Does FOCA mean an end to Catholic health care?

posted at 11:23 am on November 25, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Melinda Henneberger looks at the threat the Freedom of Choice Act poses to Catholic health-care centers that want no part of abortion, and concludes that the legislation would probably strip them of their opt-out for conscience.  Henneberger believes that the bishops mean exactly what they say when warning that they will close the doors on every facility rather than be forced to perform abortions — and wonders how the Obama administration plans to replace a third of all hospitals in the nation? (via The Corner):

And the most ludicrous line out of them, surely, was about how, under Obama, Catholic hospitals that provide obstetric and gynecological services might soon be forced to perform abortions or close their doors. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago warned of “devastating consequences” to the health care system, insisting Obama could force the closure of all Catholic hospitals in the country. That’s a third of all hospitals, providing care in many neighborhoods that are not exactly otherwise overprovided for. It couldn’t happen, could it?

You wouldn’t think so. Only, I am increasingly convinced that it could. If the Freedom of Choice Act passes Congress, and that’s a big if, Obama has promised to sign it the second it hits his desk. (Here he is at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in 2007, vowing, “The first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.”) Though it’s often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to the Senate sponsor of the bill, Barbara Boxer, in a statement on her Web site, FOCA would nullify all existing laws and regulations that limit abortion in any way, up to the time of fetal viability. Laws requiring parental notification and informed consent would be tossed out. While there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter, many believe the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health centers couldn’t stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to other providers wouldn’t be an option, the bishops have said, because that would constitute “material cooperation with an intrinsic evil.”

The bishops are not bluffing when they say they’d turn out the lights rather than comply. Nor is Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis exaggerating, I don’t think, in vowing that “any one of us would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow—to die tomorrow—to bring about the end of abortion.”

Whatever your view on the legality and morality of abortion, there is another important question to be considered here: Could we even begin to reform our already overburdened health care system without these Catholic institutions? I don’t see how.

As Henneberger notes, these facilities aren’t in overserved areas, either.  Catholic facilities tend to be in places other for-profit clinics and hospitals avoid.  The sudden disappearance of these clinics and hospitals would leave millions of people with much fewer choices in medical attention, or none at all.

Would Congress pass FOCA?  If the Republicans hold onto their seats in Minnesota and Georgia, they’ll have enough Senators to filibuster it, but Henneberger wonders if Obama would have enough votes to pass the bill on straight majorities.  Once the bill’s sweeping nature becomes known, she believes that only the hard-Left Representatives and Senators would back the bill, leaving FOCA to die quietly as it has in every session of Congress for the last 15 years it’s been proposed.

Obama pledged to make FOCA his highest priority, though, and his appointment of Emily’s List spokesperson Ellen Moran as his communications director sent a message that he intends to pursue it.  Henneberger believes that any attempt to force FOCA through Congress will “reignite the culture war he so deftly sidestepped throughout this campaign,” as well as make fools out of pro-Obama Catholics like Douglas Kmiec.  I don’t see Obama backing away from his pledge to make Planned Parenthood’s dreams come true, and I hope that Henneberger’s correct about Congress stopping those plans.


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A lot of steamed opinions here.
‘How could Catholics vote for Obama?’
Catholics who happen to be members of labor unions would vote for Obama.
‘lapsed’ Catholics who don’t attend services would have no qualms about Obama.
Catholics who have had abortions would vote for Obama.
And so it goes. It depends on the definition of the word ‘Catholic’.

Doug on November 25, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Do you really think Planned Parenthood would allow anyone to “opt” out.

That’s why I mentioned it would have to be part of the bill itself.

Make it part of the law that people can opt out, but it would still allow those that choose to do it capable of doing anything they want, abortion-wise, on the federal dime (i.e. our tax dollars). I don’t like it, but I think that’s how B.O. could play it and get away with it.

EyeSurgeon on November 25, 2008 at 1:27 PM

“Does FOCA mean an end to Catholic health care?”

I don’t even know what FOCA is. Why are you asking me?

Kevin M on November 25, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Why wouldnt all hospitals of Christian affiliations take the same stance.

VTWaldrup on November 25, 2008 at 1:38 PM

If Obama thinks he’s gonna buck the Catholic Church on this, he’d better pull his head out of his ass. The Bishops have drawn a line, now we’ll have to see if The Chosen One is stupid enough to cross it.

GarandFan on November 25, 2008 at 1:44 PM

Why wouldnt all hospitals of Christian affiliations take the same stance.

VTWaldrup on November 25, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Unfortunately, not all Christian denominations and affiliations adhere to basic Christian values/beliefs.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 1:45 PM

What makes you think that the Supreme Court would find the law Constitutional?

I must admit, I can’t find the part of the Constitution that gives the Federal Government the power to do what the FOCA does.

Greg Q on November 25, 2008 at 1:52 PM

I find it apalling that you all here are applauding the gestapo and labor union tactics of the Catholic Church.

This is why we need separation of Church and State. I am FAR more concerned of control of legislation from the Vatican than I am from any other religion. PLEASE close all the Catholic hospitals. It is non-profit, but it is a huge source of income for the Catholic Church through government subsidies. The reason that they would close is because they wouldn’t get government subsidies any more. I’m certain that other organizations would gladly step in.

PLEASE close the Catholic Churches. It’s so Christian, and it will bring so many more people to Jesus Christ. It’s a wonder why all Christians don’t follow the Catholic Church. I mean after all if it weren’t for all the Catholic politicians in the 60′s and 70′s, we wouldn’t have a legal abortion in this country in the first place.

The Catholic Church needs to either provide services or not. But the services it provides shouldn’t be used to extort your own wishes within the government.

