I read this blog post on Creative Minority report and was reminded of the immortal saying of Fulton Sheen:
Right is right, even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong.
(you find this nice phrase here, by the way).
One truly wonders how the world could become so stupid as to forget the simplest truths. But then again, one truly wonders how the world could swallow the legend of planet-threatening “man-made global warming”, or get into panic mode because of the ozone layer, or start the next collective paranoia for something we do not know yet, but we know is there waiting to come out (brain tumors from mobile phones perhaps? Ops, sorry, we had that too…). We look into an abyss of dismal ignorance fuelled by sheer careless dumbness we thought literacy had destroyed, and discover the problem is not literacy but human stupidity, with the same superstitions and urban legends uncritically believed now as it was at the time of the genial scene you see above.
I heard people generally considered intelligent express concerns the water reservoirs of a place like London could be “poisoned by terrorists” (cue: you wouldn’t even notice it at the water tap;not even in case of a massive, massive simultaneous attack); these must be the same kind of people who told us the Amazon forest was to disappear into nothing… (when, fifteen years ago?), the polar bears were on their way to extinction (population greatly increased in the last decades, says the UNO, not I; though I am sure Al Gore’s followers think they can’t swim) and to save the planet we must all have big co2 munching mansions like…well, Al Gore. Who, I am rather sure, must have a Prius somewhere.
In all these occasions, you hear all those not favoured by God with a well-functioning brain saying that it must be true, because other people say so. Particularly those strange “people”: the TV, the media, Madonna (the slutty singer), Bono (the clever third-world entrepreneur), and the vox populi basically created by the aggregate voice of one’s own, well, equally intelligent friends.
Alas, these are the ways of the world and among the stupid, things will always go that way. But, but….
I had thought that there were certain categories of people who had a certain duty to be competent in what they say. The press of course, and the specialised press in particular, because they are supposed to be a reservoir of specialised knowledge for the masses (an increasingly embarrassing mistake, it seems). Then those who, by way of the profession they have chosen, have made their bread to be expert in their own field: specialised schools, institutions, universities , and the like. In the case of, say, Catholicism, you would expect specialised magazines, education institutions, and religious orders to know at least the basics. I mean, to know at least what an illiterate peasant of 200 years ago would have known without fail.
Not so. Not so any more, at least. It appears the last trend is to say whatever is convenient to say, knowing the public is too stupid to notice it. This last sport has been practised a lot lately in the United States, with the strange idea that if Catholics largely ignore the Church teaching on contraception, then this teaching: a) must be wrong and b) must be changed.
One really does not know whether a) or b) is more stupid. But the real drama is, a lot of people out there will not even understand why, and will form their opinion according to what the next singer or actor in search of a cause tells them.
Therefore, try not to get a fit of rage when you hear the next wannabe philosopher near you saying that the Church should change Her rules in matter of contraception. Yes, they are ignorant (often) or stupid (more often) or both (most often), but prominent US nuns, American Catholic magazines and institutions manage to say exactly the same nonsense, and they are the ones supposed to know better as a way of living.
Mala tempora currunt
In case you have any doubt Kathleen Sebelius is Goebbels.2, you only need to read her shocking (providing anything concerning that woman can still be defined as “shocking”) affirmation about the fact that the more children you abort, the less Obamacare costs.
This is what she said, verbatim:
“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception,”
I do not even know when to start.
Firstly, I was under the illusion the Obama government had tried to persuade us they actually wanted to avoid abortions. I know it is a lie, but this is the lie they went around saying. But this is not what Goebbels.2 says. She says contraception directly translates in a reduction of the number of births, which is an economic benefit.
For the first time in history, a country thinks it good to have less children, because it reduces its healthcare costs.
I must, at this point, humbly apologise to Dr Goebbels. He would have considered such talk inhumane.
Secondly, if one follows Goebbels.2’s logic, several avenues to reduce health care costs open themselves. Try this:
the reduction in the number of Alzheimer’s disease patients compensates for the costs of euthanasia
This is exactly the same logic, expressed in exactly the same way.
