A message from the John Paul II Medical Research Center:
The John Paul ll Medical Research Center’s “Campaign for Cures” seeks to end the use of aborted fetal cells in medical research and bio-manufacturing. There are several human cell lines derived from past abortions which the pharmaceutical industry is using in a variety of ways to generate billions of dollars annually. These cells are being used to produce vaccines, protein drugs, gene therapy and cell therapy that are either currently in use or in development.
JP2MRI has the technical resources and expertise to combat this immoral practice and offer an ethical solution. Pope St. John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae stated that:
“the use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person.”
The “Campaign for Cures”
In response to Catholic church teaching, the Institute is creating ethical human cells to replace aborted fetal cell lines by launching “Campaign for Cures.” To enable JP2MRI to meet the first scientific milestones necessary to replace human cell lines derived from past abortions, the Institute is seeking to raise $300,000 by the end of December 2019. The longer it takes to meet this financial goal, the longer it will take for pro-life individuals to have access to an ethical alternative pharmaceutical product.
It should also be noted these previously mentioned pharmaceutical products require administration in a hospital setting, thereby creating a dilemma that threatens Catholic healthcare.
Catholic hospitals that adopt therapies derived from morally-illicit cells risk losing their Catholic identity. Conversely, those that refuse to use such technologies risk losing market share due to the perception of not offering the most cutting-edge treatments. Furthermore, pro-life healthcare providers risk losing their jobs in secular hospitals if they exercise their moral conscience and refuse to administer these products.
“Immortalized” human adult stem cells
Since June, 2019 the Institute has been working to create “immortalized” human adult stem cell lines. Most cells, including stem cells, will generally weaken and die with repeated passages for cellular growth and given time.
In July, JP2MRI took 2 adult stem cells from newborn sources, one from cord blood and the other from placenta, and introduced genes in them that would hopefully immortalize these adult stem cells to serve as replacement cells for the immoral ones used in industry.
Research of this nature has never been attempted before with adult stem cells.
The pharmaceutical industry has always presumed that fetal cells are the only cells that can produce medicines in bio-manufacturing. Now, eleven weeks later and at cell passage number twenty-three, the two cell lines we have created are still going strong.
Resources needed to complete this research
Generally, it takes at least fifty cell passages (roughly 7 months) to confirm that the cells are truly immortal and functional for bio-manufacturing purposes. We intend to continue devoting resources to ensure that these cell lines remain growing to prove their viability for industrial uses. However, this work is a capital intensive effort that takes time to accomplish and for which we need your ongoing financial support.
Failure to meet our fundraising goal will be a huge set back that could potentially result in the Institute losing the cell lines we have generated and been maintaining and cause significant delays in accomplishing our milestone of offering an ethical solution.
It is important to point out that current fetal cell lines in bio-manufacturing are half a century old and approaching the end of their utility. Unfortunately, there are efforts by researchers around the world of trying to source and use fresh aborted tissue to create new future cell lines. Consequently, it is critical that ethical alternative cell lines are developed and made available so that we do not have to endure another half a century or more with no ethical alternative treatment choices. Your financial support will be critical to make the “Campaign for Cures” a success. Please join the fight to support ethical research by donating today. Donations may be made at www.jp2mri.org. Thank you for your support!
WHAT: Pro-life regional training
PLACE: St. Pius X Catholic Church, 3663 66th St, Urbandale, IA 50322
DATE: Monday, November 18th, 2019
PRESENTED BY: Tom Chapman, Executive Director of the Iowa Catholic Conference
St. Pius X parish in Urbandale is hosting a regional training meeting on Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m. for those interested in reversing the Iowa Supreme Court’s 2018 decision finding a fundamental right to abortion in Iowa’s Constitution.
The court’s ruling put at risk restrictions on late-term abortions, taxpayer funding of abortion on demand and parental notification before an abortion by a child. The Iowa bishops support an amendment to correct and clarify our state Constitution does not secure a right to an abortion.
The presenter will be Tom Chapman, executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference. Those who attend will receive information about the Church’s teaching on human dignity and practical resources on how to contact legislators and parishioners on the constitutional amendment proposal.
