago about a “controversial” proposal that ob/gyns who agreed to learn to perform abortion would also be required to weigh the social, psychological and ethical implications of killing a baby in-utero. The pro-abortion crowd, as I recall, is who found it controversial. Also, does anyone know anything about the organization Catholic Health Association? Dr. Benjamin either sits or formerly sat on their board. I was curious to know if they are of the same ilk as the pro-abortion pro-contraception Catholics United. thanks

  20. Centeral Valley says:

    A special “thanks” needs to go out to the spinless California bishops for not speaking of the evils of Obama. I long ago gave up on The Catholic League when the defended serial molestor priests.

  21. Rancher says:

    Sandi
    Your cute but cutting commentary is based upon some false assumptions. Moral issues are not party specific. I will never vote based upon party but will always vote based upon moral issues. Having said that and recognizing that there are many parts of the Republican platform and agenda that I disagree with on moral grounds there is absolutely no objective way to say that Obama has done everything right with the Church. It is clear from the type of “catholics” he has appointed/nominated that he is USING the Church for his political purposes. Perhaps that is not all bad though. It may be what forces the true Church in the USA to become smaller but stonger as orthodox Catholics choose to disassociate from the “progressive” Catholics that Obama attracts into his camp.

  22. Frank H. says:

    After a quick look at the website of the Catholic Health Association, it appears they are in synch with Church teaching on life issues. See for example –

    http://www.chausa.org/Pub/MainNav/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2008/r081124.htm

  23. Mickey says:

    While the link below is not authoritative, perhaps we should not be quick to judge. At least one pro-abort is unhappy about her nomination…

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Dr_Regina_Benjamin_pro-choice

  24. patrick says:

    Sandi,

    Your post is a, frankly, and sadly, a sham, though I would guess, given your extreme “erudition” of thought, it is a waste of time to point all the reasons why. Easier to suggest how to fix it.

    Your post is correct, very much so, IF (and only IF):

    you substitute, for “Catholic,” one of the following

    A. Heretic

    B. (take your pick) Cafeteria, E&A (Easter and Christmas), “progressive” (see “A.” heretic),

    non-catechized, or mis-catechized Catholics.

    C. CINO (Catholic in name only)

    D. Goats (as opposed to sheep).

    E. Chaff (as opposed to wheat).

    E. “Catholic” Supportors of sodomite practices AND/OR abortion rights, (mostly AND, in spite of, or, no matter, the empty “pro-life” posturing and rhetoric).

    “Nuanced thinking” is really some kind of feel good antidote for explaining away evil in spite of the tsunami of evidence for its rampant existence and devastating effects, and, at the same time, lack of resistance to the same, while its apologists go about citing and many times feigning “good works,” as a cover for the aforementioned lack of resistance to this very evil. (As if wishful thinking was indeed a “good work.”)

    Since it was you that brought up the politics vs. the realities of actual practice of political adherents of one side, (the right, vs. left) consider the actual charitable giving, i.e., “walk” of the two camps (righties vs. lefties) and compare with their respective “talk” (cheap, ever so cheap) about uplifting the poor and downtrodden. The statistics can be a revelation. Well, for those who want to “see.”

  25. Zach says:

    This is obviously not a place for profanity, Irenaeus.

    Both sides of this debate are being a bit uncharitable. I understand anger, as I am angry, too. I was initially excited about the Surgeon General choice, but then realized that we have been deceived again. This is an unfortunate political move by the Obama administration. However, there is always a necessity for charity in our words.

    My main point appears a little more controversial than it really is, so read it until the end. Obama is no more anti-Catholic than America itself already is as a whole. Even though Obama is certainly anti-Catholic, I would even say that he is LESS anti-Catholic than most of America. I am convert to the Church, and my own family felt betrayed that I would convert. My family has mocked, insulted, and criticized the Catholic Church for as long as I remember, and they are Christians. Before I converted to the Catholic Church, my former church had a summer camp for high school students at which a camp counselor encouraged kids to break statues of the Virgin Mary as an example of the danger of human traditions! (Don’t worry, I thoroughly confessed my prior anti-Catholic sentiment through the Sacrament of Penance.) I can’t imagine the kinds of conversations that non-Christians have regarding Catholicism. I’m afraid that we Catholics are forgetting that anti-Catholic prejudice would be just as pervasive in America if McCain won the election. Our battle to keep the government from legislating against the dignity of the human person transcends our battle with the White House. We need to be engaging in conversation with our friends and family members; we need to be raising our children to appreciate the dignity of the human life from conception to natural death.

  26. Rancher says:

    Zach
    I disagree on one significant point. it is clear that Obama is targeting Catholics through some very shrewd moves…targeting the Church in order to render it incapable of opposing his extremely immoral policies. That goes way above and beyond the more general anti-catholic sentiment you claim exists.

  27. Zach says:

    Rancher,

    I agree with you that Obama’s brand of anti-Catholicism is more dangerous than general anti-Catholic sentiment across America. It is totally necessary to speak up for human dignity and make sure the White House is aware of our anger. However, the general anti-Catholic sentiment of America is what elected Obama in the first place.

  28. She appears to be one more attempt by Obama to fashion the public identity of Catholics as pro-choice.How did she receive an award from Rome without full vetting of her views on Catholic America’s most vital issue?

  29. patrick says:

    Zach,

    The difference lies in the “Trojan Horse” approach of Obama – feigning friendship while plotting one’s demise – vs. the sincerely wrong and tell it to your face “we vehemently disagree” or maybe even “we hold you in contempt” crowd. At least you know where these folks stand.

