Monthly Archives: February 2014

Court of Appeals Puts Priests for Life Lawsuit on “Fast Track”!

BREAKING NEWS!!!

D.C. Circuit Puts Priests for Life Appeal

on “Fast Track”!

Sets Filing Deadline for this Friday!

February 25, 2014

Please CLICK HERE and make as large a contribution as you possibly can to Priests for Life’s Legal Fund.

Your help is critically needed because the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has “expedited” our lawsuit against the HHS abortion-mandate of ObamaCare.

The Court has set a deadline of this Friday for our attorneys to file their Principal Brief!

That’s just three days from now!

Which is why I’ve sent you this urgent appeal for help.

Please CLICK HERE and do whatever you can to help sustain our lawsuit!

And remember, while our case moves forward in the D.C. Circuit, we’ve also invoked Rule 11 and filed a PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI with the Supreme Court because our lawsuit has “imperative public importance” due to the fact that the HHS mandate forces Priests for Life and other non-profit organizations, businesses and individual citizens to participate in the moral evil of abortion.

We’re taking these extraordinary actions because our lawsuit is one of the best ways for you to protect and safeguard both religious freedom in America and your right to speak out against abortion!

That’s why it desperately needs your continued financial support.

Your help is especially vital should the Supreme Court reject our petition.

If it does, then our appeal of the unjust ruling that Judge Sullivan handed down last December against Priests for Life becomes even more critical.

Not only for our lawsuit, but for the nation’s pro-life movement and for freedom of religion in America.

That’s why I’ve sent you this urgent email.

Please CLICK HERE and follow the instructions so that Priests for Life can continue to prosecute our lawsuit …

both at the Supreme Court and in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It is absolutely critical that we preserve our rights as Americans to practice our faith without fear of government coercion and, just as importantly, to speak out against the grave evil of abortion.

If we do not end the injustice of abortion, it will surely destroy our nation.

That’s why our lawsuit is so terribly important.

Without legal protection from the courts, it will be all the more difficult for the People of Life and the nation’s pro-life movement to carry on our fight against legalized abortion-on-demand in America.

So thank you again for standing with us.

And know that in humble appreciation for all you do for Priests for Life, for the pro-life movement, and for God’s innocent unborn children, I remember you at every Mass I offer; as do all the priests of Priests for Life.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

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Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director
Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries

P.S. As I told you in my last email, we desperately need your PRAYERS right now.  Pray especially for our attorneys and the judges who will decide our case.  Thank you for doing this.

The Abortion Olympics

Susan B. Anthony List
Hi Pro-life Friend —

Did you watch the Sochi Olympics at all?

If so, you know it was a pretty tough winter for Team USA. We left with only nine gold medals – coming in fourth place for the gold medal count.

It was a tough break – but here’s something tougher: If late abortion was an Olympic category, the U.S. would get a silver medal.

You see, we are 1 of 7 shameful countries to allow unrestricted, brutal late abortions after 20 weeks – that’s after the 5th month of pregnancy and the point at which research shows the baby feels pain.

Our research arm, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), compiled the report on international abortion laws which found that the U.S. is far outside the international norm – and in bad company. After investigating 199 countries with a population of a million or more, CLI found that:

  • The laws of 140 countries protect unborn babies to some extent.
  • Nearly sixty countries permit elective abortions but with some baby-protective limits.
  • The United States, Canada, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Netherlands are the only 7 countries to allow elective abortions of unborn children who are twenty weeks and older.

If those 7 countries are ordered by population size, the U.S. gets a silver medal in the category of late abortions, outranked only by China.

Pro-life Friend, this is yet another reason why it is critical we ramp up our lobbying efforts to have the U.S. Senate vote on and pass the historic Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the advance similar legislation in the states.

Will you make your most generous donation right now to fund our life-saving efforts? Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by generous friends of the SBA List (details below).

A silver medal for extremely permissive abortion laws is nothing to be proud of. We’ve got to get the CLI data and other research into the hands of Senators and urge them relentlessly to take up this important legislation.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would save the lives of more than 18,000 children per year.

>>>> Not only will your donation go towards working to save those 18,000 lives, it will also be DOUBLED. A generous couple – longtime friends of the SBA List – has offered to match every donation that comes in towards our efforts on this up to $50,000.

Please don’t miss this chance to have your donation doubled, Pro-life Friend.