[One of the best ways to cultivate an attitude of life is to make a pilgrimage to the March for Life. Get details here.]
By Madelyn Barten
“Let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion towards others, for everyone is walking their own difficult path.” ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf
When we think of a woman who had an abortion, it is easy to become an unjust judge of their character and situation. Without meaning any harm, we may assume that this woman is an evil person, who knows better and has chosen to kill her small child in an act of selfishness. This, however, we can see is not true. Surely it may be the case in some scenarios, but most evidence points to the fact that the majority of women do not know what is being done, or they do know but have been pressured by the people around them who threaten terrible things if she does not give up the life of her child as a sacrifice to their insatiable anger, their encompassing fears.
These women have been told they are not strong enough, not good enough, too young, too old, and essentially incapable of being mothers. They feel weak, unsupported, and alone, knowing not where to turn in their times of trial. They are made to fear and despise pregnancy and motherhood, even though bringing life to the world is the deepest hidden truth of being a woman. They are convinced that they cannot be good mothers, working women, or students at the same time. And these women, these scared, hurt, and confused women are all around us. We never know if someone among us is experiencing these doubts and pains. They could be our friends, colleagues, fellow students, or even family members.
You can help
We the people they trust, can help them through this. We can only hope that these women will turn to someone who will lead them in the right direction, that is, away from abortion and the sorrows it brings, and towards the kindness and mercy of those willing to help them. How can we be these people? How can we give support and show compassion to the women we know who may reach out to us in their broken spirits, longing for someone to show love to them and bring them hope in their situation?
It is not improbable that eventually in life, someone will come to one of us asking for help, advice, or anything, in a situation where they feel the need to abort their child. We think of scenarios where children are being aborted as dominated by the situations in which young girls who aren’t married conceive, whether by their own will or not. However, we must also consider the very real possibility that a married couple may face the choice of abortion with a child they have chosen to conceive.
Imagine the scene
We can imagine the scene, a young couple, excited to go to their OBGYN appointment to check on the health of their baby. However, during the appointment the doctor gives some frightening news to the new father and mother; their child has been diagnosed with a life-changing disability. The doctor explains to the couple that their child would be completely dependent upon them for the entirety of his or her life, and that their life may not even be that long. The doctor, unfortunately, is not prolife and suggests to them the possibility of an abortion, as a “kindness” to the child and to themselves, as they are both working full time and seemingly cannot afford to lose one of their salaries. Confused and heartbroken, the couple leaves, searching for an answer to the question facing them, “Should we abort our child?”
They inevitably end up consulting those around them whom they trust and know will give them sound advice, at least from their experience. This is the chance that we have to help them, to show them that they can care for a child with one or multiple disabilities, and that they will have support from those around them as well. We must first always treat them with love, for surely any condemnation or unkindness will turn them away from the possibility of choosing life for their child. Next, we must let them know that we only wish to help, and never to harm them, and that this is also the intent of the prolife plan of action we may suggest. We cannot tell them falsehoods, but rather only the truth in every situation. However, we must be tactful and kind in the way we present these truths, truths about what abortion actually is and what it does, not only to the child but to the mother and father as well. Again, love must be the driving force behind any actions we take.
The adoption option
We must explain to them why they should not have an abortion, but we must also give them the reasoning behind it, and solutions to their problems. It may be true that these parents simply cannot care for a child with disabilities, but adoption is always an option for those children. We can give them examples of how other families in similar situations have been able to keep their child and care for them, and can introduce them to support groups and other families who have members with disabilities. If they are worried about the quality of life of their child, we can use examples of those children and adults who, even with their disabilities, are living life to the fullest and are loving every minute, and explain to them the teaching that all life has meaning simply because it exists. (Special Books by Special Kids is a great source for these kinds of stories.)
We can refer them to prolife clinics that can give them the good care they need, where they can even find financial help with free ultrasounds and other savings on their medical expenses. We can assure them that we will be with them every step of the way, that they will never feel alone. We can also make ourselves known as someone in their lives willing to help even after the child is born. We can even begin making this known long before we find ourselves in a situation with a young mother considering an abortion. For most of her life, my grandma has made it known to all those around her that if they ever end up in a troubling position of any kind, she will be there to help them. Even if she does not know them, she is completely willing to share her home, her time, and her resources with any and all who request it. We can be these kinds of people. Even if we cannot offer a place to live, or maybe we simply cannot offer any financial support, we can always do something. If we are not able to assist physically, we are certainly able to offer prayers for those who need them.