    I don’t know about you, Zach, but will take the latter every time. Christ preferred the sincerely “cold” (opposers) vs. the “lukewarm” who caused him, according to the Scripture, to vomit.

  30. Sandi says:

    From Rancher

    “It is clear from the type of “catholics” he has appointed/nominated that he is USING the Church for his political purposes. Perhaps that is not all bad though. It may be what forces the true Church in the USA to become smaller but stonger as orthodox Catholics choose to disassociate from the “progressive” Catholics that Obama attracts into his camp.”

    Ah, “progressive” Catholics attracted to Obama aren’t “true Church” Catholics. Right? And who decided that?

    And you may think that our President is “USING the Church for his political purposes,” the fact remains he’s receiving rave reviews from other important Catholics who disagree with you.

    I just read this on another thread on Father Zuhlsdorf’s blog. It’s from Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus.

    “It is obvious that President Obama has a serious interest in engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the Catholic Church, and with Catholics, who make up one fourth of the U.S. population. President Obama clearly had much to gain from a successful meeting with the Pope.

    “Certainly this is another achievement for Vatican and American diplomacy and represents a positive development for those of us who hoped that this meeting might mark a new opportunity in the important relationship between the Catholic Church and U.S. government.

    “This is an important moment. The pope and the president have laid the foundation for trying to achieve authentic common ground.

    “We applaud President Obama for showing sensitivity to the growing consensus among the American people favoring the right to life, restriction of abortion, and the protection of conscience.”

    I’m sorry you can’t deal with the excellent relationship that’s forming between Catholics and Obama. And you must be livid that a Catholic who’s a lector will become our new Surgeon General.

    A “true Church” Catholic as our Surgeon General. I wish other Presidents had been as caring with Catholics like Obama is.

    Vice President Joe Biden, another high ranking “true Church” Catholic in the Obama camp.

  31. Michael says:

    Who ARE you people? Sandi posts a comment that goes against the points of view of the others and she gets lambasted. One of you says that she “smells like a troll.”

    And what is it with this anti-Catholic agenda of the Obama administration? Does anyone seriously believe that there are White House meetings about screwing the Catholics?

    My Catholic faith is strong enough to withstand criticism from the left and from the right. I stopped believing in the infallability of the pope at about the same time that I realized that Superman isn’t a real guy. I stopped believing in the three wise men just a little after I stopped believing in Santa Claus.

    I believe in the message that Jesus taught — that the Kingdom of Heaven is accessible to us all if we have the wisdom to want it.

  32. Rancher says:

    Sandi
    You are making my case for me. How can you possibly suggest Biden is a true Catholic (true as in adheres to the teachings of the Church) given his very public pro-choice position? The “excellent relationship” you claim is developing between Obama and Catholics is not an excellent relationship with Catholics who respect and obey true Church teaching…it is, perhaps, a relationship with catholics in name only.

  33. Anthony says:

    Wow! Obama is anti-Catholic. Trojan horses. Obama is determined to topple the Church. Does Doctor Benjamin know that? Does Judge Sotomayor know that? Does VP Joe Biden know that? Does Pope Benedict XVI know that? Do our bishops know that? Do the millions of Catholics who voted for Obama know that?

    Oh, my. The Pope had better awaken. Same with our bishops, priests and laity who have spoken highly of Obama and see him as being in tune with the Church on many important issues.

    Will the Church remain standing in 2012, which is when Obama will be reelected, especially by votes from millions of Catholics?

  34. RBrown says:

    Ah, “progressive” Catholics attracted to Obama aren’t “true Church” Catholics. Right? And who decided that?

    It depends on what is meant by “progressive”.

    If anyone is opposed to Catholic doctrine, as in supporting abortion or women priests, then the Church Herself has decided that.

    I’m sorry you can’t deal with the excellent relationship that’s forming between Catholics and Obama.

    It reminds me of the excellent relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and Stalin.

    And what do you think of the relationship forming between Obama and the Unborn?

    And you must be livid that a Catholic who’s a lector will become our new Surgeon General.

    I’m more concerned about a pro abortion person being a lector. That indicates a pastor who is neglecting his flock.

    A “true Church” Catholic as our Surgeon General. I wish other Presidents had been as caring with Catholics like Obama is.

    You’re uninformed. It was Pres Reagan who was responsibile for opening diplomatic relations with the Vatican. He also named some serious Catholics (not the social justice freaks that you confuse with Catholics) to important positions, among whom: William Clark as Nat’l Security Advisor and Scalia to the Supreme Court.

    And if you think providing abortions is caring, then you probably also think that there was a lot of caring on those giant cotton planations in the South c. 1855.

    Vice President Joe Biden, another high ranking “true Church” Catholic in the Obama camp.
    Comment by Sandi

    If he’s pro abortion, he’s hardly true Church.

  35. RBrown says:

    Who ARE you people? Sandi posts a comment that goes against the points of view of the others and she gets lambasted.

    Sandi posted a comment that endorsed a pro abortion politician. Why would you be surprised that a Catholic would oppose such a comment?

    My Catholic faith is strong enough to withstand criticism from the left and from the right. I stopped believing in the infallability of the pope at about the same time that I realized that Superman isn’t a real guy.

    If you don’t believe the pope is infallible, then your faith is only in your own opinion–not in the Church.