Right now in the United States, the law permits elective abortions – even on babies more than halfway through pregnancy. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute (formerly the research arm of Planned Parenthood), 23 percent of U.S. abortionists will do these brutal abortions

At this late stage of pregnancy, abortions are carried out by either D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) abortion, where the baby’s arms and legs are broken off with manual force, or saline injection abortion in which the baby is stabbed with a needle and injected with saline solution, which burns the developing skin before killing the unborn child.

I’m sorry to be so graphic, Pro-life Friend, but this is the reality.

Will you help the Susan B. Anthony List fight back against this barbarity? We need your immediate donation right now in order to fund our efforts to pass this compassionate, life-saving legislation nationwide. 

Remember that thanks to the generosity of our friends, your gift will be doubled.  

The majority is on our side, Pro-life Friend. Poll after poll confirms that most Americans are simply horrified by our nations’ extremely permissive laws and support ending abortion after 20 weeks.

That’s why thirteen state legislatures have already voted on related legislation to protect 20 week babies. And as Emily told you last week – similar bills are already moving in 4 states. Your SBA List is involved in every fight, working to protect babies everywhere we can.

That’s why our generous friends – who wish to remain anonymous – offered to double every donation up to $50,000 in order to help us advance these lifesaving fetal pain bills.

Don’t miss this chance to have your donation DOUBLED, Pro-life Friend. Just $20, $40, $60, $100, or even $250 would make a huge impact on our ability to effectively lobby the U.S. Senate and state legislators in key states.

I look forward to keeping you updated in this fight. Thanks again for your generosity and partnership in our efforts to protect the unborn.

For Life,

Marjorie Dannenfelser
President, Susan B. Anthony List

P.S. If late abortion were an Olympic category, the U.S.A. would sadly win a silver medal. This is nothing to be proud of. In fact, our permissive abortion laws are simply barbaric. As Emily told you last week, your SBA List is involved on the ground in four states as well as in Washington working to pass legislation to protect babies after 20 weeks. In that late state of pregnancy, abortions are carried out by either one of two very brutal methods.  Your immediate donation will be DOUBLED – and will help us fund our efforts to pass lifesaving legislation!
Donate Now

Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Grant Notre Dame an Exception From Birth Control Mandate

Federal appeals court refuses to grant Notre Dame an exception from birth control mandate

BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN

  • Mon Feb 24, 2014 19:05 EST
SOUTH BEND, IN, February 24, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Notre Dame University’s request for an exception to the Obamacare birth control mandate, ruling that the school must process paperwork authorizing its two private health insurance providers to pay for contraceptives, sterilizations and certain abortifacient drugs for all eligible female students and employees.

Notre Dame’s lawsuit challenged the so-called “compromise” offered by the Obama administration after Roman Catholic and other religious institutions cried foul over Obamacare’s requirement that all health insurance plans provide contraceptive drugs and procedures to females without a co-pay.  Contraceptives, sterilization and abortion are all considered gravely sinful by the Catholic Church. 

The “compromise” plan allowed certain religious institutions, including Notre Dame, to refuse to directly pay for the offending drugs and procedures, provided they sign authorizations allowing their insurance companies to pick up the tab instead.

Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, the university signed the form late last year in order to avoid crippling fines of $100 per day per employee and student. The move earned them sharp rebukes from Catholic observers. But they also advised students and employees that they would continue to fight the mandate in the courts, and hoped that coverage for contraceptives or sterilizations would only be temporary.

Notre Dame’s attorneys argued that forcing the school to sign the authorization was a violation of their first amendment rights, because they are effectively being compelled to condone the provision of religiously illicit materials and actions.

In a 2-1 decision, the Seventh Circuit said that while they were withholding judgment on the merit of Notre Dame’s religious liberty arguments, they could not grant the university the exception they were seeking without ordering the Aetna and Meritain health insurance companies to break the law.

“We imagine that what the university wants is an order forbidding Aetna and Meritain to provide any contraceptive coverage to Notre Dame staff or students pending final judgment in the district court,” Judge Richard A. Posner wrote. “But we can’t issue such an order; neither Aetna nor Meritain is a defendant (the university’s failure to join them as defendants puzzles us), so unless and until they are joined as defendants they can’t be ordered by the district court or by this court to do anything.”

Posner also wrote, “If the government is entitled to require that female contraceptives be provided to women free of charge, we have trouble understanding how signing the form that declares Notre Dame’s authorized refusal to pay for contraceptives for its students or staff, and mailing the authorization document to those companies, which under federal law are obligated to pick up the tab, could be thought to ‘trigger’ the provision of female contraceptives.”