We can be the hearts and hands of Christ
In short, when we are approached with these situations, we must treat the ones coming to us with love and kindness, never judging, but always being willing to help them in any way we can and pray for them. Our kindness must start beforehand, we must always strive to live good and loving lives so that people will be comfortable coming to us, and thus we may be able to truly assist them in their times of need. For “Christ has no body but (y)ours, no hands, no feet on earth but (y)ours.” (St. Teresa of Avila) We must live up to our duty of being Christ’s hands and feet on earth, to our duty of showing only love to those around us and especially those in frightening positions facing abortion.
[Thanks to Madelyn Barten for permission to publish her award-winning pro-life essay. She is a home-schooled senior who attends the Basilica at St. John.]
Des Moines voters will select a new mayor in a run-off election on December 3rd. Jack Hatch and incumbent mayor, Frank Cownie, finished in a dead heat in this week’s election. Iowans for LIFE has never weighed in on a mayor’s race before. However, Jack Hatch’s anti-life political history generally, and a specific, deplorable incident in 2012, reveals a political character that pro-life voters in Des Moines should be aware of.
The following piece was written by Iowans for LIFE board president, Tom Quiner. It ran in the Des Moines Register and the Dubuque Telegraph Herald in April, 2012.
Dishonest Democrats smear a good woman
By Tom Quiner
Iowa Democrats resorted to a smear campaign to provide cover in refusing to confirm Colleen Pasnik to the Iowa Board of Medicine.
As background, the Board of Medicine has been in the news in the past year. This is the Board that allowed Planned Parenthood to proceed with “telemed abortions” in Iowa.
In other words, even though a doctor is not present as one should be, according to Iowa law, the Board gave the abortion lobby the green light to provide them via a computer monitor from a remote location. With the press of a button, they could simply dispense abortion pills.
Governor Branstad nominated Ms. Pasnik to the Board earlier this year. She needed a two thirds vote to be confirmed, but came up short after a 29 to 18 vote. The opposition was led by Democratic Senator, Jack Hatch.
What was the beef against Ms. Pasnik? According to Senator Hatch:
“She was accompanied by people who were…arrested and convicted of crimes and bombing of abortion clinics.”
He refers to pro life activist, Cheryl Sullenger, who was convicted of bombing a clinic in 1988.
Let us deconstruct Democrats’ deceit on this issue:
1. Ms. Pasnik didn’t even know Ms. Sullenger. They never spoke before or since that meeting. For the record, I was at the same meeting. So was Monsignor Frank Bognanno of Christ the King Catholic Church. So were a whole bunch of other faithful Catholics concerned about the expansion of abortion in Iowa. By this standard, we are all tainted with “guilt by association” even though not a one of us knew Ms. Sullenger.
2. Senator Hatch used the word “people,” not “person,” in referring to the anti-abortion terrorists Ms. Pasnik allegedly chums around with. And yet Ms. Sullenger was the only one at the event convicted of a crime. Mr. Hatch’s intent was to smear all of us in attendance of guilt by association with his use of the plural instead of the singular.
3. The good Senator also used the plural on the word ‘clinics,’ suggesting that the lot of us bombed multiple clinics. To be clear, Ms. Sullenger was convicted for blowing up a single clinic.
4. Not a single dissenting Democrat bothered to contact Ms. Pasnik to verify her (non) association with Ms. Sullenger. I was nominated to a different commission a year ago. A Democratic Senator contacted me before my confirmation vote to “check me out” (I was confirmed.) Why wouldn’t they extend the same courtesy to Ms. Pasnik? Here is why: they were looking for an excuse to vote against her. Had they cleared the air with a simple phone call, it would have been difficult to come up with a reason to vote against her.
What do we know about Ms. Pasnik?
She is a practicing Catholic and heeds the Church’s call to respect human life from conception to natural death.
She is a past director of the Family Life Office for the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
She is the past executive assistant for the Dubuque County Right to Life.