It doesn’t end here. At the House hearing which originated such brilliant piece of Nazi ideology, one member posed the lady the following question:
“So you are saying, by not having babies born, we are going to save money on health care?”
Sebelius’ answer was:
“Providing contraception is a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children.”
Notice she does not answer the question, recurring to the usual way feminists use whenever they are in trouble: throwing the word “women” around. It was interesting, though, to know the aborted children has a health benefit from being aborted, too, which must be what she meant every time the woman who wants to abort does not have children.
This woman is a monster.
In the great 1948 “Oliver Twist” film, the excellent (and recently deceased; R.I.P.) John Howard Davies gives a dramatic rendition of the famous fight with Noah Claypole, the bully. Claypole is, of course, much bigger than he, and has been provoking him for some time. On that day, enough is enough.
One is reminded of Oliver Twist when he thinks of the present conflict between the White House and the US Bishops’ Conference. Like Oliver Twist, the bishops have been bullied for some time now; and like him, they have now decided enough is enough.
In the last days, Archbishop Nolan has released a new letter to his bishops. This letter is interesting in more than one way, and I would like to examine it with you;
1) There will be no cave-in and if the President think there will, he has another thought coming. The entire letter is worded so as to not leave any doubt.
2) In the entire letter there is an insistent, almost obsessive reminder of the issue really at stake: religious freedom.The words are mentioned many times, and always in italics. Once again, if the President thinks he will bully the Church into silence by deflecting on the issue of contraception, he is a fool. What he will get is an entire electoral campaign dominated by the issue of religious freedom, which will be so insistently hammered in the American heads as it is repeated in this letter.
3) The language does not reach the summit of clearness of the great Pope Pius X but it is extremely open, and shows a very clear will to go for the fisticuffs like brave young Oliver. The White House is treated with thinly veiled contempt, and exposed as a bunch of incompetent morons with no idea what they are talking about. Try this (emphases always mine):
The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand
Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has
nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.
Meanwhile, in our recent debate in the senate, our opponents sought to obscure what is really a religious freedom issue by
maintaining that abortion inducing drugs and the like are a “woman’s health issue.” We will not
let this deception stand. Our commitment to seeking legislative remedies remains strong. And it
is about remedies to the assault on religious freedom. Period.
Take that, Adolf Hussein.
4) The attempt to persuade the bishops to cave-in are not only refused, but clearly condemned:
Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of
accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in
5) In addition the openly defying tone toward White House officials (you have read an example under point 3) teaches the White House a lesson or two about “women issues”:
(By the way, the Church hardly needs to be lectured about health care for women. Thanks mostly to our Sisters, the Church is
the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country.)
6) Please also note the decision to go for the legal confrontation has been taken, and it will be no laughing matter:
our bishops’ conference, many individual religious entities, and other people of good will are
working with some top-notch law firms who feel so strongly about this that they will represent us
pro bono. In the upcoming days, you will hear much more about this encouraging and welcome
Make no mistake, say the bishops to Adolf Hussein: this issue is not going to go away, we will expose it as a shameless attack on religious freedom, and if you think we are influenced by the likes of America magazine you need to change advisors.
I can remember no issue whatsoever in which post – V II European Bishops (or Popes) had the guts to attack the Noah Claypoles of the day with such spirit.
Kudos to Archbishop Dolan and his troops. I am very confident there will be no cave-in, and every letter of this sort makes such an exercise more and more difficult to achieve for those among the bishops who might be tempted to just shut up and be vaguely and ineffectually “pastoral”, as too many of them have done for too often.In fact, it seems to me Archbishop Dolan is forcing all of his colleagues to close ranks and prepare for the fight, and is telling them the fight as expected of every one of them.
Astonishingly, the Catholic News Service seems to not allow one to tweet their articles, and I wonder whether their offices are lit with candles. But perhaps it’s my mistake.
