Archive for Religion

Action Needed to Save Columbus Day in Baltimore

Columbus Day
The following email about city legislation affecting Columbus Day was sent today to local members of the Knights of Columbus by the national KofC – please share it with your friends and call Friday:

The Baltimore City Council is voting on Monday, Dec. 5, on a proposal to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ and Italian-Americans’ Day.

We urge you to call the city hall operator THIS WEEK at 410-396-3100 or the Office of the City Council President at 410-396-4804 to respectfully express your support for preserving Columbus Day.

The following points may be useful in your conversation:

  1. October 12 should continue to be celebrated as Columbus Day. We strongly object to and oppose any efforts to abolish or diminish this holiday by repeal, dilution or replacement. Such actions are unfair to Columbus himself and to those who celebrate his holiday.

  2. The legacy and accomplishments of Christopher Columbus deserve to be celebrated. He was a man ahead of his time and a fearless explorer and brilliant navigator whose daring discovery changed the course of history.

  3. Columbus has frequently been falsely blamed for the actions of those who came after him and is the victim of horrific slanders concerning his conduct.

  4. Long-time Stanford University Professor Carol Delaney has done extensive research debunking many of the negative myths about Columbus. In fact, she paints a positive portrait of a man who had generally benign relations with the Native Americans and has been unfairly blamed for everything that ever went wrong in the New World after his arrival.

  5. Advocating the addition of a new holiday is one thing, but it is something else altogether to lobby for the diminishment or elimination of an already well-established holiday that is celebrated by Americans year after year.

  6.  Because Columbus Day has special meaning — including to many Italian Americans and Catholics — efforts to repeal, diminish or replace Columbus Day are unfair and hurtful to those communities, regardless of what substitutions are offered.

More on Columbus Day

In 2014,  I wrote about Carol Delaney and her research that debunked many myths about Columbus. She also found that Columbus was searching for gold to help fund a new crusade to retake Jerusalem from Muslim invaders.

Saint Margaret, Pearl of Scotland

Saint Margaret of ScotlandNovember 16 is the feast day of Saint Margaret of Scotland, who is a direct ancestor of mine. She is also the Patron Saint of Scotland.

Margaret of Wessex was born around 1045 in what is now Hungary. Her parents were Prince of Edward (the Exile) of England and Princess Agatha of Hungary. Her brother and sister were also born in Hungary.

When there was a chance her father might become successor to the throne, they returned to England. She was 10 years old at the time. Her father died and her family later fled in 1066 following the Battle of Hastings in 1066 that resulted in a victory by William the Conqueror.

On their way back to the European continent, their ship wrecked on the coast of Scotland. She later married King Malcolm of Scotland in 1070 in Dunfermline. They had eight children.

As a bio from Catholic Online notes:

She constantly worked to aid the poor Scotland. She encouraged people to live a devout life, grow in prayer, and grow in holiness. She helped to build churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline, where a relic of the true Cross is kept. She was well-known for her deep life of prayer and piety. She set aside specific times for prayer and to read Scripture. She didn’t eat often and slept very little so she would have more time for her devotions. She lived holiness of life as a wife, mother and lay woman; truly in love with Jesus Christ.

Malcolm supported Margaret in all her endeavors and admired her religious devotion so much he had her books decorated in jewels, gold and silver. One of these decorated books, a gospel book with portraits of the four evangelists, is now kept in Oxford at the Bodleian Library after it was miraculously recovered from a river.

In 1093, her husband and oldest son were killed in battle and she died four days later.

Pope Innocent IV canonized her as a Saint in 1250 and her body was moved to Dunfermline Abbey. Mary Queen of Scots reportedly acquired the relic of her head after that, but it was later lost during the French Revolution after being in possession of Jesuits in France.

More on Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland. She was the granddaughter of King Edmund Ironside and her infant father was exiled by Canute. Saint Margaret is my 24th great grandmother.

Catholic graduation speaker is Planned Parenthood supporter

graduation

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

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…