She is the vice president of The Power of Prayer, a group that promotes perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
I met her a year after Iowa Board of Medicine public hearing at the Christ Our Life Catholic Conference. We have stayed in touch via e-mail for the past year-and-a-half.
Each communication, and I mean EACH, ends with this encouragement: “keep your eyes on the risen Christ.”
This is a person Senate Democrats say is not fit to sit on the Iowa Board of Medicine.
Having tainted Ms. Pasnik by linking her to Ms. Sullenger, Senator Hatch said:
“I think in my judgment that I presented to my caucus that a person like this who has strong beliefs may be unable to provide the non-biased support or judgment to listen to presentations of doctors and providers who come in front of this board on serious matters of medicine.”
To what strong beliefs does he refer? He suggests it is because she hob knobs with terrorists. We know that isn’t an issue for Democrats. After all, Barack Obama has hob knobbed with convicted terrorist, Bill Ayers, who bombed public buildings. These same Democrats voted “yes” for Barack Obama for president. So an association with a bomber of public buildings is certainly not an issue to Democrats.
And in the case of Ms. Pasnik, she didn’t even know a bomber of public buildings. That was simply a Democratic fabrication.
So what does that leave us with but her Catholic belief in the sanctity of life?
Catholics like Ms. Pasnik embrace the Catholic values of peace and justice. As she said:
“I have never advocated violence against anyone, and would never advocate violence and to intimate otherwise borders on slander and libel.”
What kind of people are these Senate Democrats? How could they take a bright, decent person like Colleen Pasnik and drag her name through the mud?
Republican Senator, Mark Chelgren, supported Ms. Pasnik in the strongest terms:
“Here is somebody who lives their life based on their Catholic convictions.”
Evidently, that is a deal-killer for Senate Democrats.
Since the turn of the century, the suicide rate has increased in 49 states, representing a shocking 25% increase nationally. This is a life issue. Iowans for LIFE wants to alert you of a suicide prevention workshop tomorrow night, 6:30PM, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church conducted by Randy Kiel.
The workshop is titled, “When low becomes too low.” It is a Catholic-centered workshop on adolescent and adult depression and suicide.
Randy Kiel is the founder of Kardia Counseling, a private counseling practice located in Des Moines, IA. A licensed mental health counselor with more than 25 years of clinical experience, Randy is an expert of psychotherapy in marriage, family counseling, depression and anxiety, suicide, ADHD, and integration of Catholic spirituality.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of ten and 34, so bring your teenagers and college aged children.
This workshop will equip you to better understand how to:
- Protect yourselves and your children from becoming “too low” with depressed thoughts.
- Respond to people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Train the brain to pull up from lows.
- Contemplate God’s response to suicidal thoughts.
- Take home new insights for the well-being of self and others.
Here in Iowa, the suicide rate increased 36.2% from 1999 to 2016. Seventeen states have higher rates. Five percent of Iowans have been diagnosed with major depression.
Deacon Randy Kiel says that in the midst of this epidemic of despair, there is hope. Arm yourself with the knowledge to help you and your loved ones get through the times ‘when low becomes to low.’
Wednesday, November 6th
6:30PM to 8PM in the Holy Trinity Sanctuary, 2926 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310
All are welcome, no RSVP required
The March for Life is the largest human rights demonstration in the world.
More than half a million people showed up last January to march and pray in support of our unborn brothers and sisters. Our new March for Life video above provides perspective of the March from a variety of participants, ranging in age from Generation Z to Baby Boomers.
The majority of March participants are our nation’s youth.
Iowans for LIFE takes several hundred students on the March each. The deadline is November 1st.
It is time now for you to commit to this life-changing pilgrimage. Register now.
Be sure to watch our video above and share it with your friends who want to learn more.
The U.S. Delta force hunted down and killed ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The headline for the Washington Post purred:
“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48.”
By way of contrast, students from a Catholic high school in Covington, Kentucky, attended the March for Life in Washington DC earlier this year where they were accosted by another group of protestors. The Washington Post took a more aggressive tack in their headlining:
‘It was getting ugly’: Native American drummer speaks on his encounter with MAGA-hat-wearing teens.