How would you Catholics feel if Muslims did the same thing toward say . . . pork in America?

I just love how the Catholics bristle. Catholics don’t care as much about Jesus as they do about Catholics. . . this type of action proves it.

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Talk about reaping a whirlwind.

- The Cat

P.S. Now this is how you play hardball

MirCat on November 25, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Oh well. That’s what happens when you’re on the government dole.

The church is pretty wealthy – let them go back to actually doing charity work without taking tax money and I’ll pony up some donations.

That actually could work wonders towards fixing our health care system.

angelat0763 on November 25, 2008 at 1:57 PM

My husband would lose his job just before retirement….

A large number of health care professionals would be displaced. Small communities would be faced with skyrocketing unemployment, inadequate health care, increasing poverty, diminishing tax base…yeah that’s change…

just so someone has the right to kill somebody else…

sounds like hell instead of the USA…..

bperiwinkle on November 25, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Thacker,
How hard is it to twist yourself into a pretzel like that. You equate Muslim aversion to pork with abortion of innocent lives. Some Catholics do stand on principle. Why should the Catholic church be forced to provide abortions? If they wish to give up any government payments because they believe abortion is evil, why are you so upset about it?

Vince on November 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

If you are really comparing the Catholic Church’s position against the intentional murder of innocent human beings by chemical burning, dismemberment, or scissors in the base of the skull to Muslims’ position on pork, you are truly as pathetic as your anti-Catholic bigotry is.

pannw on November 25, 2008 at 2:12 PM

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

We get it. You hate Catholics. You can just say so and move on. Save your little fingers all the typing.

Abby Adams on November 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM

The Catholic Church needs to either provide services or not. But the services it provides shouldn’t be used to extort your own wishes within the government.

Why should the CATHOLIC hospitals be obliged to provide services they consider wrong? Exactly how does someone have the right to force others to violate their beliefs? If you want an abortion there are other medical institutions available.

katiejane on November 25, 2008 at 2:13 PM

Catholics don’t care as much about Jesus as they do about Catholics. . . this type of action proves it.

Prejudge much?

crazy_legs on November 25, 2008 at 2:14 PM

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Are you like 15 and full of hormonal angst or something?

Oh wait, your username link goes to a short term health care provider website. Why do I feel that has something to do with your rant?

Sugarbuzz on November 25, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Thacker – take a course in logic and then come back here and discuss this.

Candy Slice on November 25, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Ah…

…it wouldn’t be a discussion about Catholics without Thacker getting on and spewing his/her anti-Catholic vitriol.

Although, the more I read Thacker the more I’m inclined to believe that s/he is satirizing (Onion-like) real anti-Catholics.

I mean, c’mon – comparing killing innocent lives with not eating pork?

That’s either satire or proof of the need for serious psychiatric care.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 2:25 PM

there are two hospitals in my town. one is overwhelmingly busy as compared to the other. two weeks ago the larger facility bought the other, older, financially destitute hospital. if the catholic health care system folds, my area that serves four states and about two hundred miles in either direction, would be devastated. we would be left without a health care facility. on any given day, this town serves as either a lifeline or gateway to life for hundreds of people. brilliant, obambi!!!

sandlin71 on November 25, 2008 at 2:30 PM

It’s seriously misguided to say that Catholic hospitals refusing to be forced by the government to perform abortions is them leveraging their influence within the government.

I believe in separation of church and state too, but for the opposite reasons that you do, Thacker.

The anti-Catholic bigotry needs to stop. It’s uncalled for.

gippergal1984 on November 25, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Oh wait, your username link goes to a short term health care provider website. Why do I feel that has something to do with your rant?

Sugarbuzz on November 25, 2008 at 2:24 PM

I wouldn’t think it would be a good/smart thing to spout such insane, inane, asinine anti-Catholic vitriol AND provide a link to your business (which includes information about your real name and address).

One wonders what the customers of Thacker Agency would think about the anti-Catholic hate that he spews.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 2:34 PM

How would you Catholics feel if Muslims did the same thing toward say . . . pork in America?

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Hmmm. Just what vital public service are US Muslims providing in this country that they would stop providing if required to handle pork?

Or are you referring to individual US Muslims who take jobs as say, grocery store cashiers, and then refuse to check out customers who are buying pork products — because that has already happened (and the Muslims refusing to do their job were accommodated, BTW).

AZCoyote on November 25, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Henneberger believes that the bishops mean exactly what they say when warning that they will close the doors on every facility rather than be forced to perform abortions — and wonders how the Obama administration plans to replace a third of all hospitals in the nation?

And good for them for doing so. (Not that it’s anywhere near the same level of moral depravity, imho, but had I been eHarmony, I’d have shut down rather than comply with forced “tolerance”, against my religious beliefs.)

This country deserves to suffer for the genocide we inflict on our own, especially when we start forcing all hospitals to participate in it.

And I hope we do suffer.

Hawkins1701 on November 25, 2008 at 2:38 PM

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Because of the link embedded in your name, it took me all of a minute to find your real name, home address and phone number.

No, I’m not going to do anything with that.

But others might…

…thus you may not want to include such information.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

gippergal1984 on November 25, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Exactly. This would be the removal of the separation of church and state. It would be the state (the government) infringing upon/interfering with/prohibiting the free exercise of the beliefs of a religion.

Abby Adams on November 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

And I hope we do suffer.

Hawkins1701 on November 25, 2008 at 2:38 PM

I just pray that all people of God have their eyes opened, to see what evil is dwelling amongst us.

VTWaldrup on November 25, 2008 at 2:44 PM

I just pray that all people of God have their eyes opened, to see what evil is dwelling amongst us.

