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Sunday, February 19, 2012

SALLY MORRIS: “STUPAKED” - WHY I WON’T SUPPORT AN “ACT OF CONSCIENCE” AMENDMENT

The President’s healthcare mandate, conveyed through the offices of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, that we all have to accept funding of abortion, sterilization, birth control and attendant services, has the Catholic hierarchy in a maelstrom. We are now receiving pleas via email and other conduits for help in supporting this or that Congressman or Senator’s efforts to secure some kind of dispensation for those who wish to opt out of the law on the basis of an “act of conscience”.

At the risk of disappointing or perhaps shocking my Catholic and other pro-life friends, I beg to differ with this approach. We have seen this kind of thing before throughout history. “Divide and conquer.” The principle here is that we have a government being run by a man who does not believe in the conscience of the people or in the Constitution which protects it. We have a man in the Oval Office who seeks to accommodate special interests, whether they be public employee unions, crony capitalist chums or naggy Catholic bishops - with the goal in sight of diluting opposition to an unpopular program. And we have suckers who fall for this not once, but again and again, like Archbishop Dolan for example, suckers who are perfectly okay with selling out a principle so long as they believe their particular flock is protected from that to which the rest of America must submit.

I do not support these morally defective means of governing. One or two segments of our population sold out the rest of us in support of an unconstitutional healthcare program, just so long as their more precious consciences were safe. What kind of conscience is that anyway, that is pliable enough to countenance wrong to a neighbor as long as “number one” is out of harm’s way?

During the initial wrangling over Obamacare, you will recall, it was not a “slam-dunk” by any means. We had a president shamelessly bargaining and cutting deals with first one accomplice and then another. We had the so-called “Louisiana Purchase”, the “Cornhusker Kickback” and all the rest of the special deals made. When it looked like game over, and not enough support because of a strong pro-life faction, Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) rescued the bill with an amendment which would have let some of the conscience-ridden pro-lifers (meaning those Congressmen whose constituents weren’t having it) to vote FOR the healthcare bill. Even the less astute pro-life Republicans fell for this ruse (sorry, Michele) and took the bait. Most of them had their eye on their “vote scoring” by pro-life groups, rather than on principle and good sense.

Meanwhile the Senate had its own Kennedy-style version which did not have the fig leaf. Enter the unexpected victory of Scott Brown and all was changed, changed utterly. Now they could not re-cast the Senate bill because Brown got himself elected on the issue of DEFEATING Obamacare. So there was to be no special anti-abortion language there. It looked like there might be a defeat if it were re-opened. To save the healthcare fiasco, Stupak went in a lather to see Obama to plead for a letter “guaranteeing” that abortion would not be paid for through this program. That letter was issued forthwith as an Executive Order. Before the door hit Stupak’s behind, we can speculate the President was rolling on the floor laughing. The vote held on the basis of this “promise”. So here we are today. This is “government by special dispensation”.

Had those who rightly opposed Obamacare in the first place stood firm AGAINST the Stupak ploy (as did Congressman John Shadegg R- AZ), leaving the healthcare bill stark naked as it was, facilitating abortion, the bill MIGHT HAVE BEEN DEFEATED. Instead, the dupes (sorry, Michele) gave them cover and the bill passed, with this last-minute emergency Democrat-sponsored, face-saving amendment. The majority, then, was sold out by a “special” group “elevated” by their more rarified “conscience”. We have seen this kind of thing abrogated before. And, predictably, here it is abrogated once again. Executive orders, special Band-Aid amendments, separate “deals” of various kinds are no way to run a government.

The beauty of our form of government, our Constitution, our law, is that we are “a nation of laws, not of men”, meaning that we are not a personality cult, but a rational people governed by ONE LAW for ALL. The best guarantee of good law is that it is applied evenly across the boards. Bad law, on the other hand, gets to survive if the powerful are exempted from it and it applies only to the weak. If we are to have laws that are acceptable to the “important” or the “strong”, they must apply equally. There is great danger in these special exemptions.

