Call Yourself Catholic? Vote Like a Catholic

On 10/29/2010, in Catholic, Fact, by Tom Voiland

Elections Have Consequences as We’re Now All Too Familiar With

Coming into the 2008 Presidential election, this country was torn apart by war and facing an economic cataclysm.  This reality served to virtually destroy the Republican brand, something the GOP is still dealing with.  The political tsunami that is about to hit the Democrats to the benefit of Republicans is much more a referendum on President Obama and political liberalism than it is a love affair with the Republicans.  Although the GOP brand is in the tank, the Republican platform is still a winner and congruent with traditional American ideals.  These ideals are borne of the Judeo-Christian ethic which is the benchmark of how we should all decide to vote, or should I say for whom we decide to vote, especially Catholics.  The Republican platform is pro-life, anti-embryonic stem cell research, and anti-homosexual marriage, to name a few elements.  Sounds like a marriage made in Heaven for Catholics, right?

I’ve been a political junkie, a wonk if you will, for most of my adult life, probably since the 1992 election.  But it was the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan when I was sixteen that introduced me to how important national elections are, how very consequential they have become, and exactly who votes.  I’m a cradle Catholic and Conservative and it’s only recently, say the last two Presidential cycles, when I became aware that Catholic and Conservative are not politically synonymous, that Catholics are not only overwhelmingly Democrat, but worse yet “vote” for Democrats greater than 50% of the time; 54% for Barack Obama.  How can this be?  Candidate Obama was unabashedly pro-choice, pro embryonic stem cell research and at the very least completely sympathetic to those who wish to redefine the traditional – and Scriptural – definition of marriage.

I’m convinced that the proliferation of technology, especially in mass media – Cable news and the Internet mostly, has allowed our national politics to somewhat shape a lot of our social norms and mores.  No greater example than the fact that the definition of “sexual relations” (infamously spoken by President Clinton in denying his affair with a 21 year old intern) has broadened significantly amongst younger Americans since our nation was drug through the sorid details of President Clinton’s infidelity with Monica Lewinsky.  The Office of the President holds tremendous power and influence in so many ways.  So when we have a protracted national discussion about whether oral sex “is” sex because the President of the United States (Clinton) said to the nation it is not, and subsequently it is proven that American youth have broadened their definition of non sexual activity and increased their participation in that activity, that power and influence is all too apparent.  There’s even a name for it; the Clinton-Lewinsky Effect – look it up.  I wonder if Catholics who voted for Bill Clinton are proud of this legacy.

Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility

When I look at voting statistics from the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections, I’m again perplexed to understand that an average of 50% of Catholics voted for the Democrat candidate.  If there should be “any” monolithic block of voters for the Republican Party (based on the GOP Platform), it should be Catholics.  To make this point, please consider the following excerpt from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document; Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship;

“As Bishops, we seek to form the conscience of our people. We do not wish to instruct persons on how they should vote by endorsing or opposing candidates. We hope that voters will examine the position of candidates on the full range of issues, as well as on their personal integrity, philosophy, and performance. We are convinced that a consistent ethic of life should be the moral framework from which to address issues in the political arena.  For Catholics, the defense of human life and dignity is not a narrow cause, but a way of life and a framework for action.  A key message of the Vatican statement on public life is that Catholics in politics must reflect the moral values of our faith with clear and consistent priority for the life and dignity of the human person.”

A summary version of the Bishops’ teachings on Catholic voting responsibility can be found here and a video on Catholic voting here.

What’s interesting to me is that certain Catholics will read the official Catholic guidelines for creating an “informed conscience” and come away with the notion that such a conscience can vote Democrat.  In my opinion you can’t.  The Democrat platform is materially flawed, almost antithetical to what Catholics believe.  Now I can here people, Catholics screaming at me through the Internet; “What about the poor, what about healthcare, what about immigrants?”  To you I say this.

Regarding the poor; Democrats supposed license on assisting the downtrodden in our country is hogwash.  The difference between Democrats and Republicans “is not” that one wants to help and the other doesn’t, but the manner by which we provide the help.  Democrats and liberals want to provide that help through welfare and government programs, shown to be an abject failure.  Republicans and Conservatives want to provide that help directly, via our own wealth, not our taxes, or through non-profit and faith-based organizations funded by citizens who practice a Christian and civic duty to share their wealth with the less fortunate.  Regarding healthcare; the same thing, the difference is a matter of tactics, not desire.  One side wants to fix the private sector problems, the other side – Democrats – want to kill the health insurance industry in favor of a government run system.  On illegal immigration, the difference lies in the “illegal” part.  Republicans and Conservatives are just as sympathetic as Democrats and liberals.  However, we want an immigrant’s first action as a member of our society to be “under the rule of law.”  That’s the difference.  We do not want to reward criminal acitivity or felons.