Be it as it may, they report here the chairman of the US Bishop’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty went again in front of the Congress, and did not mince words. In an electoral year, this might not have pleased all the presents.
Bishop Lori said the mandate “has suddenly turned the world upside down” by making commonly understood words mean something entirely different.
“Listening to the public discourse about the mandate, it is easy to get the impression that the Catholic bishops were somehow on the cusp of prohibiting the use of contraceptives nationwide,” he said. “Only in our new world-turned-upside-down does freedom require the denial of freedom; only in the post-mandate world is access to contraceptives somehow prohibited unless government begins forcing religious people and groups to fund and facilitate it.”
He questioned why the Obama administration “will brook no dissent” on including contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-causing drugs in health plans, while remaining “essentially indifferent” regarding other essential health benefits such as prescription drugs and hospitalization coverage, leaving those decisions to the states.
Other representatives of religious organisations have intervened, and it is interesting to notice that opposition to the mandate is not exclusive to Catholics, nor even to Christians.
I still can’t imagine this was a smart move for the Obama administration. This will hurt them badly unless the US bishops start to relent, and frankly at this point I can’t see how they could, or why they should.
Methinks, Obama’s summer will be rather chilly.
From The USCCB blog, and put together for your own convenience, our own edification, and the shame of the English bishops. The blue is theirs, the green is mine.
1. The Mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. These institutions are vital to the mission of the Church, but HHS does not deem them “religious employers” worthy of conscience protection, because they do not “serve primarily persons who share the[ir] religious tenets.” HHS denies these organizations religious freedom precisely because their purpose is to serve the common good of society—a purpose that government should encourage, not punish.
2. The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral. Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers to write policies that violate their beliefs; forces religious employers and schools to sponsor and subsidize coverage that violates their beliefs; and forces religious employees and students to purchase coverage that violates their beliefs.
3. The mandate forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception. Though commonly called the “contraceptive mandate,” HHS’s mandate also forces employers to sponsor and subsidize coverage of sterilization. And, by including all drugs approved by the FDA for use as contraceptives, the HHS mandate includes drugs that can induce abortion, such as “Ella,” a close cousin of the abortion pill RU-486.
4. Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate. Catholics who have long supported this Administration and its healthcare policies have publicly criticized HHS’s decision, including columnists E.J. Dionne, Mark Shields, and Michael Sean Winters; college presidents Father John Jenkins and Arturo Chavez; and Daughter of Charity Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
5. Many other religious and secular people and groups have spoken out strongly against the mandate. Many recognize this as an assault on the broader principle of religious liberty, even if they disagree with the Church on the underlying moral question. For example, Protestant Christian, Orthodox Christian, and Orthodox Jewish groups–none of which oppose contraception–have issued statements against the decision. TheWashington Post, USA Today, N.Y. Daily News, Detroit News, and other secular outlets, columnists, and bloggers have editorialized against it.
6. The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates. HHS chose the narrowest state-level religious exemption as the model for its own. That exemption was drafted by the ACLU and exists in only 3 states (New York, California, Oregon). Even without a religious exemption, religious employers can already avoid the contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their prescription drug coverage, dropping that coverage altogether, or opting for regulation under a federal law (ERISA) that pre-empts state law. The HHS mandate closes off all these avenues of relief.
7. The rule that created the uproar has not changed at all, but was finalized as is. Friday evening, after a day of touting meaningful changes in the mandate, HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, “without change.” So religious employers dedicated to serving people of other faiths arestill not exempt as “religious employers.” Indeed, the rule describes them as “non-exempt.”
8. The rule leaves open the possibility that even exempt “religious employers” will be forced to cover sterilization. In its August 2011 comments, USCCB warned that the narrow “religious employer” exemption appeared to provide no relief from the sterilization mandate—only the contraception mandate—and specifically sought clarification. (We also noted that a sterilization mandate exists in only one state, Vermont.) HHS provided no clarification, so the risk remains under the unchanged final rule.