Note that they aren’t pro-life students, they are MAGA-hat wearing teens, according to the press’s treatment of the account. The article proceeded to hammer the ‘Covington Kids,’ referring to their “white privilege’ generally, and to Nick Sandmann’s “perennial smirk.” Mr. Sandmann is a sixteen year old student at Covington Catholic High School. The Washington Post took the side of the native American drummer referred to in the headline above.
The entire mainstream media joined the Post in their rush-to-judgement in condemning these high school kids. Watch the video above for a more honest treatment of the story.
The kids were threatened, and the their school was forced to close for a day for the sake of the security of the kids, leading to a $250 million defamation lawsuit filed on Mr. Sandmann’s behalf against the Washington Post. More on that in a minute.
Big Abortion and their allies in Big Media loathe these kids, which was on full display in their rush to condemn the Covington Kids. Here are a few of their choice comments on these pro-life young people:
“I don’t know what it says about me but I’ve truly lost the ability to articulate the hysterical rage, nausea, and heartache this makes me feel. I just want these people to die. Simple as that. Every single one of them. And their parents.” Erik Abriss, writing for New York Media’s pop culture site, Vulture
More violent rhetoric from abortion supporters
Jack Morrissey, who co-produced “Beauty and the Beast” for Walt Disney Productions, built on this violent theme with a tweet, accompanied by a bloody graphic, that purrs:
“MAGA kids go screaming, hats first, into the wood chipper.”
Wonder what Walt would say about an employee who fantasizes about killing kids?
And even more…
CNN’s Ana Navarro called the boys “racists” and “a**wipes.” And their legal analyst, Bakari Sellers, said one of the boys should be “punched in the face.”
Not to be outdone, another CNN contributor, Reza Aslan, exclaimed,
“Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?”
A call for public shaming
At least comedian, Kathy Griffin, didn’t want to kill, chop up, or punch any of the kids. She simply wants them publicly named on social media and shamed:
“Name these kids. I want NAMES. Shame them. If you think these f—ers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat, think again.”
Hollywood actor, John Cusack, seemed chagrined by the kids’ Catholicity:
“This Covington School thing is beyond belief…the lack of basic Respect for an elder (any elder) is the number one symptom of a SICK society….MAGA CATHOLICS paving the road of ignorance…you are a DISGRACE…look that word up, it means something….learn your History, Catholics. Grow some spine Clergy…lead by example and stop embarrassing the rest of us who know better.”
Hmmm, maybe Mr. Cusack doesn’t know as much as he think he does.
Clearly, Hollywood actors know better than the rest of us, as another Hollywood actress, Debra Messing, demonstrated with this delicate description of one of the Covington kids:
“Mocking, condescending, disrespecting, A–HOLE,”
The authoress of “The Purity Myth,” Jessica Valenti, just plain didn’t like the looks of the fifteen year Catholic boy at the heart of the controversy:
“I think so many of us have been on the receiving end of the face he was making: a smug, untouchable, entitled f*** you.”
Guess she never heard the phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover.
All of this background brings us back to the lawsuit. Judge William Bertelsman threw it out last summer, but just reopened the case, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer:
After reviewing an amended complaint, Judge William Bertelsman ordered Monday that the case could enter the discovery phase and hence a portion of the lawsuit against the newspaper could continue.
Nick and his attorneys had alleged that the gist of a Washington Post article conveyed that Nick had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips and engaged in racist conduct after the Right to Life March in Washington D.C. on Jan. 18.
Sandmann’s lawyers argue that the Washington Post incorrectly characterized the teen as the aggressor in the situation and exposed him to public ridicule.
Bertelsman said in the order that he stands by his decision that 30 of the 33 statements Sandmann’s lawyers argued were libelous were not, but that ‘justice requires’ further review of three of the statements.
Todd Mcmurtry, Mr. Sandmann’s attorney, characterized the judge’s decision as a “huge win.”
Mr. Sandmann has a shot at justice in our court of law, even if he can’t find it in the mainstream press. Apparently the press views a pro-life warrior like Nick Sandmann as a bigger threat to the world than a pro-terrorist warrior like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Virtue is in the news, and people are outraged. As we wrote on Tuesday, Attorney Bill Barr gave a sweeping speech at Notre Dame University on religion and virtue and their role in the American “experiment.” Barr described the Founders’ vision for our republic:
“They would leave “the People” broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people.”