Five Non-Negotiable Issues for All Serious Catholics

Some things always are wrong, and no one may vote in favor of them, directly or indirectly.  Citizens vote in favor of these evils if they vote in favor of candidates who propose to advance them.  Thus, Catholics should not vote for anyone who intends to push programs or laws that are intrinsically evil.  These five issues are called non-negotiable because they concern actions that are always morally wrong and must never be promoted by the law. It is a serious sin to endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any of the five non-negotiables.

1. Abortion – The Church teaches that, regarding a law permitting abortions, it is “never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it”.  Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.  The child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of his life. Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child’s, who should not suffer death for others’ sins.

2. Euthanasia – Often disguised by the name “mercy killing,” euthanasia also is a form of homicide.  No one has a right to take his own life (suicide), and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person.  In euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed out of a misplaced sense of compassion, but true compassion cannot include doing something intrinsically evil to another person.

3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Human embryos are human beings. Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo.  Recent scientific advances show that any medical cure that might arise from experimentation on fetal stem cells can be developed by using adult stem cells instead. Adult stem cells can be obtained without doing harm to the adults from whom they come. Thus there no longer is a medical argument in favor of using fetal stem cells.

4. Human Cloning – Attempts . . . for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through ‘twin fission,’ cloning, or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union.  Human cloning also ends up being a form of homicide because the “rejected” or “unsuccessful” clones are destroyed, yet each clone is a human being.

5. Homosexual “Marriage” – True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other form of “marriage” undermines true marriage, and legal recognition of homosexual unions actually does homosexual persons a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.  When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

The Most Important Election of Our Lifetimes – Almost

Although elections are always significant, it really wasn’t until the election of 2000 that the “this is the most important election of our lifetimes” phrase began its decent into a cliche’.  It’s been used ever since, every two years.  Although overused and thus diminished, this platitude can still ring true.  1980 was the most important election of our lifetimes.  Can you imagine four more years of Jimmy Carter?  Was 2000 not immensely important?  Can you fathom President Gore?  As the years have passed and as our national politics have become so much more sectarian, our politicians so much more partisan, and our government so much more detached from the voters, my interest in the entire process has only grown.  Reason being is that this viral and cancerous dysfunction within our national political system has hurt America, has made us weaker as a nation I believe.  And I want be an American, one voice, that helps strengthen this great nation once again.

So it goes that I say that the 2010 mid-terms are the most important elections of our lifetimes (almost).  I state this because the message an absolute and complete thrashing of the Democrat Party will send and the corresponding and complete repudiation of the President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid liberal agenda can go a long way to restoring the true American brand in so many ways.  First, that the United States IS NOT a liberal citizenry; we are moderately to mostly Conservative.  We are a center-right nation – period.  Secondly, that Americans want less government, less government spending, a low income tax structure, a strong national defense, and for the federal government to “facilitate” capitalism, not step on it as with Obamacare, Cap and Trade, etc..  Lastly and most importantly, that the United States – namely its chief diplomats – overtly and unapologetically assert American Exceptionalism.  We’ve earned the right to be the unmitigated world leader and our President and his/her administration should do nothing to diminish this, like apologizing for America or incessantly bowing to various world leaders, but I digress.

Now you’re asking why I’ve qualified the election importance cliche’ with “almost”?  Because the 2012 Presidential election cycle will be even more important than these mid-terms and for all the same reasons.  Although still the planet’s only superpower and still tremendously influential in all aspects of global issues, the “power gap” between America and the rest of the world has shrunk.  That is dangerous because by far the United States is the most qualified to lead from a moral, technical, traditional and theological perspective than anyone else.  I believe it is our divine right to be the fiduciary of world order.  All Catholics, genuine Catholics, not CINOs should take note and cast their votes for America.

 

Maureen Dowd and the New York Times are the Gates of Hell

The horrible blight of homosexuality and pedophilia on the institutional Catholic church continues and was brought back to the fore in the past few weeks with new revelations of abuse of young children here in the States and abroad.  This time it’s different though because Pope Benedict XVI himself has been dragged into the controversy with liberals and Catholic-haters alike swarming on the news and drooling like hobos on a ham sandwich.

But no more despicable is the salmon wrapper New York Times and one of its resident liberals-in-chief Maureen Dowd.  Over the past few weeks the Times and Ms. Dowd have taken every opportunity to demonize the Church and Pope, not for the sake of helping the victims or to help the institutional Church improve, but to further their evil left-wing agenda and to denigrate the Church at every turn.

I’m not going to give the New York Times more than a sentence of note here because God forbid I would do anything to stop its precipitous and cataclysmic decline in popularity.  And I’m not going to patronize Maureen Dowd for any longer than I need to to expose her for what she is; a liberal Catholic-In-Name-Only hack.  But if you want to read an article, replete with errors and irregularities about the Catholic Church, completely condescending in its tone, basically satirizing an incredibly painful issue for so many of us genuine Catholics, then here’s the link to the article called “A Nope for Pope”.  How funny, how clever, Maureen, you cockroach.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28dowd.html?adxnnl=1&ref=opinion&adxnnlx=1269774198-q+Zj7ZMpk8QKKIirfUkmZA

See this rebuttal by the National Review of Maureen Dowd’s garbage.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDRmMmI3ZDQ5YjJiMzZhYTBkOTFjOWY0MzY4MDBiM2U

The Church is not Responsible for Recent Scandals – Men are

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, and all  – especially Catholics – should take note; there is a vast difference between the Catholic Church – the Bride of Christ, Christ’s living presence on Earth, and the church – the institution of (mostly) men and women of whom Her Earthly well-being has been entrusted although the two are indivisibly married. So that I can use this blog to educate myself more in the Catholic Faith, as well as my Catholic brethren and all Christians who seek the Truth, understand these three pillars of the Church;

  • The Church is Impeccable – totally without sin and completely unable to sin for it is the Mystical Body of Christ Himself.
  • The Church is Infallible – absolutely incapable of error or failure in Her definitive dogmatic teaching regarding matters of faith and morals.
  • The Church is Indefectible – it will persist to the end of  time and it will preserve unimpaired all its essential characteristics handed to it by Christ Himself.   The gift of indefectibility is expressly promised to the Church by Christ in the words in which He declares that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.

As we are all well aware, there has been a feeding frenzy by the left in the past weeks around the continuing revelations of homosexuality and pedophilia by very disturbed and sick clergy in the Church.  It is horrifying, intensely saddening, and unimaginable to me that these “individuals” who were so trusted and revered would perpetrate their deranged behavior on the young and defenseless.  And for the (institution) of the church to not only turn a blind eye, but simply sweep these monsters under some other Parish’s carpet is something I honestly will never be able to understand.

So let’s be clear, the institutional church committed a grave sin here, in my opinion.  The church was complicit in covering up these heinous crimes versus summarily cleaning house of these sexual deviants immediately upon understanding the problem with practicing homosexual priests.  The individuals who committed these crimes did so without an atom of support from the Church – Christ’s real presence on Earth; that is impossible because the Church by virtue of its marriage to Christ Himself is impeccable, infallible and indefectible.

Just in case you question the sincerity of my anger or my knowledge of the facts, consider that this scandal made its way directly into my family where we have several Catholic clergy.  This revelation was painful, sad, extremely disappointing and terribly embarrassing to say the least.

If You’re Genuinely Catholic and Not CINO, Get Off the Fence and Stand Up for the Church

Let me begin this section with an excerpt from the home page of this blog which speaks about my belief system;

What I have come to understand and fully accept is this; the foundation of all I believe to be Truth emanates from the Catholic Church – Christ’s Bride and his Earthly presence.  Thus, the fullness of all Truth and the benchmark to which all my (our) decisions must be measured is Catholic Doctrine which was ordained by Christ himself while on Earth and continues to be guided to this day by the Holy Spirit through Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.

That the Church is THE guardian of the Full Deposit of Faith and the Fullness of the Truth, that this absolute custodial responsibility is THE Mission of the Church, entrusted to it by Christ Himself,  is not my belief system, this is the Catholic Belief System.  It is with unequivocal confidence that sincere Catholics state and defend this standard.  It is with humble obedience and complete respect that real Catholics lift our prayers to the Lord asking him to strengthen us against those who seek to destroy His Bride, the Church.  It is everyday that certain Christians and non Christians alike seek to defame, misrepresent, tear-down or otherwise poison Her purity for their own self interests, out of ignorance of the Truth, through allegiance to another god or by outright lying.  But more sad and troubling than this is the reality that far too many Catholics are either afraid, or too ignorant (of their Faith), to fend off the very evil implicit in these attacks against the Church or are somehow sympathetic towards Her detractors.

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory.” Mark 8:38

I for one am absolutely sick and tired of Catholics In Name Only catholics – the worst kind – who have the nerve to call themselves Catholic even as they denigrate the Church openly or disrespect Her by their irreverence at Mass or complete misrepresentation of Church Doctrine, Church history, Her traditions and supremacy on issues of faith and morals.  I’m talking about people like Nancy Pelosi and Maureen Dowd, like Patrick Kennedy, John Kerry and Dick Durbin, and scores of other CINO that I’ve encountered over the course of my faith journey.  These laissez faire Catholics who are too lazy, too occupied, or too focused on other things to educate themselves about the Church and their Faith to stand up for Her – that is if they feel it is important to do so – should get off the fence and choose sides.

“So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelations 3:16

Clearing Up the Misunderstanding of Papal Infallibility

Ignorance IS NOT bliss.  As I travel around various business and personal circles here in Tampa and as I’m beginning to associate myself more and more with Christian men, I am astounded at how much more learned seperated Christians are about their faith – and even about the Church – than Catholics are.  Because of this and because of shear shame and embarrassment of being “Catholic stupid” even after twelve years and Catholic school and 40 years of attending Mass, I have begun to learn as much about my Faith as possible.  So let me say this; first, if you call yourself a genuine Catholic then learn about your Faith, defend the Church, and for God’s sake don’t be counted among those who misrepresent the Church unintentionally.  Second, if your CINO or a non-Catholic and you overtly malign the Church, why don’t you get your facts straight first before launching into ad hominem attacks against an Institution that will not only outlive you, outlive time itself, but will be proven correct in “every instance” and She is the Fullness of Truth.

The Pope being infallible is; 1) probably one of the more misunderstood Church dogmas within the community of the Church, and 2) one of the first things non-Catholics and anti-Catholics seek to use to somehow smear the Papal office or the Church itself.  I’m not going to attempt to define Papal Infallibility here in detail, so please visit the two links below for very good explanations of the Doctrine.  However, I will offer a summary of what Papal Infallibility is and what it is not;

  1. Very simply put, the Pope being infallible “does not” mean the Pope cannot sin.  That would mean he is impeccable.  The Pope is a man, a person, he is not Divine, he is the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, and is as capable of sinning as any other human – them’s the facts.
  2. Papal infallibility “does” mean that when “officially” speaking for the Church on matters of “faith and morals” while maintaining the “bond of unity with all other Bishops”, and when that body “concurs in a single viewpoint” as the one which must be held “conclusively”, then and only then can the Pope speak Ex Cathedra – infallibly.

Now for all you Catholic know-it-alls, or better said know-nothing-at-alls, do you know how many times the Pope has spoken Ex Cathedra – thus infallibly?  Over the past 2,000 years?  Twice – on the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854 and on the Assumption of Mary in 1950.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

I’ll leave you with this passage from Scripture; “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).  And to MY dying breath I will defend her against all those who seek to destroy her.

 

Thanksgiving Thoughts

On 11/26/2009, in Catholic, Opinion, by Tom Voiland

The Genesis of Thanksgiving

America’s Thanksgiving celebration occurs every year, the fourth Thursday in November.  Based on your understanding of history and to what Christian denomination you belong, you’d be surprised to understand exactly when the first Thanksgiving occurred, who was involved, and whom the first thanksgivers were thanking.

The first Thanksgiving occurred in and around present day El Paso, Texas twenty-three years prior to the celebration at Plymouth that is given the official seal of the inaugural Thanksgiving.  The first celebration was by Spanish explorers led by a Franciscan priest who were claiming this new kingdom for Christ and the Catholic Church.  And the focus of their thanks was Christ – more specifically the Mass and Eucharist – the ultimate spiritual nourishment, and the foremost “meal” for any human being which was partaken of before the earthly food they ate that leads to nothing more than bodily nourishment.

I am in no way attempting to diminish the Pilgrim’s celebration and our country’s ties to that seminal event mainly because the focus of that Thanksgiving was also Christ, the overriding rationale for this post.  See the following excerpt and links to explain America’s Thanksgiving heritage.