We’ve already seen this for economic excuses – major businesses being allowed to avoid Obamacare simply because they are big and important. Here’s a partial list of exemptions and waivers: McDonald’s, United Federation of Teachers, AARP, Jack in the Box, Teamsters locals nationwide, Pavers and Road Builders District Council, Indiana Area UFCW Union Locals and Retail Food Employers, Waffle House, Nevada, New Hampshire, Maine, Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Universal Orlando , Aspen Skiing Co., Ashley Furniture/Homestore, PepsiCo, Downstream Casino Resort, Firekeepers Casino, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Panera, AMF Bowling, Ruby Tuesday, Foot Locker . . . this isn’t even “representative”. The list goes on and on and on. There are at least 1,200 companies that have been exempted. We may never know the total number. AND EACH OF THEM IS A CORRUPTED FOOTSOLDIER IN THE OBABAMARE ARMY OF CONQUEST.

So, here is a question – not rhetorical, but serious – for my friends in the Catholic Church: Would you not be better off today if these entities had not been let off the hook? If they, too, were in the trenches with you, might you not be the stronger for it? Do you, therefore support or oppose their exemption? If this is a law, it MUST be applied WITHOUT EXEMPTION. Otherwise it is not law, just a tool of intimidation and manipulation. You deserve no sympathy now, because you had no problem selling the rest of us out. Through years of support of Democrat politicians who have advocated socialized medicine, you, as an institution, behaved immorally. The majority of Catholics with some notable exceptions like Bill Buckley and Pat Buchanan, have supported people like Senator Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama himself. You have no moral authority in this now.

So when I get a plea from some interest group like you, asking me to call my senators and congressmen and get them on your side I say emphatically “NO”. I will not be a party to special laws for special people or special groups. If a law is bad, it’s bad. If it’s bad for you, then it’s bad for the rest of us. Instead of worrying about how to protect your own special consciences, your conscience should be telling you to stand with other patriotic Americans who care about the Constitution that protects us all. You call upon the First Amendment for yourselves. What about the rest of that document? What about the freedom it is supposed to guarantee us ALL?

You see, I oppose quite a lot of what goes on in America under the umbrella of “mental health care”. I don’t agree with doping up school children on drugs to “treat” “Attention Deficit Disorder” , nor do I wish to fund Prozac or Zoloft prescriptions for “depressed” housewives. I personally believe these drugs are far more dangerous than the “illnesses” which they purport to treat. There is even a good deal of evidence suggesting that people have been diagnosed as “mentally ill” in direct relation to how much insurance coverage they have. I don’t want one dime from me to support the administration of Lipitor for “cholesterol”. A close relative has just required a liver transplant for having taken than drug and for no other reason. So why is it okay for ME to have to pay for these and it’s NOT okay for someone who has an attack of conscience over abortion? And if you want to go back to religious grounds, nealy everything covered by Obamacare would be against THEIR beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong. I, too, oppose abortion and sterilization. But this is the point. Each of us has a RIGHT not to pay with our own money for what we do not believe in. This is known as “property rights” and as far back as John Adams, these rights were proclaimed as “basic”. We can’t start making some people’s rights more valuable than other people’s. That is the road to chaos and revolution.

If the Catholic Church is ever to regain her moral authority in this nation, she must first of all accept that this is intended to be a nation of laws – laws applied evenly and fairly. Better that the Catholic pro-life community be faced with this now. Like Chamberlain, they have gone hat in hand to make a deal. It worked as well for them as it did for Chamberlain. His dispassionate concession of the Sudetenland and its people gave him “peace in our time”. That time was very short, however. The pro-life forces have “been to Munich” – the emissary was Stupak. The peace they bought was also short-lived and meaningless. Does anyone think the next “concession” or “accord” will end better?

The reason for the abrogation of the special dispensation granted to Catholics is a simple one: the Obama government, as all socialists everywhere, needs to get competition out of the marketplace. They WANT Catholic hospitals and nursing homes out of the healthcare mix. They WANT parochial schools closed and out of competition with state-run schools. They WANT complete, unconditional control over these services. And the Catholic community simply “obeying conscience” and closing the doors of these facilities is EXACTLY what Obama is angling for. The only course open is for the Catholic Church to FIGHT. It’s been a while since they’ve put on a good fight, but now’s the time. Time will tell whether they really mean it.

If you are called upon to support any amendment or “deal” that falls short of repeal and/or absolute defunding of Obamacare, just say NO. This is no time for us to sell each other out and seek our own “special” accommodation. It is, rather, the time for us to stand on principle, for one and all, and defend our Republic and our Constitution.

