Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Roe v. Wade Redivivus . . .

This today from Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life:
We're teetering on the precipice of the greatest tragedy since
Roe v. Wade.

In the next few days, under the guise of "health care" reform, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid - with the help of Planned Parenthood - could pass the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade ... and your tax dollars could be paying for it.

If they win, 2010 will be remembered as another 1973 - another milestone in their battle to promote abortion on every street corner in America.


Dean said...

Today's New York Times carries a statement by Rep. Dale Kildee of Michigan:
"His announcement that he would support the legislation gave a big lift to House Democratic leaders who have been working to assure abortion opponents that a vote for the bill would not change existing federal policy, including the law known as the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal money for abortion in most cases.

"For those who know me, I have always respected and cherished the sanctity of human life,” Mr. Kildee said in his statement. “I spent six years studying to be a priest and was willing to devote my life to God. I came to Congress two years after the Hyde Amendment became law. And I have spent the last 34 years casting votes to protect the lives of the unborn.”

“I have stood up to many in my party to defend the right to life and have made no apologies for doing so,” he continued. “I now find myself disagreeing with some of the people and groups I have spent a lifetime working with. I have listened carefully to both sides, sought counsel from my priest, advice from family, friends and constituents and I have read the Senate abortion language more than a dozen times. I am convinced that the Senate language maintains the Hyde Amendment, which states that no federal money can be used for abortion.”

Mr. Kildee added that there were important reasons to support the measure. “We must not lose sight of what is at stake here — the lives of 31 million American children, adults, and seniors-who don’t have health insurance,” he said. “There is nothing more pro-life than protecting the lives of 31 million Americans.”


Athos said...

We must not lose sight of what is at stake here — the lives of 31 million American children, adults, and seniors-who don’t have health insurance,” he said. “There is nothing more pro-life than protecting the lives of 31 million Americans

This is the squirm factor par excellence. Don't you have compassion, like us? What kind of an uncaring cad are you not to care about those 31 uninsured Americans?

Meanwhile, the mythological veil grows even more sound-proof, "insuring" that the most voiceless, defenseless, unseen victims - the unborn persons in their mothers' wombs - are securely kept for what René Girard has taught us is the cultic - pagan - cultic center of conventional culture; namely, the primitive Sacred.

The left and administration want us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the bright, shiny object - those 31M - they keep swinging before us. Pay no attention to the slaughter of the innocents aided and abetted by the bill.

Athos said...

One last thing, Gil: from examples you have given, 'scandal', anthropologically speaking, is the point when rivals would just as soon destroy the object of desire to insure that the rival does not obtain it.

If this is so, it seems to me that the administration in this effort to pass the health care bill would as soon ruin the economy rather than their rival - loosely and cartoonesque-ly branded by them "Republicans" - have their way (whatever that way might be).

Being an amateur, my observations begin to lead me to believe our president came into office in a state of scandal; unwavering resolve, not a twinkle of humor (perspective), absolute assurance of his righteousness, and up to his neck with a life-time's build up of ressentment. But this is merely a surmise. Cheers

Dean said...

Athos this is some very good stuff to see and I appreciate how you have pulled it to the surface. It reminds me how hardwired is the whole mimetic thing. I remember hearing Gil once in an Advent talk suggest that for a "holidays" project to concentrate on intentionally "not creating victims" in one's cocktail party conversations. I know that's only a first step. I understand dimly the mimetic processes at work in the abortion policy of this country. I try to keep my eye on that pitch while I'm looking for the pitch to hit on behalf of the 31 million who might gain from this bill as well. They are often voiceless victims too. Again, thanks for the light you've shed on this matter and to Gil for this blog. Dean

Gordon said...


“The left and administration want us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the bright, shiny object - those 31M - they keep swinging before us. Pay no attention to the slaughter of the innocents aided and abetted by the bill.”

Very well said. As someone new to Girard let me ask how some of this might play out in the language of Natural Law. Take J. Budziszewski’s thesis in The Revenge of Conscience: that sin (think mortal sin) creates an objective need for confession, atonement, reconciliation and justification — whether one feels remorse or nothing at all.

All of what follows pivots on Confession, since telling the truth (presuming we’ve been pulled out of our haze) allows us to see both what we’ve done and what it is about our nature that made this seem like a good idea at the time (sin is always a good thing ruined). Adrienne von Speyr sees confession as the moment when we carry our sin to God and disclose the truth of our alienation, and, as such, a repetition of and participation in the Cross: “The cross is the great, universal and definitive confession.” The alternative to confession is the alternative to the Cross: the myth, the lie, fixing firmly on the “bright, shiny object.”

Confession of all the true sins of the world and the revelation of the innocence of the victim are inseparable. I believe Girard, Budziszewski, and von Speyr agree on this.

But if Budziszeski’s right, even when the initial violence is hidden our conscience compels us to carry out the same subsequent procession through confession, atonement, reconciliation, and justification.

Take abortion. I suspect that more than anything this drives the compulsion to confess sins that don’t exist (carbon sins, for example), to atone for acts perpetuated by others (our white, industrial, imperialist parents) instead of our own, to find reconciliation with people who share both the same guilt and carefully crafted ignorance of it (we might create this new unity through the act of saving the 31million dying of no health care, for example), and to justification that is in reality a vast web of PC rationalizations (and God help you if you don’t obey the speech codes).