VTWaldrup on November 25, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Indeed.

Sad thing is, it shouldn’t take a person of God to realize how horrible abortion is.

A thorough description of what happens in abortion at any phase of pregnancy, especially partial birth, was enough for me to realize what a murderous abomination it is.

But, this is where us bitter gun clingers run into “legislating morality” eye-rolls from our more secular counterparts. (That’s what laws are, legislating morality, but hey, we’re just crazy bitter gun clingers, remember?)

Hawkins1701 on November 25, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Exactly. This would be the removal of the separation of church and state. It would be the state (the government) infringing upon/interfering with/prohibiting the free exercise of the beliefs of a religion.

Abby Adams on November 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

The line between church & state gets blurry when dealing with a hospital that gets federal funds. Still, FOCA will be challenged in court if passed.

dedalus on November 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM

But, this is where us bitter gun clingers run into “legislating morality” eye-rolls from our more secular counterparts. (That’s what laws are, legislating morality, but hey, we’re just crazy bitter gun clingers, remember?)

Hawkins1701 on November 25, 2008 at 2:52 PM

righto. truth is, if they called abortion what it really was, no person in their right mind would think it was ok.

sandlin71 on November 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM

I just love how the Catholics bristle. Catholics don’t care as much about Jesus as they do about Catholics. . . this type of action proves it.

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

So how many Unitarian Universalist hospitals are there ThackerAgency?

Or did I get your denomination wrong.

So hard to tell these days, you know. Between the pro-gay marriage Protestants and the pro-abortion ones.

Perhaps this is a discussion you should have with your ministers. You can bring it up in new business after you discuss the degree of divinity of Christ.

Catholic Hospitals give care to everyone regardless of religion, idgit. If you truly advocated separation of church and state and wern’t just an anti-Catholic troll, you’d realize how stupid you sound talking about church and state and then bashing Catholics for theoretically closing hospitals because of government mandates to procure abortions.

BKennedy on November 25, 2008 at 3:06 PM

I just love how the Catholics bristle. Catholics don’t care as much about Jesus as they do about Catholics. . . this type of action proves it.

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Well, they don’t care about Jesus, Jesus can take care of Himself…but they do take care of tens of thousands of people in their hospitals, they feed the poor, they house the abused women, they don’t care about Jesus, but they care about what He wants them to do.
How many hospitals has the atheists built?

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 3:12 PM

It is funny how every liberal act which attacks freedoms has the word ‘freedom’ in its title.

Grafted on November 25, 2008 at 3:13 PM

A lot of steamed opinions here.
‘How could Catholics vote for Obama?’
Catholics who happen to be members of labor unions would vote for Obama.
‘lapsed’ Catholics who don’t attend services would have no qualms about Obama.
Catholics who have had abortions would vote for Obama.
And so it goes. It depends on the definition of the word ‘Catholic’.
Doug on November 25, 2008 at 1:17 PM

One way of saying this is this is that there is folk Catholicism, the religion of almost all Catholics and the there is elite Catholicism, the religion of the Catholic hierarchy and the few Catholics who listen to them. I’ve always found folk Catholicism a warm loving religion and to have almost nothing in common with the hateful blend of stupidity and evil that is elite Catholicism.

thuja on November 25, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Then the Democrats can just repeal the 13th Amendment and force Catholic providers into slavery, in order to provide abortion rights.

How ironic would that be, when Obama signs a Constitutional Amendment to reintroduce slavery?

But this would be slavery to the state, so that would be OK. We’ve already signed up for that by electing Obama and his worthless, overtaxing, corrupt and incompetent Democrats anyway, an amendment would just formalize it.

NoDonkey on November 25, 2008 at 3:16 PM

I don’t see staffing a problem. People will need jobs and will think of themselves and their families. They’ll fall lockstep in with the demands of the Dems/President and the public. Most people don’t want to stand up and fight. I see this attitude all around me anymore of don’t make waves, and I don’t want to get involved..

mauioriginal on November 25, 2008 at 12:41 PM

No, staffing will be a problem in a state run institution, just as it is now, no one wants to work there. The nursing staff will go and replace the agency & travel nurses at the private hospitals and teaching hospitals. Every hospital is short staffed. No nurses=no hospital.

The line between church & state gets blurry when dealing with a hospital that gets federal funds. Still, FOCA will be challenged in court if passed.

dedalus on November 25, 2008 at 2:58 PM

dedalus – interesting name, is it for the Joyce character or from Greek mythology – Daedalus the creator of the labyrinth?

eitherway – what is so blurry between the church & state in the current services arrangement?

batterup on November 25, 2008 at 3:17 PM

And since Obama celebrates abortion at every opportunity, how about a nice phat photo op with our new President, assisting in an abortion?

“Hand me that scalpel, Mr. President and then you can help me count the body parts so we can make sure they’re all there prior to closing up the patient.”

Hopey’s got a Harvard Degree, presumably he can count to four limbs. Maybe Pelosi, Kennedy and Kerry can help him.

NoDonkey on November 25, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Hey idiot, who’s forcing Muslims to eat pork?

jims on November 25, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Because of the link embedded in your name, it took me all of a minute to find your real name, home address and phone number.

No, I’m not going to do anything with that.

But others might…

…thus you may not want to include such information.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 2:42 PM

You never know, he might be trying to dirty someone else’s name. Maybe he comes here to make people angry at the person listed at that link?

Count to 10 on November 25, 2008 at 3:29 PM

The Catholic Church needs to either provide services or not. But the services it provides shouldn’t be used to extort your own wishes within the government.

How would you Catholics feel if Muslims did the same thing toward say . . . pork in America?

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

I would never go into a Muslim grocery store and expect to buy pork, just like I would never expect to get an abortion in a Catholic Church.

By your standards if one where to buy milk in the Muslim grocery store with food stamps, the Muslim grocer would be required to stock pork products. The grocer to stay true to his religious beliefs has decided to forgo the added business he may garner by selling pork and he is OK with that. The Catholic Church is the same way. They do not offer some services because it goes against their beliefs.

The Catholic Church is not trying to force their beliefs on you. They just want to ability to practice their beliefs without having to compromise them because you don’t like their beliefs. Talk about tolerance-One doesn’t have to believe in others beliefs to respect or tolerate them.-once again it seems to come down to we must be tolerant as long as it is something you want us to be tolerant of.

And no I’m not a Catholic, I’m just not threatened by their beliefs. I respect people who Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk” even when it isn’t my talk or walk.

Ellie Mae on November 25, 2008 at 3:31 PM

I find it apalling that you all here are applauding the gestapo and labor union tactics of the Catholic Church.

So, Brian, what concept of liberty and separation of church & state would empower the government to force Catholic doctors, nurses and administrators to murder babies against their most deeply held moral principles? And on the Church’s wholly owned property?

People like Mr. Thacker are a big problem in America. They cannot think logically. They have absolutely no understanding of individual rights and private property.

Hey, Bri, how about the Feds force Thacker Agency to cover everyone at your best rate regardless of their driving history? Sort of a sub-prime auto policy. Well, of course, you’d rather close than give away money. There’s a lot more on the line here than a bank account. Performing an abortion is a mortal sin and costs your eternal soul. There could be no other choice for a believing Catholic or for the Catholic Church.

Real Christians answer to God first not Washington or any other king but Jesus.

rcl on November 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM

“These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health centers couldn’t stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner close their doors.”

So couldn’t Catholic hospitals also simply decide not to treat Medicaid and Medicare patients, or to treat those patients for free and charge other patients more, or not to provide OBY/GYN services, rather than closing their doors? Or is this simply a way for the Catholic church to stop having to subsidize money-losing Catholic hositals?

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Good God! I thought that anti-Catholic bigotry in America ended in the 1960s, but I guess I was wrong about that.

Illinidiva on November 25, 2008 at 3:40 PM

So couldn’t Catholic hospitals also simply decide not to treat Medicaid and Medicare patients, or to treat those patients for free and charge other patients more, or not to provide OBY/GYN services, rather than closing their doors? Or is this simply a way for the Catholic church to stop having to subsidize money-losing Catholic hositals?

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM

The hospitals couldn’t do that and stay in business. Most Catholic hospitals are in urban areas and work with poorer people. They need Medicare and Medicaid money from the gov’t as well as other gov’t programs to stay open. I work in the pharma. industry and can tell you that it’s mainly the Catholic hospitals that have trouble paying their bills/ are always on the brink of bankruptcy. The suburban for-profit hospitals and large teaching hospitals are generally in much better shape.

Illinidiva on November 25, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Bigotry:

–noun, plural -ries. 1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
2. the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot.
—————————————-
Being against some of the stuff the Catholic church has done and questioning its motives don’t make someone a bigot. Please name me any other religious organization that has, among other things: (i) sold indulgences to finance a relgious war; (ii) split into two separate lines with two separate popes where one side ex-communicated the other; (iii) imprisoned and then killed the person who translated the Bible into the English language and then turned around and used about 90% of the translation in the first authorized English Bible; (iv) convicted Galileo of heresey for saying that the Earth moved around the Sun; and (v) killed about 4000 people during various Middle Age inquisitions.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

So couldn’t Catholic hospitals also simply decide not to treat Medicaid and Medicare patients, or to treat those patients for free and charge other patients more, or not to provide OBY/GYN services, rather than closing their doors? Or is this simply a way for the Catholic church to stop having to subsidize money-losing Catholic hositals?

I imagine if a hospital refuses to accept Medicaid /Medicare it would impact the general care of all patients covered by it. No hospital could afford to treat those patients for free – what insurance company would tolerate being charged for others wh are indeed covered by Medicaid/Medicare? They already complain about hospital/doctor costs being too high due to charity care.

The only option would be to close the OB/GYN departments but then what happens to emergency care of pregnant women – turn them away for other medical issues due to no qualified doctors to handle an OB/GYN emergency?

katiejane on November 25, 2008 at 4:02 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

You really hang on to things don’t you? Indulgences? Galileo? Time to move on don’t you think?

katiejane on November 25, 2008 at 4:04 PM

dedalus – interesting name, is it for the Joyce character or from Greek mythology – Daedalus the creator of the labyrinth?

eitherway – what is so blurry between the church & state in the current services arrangement?

batterup on November 25, 2008 at 3:17 PM

The screen name is from Joyce novels, and Stephen’s role as labyrinth builder and fleer.

The issue seems somewhat like the flip side of the stem cell issue where currently the federal government would withhold funds from any institution that engaged in research on embryonic stem cells.

I think the federal government has overused this tactic in general, but they have done so in the past to force states into line on other of issues.

dedalus on November 25, 2008 at 4:06 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

You know…

…you’re not really helping your ’cause’ by listing events that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

I think I could make a good case that bigotry is hating a person or organization for something done by them a long, long, long time ago.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 4:06 PM

Being against some of the stuff the Catholic church has done and questioning its motives don’t make someone a bigot. Please name me any other religious organization that has, among other things: (i) sold indulgences to finance a relgious war; (ii) split into two separate lines with two separate popes where one side ex-communicated the other; (iii) imprisoned and then killed the person who translated the Bible into the English language and then turned around and used about 90% of the translation in the first authorized English Bible; (iv) convicted Galileo of heresey for saying that the Earth moved around the Sun; and (v) killed about 4000 people during various Middle Age inquisitions.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

All of which happened at least four hundred years ago.

Illinidiva on November 25, 2008 at 4:10 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Do you still beat your wife?
Tell me what church has fed more hungry, taken care of more indigent people, have cared for more sick, who have suffered more loses of life, who have gone to the “unclean”, taken the “unwanted”, and loved the “unloved”.
How many of your pastors have gone to an island of leprosy and cared for the “scourges” of mankind…
So easy to pick out problems,in a history spanning a thousand years, but you seem to have overlooked Mother Theresa, Father Damian, and others…not very Christian of you.
You seem to have forgotten the most fundamental of all Christian beliefs…man is fallible, what ever man touches, he touches with sin…which is why the Catholics would forgive your foolish rants.

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Um… how about something, you know, recent (I mean, besides the priest sex scandal that’s been done to death, and completely overexaggerated).

crazy_legs on November 25, 2008 at 4:22 PM

jim m can use Wikipedia, that’s fascinating stuff.

jim m, how much “free” health care does Planned Parenthood provide, that is while they’re making millions in profits?

Planned Parenthood is the religious entity of the anti-Catholic masses, how about ponying up so Planned Parenthood can provide billions in free health care to the poor?

’bout time the left starts tithing themselves to start fundingg all this stuff they try and force the rest of us to fund.

NoDonkey on November 25, 2008 at 4:25 PM

ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Seeing as you are so brave and forthright, how about posting this on your website.
I’ll be sure and stop by next time we have the state finals of tennis in Winston-Salem. I’m in the 910 area…I’ll look you up.

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 4:29 PM

One wonders what the customers of Thacker Agency would think about the anti-Catholic hate that he spews.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 2:34 PM

I am going to a major business meeting next week in Raleigh, you just never know who you offend on these sites…I am sure he has an explanation on why he feels that way.
I mean, if he hates Catholics, just imagine what he thinks about the JOOOOOOS.
BTW, I am a Lutheran, and I am offended by Thacker and jim m…

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Um… how about something, you know, recent (I mean, besides the priest sex scandal that’s been done to death, and completely overexaggerated).

–That’s because I’m tied up on something else and couldn’t finish. Besides, some of the more recent stuff is more well known.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Besides, some of the more recent stuff is more well known.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 4:35 PM

Like what?

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Like what?

Like the priest sex scandal for the umpteenth time.

crazy_legs on November 25, 2008 at 4:52 PM

Is the freedom of choice act really a top priority of the incoming administration. I mean, given all the backpedalling we’ve seen on policy statements and cabinet appointments…it seems a case could be made for too much chicken little rhetoric on issues like this and the fairness doctrine.

ernesto on November 25, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Obama promised Planned Parenthood it would be his first act as President… but then he makes so many promises… but then he voted for infanticide four times. It’s hard to say.

chunderroad on November 25, 2008 at 4:52 PM

FYI, the current Pope issued this document in 2000 which apologized for some of those things I listed, along with others: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000307_memory-reconc-itc_en.html.

Here are some examples of the Catholic Church’s (or individual priest’s) actions against Jews, right2bright (the Catholic church later repented). I don’t know how you, as a Lutheran, can be offended by this list, BTW. I’m glad, as another Lutheran, that Martin Luther was offended by what he saw going on in the Catholic church.

306: The church Synod of Elvira banned marriages, sexual intercourse and community contacts between Christians and Jews.
315: Constantine’s Edict of Milan terminated many Jewish rights.
325: The Council of Nicea decided to separate the celebration of Easter from the Jewish Passover. They stated: “let us have nothing in common with this odious people…”
337: The marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian woman ecame punishable by death.
339: Conversion to Judaism became a criminal offense.
367 – 376: St. Hilary of Poitiers referred to Jews as a perverse people who God has cursed forever. St. Ephroem referred to synagogues as brothels.
379-395: Emperor Theodosius the Great permitted the destruction of synagogues if it served a religious purpose.
380: The Bishop of Milan initiated the destruction of a synagogue, which he referred to as “an act pleasing to God.”

During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, there were dozens of other instances of persecution of Jews by the church, including exiling Jews from cities, dioceses and entire countries; destruction of synagogues; denial of the right to own land or to hold office; and their reduction to serfdom and slavery. Perhaps the worst instances during these centuries were genocides during the Crusades. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered in cold blood by Christian armies on their way to and from Palestine.

Some of the other acts of oppression included:

1205: Pope Innocent III wrote to the archbishops of Sens and Paris that “the Jews, by their own guilt, are consigned to perpetual servitude because they crucified the Lord…As slaves rejected by God, in whose death they wickedly conspire, they shall by the effect of this very action, recognize themselves as the slaves of those whom Christ’s death set free…” i.e. they would be slaves of Christians.
1227: The Synod of Narbonne required Jews to wear an oval badge — reminiscent of the Star of David that the Nazis required Jews to wear.
1478: The Spanish Inquisition was organized by the Church in order to detect insincere conversions of Jews to Christianity.
1555: A Roman Catholic Papal bull, “Cum nimis absurdum,” required Jews in Vatican controlled lands to wear badges, and be confined to ghettos. Over 3,000 people were crammed into about 8 acres of land. The public health problems were horrendous.
1648-9: Massacres of Jews occurred in Nemirov, Polonnoye, Tulchin, Volhynia, Bar, Lvov, and other cities in Ukraine. About 100,000 Jews were murdered and 300 communities destroyed.

During these centuries, there were a few attempts by various popes to reduce the impact of the church’s policies against the Jews. They were largely ignored. None had any lasting impact.

During 19th and first half of the 20th century CE:

The Church believed that some Jews must be allowed to live, but, since the Church at the time believed that all Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death — past, present and future — then it was acceptable to make Jews’ lives quite miserable. Jews could escape oppression by giving up their religion, converting to Christianity, and being baptized.

1806: A French Jesuit Priest, Abbe Barruel, had written a treatise blaming the Masonic Order for the French Revolution. He later issued a letter alleging that Jews, not the Masons were the guilty party. Beliefs in an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world came from this source; they continue today.
1846 – 1878: Pope Pius IX restored all of the previous restrictions against the Jews within the Vatican state. All Jews under Papal control were confined to Rome’s ghetto – the last one in Europe until the Nazis recreated ghettos in the 1930s. Pius IX was beatified in the year 2000 — the last step before sainthood.
1894: French Captain Alfred Dreyfus was framed by antisemitic officers, found guilty and was given a life sentence. The church, government and army united to suppress the truth. Ten years later, he was declared totally innocent. The Dreyfus Affair became world-wide news for years.
1930s: Some American clergy used their their radio programs to attack Jews. Father Charles E Coughlin was one of the best known. “In the 1930′s, radio audiences heard him rail against the threat of Jews to America’s economy and defend Hitler’s treatment of Jews as justified in the fight against communism.” 3
1936: Cardinal Hloud of Poland urged Catholics to boycott Jewish businesses.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

From the 1930s?? Puleeze.

Illinidiva on November 25, 2008 at 4:58 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

Wow – you can cut and paste!

Got anything later than something my grandparents would have known about?

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 5:13 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

BTW – intellectual integrity would state that you make public that you cut and pasted from a particular website.

Religious_Zealot on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

http://www.religioustolerance.org/vat_hol11.htm.

And I’m still working on this.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 5:39 PM

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 5:39 PM

Um…let him who has no sin cast the first stone. I’m just sayin.

LEBA on November 25, 2008 at 5:42 PM

No one is saying that I (and other churches) haven’t sinned. My point is that the Catholic church (and its priests, cardinals, etc) haven’t been at all perfect either. And that it’s wrong, in some cases, to say that people who point that out are bigots.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Henneberger believes that any attempt to force FOCA through Congress will “reignite the culture war he so deftly sidestepped throughout this campaign,” as well as make fools out of pro-Obama Catholics like Douglas Kmiec.

Bring it on. BRING IT ON. As a Catholic, I stand with my bishops. We’ll close them down before we will be complicit in the murder of innocents. This isn’t even a question. The Church did the same thing in Massachusetts when they were forced to end their adoption services rather than place kids with gay couples. Homosexuality is much lower in moral gravity than abortion.

The article also fails to realize that thousands of Catholic and Christian doctors would be forced to abandon their professions rather than perform abortions, which they would be forced to do under FOCA.

If Obama wants a culture war, he’ll have stepped right into it. These people still don’t seem to understand that they are actually losing the abortion battle. Catholics and even evangelical Christians voted for Obama because they were unaware of the nature of his pro-abortion radicalism. Once they know, they will not easily forget.

ramrocks on November 25, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Your list will likely only affirm the opinion, Jim m, that you and your kind hold deeply intolerant views. Virtually every religion has some weird stuff, intolerant stuff, bad stuff. Pick one and we can all dissect it here together.

One can support religious liberty and not agree with anything the religion stands for or has done in the past. FOCA will carte blanche limit religious liberty for anyone who is against abortion for religious reasons, regardless of the religion in question.

LEBA on November 25, 2008 at 6:03 PM

rcl on November 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM

Thank you! Great post.

Tolerance and pluralism goes both ways. I do not believe that people who conscientiously object to abortion should have to fund it with their tax dollars, and they certainly should not be forced to perform them! The great American writer and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau was willing to go to prison for tax evasion for his unwillingness to support slavery. We have a long tradition of conscientious objection in this country. The government has no business mandating that we pay for abortion or perform abortions when it is regarded by Catholics and many other people of faith as an intrinsic evil. People don’t have to agree with us, but they do have to respect our decision not to participate in this. I say how dare any bureaucrat dictate to Catholics that they must violate their consciences. I would say the same thing to any bureaucrat who forced Quakers to violate their consciences. This is not the American tradition of freedom of religion. This is not the America my immigrant Catholic grandparents loved and taught my parents to love.

ramrocks on November 25, 2008 at 6:04 PM

What next? Liberals demand that Catholic churches accomodate ritual fornication?

whitetop on November 25, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Your list will likely only affirm the opinion, Jim m, that you and your kind hold deeply intolerant views. Virtually every religion has some weird stuff, intolerant stuff, bad stuff. Pick one and we can all dissect it here together.

Well, your words demonstrate your intolerance.

And it’s tough to say whether or not FOCA would override state conscience objector laws because you don’t know how the version to be introduced would differ from the one introduced two years ago.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Ellie Mae on November 25, 2008 at 3:31 PM
excellent post, and I think relevant to anyone on either side of the issue.

The screen name is from Joyce novels, and Stephen’s role as labyrinth builder and fleer.

The issue seems somewhat like the flip side of the stem cell issue where currently the federal government would withhold funds from any institution that engaged in research on embryonic stem cells.

I think the federal government has overused this tactic in general, but they have done so in the past to force states into line on other of issues.

dedalus on November 25, 2008 at 4:06 PM

I am sure the irony doesn’t escape you – Stephen Dedalus was, as I recall, anti-Catholic… and also sneered at, or as you say “fleer”, traditional societal norms. Fleer is also a baseball card company, but that’s not what you meant, eh?

