Pro-Abortion Martin O’Malley to run on his “Catholic values” in 2016

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Maryland State Senator James Rosapepe penned a love note to former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in The Hill last month in hopes of helping O’Malley’s long-shot presidential campaign.

Rosapepe on O’Malley’s ultimately successful attempts to repeal Maryland’s death penalty:

Nothing characterizes O’Malley more for me than that brief conversation. In less than sixty seconds, he showed me the kind of leader he is: principled, progressive, strategic, and skillful.

He knew his Catholic values, had no reservation about expressing them, was focused on the long game — and lobbied with an engaged and respectful touch.

Rosapepe lays more of the groundwork for his theme:

But, as one who has watched O’Malley up close during his years as governor, I find him more interesting and unusual in the modern Democratic Party. He’s a social justice Catholic—or, as some have called him, a Pope Francis Democrat—in the tradition of Mario Cuomo and Robert Kennedy.

Rosapepe also discusses O’Malley offering to house illegal immigrant minors in Maryland last year and sums it up thusly:

That’s the Martin O’Malley I know — acting on the values he learned from his family, from his Jesuit high school teachers, and from his college years at the Catholic University. And acting with the leadership skills of an Irish Catholic Democrat he learned in seven years as mayor of Baltimore and eight years as governor of Maryland.

Rosapepe closes with the following:

O’Malley didn’t do this all by himself. But, with his Catholic social justice values and Irish political skills, he’s led Maryland’s progress for the past eight years. These are the traits he brings to the national stage.

It has always been fascinating to me, even before I became Catholic, that O’Malley touts his Catholic values when it comes to his opposition to the death penalty and ignores Catholic values regarding the murder of the innocent unborn through abortion.

O’Malley also cited his Catholic values and his concern for the welfare of immigrant minors yet his concerns for the welfare of minors in his own state are suspect. He took no action to require minors to get parental consent (or even notification) for an abortion but signed a state law that requires minors to get parental consent to use a tanning bed.

While Rosapepe makes the comparison to Cuomo, who made the case Catholics could pick and choose which doctrines to follow, a more contemporary comparison might be Archbishop Cordileone in San Francisco who recently admonished Rep. Nancy Pelosi:

Responding to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi–who would not say at her press briefing last week if a 20-week-old unborn child is a “human being”–Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that it is a “scientific fact that human life begins at conception” and that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” from Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

The subject of that discussion is a proposed ban on abortion past 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Polling shows that 84% of Americans (and 69% of people who identify themselves as “pro-choice”) support significant restrictions on abortion past the first 3 months. That legislation is such a no-brainer that it was supported by O’Malley’s Republican successor Larry Hogan prior to his election, even though he generally went out of his way to avoid mentioning pro-life issues in the primary or general election campaign.

Count on O’Malley to continue toeing the Democratic Party line on this issue despite what public opinion shows. In fact, Maryland became a destination of choice for late-term abortionists like Leroy Carhart and Steven Brigham during the O’Malley administration. The results included harm and even death to pregnant women undergoing late term abortions.

I asked back before the election if it was a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Anthony Brown for governor. I’ll echo that question again now – is it a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Martin O’Malley in 2016?

O’Malley received a top award from Planned Parenthood in Maryland. He pushed for more spending on destructive embryonic stem cell research. These two items in conjunction with all of the details above make it hard to believe He is running in anything but Cafeteria Catholic values in 2016.

Old Bay Filet-O-Fish at McDonald’s for Lent

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Just in time for Lent, McDonald’s is serving Filet-O-Fish sandwiches starting February 16 for a limited time at limited locations.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Will you be ordering a Filet-O-Bay for lent?

McDonald’s and McCormick & Co. hope so. The two have teamed up to offer, for a limited time, a Filet-O-Fish with Old Bay tartar sauce starting Feb. 16 at more than 700 locations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The idea, McDonald’s says, came from Mark Furr, a franchisee from Baltimore

What goes unmentioned is the fact that if it weren’t for Catholics and Lent, the a Filet-O-Fish might not ever have been added to the McDonald’s menu. I wrote about this last year when I wrote about the fish sandwich at Chick-Fil-A for Lent.

I will try this sandwich at McDonald’s at least once since I’m going to be skipping two days of eating meat every week for Lent this year again (I’ve tried to skip meat on Fridays year round starting fairly recently.)

However, I expect to stay with the Chick-Fil-A fish sandwich or the Arby’s one when I have to get fast food fish this Lent.

