FRIDAY, 2 MARCH 2012

Race and class and politics

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I could write an extemporaenous dissertation on the political race and the human race, class acts and class warfare, and the politicization of everything including morals and the natural law and constitutional liberties never before threatened by government. But I won’t.

People have asked me who I support for the GOP nomination and I answer ‘I don’t know’ not to avoid commitment or engagement (I’m always ready to engage ideas) but because, like many commentators and scholars and analysts and observers with far more intelligence than I dare claim, I do not know who the best candidate would be. But I’m willing to state the belief that any of the four candidates seeking the GOP nomination would be far more respectful of basic rights and liberties and the sanctity and dignity of human life than the current officeholder they seek to replace. That sounds like an editorial comment but is at least as much an account of factual record.

Mr. Obama has his points of merit on certain particular issues, on rhetorical skill and for some on personal likeability, though the election of a president is of far more consequence than that.

So let’s be clear on what’s at stake here. What got little to no attention in the 2008 election is, for starters, Mr. Obama’s voting record in the Illinois Senate. I talked and wrote about it, but now it’s coming more to light.

The nation’s number one talk show host drew attention to Barack Obama’s history of supporting infanticide on Friday’s show.

Discussing this week’s CNN debate in Mesa, Arizona, Rush Limbaugh told his listeners said the president’s vote against the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001, 2002, and 2003 amounted to “the most shocking and underreported significant story I can ever remember.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised the issue of Obama’s support for infanticide after CNN debate moderator John King asked the presidential hopefuls a question about birth control.The question met with loud audience disapproval, as it was widely interpreted as intended to embarrass Rick Santorum.

Gingrich, who replied first, objected that in 2008, “not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide.

“If we’re going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues, it is President Obama who, as a state senator, voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion,” Gingrich said. “It is not the Republicans.”

True. And astounding in its direct analogy to the Dred Scott decision. Obama said that granting protections to infants (though he used the term ‘fetuses’) would make abortion illegal, and he couldn’t do that. But that’s the same argument used against granting protection of human rights to slaves under the Constitution.

President Obama said he wouldn’t want his daugheters ‘punished with a baby’ if they made ‘a mistake,’ whichs till rings in the ears of Americans who recognize the sanctity of human life from conception of human life.

His administration’s HHS mandate is so radical, it has precipitated a broad backlash.

I find it unconscionable that a president, who just days previously had made it clear that he would mandate that religious organizations violate their consciences, stood before hundreds at the National Prayer Breakfast and said (1) that he is a Christian, and (2) that somehow the teachings of holy scripture in general and, in particular, Jesus’ teaching in the gospels, have a direct correlation to his presidency and moreover to the mandates he has put into place (whether healthcare-related, economic, or otherwise). Simply put, it is hard to see how Mr. Obama can mandate a violation of conscience one day, and say the following with a straight face just days later, while remaining an honest man:

It’s also about the biblical call to care for the least of these–for the poor; for those at the margins of our society. To answer the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”…Treating others as you want to be treated.

Who is speaking up for the children who will lose their lives because of the HHS mandate? Who is speaking up for the mothers who, under HHS mandate, have been falsely coerced into feeling that to be a woman means to have “control” of their own bodies? Who is speaking up for the multitude of physicians who refuse to give out death-inducing prescriptions and, in turn, are ridiculed or even discriminated because of it? Those folks are the “least of these” of which Jesus speaks. To the president, however, they are nobodies.

And it continues…

Predictably, the move has drawn fire from the Catholic bishops.

Less predictable—and far more interesting—has been the heat from the Catholic left, including many who have in the past given the president vital cover. In a post for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters minces few words. Under the headline “J’ACCUSE,” he rightly takes the president to the woodshed for the politics of the decision, for the substance, and for how “shamefully” it treats “those Catholics who went out on a limb” for him.

The message Mr. Obama is sending, says Mr. Winters, is “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.”

Mr. Winters is not alone. The liberal Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, blogged that he “cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience”—and he urged people to fight it. Another liberal favorite, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., has raised the specter of “civil disobedience” and vowed that he will drop coverage for diocesan workers rather than comply. They are joined in their expressions of discontent by the leaders of Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities, which alone employs 70,000 people.

Time to change politics as usual.


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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.


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