    I believe in the message that Jesus taught—that the Kingdom of Heaven is accessible to us all if we have the wisdom to want it.
    Comment by Michael

    Do you believe that by Baptism we are made Adoptive Sons of God?

  36. Zach says:

    Patrick,

    That’s a fair point. Again, I agree that Obama’s political strategy is dangerous. Americans (and Catholics) are electing anti-Catholic politicians, and we shouldn’t be surprised when anti-Catholic politicians engage in politics (e.g., the Sotomayor and Dr. Benjamin appointments). In the meantime, let’s vote against the anti-Catholic politicians and speak up for human life, but let’s not forget that widespread misconceptions of Church doctrine are enabling these political problems.

    Michael,

    You make it sound like believing in papal infallibility is tantamount to believing Superman. As someone who was raised “fundamentalist” (nondenominational), I would have agreed with you before I actually learned about what papal infallibility truly means. I have since realized the beauty of the doctrine. Why do you disagree with it? Regarding your remark about the three wise men; the Scriptures never specify how many magi visited Christ when he was born…

    Anthony,

    You (and Michael) raise a point that we should specify what we mean by anti-Catholic. Does the Obama administration have meetings regarding how they can dismantle the Catholic Church? Probably not. Does the administration take positions that contradict doctrines of the Catholic Church? Absolutely. The Catholic Church affirms the dignity of the human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Thus, the administration’s support of abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and its overuse of the death penalty are against the Catholic Church’s teachings. Another way of putting it is that Obama is anti-Catholic. That doesn’t mean that we think Obama is scheming to kill the Church; we just want to speak up for human life because his positions are against (anti-) our Church.

    Sandi,

    After reading Carl Anderson’s blog post about the meeting between President Obama and the Pope, I felt that you took his quotes out of context. Your post made it seem as if Carl Anderson was needlessly praising the President, whereas it appeared to me to be more of a challenge for the President to stand by his words and truly listen to the Church’s concerns. For those curious, you can read the post here: http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2009/07/supreme-knight-carl-anderson-on-obama.html

    -Zach

  37. Cynthia Gee says:

    Obama is anti Catholic? Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t, but he was certainly the lesser of two evils.
    Sarah Palin’s denomination, the New Apostolic Reformation, is ACTIVELY and VIRULENTLY anti-Catholic, and teaches that Catholics aren’t even Christians; one of the luminaries of the denomination, Ana Mendez, brags that her prayers helped kill Mother Theresa:
    http://www.bereanpublishers.com/Testimonies/ana_mendez_story.htm [How does this pertain to the topic of this entry?]

  38. Mike Morrow says:

    Some anti-Catholicism in America may be understandable. After all, more than half of self-styled “catholics” (including clergy and bishops) voted for Obama. There really are two very different churches passing as One Catholic Church in the USA. That can’t go on forever.

  39. Aaron says:

    I’m flabbergasted that people keep thinking Obama might appoint a pro-lifer to something. He’s made it clear throughout his political career with his votes, and with his rhetoric during the campaign, that he is fully, 100%, completely in favor of abortion being a fundamental human right. And when he calls something a “right,” he means in the modern sense of something the government should pay for everyone to have. He’s been more consistent and committed on that issue than on perhaps any other.

    He’s less likely to appoint a pro-life candidate to the medical bully pulpit than he is to make George W. Bush the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Ron Paul his Treasury Secretary. I don’t know if people are really gullible enough to wonder whether each appointment is pro-life, or if they’re just pretending in an attempt to be fair, but it’s kind of silly.

  40. momof8 says:

    Bottom line in all of this????

    Obama is challenging the Church-trying to create FURTHER division!

    Satan is attempting to bring it down… Are we going to let him succeed? Better yet, will the Bishops?

  41. Peg says:

    Saul Alinsky’s,”Rules for Radicals” is Pres. Obama’s “bible”. He has imbibed this ideology completely and is using it very successfully to marginalize orthodox Catholics and scmoozing liberal Catholics into accepting his
    anti-life, anti-family socialist agenda. My mom always said, “Actions speak louder than words”.

  42. Michael says:

    Okay, this has been my first visit to this website and its postings so I misunderstood but RBrown has cleared up a lot for me. It all comes back to that infallibility thing.

    The pope is infallible. We know this because some pope in the 19th century said so. We don’t know if earlier popes were infallible too but they were clearly not as smart because they let 1,800 years go by without establishing this really useful doctrine.

    Anyway, we know that the pope is infallible because the pope says so. If a Catholic doubts this, even on the little stuff, the whole infallibility thing starts to unravel.

    I mean, if the pope is wrong about any one thing (like, for example, when Darwin’s Origin of the Species was put on the Index of Forbidden Books), then he could be wrong about being infallible. But wait. If he is wrong about being infallible, then he could be wrong about anything. Whoa, he could be wrong about everything.

    So, yeah, it’s really a lot easier to just to go with the pope is right about everything and anyone who doesn’t agree can’t be a Catholic. Not a “true Catholic” anyway. You true Catholic guys are really lucky.

    Now then, where can I get a copy of the Index of Forbidden Books?

  43. Brendan says:

    I don’t really know what the surgeon general does. Does the position have much influence? The only thing I know about the surgeon general is that they have a “surgeon general’s warning” on tobacco advertisements.