9. The new “accommodation” is not a current rule, but a promise that comes due beyond the point of public accountability. Also on Friday evening, HHS issued regulations describing the intention to develop more regulations that would apply the same mandate differently to “non-exempt, non-profit religious organizations”—the charities, schools, and hospitals that are still left out of the “religious employer” exemption. These policies will be developed over a one-year delay in enforcement, so if they turn out badly, their impact will not be felt until August 2013, well after the election.
10. Even if the promises of “accommodation” are fulfilled entirely, religious charities, schools, and hospitals will still be forced to violate their beliefs. If an employee of these second-class-citizen religious institutions wants coverage of contraception or sterilization, the objecting employer is still forced to pay for it as a part of the employer’s insurance plan. There can be no additional cost to that employee, and the coverage is not a separate policy. By process of elimination, the funds to pay for that coverage must come from the premiums of the employer and fellow employees, even those who object in conscience.
11. The “accommodation” does not even purport to help objecting insurers, for-profit religious employers, secular employers, or individuals. In its August 2011 comments, and many times since, USCCB identified all the stakeholders in the process whose religious freedom is threatened—all employers, insurers, and individuals, not just religious employers. Friday’s actions emphasize that all insurers, including self-insurers, must provide the coverage to any employee who wants it. In turn, all individuals who pay premiums have no escape from subsidizing that coverage. And only employers that are both non-profit and religious may qualify for the “accommodation.”
12. Beware of claims, especially by partisans, that the bishops are partisan. The bishops and their staff read regulations before evaluating them. The bishops did not pick this fight in an election year—others did. Bishops form their positions based on principles—here, religious liberty for all, and the life and dignity of every human person—not polls, personalities, or political parties. Bishops are duty bound to proclaim these principles, in and out of season.
What clarity of language. What admirable directness. What absence of the usual beating around the bush.
What a shame to have the bishops we have in England, where the Prime Minister is openly planning to introduce “gay marriage” as a matter of course; and no gauntlet in sight.
As most of you know or have understood by now, I am Italian. As such, I have coped with eighteen years of arrogance, vulgarity, complacency and at times outright stubborn stupidity from Berlusconi.
Still, one point must be clear: superficial as Berlusconi was, the government machine worked pretty much in the same way – by far not as inefficient as many seem to think, I assure you – and the rules of constitutional decency had to be observed out of fear of a complex system of checks and balances who would never allowed Berlusconi – though he loved to say so at time, or to threaten he would give it a try – to be prime minister, legislator and judge.
In short, even when Berlusconi was tempted not to do things properly, he had people around him telling him that he would have been eaten alive if he didn’t, and the needs of a coalition government meant he could never decided to do as he pleased.
Not so, it seems, with the Obama administration. Here we have a government attempting an unprecedented assault at religious liberty, and it turns out not only the bishops were not consulted beforehand, but even a legal opinion was not obtained. From the Catholic League:
Under questioning from Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sebelius further admitted that HHS never subjected the religious liberty issues to a legal analysis, as requested by 27 senators. She also admitted that she never asked the Justice Department to consider this issue.
Honestly, this seems to me to confirm what I had written here: this row is not the result of a planned confrontation, but rather of unplanned complacency, superficiality or outright stupidity and absence of the most elementary common sense.
Sebelius can, perhaps, gain some bonus points with her knife-lipped feminists if she says she didn’t feel she had to consult the bishops because she thinks the president had done it on several occasions, which actually turned out to be one meeting with Archbishop Dolan (what a monster of professionalism we have here, anyway; though knife-lipped feminists can’t be expected to see this). What she can never expect, is to be considered a halfway acceptable professional after she has admitted not even a legal opinion was obtained, in a matter whose constitutional relevance is such that even jewish and non-denominational organisations are suing the government.
I cannot imagine a more blatant admission of arrogant, stupid incompetence.
Berlusconi himself would be, no doubt, appalled.
Now it’ s official. Nancy Pelosi wants to be excommunicated. She is literally doing everything she can to achieve this objective. She will not relent until she does.
Please follow this interesting exchange:
At a press conference, Leader Pelosi was asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD: ”The Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., is a self-insured institution. Should the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., be required to pay for these morning-after pills and birth control if they find that morally objectionable?”
Pelosi talked about the importance of women’s health, and then said, “Yes, I think that all institutions who cover, who give, health insurance should cover the full range of health insurance issues for women.”
Yes, this is not a joke and yes, this is the self-proclaimed “ardent Catholic”.
Good Christians of the past would wholeheartedly agree about the “ardent” thing, but in a different way.
I do not know when it was last time Mssss Pelosi showed to vaguely understand the meaning of the word “Catholic” but it must have been a long time ago; with some strange disease in the middle, which now induces her to believe pregnancy is a disease and abortion a matter of “health” rather than, erm, homicide.
To cite the author of the blog post:
If not now, when? If not for such public statements, then for what?
There are 180 dioceses in the United States.
Every single Bishop leading one of the 180 diocese has now condemned in public the “contraception mandate” (in reality, ” abortifacient mandate” too), as reported by The American Papist.
I could now make some comments as to what on earth moves a US Catholic Bishop to wait for weeks (if we are good and let the count start from January; which we really shouldn’t) before he makes a move, and be preceded by many dozens of his colleagues. I could also, at this point, make some rather cynical consideration about herd mentality applying now in one direction as it applied in the past in the other.
I could, but I won’t. This is, I think, something to be remembered: the Bishops of a Western countries doing their duty as one man.
The times, they are a’-changing…
This blog post is, alas, the twin brother of the one explaining to you that Nazi nanny cares for your milk. It truly beggars belief that the very same department spending so much energy to effect abortions and prevent pregnancies be obsessively “concerned” about the health of those to whom it was benevolently granted not to be aborted (there was a screening, probably; and one was found to be fit enough for the nation).
That the same Nazi department should think of imposing you how much fruit to eat and at the same time plan a genocide of unborn babies is not really a contradiction: it is the expression of the same Nazi mentality.
In a Nazi world, what seems absurd to us becomes natural. Nazi Germany allowed abortion (only country in Europe) but was obsessed with physical strenght and health.
Nazi HHS does pretty much the same.
The linked blog post appropriately comments:
To answer your question, no. There is no end to what liberals think they know better about. No limit.
This obsession with knowing everything better, making everything differently and creating a new humanity with it was, by-the-by, just another Nazi pet.
I have been reading and hearing several commentaries – even from the likes of Michael Voris – saying that the controversy about contraception mandate was “a cunning plan” from President Adolf Hussein Obama to divide Catholics: bishops against liberal nuns, orthodox Catholics against cafeteria ones, and the like.
I must disagree on this and have the impression that very often, journalists and commentators try to give some reasoned meaning to something that has initially happened only due to political myopia and complacency, and later became too big to just say “forget it”.
Put in simple words, Obama already has a good chance of getting the majority of the cafeteria Catholic vote. He doesn’t have to do anything to get it than to…. avoid being openly anti-Catholic. The orthodox Catholics will not vote for him anyway, so I do not see what the game should be here. Also, the idea that to get some of the people’s vote you must attack their religion is a rather novel one.
More likely, I think what has happened is B.O. & the gang thought they would please the liberal crowd at virtually no cost for their own Catholic vote, as no cafeteria Catholic was expected to change his mind anyway. “I please my friends here, without losing my friends there”; the latter were possibly supposed to not even notice what is happening, at the most after a day or two or middle-intensity row, or a couple of weeks of useful headlines.
We see this happening every day in politics and in the UK, we had the stunning example of the biggest ever MP revolt against a “triple whip” just a matter of months ago: a situation caused by the same myopic complacency, belief in one’s own infallibility and confidence the sheep will follow the shepherd without questions.
In these matters, my impression is rather that a small group of people (generally totally detached from the feelings of their electors; as in the case of Labour scrapping the 10% tax band, a masterpiece of political idiocy conceived by people who have no idea of politics, and life in general) decides they will move a pawn here and a bishop there, and the adversary will proceed to give them a queen to eat, probably because they have decided so.
Only, at times the adversary answers with a brilliant move, and the champagne nazis suddenly have their own king in check. Then, and only then, does the press begin to talk about the complex strategy originally pursued, then they can’t see and don’t want to admit the player has just made a very stupid move, and has noticed it when it was too late.
Now, Voris may complain (as he well should) that the majority of the Catholics continues (for now) to be on Obama’s side. But this is no novelty, no change with the old situation, and nothing which could now risk to further deteriorate. If this controversy continues to roll on (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t) a mass “conversion” of orthodox Catholics to Nazi liberalism is never in the cards, but the long-term awareness of millions of cafeteria Catholics of what is required from them jolly well is.
Put it in a different way, Obama has ignited under his chair a very long fuse, at the end of which is a rather massive bomb made of some 60 or 70 million people; a bomb – when armed – to find the like of which you should probably look at the Evangelicals or, perhaps, at the Tea Party. This bomb is, as per today, largely made of people who either vote for him, or aren’t disinclined so to do. B.O. is shooting himself in his most delicate parts in very slow motion, but with deadly precision.
If you want another confirmation of the power of the Church (when she has the guts to do what is right) just notice the recent news of Sister “Obama gave me a pen”-Keehan spectacularly backpedaling on the new “compromise” proposals for the contraception mandate. OK, someone probably gave her a slap and informed her even her own organisation is not covered by the “compromise”; but if such a pro-Obama Taliban finds clear words of criticism just imagine what will happen with the millions of lukewarm Catholics once they have been properly instructed.
Seriously, I can’t see B.O.winning this. The only question in my eyes is how much damage will this do to the culture of death.
My answer is: the longer the bishops fight, the bigger the damage will be and Obama can make a triple salto every day after breakfast, he will change nothing in this dynamic.
And so after the various religious ones, the first lay Catholic organisation (EWTN) filed a lawsuit to stop the so-called “contraception mandate” (a misnomer, if you ask me: firstly the real issue is clearly the one of religious freedom; secondly “contraception” is extended to abortifacients; that is, to outright abortion). I have more than a vague impression that this is not going to go away very soon, and will make the B.O. administration increasingly more sorry of having undervalued the extent of the problem, and the might of the opponent.
The fact is, Catholicism in the USA is a sleeping giant, and it was rather naive from the B.O.organisation to think the giant would not awaken at all. It is as if those people really thought the likes of Pelosi are representative of the Catholic faithful, let alone bishops. Alas, now it’s too late, and if you ask me in a couple of months at the latest it will become clear the alternative is between a most humiliating backpedaling and a devastating, lacerating battle pitching against each other those who would have voted for B.O. anyway, and those who will not do it anymore. However I look at it, I can’t see this as a smart move.
Of course many will think Catholics do not really care, and those who vehemently oppose the B.O. administration on this wouldn’t have voted for him anyway; but I think they are wrong. With the only exception (to my knowledge) of G. W. Bush, the Democratic party always bagged the majority of the Catholic vote; but will this be the case if the bishop continue to thunder against the government for months to come, with tones and a determination I cannot remember seeing from them before? Methinks, this is going to hurt. Badly.
We have seen the first fruits of the progressive embarrassment of the B.O. administration with the pathetic attempt to “compromise” of the last days. I couldn’t see much of a “compromise” myself, but what I could clearly see is the government sees the need for one, though they’ll try to make the retreat as little and as little humiliating humiliating as possible.
I’d love to be a fly on an Oval Office wall. I think what I’d see is some embarrassed faces and a still unexpressed, but omnipresent thought: why have we started this.