Posner was joined by Judge David Hamilton in his decision, but Judge Joel Fraum dissented, saying he would have granted Notre Dame the injunction. 

“By putting substantial pressure on Notre Dame to act in ways that (as the university sees it) involve the university in the provision of contraceptives, I believe that the accommodation … runs afoul of [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act],” Fraum wrote.  “We are judges, not moral philosophers or theologians; this is not a question of legal causation but of religious faith. Notre Dame tells us that Catholic doctrine prohibits the action that the government requires it to take. So long as that belief is sincerely held, I believe we should defer to Notre Dame’s understanding.”

A phone call to Notre Dame University by LifeSiteNews seeking comment was not immediately returned.  But Notre Dame spokesman Paul Brown told the South Bend Tribune in a statement that the “concern remains that if government is allowed to entangle a religious institution of higher education like Notre Dame in one area contrary to conscience, it’s given license to do so in others.”

LEARN MORE:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/federal-appeals-court-refuses-to-grant-notre-dame-an-exception-from-birth

Cosmo Magazine Accuses Pro-Life Sidewalk Counselors of Attacking Women

Cosmo magazine accuses pro-life sidewalk counselors of attacking women

BY DUSTIN SIGGINS

  • Mon Feb 24, 2014 19:41 EST
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the Supreme Court considers a Massachusetts law that enacted a 35-foot barrier around abortion clinics, mainstream media sources are describing alleged incidents that depict pro-life sidewalk counselors in emotionally negative lights. 

Last week, Cosmopolitan published an article entitled “6 Women on Their Terrifying, Infuriating Encounters With Abortion Clinic Protesters.” The article, which largely consisted of personal stories, opened by asking, “What is it actually like to encounter these protesters outside a clinic?”

None of the six women are either pro-life or have a positive perspective on sidewalk counseling. There is also no substantiation of their stories in pictures, other witnesses, or photographic evidence. 

One woman, who says she was on the Depo-Provera shot when she got pregnant seven years ago, claims several men were the only people in front of the clinic. Allegedly, these men threw doll parts at her and her escort – her aunt – as they walked into the clinic.

Brittany, now 28, says that the protestors “convinced me I was making the right decision. … We’d all just been through the most heinous experience, but there was a feeling of quiet satisfaction among this group of women amidst the horror. I thought, ‘If I can make it through that, I can make it through the rest of this day.’”

Ronak, now 30, says she had an abortion at the age of 19. Her testimony opens by blaming the PTSD diagnosis she was given one year after the abortion on her experience going through protestors outside the clinic she entered.

Heather, who had an abortion two years ago at the age of 22, says she went to the clinic alone. Heather, who “just wanted to take a pill and have the whole thing be over as quickly as possible,” says “the guy that got me pregnant said he would be supportive of any choice I made and then never spoke another word to me after I told him I was going to have an abortion.” She criticized the use of graphic images of dead babies held by those outside the clinic.

In addition to the piece by CosmopolitanHuffington Post ran an article citing a clinic escort at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. “We are reproductive freedom fighters, and will will not allow them to harass our patients, we will not allow them to intimidate our staff and our doctors, and they’re going to stay out of our driveway and stay out of our walkway,” said the escort. While most pro-life activists are white, according to the escort, the majority of patients are black, and she has heard “some of the most disgusting, degrading and racist comments to them about killing the dream, killing the next Barack Obama, the next Martin Luther King.”

According to Brett Manero, who has led and co-led seven 40 Days for Life campaigns in Washington, D.C., the stories shared by Huffington Post and Cosmopolitan do not accurately represent who sidewalk counselors are. “Sidewalk counselors are there purely out of love,” Manero told LifeSiteNews.com. “We are there not only for the babies, but just as importantly, for the mothers and the fathers. We are there simply to show love and to offer better and safer options to abortion.”

Both articles fail to share important facts with readers. Regarding Depo-Provera, WebMD.com says the shot has a 99 percent pregnancy prevention rate. It also has many side effects, from headaches to loss of bone mineral density and depression. While “most of the side effects are not common,” some women “may experience irregular bleeding or spotting,” and “after a year of use, about 50% of women will stop getting their periods. Their periods usually return when they discontinue the shots.”

Increased risk of osteoporosis is also a side effect, though it “is more likely for those who have been taking it for longer than two years, particularly when other risk factors for osteoporosis exist, such as family history and chronic alcohol and/or tobacco use.”