Sally Morris is a member of Americans for Constitutional Government, the Executive Committee of the Valley Tea Party Conservative Coalition, for whose website (vtpcc.com) she regularly blogs.

 

JIM’S TRUCKS

 

 

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Comments

Avatar for wj

So, you talk about protecting fundamental freedoms and the Constitution but are willing let Obama run roughshod over the First Amendment out of the hope that the opposition of religious groups will help lead to repeal of the entire law?  Isn’t that kind of blackmail, the opposite, but moral equivalent, of divide and conquer?  Stick with us or your rights be damned!

That would be like watching Nazis kill innocents and doing nothing about it because it would be better to stop Hitler himself. 

The conscience bills, by the way, are not narrow exemptions.  They are broadly written for all persons, of all faiths, of any conscience, and concerning any procedure. 

But I suppose that does not matter to you since you think religious liberty is something that can be trampled upon on your way to defeating Obamacare.

wj on February 20, 2012 at 02:21 pm
Avatar for Sally Morris

Your comment doesn’t really merit much reply, but I will indulge inasmuch as so many are concerned with this and are grasping at straws to avoid the evil that is embedded in Obamacare.  There is, sadly, no “easy” way to fix this with patches.  What we have is a grotesquely wrong law on the books that needs to be addressed.  If we decimate the ranks of those who care about how it affecte them and don’t see the larger picture, we cannot stop the wrong.  Therefore, though you don’t deserve the time or space, though you do not know me at all and therefore are incompetent to judge what my motives are, though you throw around the eptithet “Hitler” with gross and indiscriminate abandon, because others care deeply - as I do - about this fundamental issue, I will answer thusly:
What do you see wrong with Obamacare . . . or any other form of socialized medicine?  I see a great deal – I see euthanasia enforced by “death panels” or whatever term you wish to use.  I see the murder of infants as though it were “medical treatment”.  I see the end of valuable medical research which has relieved much human suffering through medical advancements.  I see the kinds of abuse of medicine and health care which have run rampant throughout the Iron Curtain nations for many decades in the name of “programs for the benefit of the people” .  I see a program and a concept that Americans should work together to defeat.  This is a backward, Neanderthal approach to solving the problems of health care. 
I referred to Bart Stupak and his duplicity in this article.  Perhaps you think he did a service.  Maybe you think better of those who supported his amendment than those who opposed it.  If so, I disagree.  Stupak facilitated the passage of a bill that is riddled with evil and corruption and is a full menu of fiscal disaster for our country.  Had he not offered his “humane” amendment, support for this monstrosity would not have been sufficient for its passage.  You might say he put some delicious flavoring in the poison.  His subsequently procured “Executive Order” did the same thing for the Senate.  It caused that body NOT to revisit the issue with its newly constituted membership – which included anti-Obamacare Scott Brown, an unforeseen contingency.  So Stupak’s “humane” and “pro-life” efforts secured a bill which guaranteed an end result inimical to his stated and pretended position.  He had the help of shallow thinkers (perhaps like yourself) who don’t like the word “abortion”. 
Let me tell YOU something.  I have opposed abortion my entire adult life.  I have supported pro-life candidates and their positions.  I shall continue to do so.  I will oppose them if they try to do this for some and not others.  You cite the “universal” exemptions for “anyone”, no matter what denomination, etc, etc, etc., but what about the availability and encouragement of abortion for, let us say, a baby born to a mother without any religious conviction?  Should that be paid for?  If we protect SOME, and not others, those we protect we take out of the fight for all practical purposes, and leave the weak vulnerable. 
It seems whenever anyone cuts through the guff and tries to speak plainly about reality, some idiot decides to play the “Hitler card”.  Hitler has nothing to do with this.  We can’t be blaming Hitler for what our Congress did and what Bart Stupak accomplished.  Let’s call a liar a liar.  Let’s not fall back on Hitler.  Are you calling ME Hitler?  Then say so.  I oppose killing innocent people, whether their parents are “religious” or subject to “conscience” or not.  I also oppose allowing McDonald’s and Footlocker and AARP to be exempt.  Does this mean I’m for Obamacare?  No.  It means I am against it all the way.  Maybe AARP would have been an advocate for the elderly, as they proclaim, had they not made a deal.  The elderly are poorly served indeed, by Obamacare.  But they (AARP) got a deal.  It was good for them.  So they became Obamacare boosters. We need to live within the boundaries of our Constitution or examine them and change them.  What you advocate is permitting these special cases, however “broad” to override the Constitution which protects us all. 
If you really want to talk about Hitler, think of it this way:  might it have been better, after all, if Chamberlain had not made a deal with the jerk?  What if Chamberlain had said, we’re not going to spare the French if we don’t spare Czechs?  Do you, who are so good yourself, think that government by exemptions is a healthy system? 
You fail to convince me.  Not because I don’t care about human life but because I do.  Your silly amendment would not protect everyone.  And by saying “no” to this kind of thing we can defeat Obamcare for all of us.  If you are too shortsighted to see the truth of this you are hopeless, indeed.  Perhaps you need to listen better.