  44. Thomas L says:

    My opinion for anyone who cares, and mind you all I know about the Surgeon General besides the tobacco warning is that apparently it’s a bad idea to publicly state that pt should be legal(see The West wing). I don’t like it as much as anyone when this administration or the Democratic Party tries to split up the American Catholic voters, and I do believer that there is some odiousness behind the political motivations for such a nomination. But at a certain point we have to live in the moment in this world and realize that instead of complaining or playing the paranoid political game right back at them we could be happy that a seemingly deserving (admitted that could be debatable) Catholic was nominated to a prominent position. And let’s all hope and pray that some good comes from it. There will be a time and place to focus on the political implications, but why can’t we be a little more optimistic and make the most of a tough situation. At a certain point, this seems a little catty when we are unwilling to even conform to basic standards of decency in assessing the actions of our President.

    I love this blog but my one complaint is that even though I seem to be in the mainstream in terms of political leanings for the regular wdtprs readership there seems to be a growing us versus them mentality. Last time I checked, citizenship was determined by an individuals stance on the life issues no matter how disturbing abortion and the such may be. I’m not saying that we need to like the direction this nation is heading or passively allow our values to be undermined, ut a little more fair mindedness would go along way.

    Sorry for the rant and I apologize if anything I said is misconstrued as downgrading the right of Catholics to questions our political leaders. I just don’t think the other side has to be wrong all the time because they’re the other side. Even if this were a bad nomination in this case.

  45. Kevin in Texas says:

    Wow, Michael, all of that time you spent composing your rant explaining your straw-man understanding of the doctrine of papal infallibility could have been much better spent actually reading up on the doctrine itself! But if it makes you feel better to misrepresent Catholic beliefs, tear down those misrepresentations you’ve made, and establish yourself as more Catholic than the “non-infallible” pope, then by all means have at it!

    Yikes! Someone from the NC Reporter or Vox Nova must have linked to this post and suggested trolling, Fr. Z!

  46. Thomas L says:

    I would also like to apologize for a horribly written post. I have my excuses, but I won’t assume to bore anyone with them.

  47. David2 says:

    Kind of makes one pine after the days when unrepentent heretics like Sandi and Micheal would flounce off and start their own protestant sect. Nowadays every proponent of warmed-over ancient doctrinal errors claims the “right” to be more Catholic than the Holy Father.

    Where’s Queen Mary I Tudor of happy and blessed memory and her “fires of faith” when you need them!?!

  48. Peggy says:

    As Kevin in TX noted, I am noticing on these Obama Catholic appointments posts today, some likely Catholic activists on behalf of Obama coming here to breathlessly make the case for this greatest president of all time. If only we could all see this greatness and bow down in worship.

  49. Sandi says:

    “And what do you think of the relationship forming between Obama and the Unborn?”

    Has the Pope in role as chief shepherd of the Church warned Catholics to shun Obama? Has the Pope declared that Catholics are to oppose Obama? Have the American bishops warned that supporting Obama is a sin?

    Catholic support in Germany for Nazism was basically nil as the Church had made it clear that Catholics could not support the Nazi political party.
    Catholics are forbidden by the Church to support the Communist political party.

    So the Pope and the bishops, if they truly believe that support for Obama and the Democratic political party is sinful, could warn Catholics to refrain from supporting Obama and the Democratic political party.

    The Pope and the bishops could easily end the controversy over Catholic support for Obama.

  50. Patrick says:

    Sandi,

    Just one expample of the “stand up” Christianity you are apparently unaware of emanating from the Catholic Church. (From “Catholic Online”):

    MANASSAS, VA (JUNE 2, 2009) – “Beginning the weekend of May 31, Pentecost Sunday, the 83 U.S. Catholic bishops who publicly opposed the University of Notre Dame’s commencement honor for President Obama started to receive Spiritual Bouquet Certificates consisting of hundreds of thousands of prayers. The prayers, primarily from people who signed The Cardinal Newman Society’s petition opposing the Notre Dame scandal, were offered in thanksgiving for the bishops’ inspiring witness to the importance of Catholic identity.”

    Two ideas diametrically opposed suggest AT LEAST one side is WRONG. (Logic 101).

    BTW, the Cardinal Newmann Society is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Catholic identity on Catholic Colleges ad University campuses and provides spiritual outreach and support to secular Colleges as well.

    Swiss cheese ain’t got nothin’ on the arguments presented from one Ms. Sandi.

  51. Phil Atley says:

    Peggy at 1:23 am: “As Kevin in TX noted, I am noticing on these Obama Catholic appointments posts today, some likely Catholic activists on behalf of Obama coming here to breathlessly make the case for this greatest president of all time. If only we could all see this greatness and bow down in worship.”

    Obama developed this method during the election. His techies organize people to troll the internet doing “rapid response,” getting his version of whatever the issue is “out there.” Perhaps the Kmiec-Catholic Kidz have their own rapid-response Blog Division. Nor does it all have to be organized from the White House and its enablers throughout Blogdom–there’s also probably a significant amount of Daily Kos-type free-lance trolling and downright sabotage going on, as witnessed by the scurrilous racist material planted by a Lefty on a Free Republic thread last week and now being widely reported in the mainstream media as evidence that Free Republic commenters are all racists.

  52. Aaron says:

    I have no doubt that Obama wishes to dampen the influence of the Church in America, given that it is one of his biggest opponents on the issue he cares most about.

    But I think these appointments also show just how many apostate Catholics are out there and have been working their way up through the liberal power structure. If you start looking around for a reliably left-wing, pro-abortion, open-borders, big-government, anti-business person to run a department, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone who calls himself a Catholic. It’s not like he has to search hard for these people; they’re plentiful. That’s pretty sad.

