Recently, a coalition of American sisters and nuns issued a statement urging member congregations to support ObamaCare. A few observations on this statement:
1). It is stunningly naive. To believe the claim that this bill is "pro-life" we have to believe that the most radically pro-abortion President and Speaker of the House in this country's history are telling us the truth when they say that the bill excludes federal funding for abortion. No such language exists in the bill. In fact, Pelosi and her minions have repeatedly rejected efforts by pro-life Dems and the GOP to include such language. If the bill forbids federal funding for abortion, what's the problem with including an amendment that says so explicitly? Answer: abortion funding will be made available through the backdoor via administrative rulings.
2). It is entirely predictable. The generation of sisters represented by groups like the LCWR long ago fell ill with the Utilitarian Virus of Moral Reasoning. In their minds, federally funded abortion is OK b/c it is balanced by federally funded health clinics, prenatal care, etc. In other words, it is morally acceptable to ignore the deaths of 1.7 million children every year so long as 30 million get some sort of basic health care. That this care is purchased with the lives of the next generation is inconvenient but hardly worth getting worked up about. This statement is also predicable b/c it flies in the face of the bishops' opposition to the bill. The LCWR has made a habit of dissenting from basic Catholic teachings and setting itself and its constitutive congregations against Church leadership. Fortunately, the predictability of the sisters' left-liberal political views and their history of dissent from basic Church teaching on fundamental issues renders their moral authority all but nil. In other words, faithful Catholics will not be duped by this statement.
3). It is incredibly ironic. This same generation of dissenters among the LCWR sisters has sought a restructuring of the Church "from below" since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. One of the themes of ecclesial revolution that rings out from their self-appointed prophetic calls for justice is the localization of the Church and the destruction of the Church Universal in the form of the clerical hierarchy. So, the sisters who would see the Church destroyed b/c it is hierarchical ("from above") eagerly embrace the hierarchical rule of government from above. ObamaCare is not about providing health care to 30 million uninsured Americans. . .it is about nothing more than the expansion of federal control over the lives and liberties of all American citizens.
The statement and some fisking:
We write to urge you to cast a life-affirming "yes" vote when the Senate health care bill (H.R. 3590) comes to the floor of the House for a vote as early as this week. [First, anyone who believes that B.O. and Pelosi hold "life-affirming" views on the morality of abortion is delusional. Second, the unconstitutional procedure that Pelosi is proposing to "deem and pass" the Senate bill is not a vote on the Senate bill.]
We join the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), which represents 1,200 Catholic sponsors, systems, facilities and related organizations, in saying: the time is now for health reform AND the Senate bill is a good way forward. [It may be time for health care reform but the Senate bill is not The Way Forward. Pro-ScaryCare rhetoric has consistently portrayed our choices in an "either/or" fashion: either we pass this monster of a bill or we do nothing. We are supposed to believe that this massive, unconstitutional government takeover is the Only Viable Reform available. Nonsense.]
As the heads of major Catholic women’s religious order in the United States, we represent 59,000 Catholic Sisters in the United States who respond to needs of people in many ways. Among our other ministries we are responsible for running many of our nation’s hospital systems as well as free clinics throughout the country. ["Catholic" in what sense? This entirely predictable endorsement of a pro-abortion from the sisters is an example of the hand trying to do its work apart from the Body. There are can reasonable, prudential disagreement about most elements of this bill. But to believe that the bill will not lead to federally-funded abortions and medical rationing is naive at best and mendacious at worst. Also, we have to wonder how the sisters are responding to the needs of the 1.7 million people who are aborted every year in this country. Their public statements on "social justice" issues consistently ignore the injustice of abortion.]
We have witnessed firsthand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor. We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays. We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies. We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment. [Have they witnessed the impact of abortion on this nation's conscience? Do they see the emotional and spiritual toll abortion takes on the women who believe the lie that abortion is a simple medical procedure not unlike a pap-smear? Have they prayed for the 45 million children killed legally since 1973? Are the early deaths caused by abortion "avoidable"?]
The health care bill that has been passed by the Senate and that will be voted on by the House will expand coverage to over 30 million uninsured Americans. [NB. The House is NOT set to vote on the Senate bill as the U.S. Constitution requires. The House will vote on a rule that amends the Senate bill and deems the bill passed.] While it is an imperfect measure, it is a crucial next step in realizing health care for all [Except for the 1.7 million children whose deaths the taxpayer will fund]. It will invest in preventative care. It will bar insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. It will make crucial investments in community health centers that largely serve poor women and children. And despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions [If this claim is true, then why is pro-abort Pelosi and her hard-leftist caucus pushing the bill so hard? Abortion coverage will be put in place by administrative fiat when this monster is up and running. Nothing in the bill explicitly prevents federal-funding for abortion]. It will uphold longstanding conscience protections and it will make historic new investments – $250 million – in support of pregnant women. This is the REAL pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for it [Again, "Catholic" in what sense? Preventative care, community health centers, money for pregnant women are all perfectly good Catholic responses, but you can't poison just half the cake batter and believe that the cake will be OK to eat. The sisters have fallen for the utilitarian compromise.]
Congress must act [Yes, it must; but it doesn't have to act in such a way that destroys the economy, bloats the federal bureaucracy, raises taxes, increases governmental control, makes insurance more expense for the 86% of Americans who are satisified with their current insurance., and rations medical care for us all]. We are asking every member of our community to contact their congressional representatives this week. In this Lenten time, we have launched nationwide prayer vigils for health care reform. We are praying for those who currently lack health care. We are praying for the nearly 45,000 who will lose their lives this year if Congress fails to act. [But not the 1.7 million who will die b/c abortion remains legal?] We are also praying for you and your fellow Members of Congress as you complete your work in the coming days. For us, this health care reform is a faith mandate for life and dignity of all of our people [except those who will be killed by their mothers using taxpayer dollars].
We urge you to vote "yes" for life by voting yes for health care reform in H.R. 3590. [And the Church urges you to vote "yes" for life and liberty by voting no on this unconstitutional, power-grabbing boondoggle that will inevitably force all Americans to pay for abortion.]
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