Sally Morris on February 20, 2012 at 03:43 pm
Avatar for wj

First, don’t accuse me of wrongfully bringing in Hitler.  You first used a Hitler analogy, though not by name, when you made analogy to Chamberlain’s appeasement.  What I did was no different.  If you would like I can change the analogy:  What you are proposing is like refusing to save a child about to be hit by a car because you would rather work at taking away the driver’s license.

Second, for all your insults, you never addressed the fundamental question raised by your post: Why should stand by and let religious liberty - not just any right, mind you - be trampled in your quest to overturn Obamacare?  Sometimes some things need to be sacrificed for a greater good, but religious liberty?  If you are willing to sacrifice religious liberty, how is that not an “ends justifies the means” philosophy.

Third, conscience protection bills are not “special cases” like the businesses that received exemption from Obamacare.  Religious liberty is a fundamental right.  You are essentially using religious liberty for political reasons.

wj on February 21, 2012 at 04:32 pm
Avatar for Sally Morris

Do you know what “fungible” means?  We don’t usually use the word unless we want to impress someone or maybe just be pompous.  I will be extremely precise and hope I impress you.  Money, tax revenue, is FUNGIBLE.  This means it’s like a quantity of water.  Your drop looks and works just like my drop or Harry’s or Larry’s or Sue’s drop of water.  If we all own shares of a lake and Sue and I and you don’t approve of the use of our water for cooling a nuclear arms plant but we think it should be used for supplying the local car wash, swimming pool and watering the garden in the park, someone at the Lake Water Use Regulatory Board can assure us with absolute truth that OUR water will not go to cooling the factory.  OUR water will water the garden and fill the swimming pool.  Does this mean the plant will have to shut down?  No.  Because Harry and Larry like it just fine.  So their water will cool the plant.  Everyone okay with that?  Well, Larry and Harry and, I suppose, all of the idiots are. 
If you or I or the thousands of Catholic or Baptist faithful, or just pro-life Americans elect not to participate in funding abortions or sterilization, etc., do you think for one nanosecond that these procedures will stop?  Do you honestly think that your effort to clean up your conscience with this absurd fiction will spare one single victim from abortion?  Maybe you do.  I know for sure otherwise.  Why?  Because money, tax dollars are fungible.  Whatever is needed to perform the “services”  of which you disapprove will be available.  The only difference is that people who live in a fog will THINK they aren’t paying for it when they are, of course.  See, I don’t want to pay for it.  It’s kind of like when a toddler thinks you can’t see him just because he can’t see you.  It’s something the toddler is expected to grow out of as he becomes more sophisticated.  Not everyone does, I guess.  So if you feel great about not “participating” because you checked a box on a form somewhere, if you really believe that this will prevent one single abortion at state expense – at your expense – dream on, pal. 
If you are serious about saving the unborn, as I am, you will want to end Obamacare.  Of course there are many, many other extremely good reasons for wanting to end it.  There isn’t time or room on this page for a list approaching a representative sample.  Suffice it to say that no good will ever come of this fiasco and a lot of evil will.  I wish to defeat this.  You are looking for some way to hide from the truth that you are going to be forced to pay for it.  I think you are the one with the problem.  The “amendment” which you seem to champion would be that ruse.  It would let you pretend that the problem went away.  It is like saying because you didn’t throw rocks, you just watched theNazis throw them, that you aren’t responsible for Kristalnacht.  It wasn’t your rock that hit the old lady.  It was theirs.  Your hands are clean.  I don’t see it the same way.  We never will, you and I. 
A lot of good, decent people are like you.  They hate fighting and harsh words.  They want the conflict and the evil to all go away.  Maybe this piece of paper will make the bad guys go away and leave us alone.  Maybe it will be all better tomorrow.  If we don’t know about the bad stuff it isn’t there.  But it is.  I don’t blame you for wishing it weren’t so.  I’m sure you want to find a way out of this horror.  I do too.  But I know this isn’t it.  It will take a concerted, united, all out effort.  Otherwise the abortions will continue.  The death panels will be seated and take up your case or your mother’s.  The research and development will stop abruptly and we will enter a new dark age of medicine.  We’re already preparing for a post-electrical world through the good offices of people like the philanthropic Al Gore.  This is just one more piece in the ultimate destruction of our nation, our culture and our world.  Do you want to stop it or check a box saying you don’t wish to participate in it?  You don’t have the rest of your life to ponder it, either, because this stuff is going ahead while you talk about amendments.
The most depressing aspect of this exchange is that you don’t seem to get it and I dread the possibility that you aren’t the only one who doesn’t.  Get this:  if you participate in a government-run healthcare program (Obamacare) and that system (Obamacare) provides coverage for abortions, you will be paying for – that is enabling and supporting – abortion.  You will be funding the destruction of human life.  You will not save one, single, innocent child from being murdered through abortion.  Do you understand?  The Nazis you like to talk about assured people it wouldn’t be them, too.  It would always be someone else.  They lied.

