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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Protect Life Act would patch the tires on Obamacare


Columnist Cal Thomas highlights House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's hysterical attack on the bipartisan Protect Life Act, which she and her radical abortion rights allies decried as a misogynist measure written so "that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene" ("To live or die 'on the floor', The Washington Examiner).
In reality, the Protect Life Act patches gaping holes in Obamacare left by abortion rights zealots who couldn't tolerate amendments that would have nudged the bill a bit closer to mainstream American principles. The bill remains consistent with the federal EMTALA law requiring healthcare facilities to stabilize any pregnant woman and her developing baby who arrive needing emergency care. The act extends to Obamacare existing federal provisions that prevent taxpayer dollars from subsidizing abortion and protect pro-life healthcare professionals and institutions from government discrimination for simply following life-affirming ethical standards.
The bill patches the Obamacare tires until a new Congress can overhaul the entire vehicle.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Politicians' faith matters: My USA Today commentary

USA Today published my commentary today under the headline, "Presidential candidate's faith matters." I've included below both the published (after their editing) version and the original text I submitted.
Mitt Romney
Assailing a pastor who impoliticly contrasted GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs with orthodox Christianity, law professor Rodney Smith suggests that considering a candidate's beliefs is the equivalent of declaring "a religious test for political purposes" and that the Christian faith is merely a personal "brand" ("Column: Founders wouldn't have targeted Mormons").
The latter assertion ignores the fact that two millennia of Christian consensus, reflected both in Scripture and historical creeds, unite both Catholics and Protestants around core truths that include the Trinity, the unique deity of Christ and more. The fact that Mormon leaders do not share this orthodox Christian consensus calls for discernment rather than discrimination.
As to "declaring a religious test for political purposes," even typically pragmatic Americans consider a presidential candidate's personal faith relevant, for we recognize that a worldview can guide decisions. Americans have learned much about faith and politics by observing the policies of many faith-professing presidents from Washington to Lincoln to Bush and Obama.
Each of these presidents professed to support, along with the Founders, the rights to life and liberty in the Declaration of Independence. Yet how and whether each president implemented those truths in public policy — consider slavery and abortion, for example — has varied greatly.
What matters in politics is the same thing that matters in the Christian faith: It's not just what you say you believe, but what you prove you believe by your actions.
Jonathan Imbody
Vice President for Government Relations
Christian Medical Association; Ashburn, Va.

(To give you an idea of what gets edited, the original version submitted is below; text deleted by the editors is in italics)
Assailing a pastor who perhaps impoliticly contrasted GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs with orthodox Christianity, law professor Rodney K. Smith suggests that considering a candidate's beliefs is the equivalent of "declaring a religious test for political purposes" and that the Christian faith is merely a personal "brand" ("Founders wouldn't have targeted Mormons, Monday).
The latter assertion ignores the fact that two millennia of Christian consensus, reflected both in Scripture and historical creeds, unite both Catholics and Protestants around core truths that include the Trinity, the unique deity of Christ, and the opportunity for new and eternal life with God through Christ's redemptive love and sacrificial death. The fact that Mormon leaders do not share this orthodox Christian consensus calls for discernment rather than discrimination.
As to "declaring a religious test for political purposes," even typically pragmatic Americans consider a presidential candidate's personal faith relevant, for we recognize that a worldview can guide decisions. Americans have learned much about faith and politics by observing the policies of many faith-professing presidents from Washington to Lincoln to Bush and Obama.
Each of these presidents professed, along with the founders, the self-evident truths "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Yet how and whether each president actually implemented those truths in public policy--consider slavery and abortion, for example--has varied greatly.
What matters in politics is the same thing that matters in the Christian faith--it's not just what you say you believe, but what you prove you believe by your actions.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bishops highlight life issues in citizenship


