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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:41 am 
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Our bishop had a virtually identical letter read at parishes in the diocese, and I think every diocese had the same thing.

Quote:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
 
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,
including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
 
We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,
only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience,to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.
 
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Alexander K. Sample 
Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample
Bishop of Marquette
 

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-is- ... day-2012-1


My appreciation of the first amendment and a limited federal gov't of enumerated powers has been a mere abstraction until now. Now I understand concretely the virtue of a limited federal gov't.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:57 am 
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This is what Newt has been talking about. All of the candidates should emphasize it and get the word out, so that people realize what is going on. They are slipping this stuff through because the majority of Americans are so busy enjoying their freedom that they aren't paying a bit of attention.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:43 am 
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Miserere wrote:
Our bishop had a virtually identical letter read at parishes in the diocese, and I think every diocese had the same thing.

Quote:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
 
I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,
including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies...
 

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-is- ... day-2012-1


My appreciation of the first amendment and a limited federal gov't of enumerated powers has been a mere abstraction until now. Now I understand concretely the virtue of a limited federal gov't.


This says "almost all". Which employers/health insurers are exempt? This looks like it affects not only Catholics but all who are pro-life. Very disturbing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Michaell Sean Winters, liberal catholic writer, reacts to the administration's decision
http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/jaccuse
Quote:
President Barack Obama lost my vote yesterday when he declined to expand the exceedingly narrow conscience exemptions proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The issue of conscience protections is so foundational, I do not see how I ever could, in good conscience, vote for this man again.

I do not come at this issue as a Catholic special pleader, who wants only to protect my own, although it was a little bracing to realize that the president’s decision yesterday essentially told us, as Catholics, that there is no room in this great country of ours for the institutions our Church has built over the years to be Catholic in ways that are important to us. Nor, frankly, do I come at the issue as an anti-contraception zealot: I understand that many people, and good Catholics too, reach different conclusions on the matter although I must say that Humanae Vitae in its entirety reads better, and more presciently, every year.
No, I come at this issue as a liberal and a Democrat and as someone who, until yesterday, generally supported the President, as someone who saw in his vision of America a greater concern for each other, a less mean-spirited culture, someone who could, and did, remind the nation that we are our brothers’ keeper, that liberalism has a long vocation in this country of promoting freedom and protecting the interests of the average person against the combined power of the rich, and that we should learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. I defended the University of Notre Dame for honoring this man, and my heart was warmed when President Obama said at Notre Dame: “we must find a way to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity -- diversity of thought, diversity of culture, and diversity of belief. In short, we must find a way to live together as one human family.”

To borrow from Emile Zola: J’Accuse!
I accuse you, Mr. President, of dishonoring your own vision by this shameful decision.


I accuse you, Mr. President, of failing to live out the respect for diversity that you so properly and beautifully proclaimed as a cardinal virtue at Notre Dame. Or, are we to believe that diversity is only to be lauded when it advances the interests of those with whom we agree? That’s not diversity. That’s misuse of a noble principle for ignoble ends.
I accuse you, Mr. President, of betraying philosophic liberalism, which began, lest we forget, as a defense of the rights of conscience. As Catholics, we need to be honest and admit that, three hundred years ago, the defense of conscience was not high on the agenda of Holy Mother Church. But, we Catholics learned to embrace the idea that the coercion of conscience is a violation of human dignity. This is a lesson, Mr. President, that you and too many of your fellow liberals have apparently unlearned.


He's a little late, but I'll take it.

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They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:06 pm 
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Yuval Levin has a great post on this specifically and religious liberty/civil society generally.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/28 ... uval-levin
Here's a specific example he mentions of what the administration's ruling will do,
Quote:
For instance, Notre Dame University, which employs more than 5,000 people, is going to be given the choice of either expressly violating its religious convictions or paying a $10 million fine to the federal government. It’s bad enough that any employer with a moral objection has to spend his money this way, but it is especially egregious to compel religious institutions to do so.


In Obama's America, Catholic institutions pay fines for being Catholic, effectively. Odd how progressivism sometimes finds its way back to 17th century English laws.

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THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:41 pm 
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maryjthom wrote:
This says "almost all". Which employers/health insurers are exempt? This looks like it affects not only Catholics but all who are pro-life. Very disturbing.

