All original written and photographic material on this site is the property of the author, and is not to be used without permission.

Monday, September 21, 2009

USCCB Press Release from Sept. 9, 2009

USCCB News Release

September 10, 2009


USCCB Officials Welcome President Obama's Statements On Abortion, Care For The Poor In Response To Health Care Address

WASHINGTON—Calling it an important contribution to a crucial national debate, officials speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed President Obama's September 9 address on health care reform, particularly his statements regarding abortion and the uninsured.

"We agree that 'no one should go broke because they get sick,'" said Kathy Saile, Director of Domestic Social Development at the USCCB. "That's why the U.S. Bishops have worked for decades for decent health care for all. The Catholic Church provides health care for millions, purchases health care, picks up the pieces of a failing health system, and has a long tradition of teaching on ethics in health care. Health care reform that respects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority. We welcome the President's speech as an important contribution to this essential national debate and task."

"We especially welcome the President's commitment to exclude federal funding of abortion, and to maintain existing federal laws protecting conscience rights in health care," said Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director of Pro-Life Activities at the USCCB. "We believe that incorporating essential and longstanding federal laws on these issues into any new proposal will strengthen support for health care reform. We will work with Congress and the Administration to ensure that these protections are clearly reflected in new legislation, so no one is required to pay for or take part in abortion as a result of health care reform."

"We agree with the President that there are details that need to be ironed out," said Saile. "And with his address last night, we see the opportunity to work towards a truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity, access for all with a special concern for the poor, and inclusion of legal immigrants. We also see the possibility of meeting the bishops' goal to pursue the common good and preserve pluralism, including freedom of conscience and a variety of options, and restraining costs and applying them equitably across the spectrum of payers."

Keywords: health care, health care reform, abortion, conscience protection, immigrants, U.S. bishops, USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, President Obama, address

Teen Pregnancy (Courtesy of American Papist)


"Teen Birth Rates Higher in Highly Religious States"

I love science. Especially science about sex. It leads to such interesting conclusions.
U.S. states whose residents have more conservative religious beliefs on average tend to have higher rates of teenagers giving birth, a new study suggests.
The relationship could be due to the fact that communities with such religious beliefs (a literal interpretation of the Bible, for instance) may frown upon contraception, researchers say. If that same culture isn't successfully discouraging teen sex, the pregnancy and birth rates rise. (Live Science)

Now, I have a different interpretation. I would tend to think that religious individuals are less likely to choose abortion once pregnant. And that is why the teen birth rates are higher among religious individuals - because those babies aren't being killed in the womb.
The actual study, of course, "don't say anything about cause and effect", but that doesn't stop the scientists from forming their own conclusions:
"We conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the use of contraception among their teenagers than they are in discouraging sexual intercourse itself."

How odd because - again - I would conjecture that religious communities in the U.S. are more successful in discouraging the choice to abort a child once he or she has been conceived.
Am I biased? Probably. Are the scientists biased? Probably.
But the difference is that the scientists look at this issue through the lens of contraception, and I look at it through the lens of abortion. Maybe we can find common ground in admitting that both can be a factor.
Oh, and that teens having abortions is far worse than teens becoming pregnant.
And that the Church proposes very effective solutions to both problems. If anyone will listen.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

President Obama's Speech on Health Care from Oct. 9, 2009

So I know it's a lot to read, but I always preferred getting the full information to another person's synopsis, so please read and watch this if you missed the President's address yesterday!

God bless (and save) America.

Friday, September 4, 2009

St. Francis Xavier

If one were to read the first post of this blog, one would discover that the name and idea for the blog stem first from the Scripture passage of Luke 12:49, in which Christ says, "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing," and second from a book by Louis de Wohl titled Set All Afire.

Set All Afire is a narrative on the life and mission of St. Francis Xavier. I highly recommend reading this book for any age and at any level of interest. De Wohl is a wonderful author and his depiction of St. Francis is so alive and rich that any reader will wonder at how they are not doing crazy and unbelievable things with their lives, if such a man as Francis existed.

Francis' fire to accomplish so much stems from a deep love of the Lord, and it is this same source of strength which we are invited to draw from on a daily basis. That was the hope and focus of this blog - to be a place of encouragement for all of us to continually work for the Kingdom of God, to not grow slack in zeal and to know the support of a community.

So keep up the good work, keep fighting the good fight, and never allow fear, doubt, sloth or malice to keep you from doing the will of the Lord, which will always and forever be to love God first and your neighbor next!!!

N/A but True!

For the purposes of this blog, we can call this post N/A.
Yet, I'm a girl from Ohio getting really excited as the fall weather moves into Virginia, only to be told that it doesn't snow here much!!!
So now all I can think about is getting lost in that cold, fun-filled percipitation.
Judge me if you're from the south, I'll understand.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Scream

Anyone who knows me knows that one of my weaknesses is Ben and Jerry's ice cream. I have often joked that Ben and Jerry were my dates on countless evenings in. They are sometimes the best of dates at the time, but like so many other men, have a tendency to turn up later in the most unwelcome of places.

I am breaking up with Ben and Jerry.

Ben and Jerry announced yesterday that they will be renaming my favorite flavor, Chubby Hubby, to "Hubby Hubby" in celebration of the legalization of gay marriage in Vermont.

Before I mount my conservative soapbox, allow me to make one thing clear: I do not in any way hate gays. I have some friends who are gay, and I love them just as much as I do anyone else. All people are made in the image and likeness of God, and deserve respect and love.

OK, now onto the soapbox.

Anything that breaks down the family structure mustn't be glamorized. Why am I against gay marriage? Because it is the government telling the people that something unnatural is OK and encouraged. Many people unfortunately use the legal system as a moral code. If the law says that I can abort my child, then it must be OK. If the law says that two men can marry and enjoy the same legal rights as a man and woman, then I see nothing wrong with it. NO! When we allow two people of the same sex to marry, we are teaching our children that there aren't standards. In the end it will create a broken society.

For now, Häagen Dazs will have to do. I will miss you, Ben and Jerry. Perhaps I will see you on Free Ice Cream Day.

Grassroots Films

This may seem like old news to many of you, but if you haven't checked out Grassroots Films, you really need to! Watch the trailer for the Human Experience and go see it sometime soon!!!

American Papist: Not Your Average Catholic!: Video: The most awesome Ordination video you'll ever see

American Papist: Not Your Average Catholic!: Video: The most awesome Ordination video you'll ever see