What could outrage so many about that? Barr said virtue depends on religion:
“Instead, social order must flow up from the people themselves – freely obeying the dictates of inwardly-possessed and commonly-shared moral values. And to control willful human beings, with an infinite capacity to rationalize, those moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will – they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.”
And there’s the rub: God. God defines virtue, not man. Says Barr:
“From the nature of things we can, through reason… discern standards of right and wrong that exist independent of human will.”
The response was intense
Said Paul Krugman of the New York Times:
“God Is now Trump’s co-conspirator.” [Barr] sounds remarkably like America’s most unhinged religious zealots” [who commit] “mass murder because schools teach the theory of evolution.”
Mary Papenfuss of the Huffington Post made a fuss about Barr’s Catholicism:
“The speech revealed how deeply the top lawman in the nation is tied to his Catholicism. [He] ‘lashed’ a recent New Jersey law requiring LGBTQ curriculum in public schools to support civil rights.”
Joan Walsh of the Nation fretted that:
“William Barr Is neck deep in extremist Catholic institutions” like the Knights of Columbus, whom she characterizes as “a fraternal order of Catholic men” and “a patriarchal cosplay group.” (Cosplay means they wear costumes, which must make them bad, unless, of course, they were to dress up as women.)
Over at the New Yorker, Jeffrey Tobin raged that Barr is out to get those who desire to act on their same-sex attractions:
“The real beleaguered minorities here are gay people who are simply trying to be treated like everyone else, but Barr twists this story into one about oppression of believers.”
This is a good time for you to conduct a Google search on who has been targeted by lawsuits the most, Christian florists and cake shops, or our friends with same-sex attractions.
Virtue is indispensable to democracy
Ultimately, Barr invoked the American belief that virtue is indispensable to democracy. And what are the virtues?
The theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity. Faith in God is certainly reviled, as William Barr’s critics revealed.
Charity has certainly fallen out of favor if one defines it as the voluntary giving of financial assistance out of one’s own pocket. Today’s political and cultural critics suggest government-backed coercion in the form of higher taxation as the most proper form of charity.
And these same critics believe hope is found in the perfectibility of mankind under the watchful eye of a large, central government, not God.
The Cardinal Virtues
The four cardinal virtues don’t fare any better. The virtue of prudence seems antiquated to modern culture. Prudence is about having the wisdom to discipline our lives on matters of money, power, sex, and other gifts God provides.
Human abortion dishonors this virtue with its lack of discipline toward our bodies, and a rejection of God’s beautiful gift of life.
The virtue of temperance is all about using self-restraint in our lifestyles. St. Thomas Aquinas says temperance is a “disposition of the mind which binds the passions,” such as one’s sexual appetites.
Human abortion dishonors this virtue with its lack of self-restraint on sexual matters and unwillingness to take responsibility for the consequences of these actions.
The virtue of fortitude is all about confronting our fear, uncertainty and intimidation we face in our lives.
Human abortion dishonors this virtue in the face of a crisis pregnancy by succumbing to fear, uncertainty, and even intimidation from family members pressing for abortion.
The virtue of justice calls on us to promote the common good by respecting the rights of our neighbors.
Human abortion dishonors this virtue by disrespecting the rights of the unique human being in the womb.
The ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ are thriving
As the assault on virtue builds in intensity, the seven deadly sins seem to be coming into their own.
Pride is in, whether it is gay pride or “shout your abortion!”
Avarice is in as politicians vow to take seize assets from those who earned it and redistribute it to those who didn’t.
Envy is in as resentment has become the foundation of entire political movements.
Gluttony is in, as 39.8% or Americans are obese, and another 31.8% are overweight.
Sloth is highly prized as politicians call for a Green New Deal which includes “economic security for those who don’t want to work.”
Lust is everywhere: on our phones, our laptops, and our tablets as porn’s tentacles spread.
