Archive for Religion

Catholic graduation speaker is Planned Parenthood supporter


In the April 2016 edition of The Bulletin of Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU), President Marylou Yam announced the commencement speaker for graduation exercises this Sunday May 22, 2016, would be Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. Dr. Wen, pictured at left in blue holding the sign, will receive an honorary degree from the university.

A few sentences on Dr. Wen’s biographical data is included. Areas focused on include her work with youth health and wellness, opioid overdose prevention, and violence prevention.

Some of Dr. Wen’s other advocacy work, that goes against Catholic teaching, remains unmentioned:

  1. She is a supporter of federal funding for Planned Parenthood and wrote that the group is “saving lives”
  2. She is health commissioner in a city that has taken action to persecute pro-life pregnancy centers.
  3. She has been praised by the local NARAL director and the director of the Baltimore Abortion Fund.
  4. She supports giving contraceptives to elementary school students at city schools without their parents’ consent.
  5. She wrote that physician-assisted suicide is an “important aspect of care” and that “assisted death” is “compassionate.”

If you want to let Dr. Marylou Yam know what you think about Dr. Leana Wen being honored by NDMU, you can email her at  or call her office at 410-532-5300.

She was appointed to her post by Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake in late 2014. Rawlings-Blake has been a long-time friend of both Planned Parenthood and NARAL. As City Council President, Rawlings-Blake introduced legislation regulating pro-life pregnancy centers that became law. The law required the centers to post signage saying that they did not provide referrals for abortions or face penalties. The Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns filed a federal lawsuit. The law is not currently being enforced until the matter is settled.

Dr. Wen’s City Department of Health falls under the purview of Deputy Mayor Dawn Kirstaetter. Kirstaetter served as the executive director of a Berea, Kentucky affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She was also President of the Kentucky Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

On September 29, 2015, Wen made a Facebook post that included several pictures (including the one above) showing her at a rally in support of Planned Parenthood in downtown Baltimore.

Her message read (emphasis added):

As a doctor, I applaud Planned Parenthood for improving health and saving lives. As a public health leader, I join officials across Maryland including Congressman Van Hollen, State Senator Nathan-Pulliam, and Delegate Rosenberg to #‎standwithPP. As a woman and a citizen, I am proud to stand strong for ‪#‎pinkoutday to support reproductive rights.

In June 2015, she wrote a letter to Members of Congress asking them not to cut funding to Title X programs including Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Wen said the cuts “would have grave impacts on Baltimore’s public health.”

Dr. Wen was praised by the director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and the board president of the Baltimore Abortion Fund in a letter to the editor in The Baltimore Sun in June 2015. The writers thanked Wen for increasing the availability of contraceptives in city schools. They also chastised City Councilman Carl Stokes, who compared offering Norplant and Nexplanon in city schools to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.  Stokes also was criticized in the letter for calling the issue of giving out contraceptives without parental consent a violation of parents’ rights.

That letter came after a news story that Wen’s health department had started implanting Nexplanon in girls at health centers in Baltimore City Schools. Nexplanon is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) like Norplant. Baltimore City Schools were the first in the nation to provide Norplant for students in the 1980s.

LARCs are not the only contraceptives being distributed at the health centers in city schools. Condoms, oral birth control pills, Ortho Evra patches, Depo-Provera shots, NuvaRing, and Plan B are also available in the school-based health centers.

Despite claims to the contrary by some activists, the Food & Drug Administration requires labeling for Plan B to note that the “morning-after pill” as it is known can inhibit ovulation or implantation. NuvaRing has been the subject of controversy and lawsuits related to pulmonary embolisms that led to the disabling and death of women using it.

African-American ministers have also been critical of the Implantation of Norplant and Nexplanon in Baltimore City schools. One of them, Rev. Gregory Perkins, even made allegations of racism and asked why African-American girls were being targeted.

Dr. Leana Wen is also well-known for starting “Who’s My Doctor?” which advocates for the Total Transparency Initiative. Among other things, this initiative wants doctors to disclose information about payments from pharmaceutical companies and other sources of potential conflicts of interest.

One author writing for Forbes was critical of the part of that initiative that asks doctors do disclose their political viewpoints. Wen responded with a list of views on healthcare issues that were all that was included in that disclosure. Two of them were “end-of-life care” and  “women’s health.” We already know that Dr. Wen advocates for positions against church teachings on women’s health. In 2006, Leana Wen was president of the American Medical Association. She made a statement then that “physician-assisted suicide is an important aspect of care” and that “assisted death is an extension of compassionate medical care.”

Despite her advocacy for positions against church teachings, Dr. Leana Wen is scheduled to receive an honorary degree and speak at commencement exercises on the morning of May 22, 2016 at Royal Farms Arena

NDMU was founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1873. It became the first Catholic four-year college for women in 1896.