The Huffington Post article did not provide context to why sidewalk counselors are so concerned with abortions among black women. According to a Guttmacher Institute fact-sheet published this month, black American women have 30 percent of abortions, while black Americans make up a mere 13.1 percent of the U.S. population. This is compared to 36 percent of abortions being done by white women, while Census data shows 63 percent of the nation is white.

LEARN MORE:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cosmo-magazine-accuses-pro-life-sidewalk-counselors-of-attacking-women

If Not Me, Who? If Not Us, Who?

NRL News Today
February 24, 2014   Abortion

If not me, who? If not us, who?

By Dave Andrusko

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Ellie Saul is a gifted writer, some of whose postings at bound4life.org she has happily allowed us to reprint. (To cite two examples,nrlc.cc/YmXwZa and nrlc.cc/WztKEc.)

I find her a delight for many reasons but first and foremost because her writings are bathed in a passionate concern for the unborn, the outpouring of a gentle spirit.

If you’ve been in this Movement as long as people like me have, there is always the danger that at some level you lose your edge of moral indignation. It wouldn’t be accurate to say you become inured to the suffering of unborn children and the aftershocks so many women experience, or that you tacitly “accept” that abortion will be legal for a long, long time.

But you can (and I am speaking as a warning to myself here) become less furious at the inhumanity of abortion or less indignant that 56 million individual unborn babies have died since Roe in the United States.

Note, please, I did not say angry. I said indignant and furious.

Indignant in the sense that abortion is a rip in the moral fabric that must be mended—that abortion is unworthy of us, a nation conceived in liberty–a mockery of all that we purport to stand for.

I understand furious can be taken as just another way of saying very angry. That’s not what I mean.

For me, to be furious about abortion is to driven by a recognition that I may not have done everything I could have to help a young girl or woman find a peaceful, loving “win-win” solution. That my vision too often is straight ahead—that I lack the peripheral vision (or choose not to exercise it) to gaze on either side where desperate women would be seen hurting. In other words, furious not at others but at me.

When Mrs. Saul posted “Valley of Weeping,” it reminded me that I need my heart pierced on a regular basis.

And that my prayer list must have room to add the unnamed women contemplating an abortion, convinced that the death of their children is their “only way out.”

And that in every way I become the kind of approachable human being who can be turned to when these life-and-death decisions hang in the balance.

For if not me, who? If not us, who?

LEARN MORE:

Why The Human Zygote Is An Organism (And Why It Matters)

NRL News Today
February 24, 2014   Fetal Development

Why the human zygote is an organism (and why it matters)

 By Paul Stark

embryo5In the public debate over embryo-destructive biomedical research, many people dismiss the claim that the human zygote and blastocyst/young embryo (early stages of human prenatal development just following conception) are human beings on the grounds that other cells and tissues—such as a patch of skin cells, or the sperm and egg—are also living and human, yet no one supposes that they are themselves human beings. But these critics are not well-informed of the biological facts. The crucial difference is that zygotes and embryos are organisms, and skin cells, sperm and egg are not. The zygote/embryo is a whole distinct human organism—that is, a human being, a self-developing member of the species Homo sapiens—at a very early stage of life. Other cells are mere parts of larger wholes, not individual organisms themselves.

But the term “organism” requires explanation. Dr. Maureen L. Condic, a Berkeley-educated neurobiologist and professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where she teaches human embryology, explains:

An organism is defined as “(1) a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole and (2) an individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent: a living being.” This definition stresses the interaction of parts in the context of a coordinated whole as the distinguishing feature of an organism.

Based on this definition, it has been proposed that human beings (including embryonic human beings) can be reliably distinguished from human cells using the same kinds of criteria scientists employ to distinguish different cell types: by examining their composition and their pattern of behavior. A human being (i.e., a human organism) is composed of characteristic human parts (cells, proteins, RNA, DNA), yet it is different from a mere collection of cells because it has the characteristic behavior of an organism: it acts in an interdependent and coordinated manner to “carry on the activities of life.” In contrast, collections of human cells are alive and carry on the activities of cellular life, yet fail to exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards any higher level of organization. Collections of cells do not establish the complex, interrelated cellular structures (tissues, organs, and organ systems) that exist in a whole, living human being. Similarly, a human corpse is not a living human organism, despite the presence of living human cells within the corpse, precisely because this collection of human cells no longer functions as an integrated unit.

