1.12.08

FOCA - Not Just a Four-Letter Word

Yes: this is a long post. Yes: it requires careful reading. Yes: it's about an issue over which we social progressives might be divided. Still, I invite you to read, pray, and thoughtfully respond, so that we might have constructive dialog.

Now that the election is over, it might be easy to slip into a state of either passive bliss, or passive despair, depending on your point of view. Both would be wrong because, as I've stated often, the calling of the church is to vote prayerfully, and work hard for the good of the culture where we live.

Towards that end, I urge you to consider the potential impending train wreck that might occur, should the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), actually become law in the coming year. Our President elect has already declared that he will sign this bill into law if it passes.

Perhaps you know me well enough to know that I'm hesitant to point you to the petition site where you can sign on and urge Obama to reject this legislation. My hesitancy comes from the fact that sites like these are nearly always propagandized in a way that preaches to their choir of believers but offers nothing substantively persuasive that would speak to the unconvinced.

I'll point you there anyway, but first ask that you carefully read this article from left-leaning Slate.com, written by staunchly pro-Obama Melinda Henniberger. She points out the very real threat to the future of Catholic Hospitals in America that awaits, should this legislation pass. Remember, this isn't Dobsonesque fear strategy- this is SLATE magazine.

If you don't have time to read the whole article, I'll simply offer this quote from it (but please, take the time to read the whole thing at some point... it's important to remain informed on this, and many other issues). Ms. Henneberger writes:
"...as I think I have made clear——I have high hopes for President Obama, I was so looking forward to dancing at this party. Yet, although abortion was not a major issue in the race, the pro-life argument that he was the candidate most likely to decrease the need for—and number of—abortions did make it easier for many Catholics to cast their votes for him. I think we should hold him to that commitment now.

At the very moment when Obama and his party have won the trust of so many Catholics who favor at least some limits on abortion, I hope he does not prove them wrong. I hope he does not make a fool out of that nice Doug Kmiec, who led the pro-life charge on his behalf. I hope he does not spit on the rest of us—though I don't take him for the spitting sort—on his way in the door. I hope that his appointment of Ellen Moran, formerly of EMILY's List, as his communications director is followed by the appointment of some equally good Democrats who hold pro-life views. By supporting and signing the current version of FOCA, Obama would reignite the culture war he so deftly sidestepped throughout this campaign. This is a fight he just doesn't need at a moment when there is no shortage of other crises to manage."
The petition? As I said, I don't like these sites because they can be, often justifiably, charged with sensationalism. Still, if you believe the protection of life in the womb is as at least as important as the protection of Iraqi civilians, or granting the poor and marginalized access to health services, then signing here ought to be seriously considered. Do you agree?

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