Here's the basics in a link: http://diopitt.org/hhs-delays-rule-contraceptive-coverage
Quote:
There was a so-called “religious exemption” to the mandate, but it was so narrowly drawn that, as critics charged, Jesus Christ and his Apostles would not fit the exemption. The so-called exemption would only apply to the vast array of Catholic institutions where the following applied:

Only Catholics are employed;
The primary purpose of the institution or service provided is the direct instruction in Catholic belief;
The only persons served by the institution are those that share Catholic religious tenets. (Try to fit this in with our local Catholic Charities that serve 80,000 every year without discrimination according to faith. It would be impossible!)

Practically speaking under the proposed mandate there would be no “religious exemption” for Catholic hospitals universities, colleges, nursing homes and numerous Catholic social service agencies such as Catholic Charities. It could easily be determined that the “religious exemption” would not apply as well to Catholic high schools, elementary schools and Catholic parishes since many employ non-Catholics and serve both students and, through social outreach, many who do not share Catholic religious beliefs. Such a narrow “religious exemption” is simply unprecedented in federal law.
Yes, this is affecting more then just Catholic organizations. Colorado Christian University is helping to sue the Federal govt over this regulation. They are a non-denominational protestant college.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:32 pm 
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The reason why the letter talks specifically about how this affects Catholics is because it was being read to Catholics from the pulpit. Our Cardinal DiNardo did the same thing here in the Houston-Galveston area. But yes, this blatant violation of our Constitutional rights affects all religious institutions.

Surely this open attack on religious freedom is going to be taken to the Supreme Court?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:56 pm 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
The reason why the letter talks specifically about how this affects Catholics is because it was being read to Catholics from the pulpit. Our Cardinal DiNardo did the same thing here in the Houston-Galveston area. But yes, this blatant violation of our Constitutional rights affects all religious institutions.

Surely this open attack on religious freedom is going to be taken to the Supreme Court?

I understand. I was just answering Mary's question regarding its effect on non-Catholics. Yes, it is being taken to court. CCU is one of several organizations that is doing it. There are Catholic and non-Catholic schools and other ministries filing lawsuits over this rule. CCU is a mere 3 miles from our home and is where our church's youth intern attends. It is also where my 17 yr. old son plans on attending and we're friends with one of the professors. Because of our close connections with the school we're very aware (and proud) of the action being taken by CCU. They sued the state over a religious discrimination case a couple of years ago. This is familiar ground, unfortunately.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:11 pm 
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Did anyone else notice Newt made reference to this problem in his speech tonight? He also talked about reinstating Ronald Reagan's 'Mexico City Policy,' which prohibits any American tax dollars from funding or promoting abortions. As far as I can remember, I think he was the only one to mention either of these.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:05 am 
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IowaforHuckabee wrote:
Did anyone else notice Newt made reference to this problem in his speech tonight? He also talked about reinstating Ronald Reagan's 'Mexico City Policy,' which prohibits any American tax dollars from funding or promoting abortions. As far as I can remember, I think he was the only one to mention either of these.


Tonight perhaps so.

But not in the sense of his campaign.

Nov 4, 2011:

Quote:
Santorum said that using the power of the executive branch, he would separate abortion and family planning and restore a ban on abortion referrals, as well as re-institute the “Mexico City Policy,” which prevents taxpayer funding or promotion of overseas abortions

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/04/santo ... z1l6Eb1lEC

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:18 am 
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He probably mentioned them tonight since apparently someone on his staff screwed up the TelePrompTer, and so he ended up giving his stump speech rather than an election night/concession speech. :lol:

But both Romney and Santorum have talked about both of these issues.

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They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
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All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:29 am 
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It is good that the other two have picked it up as they have many of the things Newt has talked about, nearly word for word.

Here is a video of Newt way back last March.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKrkcgL-2UI



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:32 am 
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IowaForHuckabee,
Yes, Newt has mentioned it many times including in debates.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:38 am 
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The good thing is that they are now all talking about it, although Romney could do much better covering the social issues in more than a quick reference to them.