  53. Michael says:

    Kevin gives me too much credit. From what I’ve seen on this site’s postings, “rant” is an Olympic-level competition. I’m out of my league. Or out of my Catholic League, in any case.

    Sandi and I will just have to report back to Satan that we have failed to claim any souls from this group.

  54. KJW says:

    Quote:
    “So, yeah, it’s really a lot easier to just to go with the pope is right about everything…”

    I sympathize with you, because I was also an under-catechized Catholic, and I quickly fell away from the Church after my conversion.
    Twenty five years later I came back to the Church and decided to really learn what our faith teaches; what a difference a little learning makes (I still have a long,long way to go but by the grace of God I’ll keep learning). A few months ago, I heard a caller on one of the call-in shows on EWTN radio asking about coming back to the Church, and the commentator (sorry, don’t remember who it was) told her it was important to first understand why she ever left. I say this without malice, but the above statement shows a deficient understanding of Church teaching. If you feel the need to speak on the issue, you should at least learn what the doctrine of papal infallibility actually entails.
    I don’t know anything about the new surgeon general beyond what I’ve heard on the radio, but the article at lifesitenews.com doesn’t prove anything. There was nothing there to brand the doctor as pro-abortion. If a seminary educates seminarians about Satan, does that make the seminary pro-Satan? I am suspicious about any of our president’s appointees, too, but adopting a policy of reflexive condemnation for every action doesn’t help anything. Brothers and sisters, we need to pray, pray, pray right now. Pray for conversion of heart for our president and for our political leaders, esp. Catholic political leaders who promote or condone pro-abortion policies. Pray for our brothers and sisters who support or promote these political leaders. I want to cry every time I go to Mass and see a car with a bumper sticker supporting a pro-abortion politician, but it is more productive to pray than to simply grind your teeth.

  55. Phil Atley says:

    Or, Michael, you could stay and listen empathetically for a while. We too are real people complex, deep, richly experienced Catholics, not merely the caricatures you read about in America, Commonweal, and the National Catholic Reporter. Just like when I visit Africa or Barcelona, I don\’t charge in with my American mind-set already made up, rather, I \”go native\” and listen to the quaint Natives wearing the funny traditionalist and, gasp, conservative native costumes, I listen to them with empathy and learn something about them and about myself.

    Try it. It works across the deep Spirit of Vatican II chasm created by the Concilium dissenters and liturgy wreckovators too. As cultural anthropologists know, when a people\’s symbol-system is destroyed overnight, the people are left with anomie, what Benedict XVI calls the hermeneutic of rupture. We are veterans of those culture wars and you might just find we have some intersting stories to tell, stories that actually bear witness to the richness and deep-in-history Catholic faith you too profess.

    And if you did that, then we could both thumb our noses at Satan.

  56. Aaron gets at the root of the problem: Obama has so many dissident Catholics to choose from! I don’t understand why the bishops aren’t doing everything in their power to get the dissidents in line, including excommunication if necessary. That’s the only help for Catholicism in this country. As I’ve said before, we all have a role to play in lifting the Church out the mire, but unless it comes from the top, we lay faithful are like foot-soldiers with no generals. And we’ll forever be trying to hold our ground against dissenters who insist that they, not we, get to define what it means to be Catholic. As if they are the gold standard and we are freakish exceptions. As if assenting to and living by 100% of the Church’s teachings means nothing.

    I have no doubt that the president and his administration are purposely exploiting the situation–but they didn’t create it. The president’s appointments are making the situation clearer. It’s also raising the questions, What are our bishops doing, and Where are our generals? The faithful are in dire need for their leadership.

    Michael, we know the Pope is infallible because the Holy Spirit has ruled and guided him and the Church since He descended at Pentecost. It is the Holy Spirit who ensures that the pope does not teach error in faith and morals (note: it only applies to faith and morals, not to science or art or sociology or any intellectual discipline). Papal infallibility is not about the pope getting to say whatever he wants and the faithful being bound to believe whatever he says. Papal infallibility is a rule that the Holy Spirit enforces over the pope to make sure he doesn’t mislead the faithful. It is for the good of the Church, not the pope’s personal interests. If 1800 years went by before the dogma had to be defined, it’s probably because Catholics didn’t doubt the fact or need clarification of it so much before then.

  57. RBrown says:

    Michael,

    1. Infallibility was defined by the Council of Vat I, not by the pope. Although the dogma is not defined until the 19th century, the concept had been around for centuries. It goes back not only (1) to the time of St Thomas in the 13th century, when he says that the pope has the authority to compose a Creed (which contains basic tenets of belief) but also (2) to the time of Pope Leo the Great, who died in the 5th century.

    And the authority of the pope is found even earlier, in the etter of the fourth Pope (St Clement) to the Corinthians at the end of the first century. In the early Church this letter was often read at mass along with the Pauline Epistles.

    St Clement’s name is mentioned in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).

    2. If anyone believes Scripture, there is necessarily belief in the infallibility of those who have composed it (the authors of the Gospels and the Letters) because the Scriptures tell us of things that cannot be known by reason.

    And so the argument that infallibility doesn’t exist because it posits “supermen” also must mean that Scripture is also not infallible. And that means there is no reason to believe them.

    3. If someone, saying that the pope is not infallible, insists on the validity of the individual interpretation of Scripture, he has granted to me also the validity of my interpretation.