Other graduation speakers at Catholic schools

The University of Notre Dame in Indiana was criticized for plans to honor Vice President Joe Biden at its commencement this  year. After the controversy ensued, former House Speaker Boehner was also invited as a joint recipient of the Laetare Award. Previously. the school in Indiana was criticized for honoring President Barack Obama at its graduation.

The Cardinal Newman Society has more on Catholic colleges and their graduation speakers.

Catholic bishops criticize transgender letter


Catholic bishops who are chairmen of committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement today responding to the Obama administration’s Justice and Education Departments’ directive sent out Friday to schools across the country.

The statement was issued by Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo and Archbishop George Lucas. Bishop Malone is the Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Archbishop Lucas is Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.

The statement from the bishops quotes Amoris Laetitia, an apostolic exhortation on love in the family written by Pope Francis and released in April.

One mention from Amoris Laetitia:

The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created”

An excerpt from the statement:

Children, youth, and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity, and respect. All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of the other young students and parents. The federal regulatory guidance issued on May 13 does not even attempt to achieve this balance. It unfortunately does not respect the ongoing political discussion at the state and local levels and in Congress, or the broader cultural discussion, about how best to address these sensitive issues. Rather, the guidance short-circuits those discussions entirely.

The Obama administration directive and the statement in response from the Catholic bishops came amidst reaction to the debate nationally over a state legislative matter in North Carolina. HB2 became law in North Carolina after it was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The law itself was a reaction to local legislation in Charlotte.


Full Text of Statement from Catholic Bishops

The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person and advocates for the wellbeing of all people, particularly the most vulnerable. Especially at a young age and in schools, it is important that our children understand the depth of God’s love for them and their intrinsic worth and beauty. Children should always be and feel safe and secure and know they are loved.

The guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education that treats “a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex” is deeply disturbing. The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created” (Amoris Laetitia [AL], no. 285).

Children, youth, and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity, and respect. All of these can be expressed without infringing on legitimate concerns about privacy and security on the part of the other young students and parents. The federal regulatory guidance issued on May 13 does not even attempt to achieve this balance. It unfortunately does not respect the ongoing political discussion at the state and local levels and in Congress, or the broader cultural discussion, about how best to address these sensitive issues. Rather, the guidance short-circuits those discussions entirely.

As Pope Francis has recently indicated, “‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated'” (AL, no. 56, emphasis added). We pray that the government make room for more just and compassionate approaches and policies in this sensitive area, in order to serve the good of all students and parents, as well as the common good. We will be studying the guidance further to understand the full extent of its implications.

John Delaney’s Pro-Abortion Extremism

John Delaney

John Delaney is a pro-abortion extremist. Nominating a pro-abortion Republican, or one who is otherwise confused on the issues, won’t make it any easier to knock him off in November.

John Delaney’s Extremist Views

On September 18, 2015, Delaney voted against H.R. 3504. That bill, also known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, would protect babies born as the result of a botched abortion.

More from GovTrack:

H.R. 3504 would require that a child born alive during an attempted abortion be given the same medical treatment as any other child born at that gestation time would be. It would impose criminal penalties of fines or imprisonment of up to five years on medical practitioners that fail to do this, as well as punish medical practitioners that intentionally kill or attempt to kill a born-alive child for having intentionally killed or attempted to kill a human being.

A friend and former colleague of mine, Jill Stanek, witnessed babies being left to die after botched abortions when she worked as a nurse in Illinois. She testified before a U.S. House Committee on legislation in 2000 and before that she testified before a State Senate committee in Illinois. She noted that in both cases Barack Obama opposed protecting children who were born as the result of an unsuccessful abortion.

John Delaney thinks it’s just fine to let living, breathing babies die after a failed abortion. Any candidate running against him who is pro-abortion or otherwise wobbly on the issues involved will forfeit any moral authority.

Also on September 18 last year, Delaney voted against H.R. 3134, which would have defunded Planned Parenthood.

On October 23, 2015, John Delaney voted against a reconcilation bill, H.R. 3762, that also would have defunded Planned Parenthood. The bill passed the Senate and was immediately vetoed by President Barack Obama. On February 2, 2016, Delaney voted against overriding the reconciliation bill’s veto.

In light of all the video evidence that emerged last year, and all the other evidence against the nation’s largest abortion provider, it is unconscionable that anyone would support continued funding for the abortion giant.

Delaney also voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in a vote last May. This bill would have restricted abortion at the 20th week of pregnancy and beyond, where the unborn child is feeling pain, except in the case of rape and incest. This restriction is supported by the vast majority of Americans, with a higher percentage of men supporting it than women.