The issue of embryonic stem cells remains a medical ethics issue, not just a religious issue. Not all opposition is in the religious community. There are irreligious physicians who support “life begins at conception” or even the potential for human life begins at conception.

Medical intervention has lowered the gestational age of infant viability – it wasn’t that long ago infants born before 29 weeks gestation hardly stood a chance, now it’s under 24-25 weeks. It does lead those in the profession to wonder – when is it life. So you see abortion and embryonic stem cell research are not just religious ethics question they are also medical ethics question.

And for those who do not have a medical/religious ethics question it is not for them to impose their ethics upon those who do. Abortion is legal and there are providers who offer it, it is preposterous to require it of the Catholic Hospitals in order for them to receive compensation for the needed services they provide.

batterup on November 25, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Unfortunatly, just as the Catholics based their position on standing up for their relegioous views, that is exactly what the hard core secular left is doing too. Abortion, gay rights, etc. are all tenents of THEIR relegion, and they would rather see those hospitals closed and those millions of people go unserved in terms of health care than to yeild their faith in themselves and their government. And as we just leard a few weeks ago, there are now more of them than there are Catholics and other Christians combined. Get ready for hard times folks. This is not something new and novel. We have been building this culture war for 40 years now, and we are reaping what we have sown. Get used to it.

MikeA on November 25, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Good for the Church …..maybe I will start going back to Mass.

Jamson64 on November 25, 2008 at 6:54 PM

Jim M stay on topic.

.

Nice try you did get some off message.

Remember in the end we all answer

Jamson64 on November 25, 2008 at 6:56 PM

thuja on November 25, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Once again I’m reminded of the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen: There are maybe one hundred people in America who hate Catholicism for what it really is. But there are millions who hate it for what they falsely think it is.

ramrocks on November 25, 2008 at 6:58 PM

You really hang on to things don’t you? Indulgences? Galileo? Time to move on don’t you think?

katiejane on November 25, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Most of what he wrote is utter bull. It’s the sort of nonsense anti-Catholic bigots have been dining out on for centuries.

ramrocks on November 25, 2008 at 7:01 PM

Get used to it.
MikeA on November 25, 2008 at 6:51 PM

No.

gracie on November 25, 2008 at 7:02 PM

Well, your words demonstrate your intolerance.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 6:24 PM

;-) back atcha, Jim m.

LEBA on November 25, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Good for the Church …..maybe I will start going back to Mass.
Jamson64 on November 25, 2008 at 6:54 PM

Yes.

gracie on November 25, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Remember when Mennonites and the Amish were permitted to become Conscientious Objectors for religious reasons for military recruiting purposes, especially during wars?

If objecting to being forced to kill by law or government is a right afforded to the religious among us, then why couldn’t medical doctors who are also religious claim the status as a Conscientious Objector in order to become immune from laws giving women the right to choose abortions, which might also require all doctors to perform the abortions?

That way the Catholic Bishops wouldn’t have to close down whole hospitals. They could just have the hospital staff at large declared protected by the Conscientious Objector status.

In fact, the federal government, if it’s going to require the performance of abortions for any woman who should choose to have one, should be required to establish a regional hospital designation specifically for that purpose, and provide the funding through MediCAB, or some such thing.

KendraWilder on November 25, 2008 at 7:07 PM

No one is saying that I (and other churches) haven’t sinned. My point is that the Catholic church (and its priests, cardinals, etc) haven’t been at all perfect either. And that it’s wrong, in some cases, to say that people who point that out are bigots.

jim m on November 25, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Wait, you mean bishops aren’t perfect? Wow, if you hadn’t pointed that out, I would have never guessed. I thought that out of all humanity, they were the only perfect people. It never quite made sense that they were always preaching about how Jesus’ redemption of our sins. I mean, why would they need to be redeemed when they’re already perfect? Thanks for enlightening us all. /sarc.

As for whiny now about people calling you a bigot. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade. I don’t like when any one’s religious beliefs are unfairly maligned by those who paint with broad brush strokes to indict an entire religion based on the actions of some of its members. I don’t like it when Muslims are treated this way. I certainly don’t like it when Christians are treated this way. Or anyone else.

ramrocks on November 25, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Here are some examples of the Catholic Church’s (or individual priest’s) actions against Jews, right2bright (the Catholic church later repented). I don’t know how you, as a Lutheran, can be offended by this list, BTW. I’m glad, as another Lutheran, that Martin Luther was offended by what he saw going on in the Catholic church.
jim m on November 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

It isn’t what they did, it is how you pronounce it…as if they are unique, and without any balance.
Luther was a horrible anti-semite, he thought the Jews were an inferior race and should be destroyed.
Read what I said, what ever man touches is by nature sin…so the Catholic, or Baptist, Lutheran, or whatever is not without sin…but the Catholic Church is also with honor. No other church has helped so many, no other Church has comforted as many, taken care of the least.
When all you do is criticize, what do you think others will think about your posts? You never stated one positive thing, therefore, from what you posted, and still post, you are a bigot. You have nothing good to say about a great church…you sound like the Palestinians in defining the history of the Jews…
You list all the bad, but you can’t find any good? Me thinks your keyboard is broken…meanwhile, they have 1/3 of all the private hospitals in America…how many has your church built?
And don’t say we are from the same church, because trust me, I do not belong to the church you belong to, nor do I want to.
(BTW, you are Lutheran, why don’t the Missouri synod and the Wisconsin synod even allow each other to pray together?)

