Florida Pol: OK to Joke About Bombing Abortion Clinic Amongst Catholics

<a href=”http://www.patheos.com/community/deaconsbench/2011/02/23/florida-pro-life-candidate-jokes-about-abortion-bombing/”>Deacon Greg pointed me to this piece today on a Republican candidate running for mayor of Jacksonville, Florida joked about bombing an abortion clinic.

Mike Hogan, a Republican and member of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, made the statement Monday after attending a candidates forum at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mandarin.

He was asked by the audience how his views on the sanctity of life would affect his leadership of Jacksonville. Hogan said he looks forward to the day when Roe v. Wade is overturned, and that the only thing he wouldn’t do is bomb an abortion clinic.

He then added with a laugh: “but it may cross my mind.”

Hogan told a reporter afterward the joke was appropriate because “this is a Catholic church. I guarantee you they are 110 percent pro-life.”

Which is exactly why the joke was inappropriate! Being pro-life means that the violence that someone would perform that would take the lives of another are just as important as the child in its mother’s womb.

But people who want to score a political point don’t really care about consistency–they just want a cheap laugh.

Once again, it’s Catholics that end up looking bad alongside this guy. Why? Because most people outside the church would believe that this IS the position of the church. Many believe that Catholics would encourage this type of behavior.

And yet, the majority of people I know in the Pro-life movement have said nothing.

So here’s a newsflash, Mr. Wanna Be Mayor: You’re not a pro-lifer. You’re a republican politician who’s trying to score Catholic votes and you couldn’t care less about the consistency of the pro-life movement.

Nice try, but I’m not buying.

NYC had nearly 90,000 abortions last year?!

John Wilson, a guy who I love to talk with, has an op-ed in the New York Post about the abortion rate in New York City.

According to the city Health Department, 2008 saw 89,469 abortions performed in New York City — seven for every 10 live births. Among black women, abortions out number live births by three to two.

Quinn: Speaker won’t discuss city’s tops-in-nation abortion rate.

In other words, the reality in New York is about as far as possible from Bill Clinton’s proposition that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”

Yet, of the 51 City Council members, only five — Republicans Eric Ulrich and Dan Halloran and Democrats Peter Vallone Jr., James Sanders and Danny Dromm, all of Queens — were willing to call that abortion rate “too high.”

“I don’t think those numbers are meaningful,” said Upper East Side Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. “I don’t tell people whether they should have two kids, four kids or 10 kids.” One council aide even fretted that a lower abortion rate would bankrupt the city.

Speaker Christine Quinn refused to answer at all, offering only the canned response that “we can reduce the number of unintended pregnancies . . . by expanding access to contraceptives and increasing sex education.”
Interestingly, one dissenter from New York’s abortion taboo is former state Sen. Franz Leichter — who sponsored the legalization bill when he was in the Assembly in 1970. The abortion rate “is higher than anyone wanted to see,” he says — and “my support for abortion rights . . . is as strong as anyone’s.”

Why the silence? Perhaps it’s a concern that New York’s pro-choice majority is not as solid as it seems, and that talking candidly about the issue will only make matters worse.

Interesting points, but I don’t think the issue is the support for abortion rights but rather the fiscal support for single pregnant women. The question becomes how do we, as Catholics, support these women not just in the effort to bring their child to term but to actually support them.

The “sad truth” is that most actually don’t care. Most are unwilling to put their own lives on the back burner to take up the cause of injustice and poverty. If we all really cared, we’d all be welcoming these people into our lives and making THEM a priority instead of our own wants.

And I really wonder how many Republicans might be on board with that in addition to their overwhelming support for life? And how many democrats would have enough heart to say that abortion is murder instead of saying that question of when life begins is “above their pay grade” as President Obama said.

Perhaps God is continually calling all of us to open our eyes to see the entire tree in our eye as opposed to the log that is usually there when it comes to this question?

Read more of John’s column here:

Live Tweeting Abortion

Angie Jackson has taken micro-blogging to a whole new level.

The New York Daily News reports one of the more tasteless stories I’ve heard about in a long time. A woman live-tweeting and you tubing her abortion by using RU-486 in order to “demystify” abortion.

Angie Jackson is an athiest who can’t stand that people believe in God–which is really the point of her video channel where she uses the moniker antitheistangie.

“I’m doing this so other women know, ‘Hey, it’s not nearly as terrifying as I had myself worked up thinking it was.’ It’s just not that bad,” Jackson said on her YouTube video.