Bestselling Author Praises The Quinton Report

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Late last week, I wrote a post, “Educating Barack Obama on the Crusades.”

On Friday, Brad Thor made the above tweet which reads:

Excellent, in-depth historical piece from @JeffQuinton: Educating #Obama on The Crusades | The Quinton Report http://t.co/X0BJSXPftr

Brad Thor is a supporter of the Heritage Foundation and has spoken there on missile defense issues. He has guest-hosted for Glenn Beck on the radio and made numerous television appearances on cable news networks and other shows. Beck predicted he might be a target for assassination due to his one novel and another news site referred to him as the “new Salman Rushdie.”

Thor has held the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list and has written 15 novels, including Code of Conduct which comes out later this year. You can pre-order it here:

Quinton Report included in Week’s Top Catholic Tweets

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Lisa Hendey writes:

Just about every week, we bring you a weekly feature that includes the top news and information as shared on Twitter and is of import in the Catholic realm. These tweets are compiled by John Clem, O.F.S., who does a masterful job of keeping us all “in the loop” about what’s happening in the Church. I find them particularly helpful, especially on a week like this one when I’m finally emerging from the fog of jet lag after my journey to Tanzania.

A long list of tweets follows including this one:

Catholics and the MMR Vaccine | The Quinton Report ow.ly/Ipxnl

Thanks to John Clem for including me on the list and to Lisa Hendey for publishing it.

Educating Obama on The Crusades

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There are many legends about world history that are based in falsehoods. If you get your notions of what The Crusades were all about from Islamists claiming the Crusades continue today, or from voices in the mainstream media, or even from Monty Python and Mel Brooks bits, then it is not unexpected that you would get it wrong. President Barack Obama showed today that he is misinformed on the issue at best.

At the National Prayer Breakfast earlier today, President Obama made the following remarks while discussing religious extremism:

“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” he said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Within a month of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 former President Bill Clinton said something similar at his alma mater, Georgetown:

“Those of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless,” he declared. “Indeed, in the First Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with three hundred Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple Mount. The contemporaneous descriptions of the event describe soldiers walking on the Temple Mount, a holy place to Christians, with blood running up to their knees.

“I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East, and we are still paying for it,” he concluded,

Thomas F. Madden, who wrote about the Clinton remarks in a 2009 book review at First Things, had the following to say (emphasis added by me):

It is generally thought that Christians attacked Muslims without provocation to seize their lands and forcibly convert them. The Crusaders were Europe’s lacklands and ne’er-do-wells, who marched against the infidels out of blind zealotry and a desire for booty and land. As such, the Crusades betrayed Christianity itself. They transformed “turn the other cheek” into “kill them all; God will know his own.”

Every word of this is wrong. Historians of the Crusades have long known that it is wrong, but they find it extraordinarily difficult to be heard across a chasm of entrenched preconceptions. For on the other side is, as Riley-Smith puts it “nearly everyone else, from leading churchmen and scholars in other fields to the general public.”

The book reviewed by Madden was The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam by Jonathan Riley-Smith. Be sure to read the whole review for lots of good information. Madden also points out that all the Crusades met the criteria for a just war.

Steve Weidenkopf, author of a book (The Glory of the Crusades), wrote a piece in 2014 detailing why the Crusades were just wars.

Weidenkopf wrote the following summary on the justification for the Crusades:

The invasion of Christian territory, Muslim persecution of native Christians and pilgrims, plus the threat posed to the Christian Byzantine Empire, were all legitimate reasons to engage in defensive warfare and, and Bl. Pope Urban II cited them as justification for the First Crusade. And so in 1095, at the Council of Clermont, the pope preached an armed pilgrimage to recover the lost Christian territory of the East and specifically the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Urban viewed the Crusade as a pilgrimage, the aim of which was not to conquer but to visit the place of pilgrimage and then return home. Later popes maintained the understanding of the Crusades as just, defensive wars with the central goal of the recovery of ancient Christian territory. Heroic men and women of faith, rooted in love of Christ and neighbor, undertook the Crusades as acts of self-defense and recovery of stolen property. This is the proper understanding of these important events in Church history.

Weidenkopf also noted specific reasons for the justification including 12,000 Christian pilgrims from Germany killed by Seljuk Turks as they approached Jerusalem on Good Friday in 1065. Also noted – the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 638 that included the destruction of over 300 monasteries and churches.