So is the zygote an organism? Condic continues:

From the moment of sperm-egg fusion, a human zygote acts as a complete whole, with all the parts of the zygote interacting in an orchestrated fashion to generate the structures and relationships required for the zygote to continue developing towards its mature state. Everything the sperm and egg do prior to their fusion is uniquely ordered towards promoting the binding of these two cells. Everything the zygote does from the point of sperm-egg fusion onward is uniquely ordered to prevent further binding of sperm and to promote the preservation and development of the zygote itself. The zygote acts immediately and decisively to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the genitive body, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death. This coordinated behavior is the very hallmark of an organism.

Mere human cells, in contrast, are composed of human DNA and other human molecules, but they show no global organization beyond that intrinsic to cells in isolation. A human skin cell removed from a mature body and maintained in the laboratory will continue to live and will divide many times to produce a large mass of cells, but it will not re-establish the whole organism from which it was removed; it will not regenerate an entire human body in culture. Although embryogenesis begins with a single-cell zygote, the complex, integrated process of embryogenesis is the activity of an organism, not the activity of a cell.

Based on a scientific description of fertilization, fusion of sperm and egg in the “moment of conception” generates a new human cell, the zygote, with composition and behavior distinct from that of either gamete. Moreover, this cell is not merely a unique human cell, but a cell with all the properties of a fully complete (albeit immature) human organism; it is “an individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent: a living being.”

Condic concludes:

[T]he embryo comes into existence at sperm-egg fusion … a human organism is fully present from the beginning, controlling and directing all of the developmental events that occur throughout life. This view of the embryo is objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other, and it is consistent with the factual evidence. It is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos. Indeed, this definition does not directly address the central ethical questions surrounding the embryo: What value ought society to place on human life at the earliest stages of development? Does the human embryo possess the same right to life as do human beings at later developmental stages? A neutral examination of the factual evidence merely establishes the onset of a new human life at a scientifically well defined “moment of conception,” a conclusion that unequivocally indicates that human embryos from the zygote stage forward are indeed living individuals of the human species—human beings.

Science, then, tells us what the embryo is: an individual human organism, a human being, at the embryonic stage of life. It cannot tell us how the embryo ought to be treated, which is a moral (rather than scientific) question.

But if it is true (as pro-life advocates argue) that human beings as such have intrinsic moral value—that there is a fundamental equality among all members of our species, irrespective of size, age, ability and condition of dependency—then we may not destroy embryonic human beings for their stem cells any more than we may kill and harvest the useful parts of a 10-year-old child for the benefit of others.

LEARN MORE:

http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2014/02/why-the-human-zygote-is-an-organism-and-why-it-matters-2/

Politics and the Pulpit: Part Two: The IRS is Not the Law

February 24, 2014

Dear Friends,

Below is my latest column, Politics and the Pulpit: Part Two: The IRS is Not the Law, but first let me give you some other important updates.

First, if you have not signed onto my open letter to President Obama, please do so today! The letter points out the contradictions between what he said at the National Prayer Breakfast and his policies.  By signing on to the letter and encouraging others to sign it, you will draw attention to his contradictions which is important for the general public to see.  Sign on to the letter at LetterToObama.org.

Lent begins next week and I invite you to join in a Lenten Prayer for Life from March 5 – April 17.  Use the prayer in your family and prayer groups and ask you Pastor to have the congregation say the prayer after each Mass.  Find the prayer at PrayerCampaign.org.

Also, I have a surprise for you! I have taped a Rosary CD, complete with my pro-life meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. We are finalizing the production of it right now and then will let you know how to order it. I know how devoted pro-life people are to the Rosary, and I have prayed the Rosary with so many of you in your homes, Churches, and at the abortion mills. Now, through this CD, we can pray it together every day! So please start spreading the word about this new resource! If you want us to reserve one of the very first copies for you, email us at Orders@priestsforlife.org.

Blessings,

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Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

Praise for our Work: Please accept this donation in appreciation for all of the good works that Priests for Life does.  I would also like to submit this in thanksgiving for Fr. Denis Wilde’s December 8 visit to [my parish].  He made a beautiful and inspirational weekend event for my parish.  I will always remember both his homily, and the piano concert.   As Coordinator of our Parish’s Respect Life Group, I know that he enriched our parish pro-life efforts beyond measure. – Anne

Politics and the Pulpit: Part Two: The IRS is Not the Law

by Fr. Frank Pavone

The American people are more fed up with the IRS than ever before, and want to see an investigation into the abuses that have been — and continue to be — perpetrated there.