And anger abounds. Breathless outrage is the norm, as William Barr discovered in the media response to his speech, noted above. Anger is especially acute toward those who stand up for our unborn brothers and sisters in the womb, as the Covington Kids discovered at last year’s March for Life.
How to save our republic
If virtue is essential to democracy, and if moral values flow from God, what must we do to save our republic? It takes education.
As William Barr asserts:
“We cannot have a moral renaissance unless we succeed in passing to the next generation our faith and values in full vigor.
The times are hostile to this. Public agencies, including public schools, are becoming secularized and increasingly are actively promoting moral relativism.
If ever there was a need for a resurgence of Catholic education – and more generally religiously-affiliated schools – it is today.
I think we should do all we can to promote and support authentic Catholic education at all levels.”
Iowans for LIFE is already engaged in this mission. We stand up for our unborn brothers and sisters in the public square day by day, week by week, year by year.
What can you do? Support us financially. Without money, our pro-life message is silenced.
[William Barr’s speech is worth listening to in its entirety, complete with his ad libs. You can watch it below.]
Two of the most powerful positions in the president’s cabinet are the office of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State. On October 11th, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr both gave speeches on a singularly polarizing subject: God.
The venues were different. Attorney General Barr spoke at Notre Dame University in West Bend, Indiana to the law school and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.
Secretary Pompeo spoke at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, to the American Association of Christian Counselors.
God is a no-no in the P.C. culture
In an era of suffocating political correctness, the subject of God is a no-no to public figures associated with an administration which identifies as pro-life. And yet Mssrs. Barr and Pompeo didn’t hold back.
Barr began with a reminder of the centrality of religious liberty in the founding of our nation:
“The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.
In his renowned 1785 pamphlet, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as “a right towards men” but “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty….precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”
Break out the pitchforks!
Pompeo talked about the importance of God in his work:
“As believers, we draw on the wisdom of God to help us get it right, to be a force for good in the life of human beings.
Now, I know that even having just said that, I know some people in the media will break out the pitchforks when they hear that I ask God for direction in my work. But you should know, as much as I’d like to claim originality, it is not a new idea. I love this quote from President Lincoln: “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
A transcendent moral order
Barr reminded us of the Founders’ conviction that freedom was dependent upon belief in God:
“In short, in the Framers’ view, free government was only suitable and sustainable for a religious people – a people who recognized that there was a transcendent moral order antecedent to both the state and man-made law and who had the discipline to control themselves according to those enduring principles.
As John Adams put it, “We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
Pompeo made it clear that it is Christianity that animates his faith and directs his leadership style:
“… My focus too, to be quite candid, is not just on being a leader. I learned how to lead at whatever level I’m blessed with during my time at West Point and other experiences, but I want to talk today about being a Christian leader. I learned that through a very different experience, an experience with God and my own personal faith in Christ.
How you carry yourself is the first arena of Christian leadership.”
Barr correctly identified the contemporary assault on Christian leadership as an orchestrated attack by a competing ‘creed:’
“One of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion, including inquisitions and excommunication.
Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake – social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.”
The mission of defending human dignity
Pompeo acknowledged that his faith is critical to defending human dignity:
“My day is often scheduled into 15-minute increments. Every now and again I get a half hour, and every now and again I get to hear some of the beautiful worship music that I was able to sit with you for. I need to be intentional – we each need to be intentional – about carving out time to pursue the mission of defending human dignity.
International organizations will try, from time to time, to sneak language into their documents claiming that abortion is a human right. And we’ll never accept that. (Applause and cheers.) We’ve worked diligently to find every dollar that might be going to that and we have worked tirelessly and successfully now to bring it nearly to an end.”
Barr says we need to look at the underlying causes of growing social pathology in the American culture:
“But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of alleviator of bad consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.
So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion.”
“The law is being used as a weapon”
Barr said that the “law is being used as weapon in a couple of ways:”
“First, either through legislation but more frequently through judicial interpretation, secularists have been continually seeking to eliminate laws that reflect traditional moral norms.
At first, this involved rolling back laws that prohibited certain kinds of conduct. Thus, the watershed decision legalizing abortion. And since then, the legalization of euthanasia.”
William Barr’s speech garnered more attention than Mike Pompeo’s. The pushback bordered on the hysterical with reactions like these:
Barr is “neck deep in extremist Catholic institutions.”