This from Weidenkopf sounds a lot like ISIS today:

The Crusades were also a response to the severe persecution of indigenous Christians living in the occupied territories, whose lives were severely restricted and who suffered constant pressure to convert to Islam. As an example, in the early eleventh century, Christians living in the Fatimid caliphate were subject to persecution during the reign of al-Hakim, who ordered them to wear identifying black turbans and a large cross in public. He also ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, originally built by Constantine and St. Helena in the fourth century.

Another Weidenkopf piece on the “glorious” Crusades last year discussed where the misperceptions came from:

The negative “spin” on the Crusades began in the sixteenth century with the Protestant revolutionary Martin Luther, who saw them as an outgrowth of papal authority and power. Later Enlightenment authors such as Voltaire and Edward Gibbon shaped modernity’s negative view of the Crusades by portraying them as barbaric projects undertaken by greedy and savage warriors at the behest of a corrupt papacy. Modern-day Crusade historians, thankfully, eschew the anti-religious prejudices behind this view, and are bringing to light an authentic understanding of these Catholic events from the perspective of those who participated in them. But such scholarship has not eradicated the popular myths.

Add in the Islamist views discussed by Madden and an anti-Catholic media and the mistaken views on the Crusades can be explained, whether it is rooted in ignorance or antipathy.

Weidenkopf on the nature of the Crusades:

The Crusading movement was a Catholic movement. Popes called for Crusades, clerics (and saints) preached them, ecumenical councils planned and discussed them, and Catholic warriors fought them for spiritual benefits. The Crusades cannot be properly understood apart from this Catholic reality. The modern world’s historical amnesia on this point is curable, and the cure begins with Catholics learning the authentic history of their Church and the culture it created. Like the Benedictine monks of old, we modern Catholics can maintain the inheritance of Western Civilization, and correct the errors and biases of our age, through a commitment to learn our history and take pride (where appropriate) for the actions of the men and women who came before us in the Faith.

Madden made similar points:

But the Crusades were not just wars. They were holy wars, and that is what made them different from what came before. They were made holy not by their target but by the Crusaders’ sacrifice. The Crusade was a pilgrimage and thereby an act of penance. When Urban II called the First Crusade in 1095, he created a model that would be followed for centuries. Crusaders who undertook that burden with right intention and after confessing their sins would receive a plenary indulgence. The indulgence was a recognition that they undertook these sacrifices for Christ, who was crucified again in the tribulations of his people.

Madden discusses the sacrifices at length, whether it was death or financial ruin for the Crusaders.

As for the other historical references made by Obama along with the Crusades, I’ll leave those for another day. However, Steve Wiedenkopf has something to say about the Inquisition. More on the Inquisition here.

Since this post relies heavily on Weidenkopf’s writings at the website of Catholic Answers, I’d be remiss in not mentioning a blog post there on the subject of the president’s speech today. The post, “Terrible Deeds and Odious Comparisons“, is by Todd Agliolaro.

Rep. Andy Harris on Pro-Life Legislation

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I received the following email from Andy Harris today in response to a message I sent to him about HR 36. It’s a good reminder of he pro-life legislation he has co-sponsored while in Congress.

The letter:

February 5, 2015

Dear Mr. Quinton,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for H.R. 36, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. I am happy to let you know that I am a cosponsor of this bill, and as such will fight for its passage in any way I can.

As you may know, this bill would prohibit late-term abortions past 20 weeks after conception. Recent medical research has shown that unborn children at this stage in development have pain receptors throughout the body linked to the thalamus and subcortical plate, react to painful stimuli by recoiling, and exhibit the stress response through sharp increases in stress hormones. An abortion at this point, therefore, would cause extreme pain to the child.

While the House had expected to pass H.R. 36 in mid-January 2015, there was last-minute controversy over the rape reporting requirements contained in the bill that have momentarily stalled its progress through the House. I am confident that these issues can be resolved, and I remain committed passing H.R. 36 and enacting the 20 week ban on abortions. The U.S. is one of only seven countries including North Korea and China that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks. H.R. 36 would change this unsettling fact and help restore dignity to all human beings—including the unborn.

You may also be interested to know that, since being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, I have cosponsored a number of other pro-life bills, including;

H.R. 374, the Life at Conception Act – declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at the moment of conception.

H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition – ensures tax dollars are not used to fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act – ensures money from the President’s health care law doesn’t fund abortions or health insurance covering abortions.

H.R. 361, the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act – ensures no health care facility could be denied funding based on their refusal to participate in abortion-related activities.