He immediately talks about the other conscience issue right after the Mexico City Policy issue which is around the 7:40 or so mark. This is his entire speech and was given even before he got into the race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x85QBAngsys&feature=related



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:49 am 
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A lot of people have been concerned about this for a long time, Newt didn't invent this issue.

He doesn't even have a lot of credibility on this issue, given his past support for federal funding of embryo destructive research. Now he doesn't want Christian institutions to have to pay for contraception and sterilization, but if he were in power in 2001 or 2005, he would have had all Americans paying for embryo destructive research through our taxes.

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THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:52 am 
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Miserere wrote:
He probably mentioned them tonight since apparently someone on his staff screwed up the TelePrompTer, and so he ended up giving his stump speech rather than an election night/concession speech. :lol:

But both Romney and Santorum have talked about both of these issues.


You do know that that was a joke he was making because someone in the audience shouted it out when Newt was talking about Obama, right?

It was an awesome speech, and just like Santorum's, it was about moving forward. The race isn't over, despite what the pundits would have us believe.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:57 am 
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IowaforHuckabee wrote:
Miserere wrote:
He probably mentioned them tonight since apparently someone on his staff screwed up the TelePrompTer, and so he ended up giving his stump speech rather than an election night/concession speech. :lol:

But both Romney and Santorum have talked about both of these issues.


You do know that that was a joke he was making because someone in the audience shouted it out when Newt was talking about Obama, right?

It was an awesome speech, and just like Santorum's, it was about moving forward. The race isn't over, despite what the pundits would have us believe.


No, I didn't. I was half watching, and it sounded a lot like a stump speech, so I guess that one went over my head. :lol:

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THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:39 am 
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Miserere wrote:
A lot of people have been concerned about this for a long time, Newt didn't invent this issue.

He doesn't even have a lot of credibility on this issue, given his past support for federal funding of embryo destructive research. Now he doesn't want Christian institutions to have to pay for contraception and sterilization, but if he were in power in 2001 or 2005, he would have had all Americans paying for embryo destructive research through our taxes.


Of course he didn't "invent" it. But he has brought both of these issues front and center. Others have picked them up in their speeches, which is a good thing. He also was the first to talk about Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank (I know because my husband hates both of these and was thrilled the first time Newt mentioned them.) Soon after Bachmann started doing the same. Now they are commonly mentioned on the trail.

Say what negatives you will about Newt, but one of the many things he has done is brought attention to the vast amount of work that needs to be done, not just the few popular issues candidates formerly liked to talk about.

One of the reasons Newt is so informed is because he's not afraid to study the issues and listen (really listen) to people's concerns and learn. He has improved his position on stem-cell research after doing just that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gingrich-vows-to-ban-embryonic-stem-cell-research-questions-in-vitro-practices/2012/01/29/gIQAIO9saQ_story.html

Quote:
And in a news conference Sunday, he said he would ban all embryonic stem-cell research, including that done on discarded embryos created by in vitro fertilization.

Gingrich added that he would also create a commission to study the ethics of in vitro fertilization, which has involved the creation of hundreds of thousands of excess embryos stored or discarded by fertility clinics.

“I believe life begins at conception, and the question I was raising was what happens to embryos in fertility clinics, and I would favor a commission to look seriously at the ethics of how we manage fertility clinics,” Gingrich said at a news conference outside another Baptist church here. “If you have in vitro fertilization, you are creating life; therefore, we should look seriously at what the rules should be for clinics that are doing that, because they are creating life.”


Hopefully, Mitt will continue to learn from Newt.
Quote:
Romney opposes federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research but would not ban the use of stem-cell research on excess embryos in fertility clinics.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:49 pm 
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IowaforHuckabee wrote:
It is good that the other two have picked it up as they have many of the things Newt has talked about, nearly word for word.

Here is a video of Newt way back last March.


I'm just glad the other two didn't pick up his support for the individual mandate at the federal level! But, wait, that wasn't Newt's idea, it was all the Heritage Foundation's fault! :lol: If nothing else, Newt certainly "knows when to hold 'em" and "knows when to fold 'em" (credit for "his" ideas).

Here is a video of Newt supporting the individual mandate at the federal level way back last May:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:00 pm 
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I was half watching, and it sounded a lot like a stump speech, so I guess that one went over my head.
:D

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