I won’t post her video here because I don’t think she needs any extra publicity from me but here’s some thoughts:

1) Athiests just can’t stand that religion informs some people’s opinions and they can’t seem to unhinge themselves to “live and let live” but then use the same argument when religious people say that they believe abortion to be murder.

2) Ms. Jackson has a child with special needs and that is why she’s choosing abortion. Once again, I wonder how much support might have been offered to her to help her raise not only her unborn child but also her child who has special needs. Clearly fear is at the heart of this, even if she keeps repeating that the procedure is “not that scary.” It may indeed not be, but that doesn’t make it any more moral.
As I often say…If we really cared, this wouldn’t be a problem.

3) This is bizarre. Clearly this is a woman who needs to bring attention to her own cause. And in this case it’s not merely abortion, but rather atheism. However, technology has made it to the point where indeed in a free society people can post anything they please.

4) She’s received death threats and her son has as well. I’d like to take a moment to apologize to Ms. Jackson for those in the so-called pro-life movement who have disparaged her and threatened the life of her and her family. It’s amazing how people who are pro-life will resort to threatening murder and some even carrying it out. Um…last time I checked we were against murder. Ms. Jackson, I don’t agree with what you are doing, but I also see no need for people to issue threats and vile words towards you.

Now all that being said, I think this woman is a bit bizarre and hope that she stops giving people too much information and keeps her atheism to herself.

Abortion: Everyone’s Problem


I’d like to introduce you to the coolest nun I know. She is Sr. Bernadette Reis of the Daughters of St Paul. Why is she so cool? Because she listens to the needs of the world and to the confusion of young people and responds with both charity and challenge. This article on BustedHalo® is the clearest thinking article on the Pro-life cause that I’ve read in some time. It challenged me to think about what I’m doing for the unborn and yet didn’t vilify anyone else in the process. Here’s a snip:

While Catholics receive information from their bishops urging them to vote pro-life, I don’t ever remember hearing with as much emphasis other ways that we can help to change the reality of abortion beyond simply trying to overturn Roe v Wade. Have you?

What would happen if every one of us were involved, if every one of us made it our responsibility to change the reality of abortion, regardless of whether Roe v. Wade is overturned?

This question has been nagging me ever since my brother, Dominic, and his wife, Cynthia, took in a young woman with a brand new baby. Cynthia befriended her while volunteering at a local home for unwed mothers; but once she gave birth to her daughter, the young mother had nowhere else to go. Dominic and Cynthia were newly married — and they took her in. When they looked for a different apartment, and later for a house, they looked for one that had adequate room for themselves, their guest and her baby. For the last three years, they have provided a home for her and her daughter.

When I was homeless, you opened your door…

Do we ever take things that far? Do I ever take things THAT far? We provide the homeless with a place to sleep in the shelters that we run but would any of us ever dare to take a complete stranger into our home–perhaps not even a complete stranger?

I’ve said this on this blog over and over again: Just because abortion is legal doesn’t mean that it should be the one defining factor that puts a halt on us taking care of mothers and their children. And if abortion were made illegal we’d still be faced with the same challenge: how do we care for these people?

That’s a question that many in the pro-life movement don’t spend enough time thinking about. Perhaps if we all thought about it for just five minutes a week…we’d needn’t worry about this horror anymore? The good sister Bernadette gives us all pause to consider just how much we really do care about all those that are often deemed too hard to love.

Pope Presses Obama on Pro-Life Issues


From John Allen at NCR and in my opinion the right way to engage the debate with the President. Thanks to the Pope for taking the lead here.

When President Barack Obama came calling on Pope Benedict XVI today, the two men enjoyed a “truly cordial” encounter, according to a Vatican spokesperson, but at the same time there was no diplomatic silence from the pontiff about their differences over abortion and other “life issues.”

Not only did Benedict press his pro-life case with his words to the president, but he even found a way to make the point with his gift, offering the president a copy of a recent Vatican document on bioethics. According to a Vatican spokesperson, the pope drew a repetition from Obama of his vow to bring down the actual abortion rate.

Beyond the life issues, the Vatican’s statement indicated that Benedict and Obama also found “general agreement” on the Middle East peace process and other regional situations. The two leaders also touched food security, development aid especially for Africa and Latin America, immigration and drug trafficking, according to the statement.
Coming away from the meeting, however, it was hard to escape the impression that Benedict wanted to use it to deliver a clear pro-life message.

Read the rest and then think about the Pope’s actions today. Did he embarrass the President? No. Did he yell at the President and call him a baby killer? No. Did he not show up for the meeting? No.

What did he do? HE ENGAGED THE DEBATE IN A HEALTHY AND CORDIAL MANNER.