H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act – amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, seeking to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issues, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary without penalty.

As the 114th Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will continue to share your suggestions. For the fastest and most cost-effective response, please contact me via email. To keep up with my work in Congress, visit my website at harris.house.gov and sign up to receive updates at harris.house.gov/contact-me/newsletter.

Sincerely,

Andy Harris M.D.
Member of Congress

It’s a shame that, unlike Harris and other pro-life members who never wavered, others in the Republican party lacked the spine to do what they promised – especially in light of polling that shows 84% of Americans (and 69% of people who identify themselves as “pro-choice”) support significant restrictions on abortion past the first 3 months (i.e. banning abortion with exceptions that are the norm in most legislation restricting abortion it seems.)

Catholics and the MMR Vaccine

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The measles outbreak in the Southwest and on the West Coast has been getting a lot of attention from bloggers and others lately. I had not planned on writing about it until this weekend. I’m pro-vaccines generally and pro-science. A National Catholic Register piece from early this past week confirmed my thinking about the MMR vaccine, even in light of an issue some pro-lifers have with it.

Jill Stanek wrote about what Judie Brown and American Life League said about it:

Forget illegals, anti-vaxxers or Jenny McCarthy: A Washington, D.C.-based right-to-life group is blaming abortion for the spread of measles across the country by people who were at the Disney Resort in Anaheim in mid-December.

Specifically, it’s the decision by pharmaceutical company Merck to make available an “ethical” vaccine for the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) virus. Since 2008, Merck’s MMR II live virus vaccine has been in use–and since that time families opposed to abortion have declined MMR II vaccinations because it was “created from aborted fetal cell lines,” explains the American Life League.

The American Life League, which bills itself as the “oldest national Catholic pro-life education and advocacy organization in the United States,” has been calling on Merck to bring back the “ethical single-dose vaccine” for families who eschew MMR II on moral grounds.

“Merck is denying parents the choice of obtaining an ethical measles vaccine,” stated Judie Brown, the president and co-founder of American Life League. “According to Children of God for Life, outbreaks of measles, such as at the California Disney parks, have been on the increase ever since Merck discontinued the ethical single-dose vaccine in 2008.”

Brown’s comments caused Stanek to say this:

I confess I’m kind of glad I vaccinated my kids when I was naive. I now have two problems with vaccines, the aborted fetal cell component, and the chance that fetal cells in vaccines may cause autism. I’m relieved I don’t have to make the decision about this.

Stanek asked her readers what they thought. My response would be to discuss what other Catholic groups had to say about it.

A member of the Catholic Medical Association weighed in with the Register:

Dr. Paul Cieslak is a Catholic parent of six who has overseen the Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention section in the Public Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) since 1995. He is also a member of the Catholic Medical Association, an organization committed to upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church while advancing the profession of medicine.

According to Cieslak, opposition to vaccines largely comes from misinformation regarding side effects.

“It is true that, occasionally, you can get a nasty side effect from a vaccine, as from any medicine,” he told CNA. “That said, the vaccines are very safe: Tens or hundreds of millions of doses of this thing have been given with very little problem.”

More information from the Pontifical Academy for Life and the National Catholic Bioethics Center (emphasis added):

The NCBC, along with the Pontifical Academy for Life, have studied the moral issues surrounding vaccines and have determined that it is morally licit, and even morally responsible, for Catholics to use even those vaccines developed from aborted fetus cells.

“There’s a whole formula for examining these dilemmas in terms of what we call cooperation in evil, and there are certain things that are always wrong, and there are certain things that are tolerable,” Hilliard told CNA.

The Pontifical Academy for Life determined that the good of public health outweighs the distanced cooperation in the evil of the abortions performed in the 1960s from which the cell lines were developed. No new abortions have been performed to maintain these vaccines, and no cells from the victims of the abortions are contained in the vaccines.

Currently, the vaccine lines for rubella, chicken pox and hepatitis A are the remaining vaccines that have been developed from aborted fetal cells and for which there is no alternative available.

“One is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion,” reads a document from the NCBC based on the findings from the Pontifical Academy for Life. “The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine. This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them.

Also from the article:

The document goes on to say that Catholics should express their opposition to vaccines developed from aborted cells and that there is an obligation to use alternative vaccines, should they exist.

There is no alternative vaccine now. Our daughter received all of the appropriate MMR vaccines so far and every other one as well. Parents have the choice on vaccinating their children, but the rest of us have the right to disagree and criticize those who do not.