Sally Morris on February 21, 2012 at 08:34 pm
Avatar for Sally Morris

You prattle on about “religious liberty”.  In my view, and in that of many other Americans, this is only one aspect of our liberties.  If you want a special peace for yourself and to hell with the rest of us, I can’t see why you think your liberty should have any value for me.  Or the many ordinary guys who died in the various wars beginning in 1775, and are yet today, to preserve your pristine conscience.  Here is what I predict.  All the bishops and all the king’s men won’t be able to stop government funded abortion in America.  Your amendment is a fraud.  The only thing that will stop what you don’t want to participate in – the only thing which will get YOU off the hook - is a powerful   Conservative Republican surge that will sweep Obamacare into the dustbin for good.  If Obamacare stands it is over.  That is the game.  The final chapter is about to be written.  So just how do you want to participate in THAT?  Take a good look at your remorseless foes in this.  They are not worried about your amendment.  The bottom line here is that if Obamacare stands you will see the closure of parochial schools and religious-based healthcare and other services. 
The thing you and those who care about this issue need to do is get 100% behind every candidate and every effort to repeal and defund Obamacare.  Don’t look for a loophole for yourself.  Don’t fancy that you can snatch one child out of the path of this steamroller. You aren’t.  Your amendment won’t.  Killing Obamacare is the only thing that will.  The time is now to do this.  We can get the support we need.  I can’t understand you.  You must be in favor of salvaging Obamacare – at any cost. 
Here’s an idea for you.  Instead of writing another comment to me, why not write to your newspaper and to your Congressmen and Senators and candidates.  Tell them, one and all, and get your friends and neighbors together on this, talk to your family and the people in your parish or congregation and fight for EVERYONE’s liberty.  Not everyone opposes this on “religious” grounds and to be honest with you, they are every bit as worthy and valid as “religious” grounds.  Remember, before we leave Hitler behind here, after the Czechs were handed over as the price for peace for the rest of Europe, Poland was next.  Don’t try to find weasel room in this.  Be a patriot instead.

Sally Morris on February 21, 2012 at 08:36 pm
Avatar for jack

if kathleen sebelius were inclined to bow to the bishops, she might simply have honored the executive order stupak thought he’d gotten from obama in exchange for his vote. I, personally,  have my doubts as to whether stupak can honestly claim to have been duped. the man had been warned, back when it mattered. now, it would seem to me, we’re in the post double-cross stage of these proceedings. to angle for some special deal now for this group or that invites condescension, to put it politely. but hey- if any of you think you can make a deal with the people who are now going to tell you what’s in obamacaere, i wish you well. truly i do. i wished stupak well-a lot of us did. however, might not now be the time for all of us who oppose obamacare to stand together? that ought to at least give us the element of surprise.

jack on February 21, 2012 at 09:56 pm
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