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 7:15 PM

So much anti-Catholic bigotry, so little time….

Some quick answers to a few things:

The Catholic Church runs some 557 hospitals and over two thousand clinics in the United States, seeing some 90 million patients. Patients come in on an “ability to pay”, meaning if they are poor, they don’t have to pay. They run as a not-for-profit organization, meaning they don’t tack on rates for the doctors who work there. Matter of fact, many doctors and nurses work pro-bono, saving the hospitals and patients again.

These are simple facts. I don’t believe this is a threat by the Church, they mean it. It is wrong to force the Church to perform a medical function they consider murder.

Let’s ask the question: what good will the FOCA do? There seems to be no point to this, other than keeping this election promise while blowing off others.

itsspideyman on November 25, 2008 at 8:13 PM

itsspideyman on November 25, 2008 at 8:13 PM

Excellent post. I don’t think Obama will sign FOCA. I don’t think Congress will even put it in front of him. They’ll protect him by not putting it on his desk to sign. That way he can truthfully say that he didn’t renege on a promise to sign FOCA because he didn’t have the option.

ramrocks on November 25, 2008 at 8:25 PM

The Catholic Church needs to either provide services or not. But the services it provides shouldn’t be used to extort your own wishes within the government.

These Hospitals were not set up to serve the State.

The Boston Archdiocses had to close its adoption agency recently because the State would not give it license to operate unless it adopted to married homosexual couples.

Catholic Hospitals are not refusing services of mercy. They are refusing to kill babies.

How would you Catholics feel if Muslims did the same thing toward say . . . pork in America?

Wrong analogy. Would an othodox Jewish Hospital be required to put pork on the menu? Pork is not a food group. The absence of pork will not kill patients. The presence of pork in a Christian Hospital will not kill a jewish patient

I just love how the Catholics bristle. Catholics don’t care as much about Jesus as they do about Catholics. . . this type of action proves it.
ThackerAgency on November 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

I am evangelical. The Catholic doctrine is mot my doctrine, but these Hospitals making a stand is an act of courage, not greed. I believe they are following Jesus
Mark 9:36

36 And he took a little child, and set him in the midst of them: and taking him in his arms, he said unto them,
37 Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me

Mark 9:41

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink, because ye are Christ’s, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
42 And whosoever shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it were better for him if a great millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43 And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire

entagor on November 25, 2008 at 8:43 PM

The Catholic healthcare system in Victoria , Australia is faced with the very same iniquitous situation.Legislation allowing unrestricted Abortion in the first 24 weeks cleared its last Parliamentary hurdle 23 to 17 votes.
Doctors who have a conscientious objection are nontheless obliged to refer women to another specialist and are thereby implicated in the procuring of Abortion.This will likely end the provision of pre natal care in Catholic hospitals.
This link is to an address by Gianna Jessen prior to the Victorian vote. She is so passionate and painfully without reserve. Truly we need more “thorns “in the face of growing barbarity. Its a cliche but Nazi Germany was also one of Europe’s most cultured societies.Are we that much better?

Mattmax on November 25, 2008 at 9:12 PM

Oh, I think the bishops ARE bluffing. There are too many needy souls in their communities who will die without those hospitals. Don’t forget the One’s allies in the MSM. The press would be wilting and the blowback (led by a coalition of lefties and gays still smarting over Prop 8)would be overwhelming. Remember when Clinton sent federal employees home because Newt wouldn’t give him all the money he wanted in the budget? The public still blames Congress for shutting down the government.

FalseProfit on November 25, 2008 at 9:25 PM

This threat is real, I don’t see how the hospitals could stay open…the secular world would begin to see how much they depend on the faithful as they go about the day drinking from the trough the faithful have given to them.

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 11:29 AM

I know it is selfish, but if FOCA is passed, I have this daydream of every Catholic hospital closing in unison. If the Federal Government tries to dictate to Catholic health care what they can and can’t do, that may open up many eyes from those who voted for him.

Red State State of Mind on November 25, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Fleer is also a baseball card company, but that’s not what you meant, eh?

The issue of embryonic stem cells remains a medical ethics issue, not just a religious issue. Not all opposition is in the religious community. There are irreligious physicians who support “life begins at conception” or even the potential for human life begins at conception.

For a short time I collected Fleer cards along with Donruss and Topps. Don’t think Stephen is so much anti-Catholic as he is wary of tradition that ossifies.

I agree that abortion and stem cell work are also issues for medical ethics. The legal question would be whether a Catholic hospital could sue if FOCA caused them to lose some federal funds. It would seem that SCOTUS left a lot up in the air following the Casey decision and if a case on FOCA got back to SCOTUS the question of whether abortion is a fundamental right would be reviewed again.

Actually, FOCA could conceivably be the trigger for eventually gutting Roe.

dedalus on November 25, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Mattmax on November 25, 2008 at 9:12 PM

Mattmax you’re not wrong to ask this question. Germany before the two great wars was known as the “Land of Poets and Philosophers.” Yet despite this they slid to oppression and barbarity.

itsspideyman on November 25, 2008 at 9:33 PM

The FOKA (freedom of killing act) is an abomination in God’s eyes.

Abortion, it’s the new slavery. And look what slavery did to America.

Mojave Mark on November 25, 2008 at 9:38 PM

FalseProfit on November 25, 2008 at 9:25 PM

The Bishops are not bluffing. Not only will they shut the hospitals down they will not sell the hospitals to be used by someone else to perform abortions. The FOCA advocates are hoping the Catholic Church will cave like politicans do. They’re about to find out how wrong they are.

itsspideyman on November 25, 2008 at 9:41 PM

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