    According to my interpretation, there are specific texts in the Gospels which indicate papal infallibility. And so my interpretation, which has been given validity by him, says that his is wrong.

    I hope this helps.

  58. Phil Atley says:

    It might make things clearer for Michael if we went to the underlying issue: indefectibility of the visible, historic Church rather than infallibility of the Bishop of Rome. The latter is a function of the former. The former (indefectibility) was denied across the board by Protestants in the 16thc (as an understandable but erroneous reaction to really bishops and popes who engaged in serious abuses but not doctrinal error). Most of them denied it only as far as the historical, visible Church headed by the Bishop of Rome was concerned, locating “indefectibility somewhere in the clouds of a “true spiritual Church” not visible until the Eschaton.

    The indefectibility concept goes back to Jesus: “The gates of hell shall not prevail” and the NT concept of the Church as Christ’s spotless bride.

    But exactly how that indefectibility applies was, of course, controversial. Dogmas get defined only as they become church-dividingly controversial. The indefectibility of the visible Church and hence the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome had to be defined and delimited in response to the Protestant reduction of the visible Church to a defectible human organization. Even then the defining took several centuries, e.g., until 1871.

    So Michael enunciates a half-truth: the present definition dates from 1871 but it was made in response to challenges arising from the national churches of the 16-19thc.

    Michael’s real question and that of all cafeteria “Catholics” has to do with whether Christ intended to establish a visible, human-led but Holy Spirit guarded indefectible Body on Earth in time

    or not.

    And then, if he did, exactly how that plays out in time and space.

    The problem with jettisoning indefectibility and reducing the visible historical Church to a defectible human organization is that we have no way to be confident that Jesus of Nazareth died and rose from the dead or did any of the other things we believe he did. If the visible historical Church is a defectible human organization and nothing more, then the Scriptures that the Church leaders wrote and which contain those Apostolic Curch leaders’ authority for teaching and writing Scriptures, those Scriptures and the basis for everything we know about Jesus (there are virtually no secular historical sources about Jesus) become mere human assertions and not worthy of giving one’s life for. Christianity then becomes merely a set of human claims about some long-ago purported wonder-worker.

    So those who wish can jettison the indefectibility of the Church and with it the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome when teaching definitively on faith an dmorals
    but in so doing the jettison the entire basis for belief in Christ as God Incarnate.

    At that point, Judaism makes an awful lot more sense.

  59. RBrown says:

    Has the Pope in role as chief shepherd of the Church warned Catholics to shun Obama? Has the Pope declared that Catholics are to oppose Obama? Have the American bishops warned that supporting Obama is a sin?

    The Church doesn’t speak about individual politicians.

    This is from the 2002document on Catholics and politics, coming from the SCDF, whose head was Cardinal Ratzinger.

    In this context, it must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.

    Here’s the link to the entire document:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20021124_politica_en.html

    The Pope and the bishops could easily end the controversy over Catholic support for Obama.
    Comment by Sandi

    Don’t you think it’s better that the Church teach the principles and let the people apply them?

  60. Rancher says:

    R Brown
    I think it is far better for the Bishops to teach the principles and let the people apply them…the problem, of course, is that for 40 years the Bishops have NOT been teaching the principles and what they have been teaching is the “feel good” social justice stuff that has resulted in many uninformed Catholics thinking that social justice trumps basic life issues (abortion, stem cell research etc.) That improper equation of the two is exactly what allows Catholics to support Obama and his agenda and, many of them, not understand that to do so is morally wrong.

  61. Josh says:

    Two nuggets of wisdom in the midst of all this sturm und drag:

    “Well, when you read the LifeNews article, it says that they should be taught the ethics and so forth involved in it. I don’t see anything in there about her saying that they ought to be taught a) how to perform abortions b) that abortion is morally ok. We have to be careful in implying a meaning into a statement that is, unfortunately, to vague. She may very well desire to promote abortion, but the statements quoted by LifeNews are too vague to allow for such an interpretation.
    Only LifeNews says that she has an agenda of promoting abortions, but there is no hard evidence that she in fact has done this herself. We must be objective in such cases to ensure we are being fair.”

    This is an example of some very nice reasoning that has gotten lost among all this ranting. [Which is one reason why I dislike rabbit holes.] I suspect that it has gotten lost because of the reasons mentioned in this post by Thomas L.:

    “I love this blog but my one complaint is that even though I seem to be in the mainstream in terms of political leanings for the regular wdtprs readership there seems to be a growing us versus them mentality. Last time I checked, citizenship was determined by an individuals stance on the life issues no matter how disturbing abortion and the such may be. I’m not saying that we need to like the direction this nation is heading or passively allow our values to be undermined, ut a little more fair mindedness would go along way.” Thomas L.

    I couldn’t concur more. [And down the rabbit hole we go again, thus losing more things along the way.] On both this and another blog that is frequently mentioned by Fr. Z., there has recently been a very partisan tone to many of the politically-related comments. Its really disturbing to me because A) in many ways the hatred for all things Obama by some readers does come across as both unreasonable and un-charitable (I know I’ll be pillaged for suggesting that we should be squeamish or docile in the fact of the AbortionHolocaust), B) our Catholic faith has much to criticize in both the Republican AND Democrat parties, but it appears that in the name of being pro-life, increasingly some Catholics abandon any criticism of Republicans, or, at least, have the view that Obama can do no right, and C) it fails to address some fundamental political realities, i.e. that Obama won the Catholic vote (I know those Catholics will be dismissed as dissenters, etc.). Anyway, I just wanted to echo the regret and concern of Thomas L’s post.

