Planned Parenthood: “Nonetheless, we regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an Executive Order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health care reform bill, originally proposed by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. What the president’s executive order did not do is include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak (D–MI) had insisted upon. So while we regret that this proposed Executive Order has given the imprimatur of the president to Senator Nelson’s language, it is critically important to note that it does not include the Stupak abortion ban. “
Bound4Life: “Trusting in an Executive Order to protect the unborn is a bad idea. The Executive Order, while looking good, IS NOT law. The President cannot create law. If he could, he would have passed Health Care with an Executive Order. What’s more, the President can rescind the Order anytime he wants and substitute it with “softer language” or even scrap it altogether. Furthermore, any President after Obama can change the policy of the Order. (i.e. the Mexico City policy.)”
CatholicVoteAction: “In summary then, President Obama’s executive order changes almost nothing to alleviate pro-life concerns over this Act. It fully allows federal funding for abortion insurance, it cannot change the fact that CHC funds will be used for abortion, it follows HHS policy against conscience rights by utterly failing to do anything on the issue, and it does not change any of HHS’s ability under the Act to define abortion as health care. … Any pro-lifer concerned about the Act would, objectively, have the same concerns against the Act with or without this executive order.”
Jesus-followers from various denominations and movements have put together a document called the Manhattan Declaration, which Chuck Colson described as “a wake-up call—a call to conscience—for the church. It is also a crystal-clear message to civil authorities that we will not, under any circumstances, stand idly by as our religious freedom comes under assault.” Colson drafted the declaration along with Robert George (Professor, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University) and Timothy George (Professor, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University). The declaration is summarized on their website in the following way:
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.
We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
the sanctity of human life
the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Dr. Brown had the following to say about the document:
In the words of this important declaration, this is a clarion call for us to rise up as a “truly prophetic Christian witness,” reclaiming our biblical heritage and the best elements of our historic, sacrificial witness, serving humanity as agents of good and as ambassadors of God’s grace. In this darkened and lost generation, our opportunity to shine as bright lights has never been greater. Let’s seize the moment, affixing our names to this document and investing our lives in the advancement of the Great Commission. If we don’t stand for truth and righteousness and moral sanity, who will?
The full text of the Manhattan Declaration can be found here. You can sign it by clicking here.
Editor’s Note: I was investigating the link between abortion and vaccination when I came into contact with Catholic author Mark Armstrong, who was also investigating the subject (an interview he conducted with Dr. Theresa Deisher on the topic can be heard by clicking here). I believe Mark makes some important points here, and while we at VOR do not share Mr. Armstrong’s views on Catholicism, and we are not yet calling for an abortion-aided vaccine boycott, we believe the points he makes here are worthy of consideration for pro-life Catholics and non-Catholics alike. My hope is that this opens discussion on the topic , and we determine as a pro-life community where to go from here. Originally Published on Catholic Exchange, used with permission.
In the media uproar and rush to be vaccinated against Swine Flu or H1N1 there is a quiet discussion about exactly what are the deadly ingredients in these vaccinations. Many parents, rightly so, are concerned about the levels of Thimerosal and the potential for mercury poisoning that some blame for autism in some vaccines. While there may be Thimerosal-free vaccines available, most of the first shipments of the H1N1 vaccine apparently contain very high levels of Thimerosal. To vaccinate a child in the face of some statistics showing autism rates of 1.4% for children today, versus virtually zero before widespread vaccinations programs began, gives one pause for concern. What is even more disturbing to those in the pro-life movement is the knowledge that these vaccines designed to prevent the flu are possibly tainted with the tissues from voluntarily aborted babies.
To date, according to a multiple sources, dozens of the vaccines used by Americans today are contaminated with human diploid cells; the tissues derived from the cells of voluntarily aborted babies. What is even more alarming is there are no laws to require that people be informed as to which vaccines have these tainted tissues as their root base and which do not. Vaccine makers, attempting to get around what they know to be controversial information, label their ingredients in such a way to mask the fact that there are cells from electively aborted babies in the formulation of their vaccines.
What is a pro-life parent or person to do? Catholic experts give conflicting information at best. The Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, who serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, says parents may vaccinate their children with these tainted vaccines because by doing so, “they are not involved in any illicit form of cooperation with the original abortion.”