“God is now Trump’s co-conspirator.”
“Is this Barr’s cry for help?”
Reactions like these only prove his point.
How often do you have the Attorney General and the Secretary of State give life-affirming speeches on the same day?
Gentlemen, good job.
This election cycle is producing increasingly odd and disturbing abortion politics. The most recent Democratic debate gave us a glimpse at the breathtaking pace Democrats are pulling away from the ‘moderate’ positions staked about by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Let’s review abortion politics in a rapid fire Q & A format:
When does life begin?
QUESTION: Do Americans think it is important to understand ‘when life begins’ when determining public policy on abortion rights?
ANSWER: Yes, according to 82% of surveyed Americans. And 93% believe “a human’s life is worthy of legal protection once it begins.”
QUESTION: So who do voters think are most qualified to tell them when human life begins? Biologists, philosophers, religious leaders, Supreme Court Justices, or other voters?
ANSWER: Biologists, according to 80% of poll recipients. (Get research detail here.)
QUESTION: When do biologists say human life begins?
ANSWER: In an interview of 5337 biologists, 96% said human life begins at fertilization.
QUESTION: That’s pretty slanted toward the pro life side. What is the profile of these biologists?
ANSWER: 87% identify as liberal; 92% as Democrats; 85% as pro-choice; and 63% as non-religious. So these biologists responded to the question based on their scientific knowledge, not their personal opinions on the subject of abortion.
The key abortion question is …
QUESTION: So this leads to an obvious question for Tuesday’s Democratic debate: “Would you support any restriction on abortion procedures, and, if so, what would it be?”
ANSWER: None of the reporters asked this question, nor has it been asked at any of the previous debates.
QUESTION: Did they ignore the abortion subject?
ANSWER: No. Rather, they asked leading questions, such as what they’d do as president to prevent states from limiting abortion early in pregnancy, or whether they’d be open to packing the Supreme Court to “protect reproductive rights,” the suggestion being that, of course, limiting reproductive rights is unacceptable.
QUESTION: So how did these candidates respond?
ANSWER: As president, Kamala Harris says she would simply block state laws through a scheme she calls “pre-clearance.” In other words, if a state law, in her view, seemed to contradict Roe V Wade, her Justice Department would simply snuff out it out, states rights be damned. Her rationale:
“While we still have . . . state legislators who are outdated and out of touch, mostly men who are telling women what to do with their bodies, then there needs to be accountability and consequence.”
QUESTION: Doesn’t the Supreme Court allow states to regulate abortion at a certain point?
ANSWER: Yes. The Roe decision said:
[The state] “has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman’s health and the potentiality of human life, each of which interests grows and reaches a “compelling” point at various stages of the woman’s approach to term.”
Roe limited human abortion to the first trimester, so Ms. Harris’ response is ironic. Every other Democratic presidential candidate (except Tulsi Gabbard) demands abortion rights for the full nine months of a woman’s pregnancy.
QUESTION: So what is Tulsi Gabbard’s position on abortion?
ANSWER: “I support codifying Roe v. Wade while making sure that, during the third trimester, abortion is not an option unless the life or severe health consequences of a woman are at risk.”
Her position is still out of step with the rest of the country, most of whom want human abortion limited to the first three months of a pregnancy at most.
Candidates are out of step with rank and file Democrats
QUESTION: So how do rank and file Democrats view abortion policy?
ANSWER: According to a Marist poll in January, they are far more centrist than their candidates: 61% want substantial restrictions on human abortion:
29% want abortion restricted to the first three months of a pregnancy.
19% only want abortion used in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
9% only want it used if it is necessary to save the life of the mother.
4% of Democrats believe it should never be permitted under any circumstances.
Abortion politics have reached a fever pitch of oddity when candidates stake out radical positions at odds with their prime constituents’ views.
SUMMARY: Since human life begins at fertilization, according to 96% of Biologists surveyed, each abortion kills a unique human being.
Honest reporters should probe pro-abortion candidates with this type of information. In this climate of radical abortion politics on the Left, voters trust scientists more than reporters or politicians who have made radical flip-flops on this foundational issue.