by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees
Phooey on the Hype
American voters seem to be able to see through the hype and euphemisms used by pro-abortion advocates and many in the news media. “Despite being vastly outspent by pro-abortion organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, pro-life candidates in November won by significant margins. There were 58 races in which a candidate supported by National Right to Life was running against a candidate supported by the pro-abortion PAC Emily’s List. Forty-one (or 71%) of the NRLC-supported candidates won.” [NRLC, The State of Abortion in the U.S., Jan. 2021]
Speaking Out Against The So-Called
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops recently said the proposed Equality Act “would discriminate against people of faith.” The Catholic League and many other civil rights and religious organizations have also sounded the alarm. The Act’s two goals are: amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of sex; override the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act by allowing gay rights to trump religious rights.
The expansion of rights to transgender women, really biological males who identify as female, has come at the expense of rights for biological females. Boys and men would be allowed to compete in sports with girls and women, thus unfairly altering women’s athletics. Females would also lose their privacy rights. These biological males could use the locker rooms, restrooms and shower facilities that have always been reserved for females.
This bill would grant men the right to sue if they were denied equal access to women’s private spaces such as showers, bathrooms, and nursing rooms. These men could also have access to women’s prisons and shelters. Mothers would have no say in their child’s healthcare decisions if that child asks for hormone treatments or sex-reassignment surgery. Even a woman choosing a female doctor because of religious or personal preference would be considered discriminatory. None of this has anything to do with why the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. [William Donohue, Catholic League, 2/22/21; and Eagle Forum Engage, 2/22/21]
If the Equality Act were passed, Catholic foster care programs would be shut down. They would either have to agree to allow two men to adopt children—a clear violation of Church teachings—or lose federal funding. Currently, Catholic hospitals can legally refuse to perform abortions. Under the Equality Act, they would either lose federal funding or be forced to get into the abortion business. That is because refusing abortion services would be declared “pregnancy” discrimination.
The “abortion as health care” campaign advanced by the Equality Act effectively defines the unborn child out of existence. It treats the child as merely a “physical condition” of the mother that health professionals are called on to address through corrective treatment. It also defines Americans who object to such taking of innocent human life as bigots who must be forced to comply. The Act does not promote equality: it further demeans vulnerable human beings who already have few rights, and denies the right of pro-life Americans, who make up about half the U.S. population, to live by their fundamental convictions. In no way should its enactment be the goal of a “presidency for all Americans.” [Richard Doerflinger, Charlotte Lozier Institute, Feb. 2021]
Ed. note: Contact your elected representatives if the bill is still under consideration when you read this.
“Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly.” United Nations human rights experts’ joint statement, 1/25/21
Lent and Life
During Lent we try to walk with Jesus in prayer, charity to others, and self-denial, just as He did. Thomas a Kempis wrote: “Jesus has many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He finds many companions of His table, but few of His fasting, Many are astonished at His miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross.”
We know that there is no way we can outdo God’s generosity; the least we can do during this Lenten season is to give to the One who gave everything for us. There is so much suffering and injustice in the world. Let’s try to make a difference where we live.
One way of doing your share in Lent is to participate a few hours a week in the 40 Days for Life project. This international campaign with 567 locations offers us the opportunity to sacrifice some of our time in reparation for the sin of abortion, by praying outside an abortion mill in our own area. Go to www.40DaysforLife.com and click on “Find a Vigil” which takes you to the locations and contact information near you.
Ed. Note: Your editor & his wife devote two hours weekly to our local vigil where we pray the rosary & hold Love Life signs in front of a Planned Parenthood facility. It’s not much, but it is something. We encourage readers to do your share.
“Silence is Consent”
Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s new book, The Black Church, argues that religious appeals gave slaves “the moral authority to turn the mirror of religion back on their masters and to indict the nation for its original sin of allowing their enslavement….”
Pro-lifers believe that our contemporary concern for human rights can serve the same purpose in indicting our nation’s support of abortion and a culture of death.
Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry told Gates: “The teachings of Jesus are just as clear that Christian folk and Christian leaders cannot abide or countenance anybody’s supremacy over anybody else, white or anything, and cannot remain silent. Silence is consent.” We would hope that the Bishop would speak out against abortion’s legal supremacy over unborn black and white babies.
Just as the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision was rightly condemned in the 19th century for not recognizing a class of human beings, black people, so we condemn the Roe v Wade decision of the 20th century for not recognizing a class of human beings, unborn developing people. We continue to speak out and pray for changed hearts in our country.
Costco Chickens? How About Humans?
Recently, Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times (The Ugly Secrets Behind the Costco Chicken, 2/7/21) about the terrible treatment of chickens that Costco buys for their delicious rotisserie chickens. “Future generations will look back at our mistreatment of livestock and poultry with pain and bafflement. They will wonder how we in the early 21st century could have been so oblivious to the cruelties….”
Has Kristof ever said how future generations will look at us and our horrific treatment of preborn developing human beings who have been killed? He says he agrees with Jeremy Bentham’s 1789 statement on the treatment of animals: “The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Mr. Kristof, many preborn babies feel pain during an abortion. Are you sympathetic to them, too? If so, we want to hear about it from you.
Policy Debate on Family Support
Should parents be provided direct financial support for raising children? Or should parents be given child-care vouchers so they can go out and work? Or should Congress expand the Child Tax Credit? How will all of these benefits be funded? The debate was started recently by the introduction of Senator Mitt Romney’s family plan that would include monthly payments to families of up to $350 per child. Your editor encourages a close watch on these developments, and looks forward to Christian commentary on the matter.
“Catholic View for Women” Program
Though Covid delayed taping, co-hosts of this EWTN program recently kicked off the show’s 13th season. Viewers have gotten used to the show tackling hot-button issues and this new season is no exception. The hosts will address the dangers to women of the resurgent Equal Rights Amendment, gender dysphoria and the transgender craze, the physical and spiritual benefits of fasting, so-called same-sex marriage, how social media harms teens, domestic violence, and the dangers of in vitro fertilization. The shows should begin airing in late spring 2021.
“Not only is the number of Christians rapidly declining in this country, the number of ‘religiously unaffiliated’ is on the rise. This abandonment of Christ has led to a free-fall from objective truth to the point where we can no longer agree even that humans are either biologically male or female. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly dangerous simply to write those words, lest we be accused of hate speech.” [Editorial, Our Sunday Visitor, 2/14/21]
Your Taxpayer Funds for Abortion
The new administration in Washington DC recently canceled the “Protect Life Rule” that banned taxpayer funds from being used to promote or provide abortion in family planning programs. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, responded: “By rescinding this rule, the administration will be forcing abortion into a pre-pregnancy program specifically designed to exclude abortion, a move which is immoral, impractical and may also be unlawful.” Days earlier, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, president of the USCCB, wrote that while he looked forward to working with our new president, “he has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity.” [Our Sunday Visitor, 2/7 & 2/14/21]
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