Further Father Pasholczyk explains that parents who use these tainted vaccines should educate themselves and others about the facts of their origination. They should demand that alternatives and morally-derived vaccines be developed. But in the end he says, “Parents may vaccinate their children because vaccinations are critical to preventing serious, life-threatening diseases and to safeguarding large segments of the population from cataclysmic disease outbreaks and epidemics.”
Do all of the nearly two dozen vaccines contaminated by voluntarily aborted babies rise to a “cataclysmic level” as Father Pasholczyk suggests? For many baby-boomer parents, mumps, measles and chicken pox were almost a rite of passage. In fact, there is a growing school of thought in medicine that these childhood illnesses help to strengthen a child’s immune system for later in life. Ironic to think that the very vaccines designed to prevent these illnesses now, tainted with the blood of electively aborted babies, may be producing a new generation of children with weakened immune systems.
Remember that Father Pasholczyk is not speaking for the Magisterium of the Catholic Church when he tells parents that it’s okay to use tainted vaccines. From Rome, we have a different Catholic perspective, in a letter from Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life to Mrs. Debra Vinnedge, executive director, Children of God for Life in July, 2005. Bishop Sgreccia says that Catholics have “a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines and to make a conscientious objection with regard to those which have moral problems. The lawfulness of the use of these vaccines should not be misinterpreted as a declaration of the lawfulness of their production, marketing and use, but is to be understood as being a passive material cooperation (emphasis added) and, in its mildest and remotest sense, also active material cooperation , morally justified as an “extrema ratio” due to the necessity to provide for the good of one’s children and of the people who come in contact with the children — especially pregnant women. Such cooperation occurs in a context of moral coercion of the conscience of parents, who are forced to choose to act against their conscience or otherwise, to put the health of their children and of the population as a whole at risk. This is an unjust alternative choice, which must be eliminated as soon as possible.”
So what is a pro-life Catholic to do? We are left simply with the lesser of two evils. Either we participate in (at least) “passive material cooperation” to abortion or decide to take our chances and not vaccinate our children, hoping that if they do catch one of these illnesses our modern American medical system can provide care for a full recovery. And yet, even those in the pro-life movement who decide a “passive material cooperation” is their moral choice are left with some other rather startling information.
It is clear, with the power of the pharmaceutical lobby and the present leadership of the U.S. government, there is going to be no effort to “force” vaccine manufacturers to create vaccines that are not tainted with the blood of voluntarily aborted babies. And to complicate the matter even further, in nearly all current vaccines products there is a statement that declares there is residual DNA in their formulation. Each new vaccine is a virtual cocktail that contains ingredients built from the ingredients made in the last one. Trying to even discern which vaccines are truly “abortion-free” may be impossible to tell.
According to Dr. Theresa Deisher president of the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI), as well development director for Ave Maria Biotechnology Company, which promotes pro-life biotechnology, it may not be Thimerosal in vaccines that parents, concerned about autism, need to worry about, but, in fact, the residual DNA from the tissues of voluntarily aborted babies. In an article Dr. Deisher wrote for the SCPI June, 2009 newsletter she said:
There are groups researching the potential link between this DNA and autoimmune diseases such as juvenile (type I) diabetes, multiple sclerosis and lupus. Our organization, (SCPI), is focused on studying the quantity, characteristics and genomic recombination of the aborted fetal DNA found in many of our vaccines. Preliminary bioinformatics research conducted at SCPI indicates that “hot spots” for DNA recombination are found in nine autism-associated genes present on the X chromosome. These nine genes are involved in nerve-cell synapse formation, central nervous system development and mitochondrial function. Could genomic insertion of the aborted fetal DNA, found in some of our childhood vaccines since 1979, be an environmental trigger for autism? Could the fact that genes critical for nerve synapse formation and nervous system development found on the X chromosome, provide some explanation of why autism is predominantly a disease found in boys? Could the “hot spots” identified in these autism-associated genes be sites for insertion of contaminating aborted fetal DNA?
These are the questions just now being look into by the same organizations and research firms, like the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, that assured us that Thimerosal was not the link between vaccines and autism. In the meantime, good pro-life people will have to decide between the lesser of two evils: Whether to have “passive material cooperation” and allow ourselves to be immunized with vaccines known to be tainted with the tissues from electively aborted babies, or take our chances that we won’t get these diseases or viruses.