So the content of natural law is most visible in the attempt to suppress it. Were the knowledge of sin not “written in our hearts” we would have no need to hide the blood of our slaughter. Were we not made in the image of God, we wouldn’t get caught up in diversionary moral causes to make right what we have done. So the “bright shiny object” is not just a diversion, it’s a necessary diversion for those still made in God’s image to avoid true repentance.

Am I reading the connection to Girard correctly?

Mike said...

Wow! Interesting follow ups.

Robert Mooney said...

It is a serious disservice to continue to maintain that the Senate bill as (approved Dec. 24 and hasn't changed since) allows federal funds to pay for abortions or abortion coverage. It does not. It does not. Rely on whomever you wish, but if you wish to advocate honestly read the text of the Senate bill on abortion. It is searchable so you don't have to read all 2409 pages. I sent the relevant language to Gil and yet he keeps posting people who haven't read it. You can distrust the administration and the Democrats, that is fine, maybe quite prudent, but you are not entitled to your own facts. The bill doesn't allow abortion or abortion coverage to be paid for with federal funds or subsidies from the government or any other way. And since it does not, then coverage for 31 million additional people IS a decidedly pro-life issue.

And contrary to this blogs evil software, I am not Hey you. I am Robert Mooney, a long-time supporter of Gil and his work. I am beginning to lose patience with his insistence on believing AUL over his own eyes. Gil is a lawyer by education and he has read the text I sent him. The Senate bill has not changed since it was approved. Look at the reconciliation portion coming out of the House. Scrutinize it. I doubt the House, which accepted the Stupack (sp?) amendment, will allow abortion coverage to sneak back in. But watch and read it before you help someone spread misinformation or help someone grind their political axe.

John said...

Mr. Mooney,

I have not read the bill. Like most of us, I try to find sources of information that can be trusted on matters as intricate as the current version of "health care reform". So, while I cannot refute what you have said, I must confess that the USCCB statement by Cardinal George, which I assume was the result of much collaboration, paints a different picture. Below is an extended excerpt:

"What do the bishops find so deeply disturbing about the Senate bill? The points at issue can be summarized briefly. The status quo in federal abortion policy, as reflected in the Hyde Amendment, excludes abortion from all health insurance plans receiving federal subsidies. In the Senate bill, there is the provision that only one of the proposed multi-state plans will not cover elective abortions – all other plans (including other multi-state plans) can do so, and receive federal tax credits. This means that individuals or families in complex medical circumstances will likely be forced to choose and contribute to an insurance plan that funds abortions in order to meet their particular health needs.

Further, the Senate bill authorizes and appropriates billions of dollars in new funding outside the scope of the appropriations bills covered by the Hyde amendment and similar provisions. As the bill is written, the new funds it appropriates over the next five years, for Community Health Centers for example (Sec. 10503), will be available by statute for elective abortions, even though the present regulations do conform to the Hyde amendment. Regulations, however, can be changed at will, unless they are governed by statute.

Additionally, no provision in the Senate bill incorporates the longstanding and widely supported protection for conscience regarding abortion as found in the Hyde/Weldon amendment. Moreover, neither the House nor Senate bill contains meaningful conscience protection outside the abortion context. Any final bill, to be fair to all, must retain the accommodation of the full range of religious and moral objections in the provision of health insurance and services that are contained in current law, for both individuals and institutions.

This analysis of the flaws in the legislation is not completely shared by the leaders of the Catholic Health Association. They believe, moreover, that the defects that they do recognize can be corrected after the passage of the final bill. The bishops, however, judge that the flaws are so fundamental that they vitiate the good that the bill intends to promote. Assurances that the moral objections to the legislation can be met only after the bill is passed seem a little like asking us, in Midwestern parlance, to buy a pig in a poke.

What is tragic about this turn of events is that it needn’t have happened. The status quo that has served our national consensus and respected the consciences of all with regard to abortion is the Hyde amendment. The House courageously included an amendment applying the Hyde policy to its Health Care bill passed in November. Its absence in the Senate bill and the resulting impasse are not an accident. Those in the Senate who wanted to purge the Hyde amendment from this national legislation are obstructing the reform of health care."

God's Will be done.

Robert Mooney said...

God's will be done for sure! One must think that the USCCB can be trusted on this issue. It seem like we must trust them, but read the bill and decide for yourself. It is searchable -- you can search for abortion or any thing else you wish. I would not try to impose reading the whole 2409 pages on anyone who doesn't have to vote on it. The community health centers are now prohibited from providing or advocating abortion services. The bill doesn't change that. Existing conscience exemptions are not changed by the bill.

One can worry about that but if the bill doesn't change them, worry about what may happen in the future apart from what this bill does, is a thin reason to put off health care reform for probably fifteen years and leave millions of people without real access to good health care.

The relevant parts of the bill are not hard to find, nor too long to read. Do the work. There is so much misinformation floating around that anyone who advocated for or against is unethical to do so without reading the relevant parts of the bill. There is a reference early in the abortion section about prohibiting federal funding for all abortions that federal law (Hyde Amendment) prohibits "based on the law as in effect as of the date
that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved." So as long as the Hyde Amendment is in effect, and it is in no danger now, that section keeps federal funds from going for abortion coverage.

Here is a link to the document. Do the work. 31 or 32 million people without insurance deserve to be treated fairly.

Robert Mooney (not Hey you)