This frequent theme of news reports these days intersects perfectly with our ongoing series regarding the position of Churches regarding politics and the pulpit. So many pastors and their congregations are under the impression that they are going to “violate the law” if they distribute a voter guide or preach about the urgent importance of voting pro-life.

Nonsense, and it’s time we start saying so. This series of columns will tell you why.

As we will see in coming weeks, what the IRS restrictions on Churches are when it comes to elections are not so clear in the law, and what is usually described as “legal restrictions” are simply attempts to interpret the law by government agencies — like the IRS — that have little or no accountability, and whose interpretations end up making things more vague than they were before, and chilling the free speech which citizens and Churches enjoy under the First Amendment.

Let’s back up and start at the beginning.

The federal laws of the United States take their origin from two founding documents. The Declaration of Independence expresses the principles at the heart and soul of our system of government. This is the document that identifies the right to life as primary and unalienable, given by God and to be secured by government. The Constitution is the “how to” document, the practical mechanism by which a system based on these principles can work. This document tells us how laws are to be made and what the respective roles of the Congress, the President, and the Courts are. All of these branches of government, and all the laws that flow from them, are to correspond with their foundation expressed in the Declaration and the Constitution.

The federal laws of the United States are organized in the Code of Laws of the United States of America (the “U.S. Code”). It has some 51 sections, called “Titles,” dealing with subjects like the President, the Congress, Commerce and Trade, and so forth. One of those sections, Title 26, is the “Internal Revenue Code” (IRC), which deals with tax issues. Note that the “IRC” is distinct from the “IRS.” The “IRC” (“Internal Revenue Code”) refers to a set of federal laws. The “IRS” (“Internal Revenue Service“) refers to a government agency, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, responsible for collecting taxes and for interpreting and enforcing the IRC. As we will see in more detail in further columns, the interpretations put forth by this agency are not law.

It is here that a lot of the battle is being fought for the freedom to speak in politics, and in particular in defense of the right to life. The battle has focused here precisely because of limitations placed on what Churches, organizations, and individuals can say and do regarding elections. And, as we will see, a major part of the battle is to eliminate the confusion regarding what those limitations are, how much weight they really carry, and whether they are in accordance with the documents and principles that are at the foundation of all American law in the first place. Moreover, as far as the Church is concerned, it is crucial to clarify how these limitations correspond, if at all, with the Church’s understanding of her own nature, mission, and ultimate loyalties.

More to come in the next column!

This column can be read and heard online.

Comments on this column? Go to Askfrfrank.com

Fr. Frank’s columns are podcast. See Priestsforlife.org/podcast

Remember to support our work at Priestsforlife.org/donate

La política y el Púlpito: Segunda parte: El IRS no es la ley

El pueblo estadounidense está más harto del IRS que nunca antes, y quiere ver una investigación sobre los abusos que han sido – y siguen siendo – perpetrados allí.

Este tema frecuente en los reportes de noticias en estos días encaja perfectamente con nuestra continua serie relacionada a la posición de las Iglesias con relación a la política y el púlpito. Muchos párrocos y sus congregaciones tienen la impresión de que van a “violar la ley” si distribuyen una guía para el votante o si predican sobre la urgente importancia de votar a favor de la vida.

Tonterías, y es hora de empezar a decirlo. Esta series de columnas les dirá por qué.

Como veremos en las próximas semanas, las restricciones del IRS a Iglesias a la hora de las elecciones no son tan claras en la ley, y lo que usualmente se describe como “restricciones legales” son simplemente intentos de interpretar la ley por agencias gubernamentales – como el IRS – que tienen poca o ninguna responsabilidad, y cuyas interpretaciones terminan haciendo las cosas más vagas de lo que antes eran, enfriando la libertad de expresión de la que ciudadanos e Iglesias disfrutan bajo la Primera Enmienda.

Vamos a retroceder y a empezar por el principio.

Las leyes federales de los Estados Unidos tienen su origen en dos documentos fundacionales. La Declaración de Independencia expresa los principios en el corazón y el alma de nuestro sistema de gobierno. Este es el documento que identifica el derecho a la vida como primario e inalienable, dado por Dios y para ser protegido por el gobierno. La Constitución es el documento del “cómo,” el mecanismo práctico por el cual un sistema basado en estos principios puede funcionar. Este documento nos dice cómo se deben hacer las leyes y cuáles son las funciones respectivas del Congreso, del Presidente, y de los Tribunales. Todas estas ramas del gobierno, y todas las leyes que se derivan de ellas, son para que correspondan con su fundamento expresado en la Declaración y en la Constitución.