Although H1N1 makes this issue especially relevant, it is not a new one. As far as 1994 at the Catholic Bishops conference of England and Wales, religious leaders prepared a report on this very same subject which called vaccine use of voluntarily aborted babies,“a kind of evil which is widespread in biomedical research and which people rightly think they should combat when they can…the practice of medicine is being made parasitic on the evils of abortion and fetal experimentation.”
Fifteen years ago they called on Catholics to refuse vaccination as “one way of seeking to turn medicine from a course which will increasingly subvert people’s confidence in it.” For many of us, we cannot “passively materially cooperate” in the killing of the unborn and so refusing to vaccinate is our only choice. Maybe if enough pro-lifers took this stand, we could turn medicine from its course of continuing to kill and using the unborn to save the rest of us.
About the Author: Mark Armstrong lives in North Dakota where he and his wife Patti are the parents to ten children, eight boys and two girls, including two adopted AIDS orphans from Kenya. He spent nearly 30 years as an award-winning broadcast journalist before serving as the communications head for North Dakota’s workers’ compensation agency. He co-authored the best-selling Catholic book, “Amazing Grace for Fathers.” The couple have a pro-life talk, “Confessions of a Catholic Couple” available at One More Soul. Mark is also an occasional guest host on the Relevant Radio Network for both Sean Herriott on Morning Air and The Drew Mariani Show. Mark’s website is at www.RaisingCatholicKids.com.
Among the more interesting quotes from the clip, Donahue discusses efforts in Massachusetts and California to require Catholic adoption agencies to allow gay couples to adopt children in order to receive taxpayer funds:
We’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children. That’s against nature. It’s against nature’s God. But they won’t stop.
The 56th thesis of Friedrich Nietzsche’s book “The Gay Science” (nothing to do with homosexuality of any kind) reads,
“When I think of the craving to do something, which continually tickles and spurs those millions of young Europeans who cannot endure their boredom and themselves, then I realise that they must have a craving to suffer and to find their suffering in a probable reason for action, for deeds. Neediness is needed.”
In a recent conversation, I was asked for my thoughts on what the main motivation for a cultural revolution amongst the young generation would be if it were to come, I explained that the driving force would be monotony.
Previously, generations have been marked by a passion to see a tearing down of restrictive cultural barriers. For example, the first modern revolution, The French Revolution, was caused by the tyrannical reign of the monarchy and the Catholic Church in France who imposed high taxes and unjust laws on the people. Cultural movements between then and the 1920s were fueled by the perceived need for less restrictive boundaries on moral issues (see the paintings and writing produced in America and Europe in those years.) In America, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote of a revolution based upon this second ideal – his opus magnum being ‘The Great Gatsby,’ a novel about a generation gone to the dogs because of their rebellion. The 1960s produced the post-beatnik movement famous for cultural icons such as Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, The Beatles, Andy Warhol etc. The 60s revolution was a sexual and political one, rooted in civil disobedience and the civil rights movement.
We could continue in this strain.
Since the beginning of the French Revolution that we have just discussed, there has been a breakdown of what we could call the ‘social norm.’ That is to say, culture based upon morality.
I was born in the late 80s. My generation is a product of the lawless lifestyle of our ancestors. We no longer have taboos. If we desire to marry someone from the same-sex, it is legal in many places. If we want to sleep around, we are permitted to do so ‘as long as no-one gets hurt.’ But we have very little further to go on the road of ‘emancipation’ from moral values.
Let us consider a theoretical future revolution.
There is no point in denying the parallel course of artistic culture and revolutionary culture – where there is revolution, there is art of some form produced that is characteristic of revolution. So instead, let us briefly consider some possible courses our future revolution:
a)We go further in breaking down the ‘social norm’
If this were to be the case, then looking at the course of previous revolutions, and taking note of their sexual nature, we may surmise that the next revolutionary movements will aim for complete freedom of the right to marriage – homosexual, bestial, familial, paedophilic.
b)We go back towards purity
In the event that a revolutionary movement arises that is focused on a spiritual and moral restoration, we should see to it that a ‘Kingdom moral code’ is instituted as opposed to the authoritarian one that we saw previous to the French Revolution, where people lived in fear of free thought because of Church reprisals rather than living in a reverent fear of God.
In its current state, our society is primed for a change as a product of the boredom that Nietzsche described. We need a fascination – our generation is very much in need of a passion that surpasses the revolutionary spirit that was present in previous generations because our task is so much greater. Our goal is to go against the very nature of fallen man (which other revolutions did not seek), and to pursue the Heart of God for the establishment of His kingdom in the hearts of this Generation while He tarries.