A USA Today news article, "Bishops warn that church teaching is non-partisan," leaves the impression that guidance recently issued the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops takes aim at "Catholics who say opposing abortion outweighs all other issues."
Anyone reading the document will recognize that it clearly elevates the right to life as preeminent.
The document asserts that it "does not offer a quantitative listing of issues for equal consideration, but outlines and makes important distinctions among moral issues acknowledging that some involve the clear obligation to oppose intrinsic evils which can never be justified…"
The top issue on the list is the "continuing destruction of unborn children through abortion and other threats to the lives and dignity of others who are vulnerable, sick, or unwanted." The second item is closely related: "renewed efforts to force Catholic ministries…to violate their consciences or stop serving those in need…"
Our founders likewise elevated the right to life as preeminent, placing it first in the list of unalienable rights endowed by our Creator.
We cannot trust a politician who fails to uphold this most fundamental right to uphold our other unalienable rights. Even the right of conscience dissolves, as the Obama administration demonstrated by gutting the only federal regulation that protected healthcare professionals from discrimination for declining to participate in abortion.
When voters consider politicians' views on the right to life as primary, they do not neglect other issues such as peace and poverty; they simply recognize that all our freedoms and values hinge on that fundamental right.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Voters: Discern how politicians' faith impacts policy


"In candidates, seek integration of faith, policy"
Published in The Washington Times, October 13, 2011
By Jonathan Imbody
Mitt & Ann Romney
"Romney rivals duck Mormon issue" (Politics, Monday) provides a cogent theological summary of Mormonism as viewed by those who hold the Judeo-Christian Scriptures as authoritative: "They claim it either denies or unrecognizably redefines such Christian doctrines as the Trinity, original sin, the atonement, the continuity of the church and the canon of Scripture."
The real key in the public arena, however, is to understand whether the politician marries or divorces his or her theological beliefs from public policy.
Some politicians--such as oxymoronic "pro-abortion Catholics"--manage to concoct a questionable wall of separation between their theological beliefs and their public policy decisions. Yet if a theological tenet is true and good--such as the principle that we are all made in God's image--then to choose a public policy contradicting that truth is to choose a lie and an evil that will harm the country. Witness slavery and abortion.
Many voters are learning, having observed faith-pronouncing presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Obama, to discern the critical difference between a politician's preaching and practice--especially on vital social issues such as abortion, embryo-destructive stem cell research and conscience rights in health care.
American voters must learn to look beyond rhetoric to evidence, beyond appeals to faith to the practice of faith principles. The personal faith of our president matters, but the crucial question we should be posing to the candidates is how he or she integrates or separates the principles of that faith in public policy.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

U.S. senators to Obama administration: Contraception mandate threatens faith-based health care

Sen. Mike Johanns

Eighteen U.S. senators, led by Senators Mike Johanns and Orrin Hatch, have sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the Obama administration's new contraception mandate. The senators told Ms. Sebelius that the mandate "threatens the ability of many religious employers to continue to offer health coverage to their employees consistent with their beliefs. Moreover, it jeopardizes essential constitutional rights to religious liberty and personal conscience by forcing employees to subsidize coverage that violates their faith." Read U.S. senators - preventive services letter

Thursday, October 6, 2011

U.S. House committee: No more dough via U.N. to fund China's forced abortions


This news just in from friends in the U.S. House of Representatives:
"Today the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved H.R. 2059 by a vote of 23-17.  H.R. 2059, introduced by Rep. Renee Ellmers, would cut off funding to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). By eliminating funding to UNFPA due to the UN agency’s longstanding support for, and cooperation with, China’s brutal birth limitation policy, H.R. 2059 would save $400 million over 10 years, which is still less than the $500 million in excess funds that UNFPA is reported to have in reserve.  
"Over the years UNFPA has routinely worked closely with the Chinese population control agency -- operating their programs within the guidelines of the abusive policy, providing financial support to the China Family Planning Commission and even praising the brutal one child policy for its effectiveness.  Despite this ongoing history of complicity in this human rights abuse, the State Department resumed funding for UNFPA in 2009.  
"Less than a year ago, in December 2010, Dr. Zhao Baige, Vice Minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China expressed thanks to UNFPA for 'its constant support to China’s population and family planning undertakings during the past thirty years and more.'” 
Statements from Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee: