Monday, February 9, 2009
Monday Morning Rant 77
I was unable to attend services in Oklahoma this morning but I was definitely not consigned to second best. I thoroughly enjoyed Lee Parsons and his discussions of the requirements of and the results of baptism. He’s “fer” it but only when accompanied by repentance. He did allude to some sermons he remembered from his youth when his early preacher spoke to hell and the temperature noticeably increased in the hall. It sure sounded familiar to me. Let’s get to it.
"PIG-SOOOEEEE!!!! PIG! PIG! PIG!!"
Although I have to return over seventy years to remember it, that call still rings fresh in my ears as my grandfather, A.E. Frank used it to announce the presence of fresh “slop” at the hog trough. I can easily remember the pandemonium as the pigs each sought to be the first there to scarf up the choice bits. There was little that was delicate in their approach. They bit, jostled, shoved, and squealed as each sought his own advantage. It was, in fact, so dangerous to be close to that display of outright selfishness that he would never allow me to be in the pen when he fed them. Thinking back I see the wisdom of his actions.
I only have to look at today’s congress critters to see the same scene replayed. With little dignity and even fewer manners, they strive against each other like so many belted Hampshire hogs to come up with the best publicly financed projects which will ensure their re-election and with little other legitimate purpose. There motto has become: “Collegiality be damned, I want mine!”
Close examination of this latest spending bill, with near certain Senate approval, reveals the reality of 93% pork and 7% stimulus. The number, which varies according to which account you read, is now at about $827,000,000,000.00 or in realistic terms, $2506.06 for each and every man, woman and child in the United States. That means $10,024.42 for a family of four. Keep in mind that these figures are in addition to your regular taxes and do not include anticipated debt service. Any one who has a credit card which has escalated past normal repayable usage fully realizes the threat posed to one’s personal finances by excessive interest and fees. It is a recipe for disaster personally and certainly, nationally.
For a closer look at just what sort of “stimulus” (read that “pork”) is proposed I recommend you click on Stimulus Watch and see for yourself, by dollar, project, and state, each and every one. You will even have an opportunity to register your personal opinion of the validity of each one. Take a minute to understand the navigation of the site and then go ahead and make yourself sick to your stomach.
If it is not otherwise apparent; I’m agin it.
Bad News on Illegitimacy
I borrowed (?) this from Roger Clegg on NRO and submit it for your interest:
“As mentioned yesterday, the National Center for Health Statistics came out with its latest numbers yesterday (final data for 2006), and they aren't good. By population subgroup, the percentage of children born out of wedlock is 70.7 percent for non-Hispanic blacks, 64.6 percent for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 49.9 percent for Hispanics, 26.6 percent for non-Hispanic whites, and 16.5 percent for Asians/Pacific Islanders. Illegitimacy correlates with just about any social problem you can name (poverty, crime, dropping out of school, substance abuse, etc.), and it — not discrimination — is the principal cause of racial disparities in all these areas.”
And here I thought that birth control devices and abortions would cure all of this. It does little more than verify that the diminishing role of fatherhood in the American scene has an important result. Does an adverbial “drive-by” have more than a little significance here?
On a Very Similar Subject
Back in November, there was an article on Slate that bears some review. In general it deals with a health care provider who has assumed responsibility for approximately one third of the nation’s facilities. Their attitude toward the murder of the “un-born” is unequivocal and this piece will inform you of their stance:
“What in the world were these bishops talking about, claiming that religious freedom in America was under attack? Keep up the hysterics, boys, I thought as I scanned the latest story, and this will be birth control all over again: Your lips are moving but no one can hear you. And the most ludicrous line out of them, surely, was about how, under Obama, Catholic hospitals that provide obstetric and gynecological services might soon be forced to perform abortions or close their doors. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago warned of "devastating consequences" to the health care system, insisting Obama could force the closure of all Catholic hospitals in the country. That's a third of all hospitals, providing care in many neighborhoods that are not exactly otherwise overprovided for. It couldn't happen, could it?
You wouldn't think so. Only, I am increasingly convinced that it could. If the Freedom of Choice Act passes Congress, and that's a big if, Obama has promised to sign it the second it hits his desk. (Here he is at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in 2007, vowing, "The first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do.") Though it's often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to the Senate sponsor of the bill, Barbara Boxer, in a statement on her Web site, FOCA would nullify all existing laws and regulations that limit abortion in any way, up to the time of fetal viability. Laws requiring parental notification and informed consent would be tossed out. While there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter, many believe the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health centers couldn't stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to other providers wouldn't be an option, the bishops have said, because that would constitute "material cooperation with an intrinsic evil.'
The bishops are not bluffing when they say they'd turn out the lights rather than comply. Nor is Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann of St. Louis exaggerating, I don't think, in vowing that 'any one of us would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow—to die tomorrow—to bring about the end of abortion.'
Whatever your view on the legality and morality of abortion, there is another important question to be considered here: Could we even begin to reform our already overburdened health care system without these Catholic institutions? I don't see how.”
These guys wield a pretty big stick. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they have paid the price over the history of the country to do their best to heal the sick and protect life. They also, as do many of us, have a commitment to the unborn and I do believe they mean it.
Of all the Roman Catholics I have known, both lay and clergy, and with whom I've had endless discussions, I have found a certain truth. There are particular subjects upon which they are intractable. This is one of them! In this case, I pray for them and their efforts to protect all of God’s children.
I really did think that I would be able to set aside my angst as the new president settled in. I was wrong! I had prayed that he would prove me just another nay-sayer. Now that I have had a chance to see “hope and change” in action, I have become more skeptical by the day.
Ever as I pray, I constantly remind myself that God does not always provide the answers I seek. He does it His way and in His time. As long as I keep in mind who the really important Boss is, the rest of it won’t matter. I think I need to settle back, relax, feed my birds, rub my dog’s ears, give my wife a little peck on the cheek, and rejoice over the gifts He provides daily. There will plenty of time to address the other issues tomorrow.
In His abiding love,
Posted by One of the Moons at 6:42 AM