We pray that our revolution would be based upon things which ‘cannot be shaken,’ so that it is never undone or equalled.
Let us close with a quote by the Christian revolutionary Rudi Dutschke,
“Jesus is risen. The decisive revolution in world history has happened – a revolution of all-conquering love. If people would fully receive this revealed love into their own existence, into the reality of the ‘now’, then the logic of insanity could no longer continue.”
“They more or less advised us to [abort some of the babies],” says Nuala Conway, a 26 year old mother of newborn sextuplets in Northern Ireland, “They told us about the risks we faced if we went ahead with the pregnancy.”
The Roman Catholic couple decided to ignore doctors who advised the termination of some of the sextuplets in the 14th week of pregnancy, answering pro-abortion medical staff saying, “These babies are a wonderful gift from God. Whatever God laid out for our lives we were taking it.”
According to The Telegraph, sextuplets are born to one in 4.5 Million pregnancies.
What about the health issues? Won’t they have a poor quality of life? “The babies have been on and off antibiotics and ventilators. They are thriving really well but it’s hard to get a good day,” says new father Austin who has stopped working so that he can be at the hospital more, “There are so many of them there are always days when one or two will not be doing so well.”
“I fell in love when they were in the womb.” Nuala adds, “When one moved they would all move and I could definitely feel 24 limbs kicking.”
Harry Knox, Director of the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign (watch a debate between Dr. Brown and Harry Knox here), is in hot water after comments he made against the Catholic Church.
In 2007, Knox said in reference to an outspoken lesbian Wyoming couple being refused communion at a Catholic church (an act which is commendable Biblically, see 1 Cor 11:27-29):
“In this holy Lenten season, it is immoral and insulting to Jesus to use the body and blood of Christ the reconciler as a weapon to silence free speech and demean the love of a committed, legally married couple. The Human Rights Campaign grieves with the couple, Leah Vader and Lynne Huskinson, over this act of spiritual and emotional violence perpetrated against them.”
In 2009, Knox reacted to the Vatican’s opposition to an initiative to decriminalize homosexuality by stating:
“As faith leaders we were shocked by Vatican opposition to this proposed initiative. By refusing to sign a basic statement opposing inhumane treatment of LGBT people, the Vatican is sending a message that violence and human rights abuses against LGBT people are acceptable. Most Catholics, and indeed most Catholic teachings, tell us that all people are entitled to live with basic human dignity without the threat of violence. The Catholics we know believe that Scripture asks us to be our brother and our sister’s keeper. Many are speaking out against this immoral stance in the name of religion.”
A call has been made from Catholic leaders to have President Obama dismiss Mr. Knox from his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Community Partnerships:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500-0003
Dear Mr. President,
On April 6, you named Harry Knox to your Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. You claim to have created this Council, among other things, to “bring everyone together – from both the secular and faith-based communities.”
Harry Knox is the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective. Knox is a virulent anti-Catholic bigot, and has made numerous vile and dishonest attacks against the Church and the Holy Father. He has no business on any Council having to do with faith or religion.
We do not know if you or members of your Administration were aware of Knox’s deplorable, abusive attitude towards the Church and Pope Benedict XVI when you named him to the Council. We assume you were not. But since then, there have been numerous press reports on Knox’s loathsome, and clearly bigoted rhetoric, so there no longer is any excuse for your failure to act. We can remain silent no longer.
As Catholics, we call on you to remove Mr. Knox from his position and to formally disassociate yourself from his militant anti-Catholicism. Failure to do so will result in the tainting of your Faith-Based Council—and indeed, your entire administration—as anti-Catholic. We urge you to give this matter your immediate consideration.
House Republican Leader
Member of Congress
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
Judie Brown, President,
American Life League, Inc.
Catholic Activist and Founder
National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS)
Executive Vice President
Family Research Council
Deacon Keith A. Fournier Editor in Chief, Catholic Online
Founder, Common Good
Deal W. Hudson
Philip F. Lawler
Catholic World News
National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
(Mr. Leo’s affiliation is listed for identification purposes only)
Vice President of Government Affairs
Family Research Council
Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
National Review Institute
American Papist Blog
The American Spectator
Patrick J. Reilly
The Cardinal Newman Society
Notre Dame Law School
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM)
Founder and President
Fr. Robert Sirico
The Acton Institute
American Target Advertising