My guess is that President Obama will read the book he gave him and start noting it in his plans to reduce abortions bringing us closer together on this issue.

You Just Don’t Get It, Do You?

A hat tip to Deacon Greg for pointing me to this picture. This is possibly the worst picture of all time. These are protesters at the funeral of abortion doctor George Tiller. If these people are really pro-lifers than why are they insisting that this man’s death by murder is a good thing. Their vengeful ideal that they attribute to God is ludicrous and bad theology. I find it hard to believe not only that there are people in the world who are this STUPID but also this hateful.

This is a major detraction to the pro-life movement. Unfortunately, these people are the ones who represent the pro-life movement to the world because the news media has to cover these outlandish stories instead of the people who do the hard work of the pro-life cause, like those who work at pregnancy crisis centers.

Today, let us pray for respect for all life and that we can work together for life without violence and hatred.

Sotomayor: Pro lifers have something to like about her


President Obama nominated Federal Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court pending congressional approval. Judge Sotomayor would be the first person of hispanic ancestry to rise to the Court. The question of her pro-life record is sketchy as she’s never really decided a case which directly involved abortion rights. But here’s an interesting case:

From Christianity Today

Shortly after President George W. Bush reinstituted the Mexico City Policy (which bars government funds to groups that support or perform abortion), the Center for Reproductive Law & Policy sued.

The pro-choice group’s argument was that the Mexico City Policy unconstitutionally violated rights of speech (since it couldn’t “actively promote” abortion) and association (it couldn’t work with abortion rights advocacy groups overseas) as well as the constitution’s Equal Protection Clause (it wasn’t on “equal footing” with prolife groups in competing for funds).

When the case came before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Sonia Sotomayor (whom President Obama this morning nominated to the Supreme Court) ruled against the Center for Reproductive Law & Policy.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds,” Sotomayor wrote.

Sotomayor also has strong bi-partisan support. She was first appointed by President George H.W. Bush (the older, not the moron) to the federal bench and then later was nominated by President Clinton to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She was involved directly and most famously in upholding the players grievances during the 1994 players strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series.

She’s got an interesting background. From NPR:

Sotomayor grew up in a Bronx housing project after her parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. She suffered from juvenile diabetes that forced her to start insulin injections at age 8. Her father, a tool-and-die worker, died when she was 9, and Sotomayor was raised by her mother, a nurse.

As a girl, she was inspired by the Perry Mason television show and knew she wanted to be a judge. “I realized that the judge was the most important player in that room,” she said in a 1998 interview.

Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and went to Yale Law School, where she served on the law journal.

I love rooting for people who had to work hard to get where they are. So I hope for an easy confirmation.

“Cautiously Optimistic”

After seeing what the fallout has been regarding President Obama’s speech I’ve seen several people who would never think about being supportive of the President speaking at a Catholic school now saying that they are “cautiously optimistic” about the possibility of Catholics working alongside him to limit abortions. I find this to be sound discernment and even mature. Let’s face facts, we really don’t have much history of any President really helping us change the minds of women–even though some have worked on the legislative element of this issue. President Obama’s overture seems to be breaking new ground–and that, as Catholics, should give us hope.

Thoughts?

Vatican Paper: Obama invites us to work in common effort

David Gibson quotes L’Osservatore Romano today:

The newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the president also confirmed that pushing for a more liberal abortion law would not be a priority of his administration. The comments came in a L’Osservatore report May 18, the day after Obama spoke at the university in Indiana.

“The search for a common ground: This seems to be the path chosen by the president of the United States, Barack Obama, in facing the delicate question of abortion,” the newspaper said.

It said Obama had set aside the “strident tone” of the 2008 political campaign on the abortion issue.

“Yesterday Obama confirmed what he expressed at his 100-day press conference at the White House, when he said that enacting a new law on abortion was not a priority of his administration,” it said.

The newspaper, which was reporting on the Notre Dame commencement for the first time, acknowledged the controversy caused by the president’s appearance at what it called “the most prestigious Catholic university in the United States.”

“Yesterday, too, as could have been predicted, there were protests. But from the podium set up in the basketball arena, the president invited Americans of every faith and ideological conviction to ‘work in common effort’ to reduce the number of abortions,” it said.

I guess the Pope’s paper is run by a bunch of heretics too? Would anyone dare to say that they are a bunch of people who are “killing our children?”

More moderate voices are arising. Thank God for that. After all, if President Obama is suggesting that we stop women from aborting by offering them viable alternatives than I think it’s time we took him up on the help he’s offered–as opposed to stating that he’s trying to hoodwink us.