  62. Jordanes says:

    Harrison said: Well, when you read the LifeNews article, it says that they should be taught the ethics and so forth involved in it. I don’t see anything in there about her saying that they ought to be taught a) how to perform abortions b) that abortion is morally ok. We have to be careful in implying a meaning into a statement that is, unfortunately, to vague. She may very well desire to promote abortion, but the statements quoted by LifeNews are too vague to allow for such an interpretation.

    Granted that LifeNews has been known to produce some slanted, inaccurate stories in the past, their story on Benjamin raises some red flags. Her support for the AMA policy that, in her words, “medical school curriculum provide the legal, ethical, and psychological principles associated with abortion so students can learn all the factors involved,” isn’t exactly opposition to the AMA’s official policy that all medical schools must include abortion classes in its curriculum. But yes, her support for that policy doesn’t necessarily mean she “supported teaching doctors to do abortions,” as the LifeNews article claims.

    Harrison’s comment does not address LifeNews’ report that she is on the board of directors of Physicians for Human Rights, a group that, the article claims, “has relied on disputed statistics on maternal deaths from abortions to call for legalization,” “called on President Bush not to expand the Mexico City Policy,” and “asked President Bush to ratify the CEDAW treaty,” which the UN uses to pressure countries in legalising abortion.

    It’s fair to say that, if the LifeNews article is correct about the positions taken by Physicians for Human Rights (and from what I can see at PHR’s website, it seems to be correct), it would in effect function as a pro-abortion organization and Benjamin’s prominent role in that group would be questionable to say the least. PHR’s opposition to expansion of the Mexico City policy was predicated on concern that the expansion would make it harder to fight the spread of AIDS, not out of a stated desire to fund overseas abortions (that was PHR’s official argument anyway), but that seems to amount to an argument that abortion should be tolerated if it will help slow the spread of AIDS. Several other PHR policy positions seem to be similarly flawed or questionable. From what I can at this time, I couldn’t support Benjamin’s nomination – not unless she clearly enunciates pro-life convictions and does something to distance herself from the objectionable AMA and PHR abortion-related policies.

  63. I am more inclined to wait in terms of judging Dr. Benjamin. I have yet to read anything that reveals that she is pro-choice. We are still dealing with circumstantial evidence and among the circumstances we must include the award by the Pope and the praise by Bl Mother Theresa of Calcutta. With recommendations from these two people she deserves a second look.

    So many of you people think otherwise but it IS possible for Obama to make a good choice. Maybe it’s just a co-incidence or mayby he did some reading on the plane. I don’t know but I do know that jumping to conclusions is dangerous.

  64. Michael says:

    A good night’s sleep seems to have brought a more civilized tone to this string of postings. Either that or Kevin in Texas and David2 are night owls from whom we can expect continued insult.

    So I offer my sincere thanks to Phil Atley and RBrown who have posted thoughtful and courteous replies to my questions about infallibility. To Phil in particular, I want you to know that I didn’t come to this website looking for a fight. I really came here to find perspectives which I am either ignorant of or in disagreement with. Generally, ignorance runs ahead of disagreement by about 3 to 1 and I usually come away feeling like I learned something.

    What I found here was vitriolic and decidedly un-Christ-like. Reading through the pummeling that Sandi was taking, I quickly picked a side but Sandi demonstrated that she is capable of defending herself.

    Stepping back, though, the dominant theme of even the most polite postings is simply this: if you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ then you must believe in the absolute authority of the Catholic Church. There is no room for other perspectives and anyone who supposes that there might be other perspectives is branded a heretic. Or, perhaps worse, a Protestant.

  65. Simon Platt says:

    Good heavens, Michael!

    That was uncalled for! I seems to me that your comments on this thread have been ignorant and irreligious and yet you seem to assume some sort of high ground. For example, you didn’t have “questions” about infallibility but declared your disbelief in this dogma, comparing it to some comic-book fiction, and went on to sneer further at it all the while proclaiming the strength of your catholic faith. And you expect to be treated with kid gloves, but are yourself explicitly rude to other posters here while claiming not to seek a fight! You even began “Who are you people?” Good heavens man! Look at yourself! Think how others might see you!

  66. Rancher says:

    Given the influx of some apparently Obama indoctrinated “catholics” all of whom showed up to offer comments on this blog within a relatively short time frame, and all of whom suggest that Obama is a friend of the Church, it would seem that one of two things, besides coincidence, has happened. Either (A) as one suggested the “catholics for Obama” camp has launched an effort to infiltrate a blog known for its orthodoxy or (B) the recent #1 Catholic blog award has attracted some folks out of curiosity who have never visited befoe and are not familiar with the fact that, with very few exceptions, those who post here have little tolerance for perspectives not in keeping with true Catholic teaching.

    In any event while spirited discussion does occur here one of the very acceptable “rules” almost all of us abide by is to stick to orthodox positions on all matters of faith and morals. We may disagree on the means but never the end. Keeping that in mind some who have posted within the last 24 hours might want to consider the merits of sticking around or heading off down the road to some other place. Not trying to play policeman but just offering some practical insight.