If you’re seeking the nomination to run against Delaney, and all you say is that the abortion issue is “settled law” then you show your ignorance of all the issues and nuances involved.

Who Shares John Delaney’s Views?

Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have shared Delaney’s views. In fact, the Gipper famously proclaimed, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

While some “libertarians” in the Republican Party claim that a position supporting abortion is “pro-liberty”, that’s just not the case. Rand Paul is one of many in the pro-liberty movement who don’t find supporting abortion to be consistent with liberty.

David Vogt and Frank Howard don’t share John Delaney’s views. Vogt was endorsed by Maryland Right to Life in the Republican Primary next week in MD-6. Howard is pro-life and a supporter of Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group.

Others who actually share John Delaney’s views include Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Martin O’Malley, and Donna Edwards. It’s notable that Edwards was endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Edwards has also been endorsed by Emily’s List.

Read More…

Union mailer calls Chris Van Hollen “savior”

Chris Van Hollen
Last night, I wrote about an Easter Sunday email from Sheila Dixon’s campaign that compared her to Jesus. The latest biblical allusion in campaign propaganda is brought to you by a union group supporting Chris Van Hollen.

Today, I have an excerpt from a mailer by the Committee for Maryland’s Progress that’s a fake newsletter full of progaganda in favor of Chris Van Hollen in the Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate seat finally being vacated by Barbara Mikulski.

Committee for Maryland’s Progress is funded by 1199SEIU, a union group that is supporting Van Hollen.

The mail piece is full of attacks on Donna Edwards, who is running against Van Hollen, that are interspersed with praise for Van Hollen, including from someone with NARAL, a pro-abortion group.

Below is the section of the mailer that highlights praise for Van Hollen from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. In it, the refer to him as “the savior for us” for years now.’
Van Hollen

Chris Van Hollen isn’t a savior and Sheila Dixon won’t be resurrected (nor will she resurrect Baltimore.)

A passage from Psalm 146 seems to be applicable here:

Do not put your trust in princes, in any child of Adam, who has no power to save.

I’ve written critically of this phenomenon before, as it appears on the right at CPAC.

Sheila Dixon compared herself to Jesus

Sheila Dixon

Sheila Dixon is running for Mayor of Baltimore this  year. The former mayor is trying to mount a comeback attempt similar to Marion Barry’s in DC. She has been reported near the top of polls for the Democratic Primary next Tuesday, with Sen. Catherine Pugh running neck and neck with her in some polls. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced she would not run for re-election in the wake of the riots in Baltimore in 2015.

Dixon was found guilty of taking gift cards that were donated to the city to benefit poor children and using them for her own personal gains. Items including a video camera purchased with the cards were found in her home. There were several other charges against her including taking luxury gifts and travel from a developer doing business with the city. Baltimore Brew has all the details

Dixon received probation before judgement in a plea deal that required her to leave office, perform community service and pay restitution. Notably, this agreement didn’t prevent her from running for office again and it allowed her to keep her $83,000 per year pension.

Sheila Dixon Email on Easter Sunday talked of her “Resurrection”

Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland wrote about Dixon and her apparent lack of contrition hurting her campaign. He then cited an email that was sent on Easter:

A little-noticed email she sent to supporters on Easter Sunday drove that point home.

If you read that email a certain way, far from being contrite, Dixon seemed to compare herself to Jesus.

“The resurrection is the greatest comeback!” – she wrote, calling Baltimoreans “conquerors,” not unlike Jesus’ disciples, equipped to overcome “whatever fear, despair or disappointment you have.”

“Together, we will Reclaim, Revive, Rebuild and Resurrect our city,” she promised.

The author of the email tried to get a bit too cute with the concept, and that’s why we’re now hearing about it in the press.

Let’s look at some of the things Dixon was indicted for to see how bad the comparison to Jesus is:

Dixon was charged with using $2,000 of gift cards from Best Buy and Target that were donated by a developer for the poor children of Baltimore for her own personal use. This included the purchase of video game consoles.

She was charged with not disclosing gifts and trips from her boyfriend, who was a city subcontractor.

The trips from her boyfriend included $13,00 spent on traveling to Boston, Chicago, Colorado, and The Bahamas.

Additionally, Sheila Dixon’s shopping sprees with her boyfriend included stops at St. John Boutique, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, and Giorgio.

Baltimore Brew has more details on the gifts and travel including a stay at the Trump International Hotel and a gift certificate for a mink coat from her developer boyfriend.

In my opinion, the only appropriate mention of Jesus in this context would be to talk about what he did to the moneychangers at the Temple.

The city of Baltimore has had enough problems with corruption and incompetence over the past several years, it doesn’t need to have its own “Mayor for Life” in Sheila Dixon.