Las leyes federales de los Estados Unidos están organizadas en el Código de Leyes de los Estados Unidos de América (el “Código de los EE.UU.”). Tiene unas 51 secciones, llamadas “Títulos,” que tratan temas como el Presidente, el Congreso, Comercio e Intercambio, y así sucesivamente. Una de esas secciones, el Título 26, es el “Código de Rentas Internas” (IRC), que trata de asuntos fiscales. Tenga en cuenta que el “IRC” es distinto del “IRS.” El “IRC” (“Código de Rentas Internas”) se refiere a un conjunto de leyes federales. El “IRS” (“Internal Revenue Service”) se refiere a una agencia del gobierno, una agencia del Departamento del Tesoro, responsable de la recaudación de impuestos y de la interpretación y aplicación de la IRC. Como veremos con más detalle en otras columnas, las interpretaciones presentadas por esta agencia no son ley.

Es aquí donde se está librando gran parte de la batalla por la libertad de hablar en la política, y en particular en la defensa del derecho a la vida. La batalla se ha centrado aquí, precisamente, debido a las limitaciones impuestas sobre lo que las Iglesias, organizaciones e individuos pueden decir y hacer con respecto a las elecciones. Y, como veremos, la mayor parte de la batalla es eliminar la confusión relacionada con lo que esas limitaciones son, cuánto peso realmente tienen, y si en primer lugar están de acuerdo con los documentos y principios que son la base de toda ley Americana. Más aun, en lo que se refiere a la Iglesia, es crucial aclarar cómo estas limitaciones corresponden, de ser el caso, con el entendimiento de la Iglesia de su propia naturaleza, misión y lealtades finales.

¡Más por venir en la próxima columna!

Esta columna se puede encontrar en la página de http://www.priestsforlife.org/columns/document-sp.aspx?id=4896

Upcoming Special Media Appearances

See our full media schedule at our website.

On March 5, 2014, Bryan Kemper will be on “What Next God?” with Christine Watkins from 2:55- 3:50 PM (EST). Listening Area Nationwide. Http://radiomaria.us

Fr. Denis Wilde, O.S.A. will celebrate the EWTN live televised Mass on March 11, 12, 13.  The Mass airs live at 8 am and repeats at 12 noon, 7 pm and 12 midnight (all times Eastern).  Repeat airing times are subject to change.  See the airing schedule on the EWTN website for final repeat airing times

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Quinnipiac Poll

Quinnipiac Poll Proves Planned Parenthood and FitzGerald Are Out of Touch

75 Percent of Ohioans Disagree with Ed FitzGerald on Abortion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      CONTACT: Laura Beth Kirsop

DATE: Monday, February 24, 2014                                             PHONE: (614) 547-0099 ext. 309

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Today, Quinnipiac University released a poll demonstrating that 75 percent of all Ohioans want abortion to be restricted in some or all cases. Only 19 percent of Ohioans want abortion legal in all cases. This poll sheds light on the most current gubernatorial race where the Planned Parenthood-supported Democratic candidate, Ed Fitzgerald, holds the view of only 19 percent of all Ohioans who want unrestricted abortions.

“Considering that abortion-on-demand is the primary focus of the Fitzgerald gubernatorial campaign, this recent poll only goes to show that Fitzgerald is out of touch with Ohioans and where they stand on the abortion issue,” said President of Ohio Right to Life, Mike Gonidakis. “Ed Fitzgerald identifies as ‘100% pro-choice,’ which would include abortions through the ninth month of pregnancy. But three in four Ohioans reject that extreme position. They have their limits, where FitzGerald does not.”

 

Last summer, FitzGerald made abortion one of his platforms when pro-life Governor John Kasich signed legislation that protects the conscience rights of taxpayers and holds abortion clinics accountable to health and safety standards. His campaign re-focused the election on the abortion issue when he chose Sharen Neuhardt as his running mate. Neuhardt served on the board of Planned Parenthood and is known as an “abortion-rights activist.”