  67. Xavier says:

    David O’Rourke:

    If possible, please research your statement that Dr. Benjamin has been given “praise by Bl Mother Theresa of Calcutta”. To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Benjamin won the National Caring Award,(This “National Caring Award” was set up in honor of Bl. Mother Theresa.), but she was not praised by Mother Theresa. Many internet reports say that the National Caring Award was “inspired by Mother Theresa”, which is more of a comment on the historical origins of the award. It does not mean that Mother Theresa has praised all of the awardees. I am more than happy to be wrong on this, but to the best of my knowledge Mother Theresa never commented on the work of Dr. Benjamin.
    Again, as a Catholic physician, I am very hesitant to be supportive of someone who joins “Physicians for Human Rights”.

  68. Patrick\ says:

    Mr. Obama, peace be upon him, is a known quantity vis-a-vis abortion policy, pushing well beyond the last “pro-choice” president (we have had only two, AFAIK) and far beyond the mainstream in his advocacy of staunch, unmitigated, expansive, “you pay for it” (taxpayer), globalized, unfettered, abortion “rights” and has staked his presidency,to a certain degree, on his well publicized promises to NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW, etc. and the far left, to not give an inch to the pro life cause, (as defined by ProLife groups themselves, not this ‘we want to reduce abortions by throwing condoms at the “problem”‘ crowd) and to, again, expand the scope of “access” to abortion, here AND abroad (Why we are meddling there only illustrates how this abortion rights “dogma” has been enshrined by these folks, and this is part of the idea that ‘we know better, and we will “fix” it for you, you poor uneducated unwashed’).

    Do we ALL “get” this YET!! Hello!?! So, for Secretary of Health, the administration’s bully pulpit for all things health (abortion is Health?? – well, in their world view absolutely), or should we say medical(still, against the Hippoctatic oath, but, Oh well!!?) but whatever, the guy with the suction machine – wonderful healers that they are, are being spoken for and about by the administration’s mouthpiece, and some here think, that by some changing of the direction of the moon or sun, that Mr. Obama’s pick, peace be upon him, is a “pro life” anything? You have got to be joking if you can really allow yourself to believe this. (oh, I want to wait and see, and not judge to harshly, oh, and he went to Rome, and brought back a holy card, and Puh -LEEZe give us ALL [all of us harsh toned rationalists] a BREAK. I can’t take it. When the guy went to bat – time and again, relentlessly – AGAINST the aborted baby that somehow survived the atrocity of abortion and said it is OK that he/she DIE in that cold metal pail, did you not GET what kind of person we are dealing with? I mean hello?!? For the love of God, please take note!!

    Obama, without exception, has done exactly what he has said he would do all along, even faster and more agressively and in a more far reaching manner than his adversaries feared, and so now what -?? – he now changes his M.O., one of his central tenants for what? — God fearing Catholic sensibilities about things health related ?? — are you joking???

    The only way he could possibly, in the most far fetched scenario, pick a solid “pro-lifer” would be create a smoke screen to run some deft political maneuver to go further than he would have otherwise towards cementing abortion rights and access.

    This is not rocket science, Obama is nothing if not predictable, and that according to his own well publicized principals. Grab a clue, wishful thinkers!!

  69. Josh says:

    Being true or orthodox to Church teaching does not require demonizing A) the President of the United States, B) a woman from Alabama I am confident few, if any of the posters here have even met, or C) other posters who have commented on this blog. I’m sorry if my comment about “tone” caused confusion, but I did not mean to criticize the expression of Catholic doctrine, only the tone in which some opinions on this site (and I would remind you, Rancher, that the none of the opinions shared on this site are in the level of infallible Catholic teaching) are expressed. It seems that Mr. Obama (whom I did NOT vote for, and will NOT vote for in four years) has unleashed some kind of vitriol in folks who otherwise consider themselves faithful Catholics. Its even gotten to the point where the papal newspaper and a senior Cardinal of the Church have been attacked for merely suggesting that we attempt to reason with Mr. Obama with civility and humility. That is telling when we turn even on our most respected institutions and figures. It is also sad. Again, my point is that being a faithful Catholic, and a political opponent of the President, does not require some of the vitriol spewed on this site. Doing so does nothing to advance the causes you care so deeply about. And you can call me an “Obama” Catholic all you want, it doesn’t address my concern.

  70. RBrown says:

    Stepping back, though, the dominant theme of even the most polite postings is simply this: if you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ then you must believe in the absolute authority of the Catholic Church. There is no room for other perspectives and anyone who supposes that there might be other perspectives is branded a heretic. Or, perhaps worse, a Protestant.
    Comment by Michael

    There is plenty of room for other perspectives, but they make no sense–faith in the Church is prior to faith in Christ.

    Re some of the reactions: Some people who have been active in the pro-life movement think their work on behalf of the unborn is undermined by Catholics endorsing pro-abortion politicians.

  71. Xavier says:

    UPDATE:
    Sadly, it is starting to appear as though concerns regarding Dr. Regina Benjamin were justified. According to an article in the Miami Herald, the Obama administration is saying that she supports “supports the president’s position on reproductive health issues”.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/1141814.html

  72. Michael J says:

    For patrick:

    “…So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog’s back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog’s soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

    Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog’s back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

    “You fool!” croaked the frog, “Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?”

    The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog’s back.

    “I could not help myself. It is my nature.” “

  73. Jordanes says:

    Josh said: Its even gotten to the point where the papal newspaper and a senior Cardinal of the Church have been attacked for merely suggesting that we attempt to reason with Mr. Obama with civility and humility.

    No, that’s not why their inaccurate, misleading, and naive take on President Obama and his policies have been criticised.