 

“Our common sense pro-life legislation strategy has positively impacted Ohio. This poll appears to demonstrate that, minimally, Ohioans would prefer to see abortion restricted. That is what our legislation has done, and that is what FitzGerald opposes–the bear minimum,” continued Gonidakis. “Ohio remains an overwhelmingly pro-life state. We are confident that the outcome of this gubernatorial race will reflect the outcome of this poll.”

 

To view the latest Quinnipiac Poll, click here.

 

 

Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 local chapters, is Ohio’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.

 

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To learn more about Ohio Right to Life please visit our website at www.ohiolife.org.

An Olympic Champion’s Greatest Inspiration

NRL News Today
February 19, 2014   People with disabilities

An Olympic Champion’s Greatest Inspiration

  Editor’s note. This comes from the wonderful blog “Reflections of a Paralytic,” written by Chelsea Zimmerman. This post can be found at reflectionsofaparalytic.com/?p=10681

Alex and Frederic Bilodeaure

Alex and Frederic Bilodeau

Admittedly, I have not watched a lot of this year’s Winter Olympics. I’m more of a summer games kinda gal, myself. But an image from the games this week captured my attention, as did the story behind it.

On Monday Alex Bilodeau won gold in the freestyle skiing moguls competition — and he shared much of the spotlight with his brother Frederic:

NBC did a great feature on the Canadian skier in which he revealed that his older brother Frederic, who has cerebral palsy, is his greatest inspiration:

“The motivation that he has, if he had had the chances like I did, he would have been four times Olympic champion. He’s a great inspiration, a great person and he’s going to be an inspiration for me after my career also,” the 26-year-old said.

Frederic Bilodeaure

Frederic Bilodeau

“Every little thing in life is hard for him, whether it’s going from his seat to go and see me here, walking in the snow, it takes so much energy, it’s very hard.

“I always complain, and he has every reason in the world to complain and he never does. And why is that? He enjoys life, he takes the best out of it.”

Watch the video atwww.nbcolympics.com/news/disabled-brother-inspires-alex-bilodeaus-gold-medal-run.

Alex isn’t the only successful brother. Frederic is an artist. And he sells his paintings to benefit the Quebec Cerebral Palsy Association.

I always find stories like this to be a stark reminder of the great tragedy of abortions for genetic abnormalities like cerebral palsy. Supporters of the practice want people to believe that these abortions eliminate disease. Hardly.

These abortions, like all abortions, eliminate people. Joyful people. Talented people. People who inspire and bring utter joy to the people around them.

Washington Post Distorts Yet Again What Catholics Believe About Abortion

NRL News Today
February 19, 2014   Media Bias

Washington Post distorts yet again what Catholics believe about abortion

 

By Dave Andrusko

WaPobuilding2

The inestimable Mark Twain once wrote, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I wonder what he would have done with the chart that appeared in last Sunday’s Washington Post.

The chart accompanied a story headlined, “Pope Francis faces church divided over doctrine, global poll of Catholics finds” and based on a new poll commissioned by the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision.

NRLC is a non-denominational, non-sectarian organization which takes no position on most of the “social issues” Catholic respondents were asked about. We do have a position on abortion.

Stay with me on this, because the way the question was formulated and reported is staggeringly deceptive. It reads thusly:

“Do you think abortions should be allowed in all cases, allowed I some cases such as when the life of the mother is in danger, or should it not be allowed at all?

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

So seemingly we have the two polar opposites—allowed in all cases or not allowed at all. Only a miniscule percent of Catholics worldwide (9%) say abortion should be allowed in all cases. Exactly a third (33%) say abortion should not be allowed at all!

What about the “middle” ground? According to the poll, 57% say abortion should be allowed in some cases.

But what is the example of allowing abortion “in some cases”? When the life of the mother is in danger! That’s hardly an example of someone occupying the “mushy middle.” It is a hard-core pro-life position.

However the summary over the abortion question reads “65% of Catholics say abortion should be allowed in some or all cases.” If you hadn’t read the question, you’d think, wow! There really is a gap between Catholics in the pews and church doctrine on abortion (which, of course, is the whole point of the Post running the story in the first place).

Obviously a more honest, straightforward headline would read “90% of Catholics would not allow abortion at all [33%] or only in some cases [57%].” And, oh by the way, the example of “some cases” is when the mother’s life is in danger!

I know this shouldn’t bother me. Like you, I’ve been reading distorted poll data for decades.

But this example is so egregious and its motivations so obvious that it just about gags you.

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Send your comments todaveandrusko@gmail.com.

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