 On January 26, 1598, a Spanish expedition set out from Mexico with the aim of founding a new kingdom. Three months later, after a long, dangerous trek forging a new trail northward, the now famous El Camino Real [The Royal Road], it crossed the Rio Grande and set up camp south of present day El Paso, Texas. On April 30, a Mass of thanksgiving was said, and the valiant leader of the expedition. Don Juan de Oñate, took formal possession of the new land, called New Mexico, in the name of the Heavenly Lord, God Almighty, and the earthly lord King Philip II.

Then, after the Mass, the Franciscan priests blessed the food on tables abundant with fish, ducks and geese, and the 600-strong expedition of soldiers and colonists feasted. The celebration ended with a play enacting scenes of the native Indians hearing the first words of the Catholic Faith and receiving the Sacrament of Baptism. 

Therefore, the Mass, feast, and other celebrations of the Spanish Franciscan missionaries and members of Don Juan de Oñate’s expedition in 1598 is more authentically our first Thanksgiving than the one in 1621 at Plymouth Rock, which took place 23 years later.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14555a.htm

http://www.traditioninaction.org/History/B_005_Onate_Thanksgiving.html

The Secularization of Thanksgiving

But like so many other American institutions that owe their beginnings to the Christians that founded and lead our country until the disaster we call the 1960’s (liberals Garden of Eden), Thanksgiving is now promoted by the mainstream media, academia and all other secular progressives as a day to “simply” give thanks.  And like the giant expanse of nothingness that liberalism has as its boundaries and foundation, and like most secular progressives’ rationale for their ideological goals, it escapes most of us Conservatives as to what they want us to give thanks for?

It’s intuitively obvious that liberals want us to give thanks for good things; each other, for our health, for mother Earth, etc. and that’s all well and good, with one huge exception.  The entire focus of Thanksgiving should be on our heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ of whom and by whom all these other things exist.  But again, like so much else that liberals have poisoned, secular progressivism does not want us to ascribe “anything” to the Supreme Being mainly because liberals do not want to be held accountable by anyone who is ultimately in control – of which Christ is.  Liberals live with no boundaries with only themselves to thank because as their core belief, “man” is ultimately in control.

What We Should Give Thanks For

Look, obviously we should utilize Thanksgiving Day, a time when families gather together to catch up, talk about the good times and simply love one another, to give thanks for each other, our good fortunes, the food we eat, etc.  But above and before this, we should remember to thank God our Father for sending his only Son to us, and Christ for not only subjecting Himself to becoming human which was bad enough, but for dying a horrendous and humiliating death on our behalf, something He did not have to do.  And all this after being rejected by His own people (his children, remember Christ was fully God) and abandoned by His best friends – even His Father – when He needed them most.  What other act of love could we compare this to throughout the history of man?  NOTHING.

My seperated Christian brothers and sisters tend to look past this ultimate sacrifice and gift of love to Christ’s resurrection which is the key to our ultimate salvation.  But I believe our Thanksgiving should focus on Christ’s complete and selfless giving of Himself on our behalf right until His last breath.  To all, a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, especially you Jesus; my big brother and best friend.

 

The Church is Clear Regarding Health Care Legislation

I’m not going to waste your time by attempting to recant the Church’s position on the whole health care debate and liberals attempt to nationalize it.  So please launch the following link to get the American Church’s official position.  In short, the Catholic Church believes that all Americans should have equal “access” to quality and affordable health care, but does not support government mandated healthcare that equates to socialism, an intrinsic evil according to the Church.

http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/index.shtml

The Catholic Church’s Stance on Health Care Reform – Questions and Answers

As the Catholic Church is the source and fullness of all Truth, the following link will provide you the most accurate answers possible as to the health care reform debate.  So if you’re searching for exactly what your position should be, launch the following link or read the following:

http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/faqs.shtml

Question: The Catholic bishops support health care reform. What are the bishops’ key criteria for health care reform?

Answer: The bishops have been consistent advocates for comprehensive, life-affirming reform to the nation’s health care system. Health care reform needs to reflect basic moral principles. The bishops believe access to basic, quality health care is a universal human right not a privilege. In this light they offer four criteria to guide the process: a truly universal health policy that respects all human life and dignity, from conception to natural death; access for all with a special concern for the poor and inclusion of legal immigrants; pursuing the common good and preserving pluralism including freedom of conscience and variety of options; and restraining costs and applying them equitably across the spectrum of payers.

Question: Why are the bishops so vocal about health care reform?

Answer: One out of three Americans under the age of 65 went without health insurance for some period of time during 2007 and 2008. Of these, four out of five were from working families. Sixty four percent of the uninsured are employed full time, year round. This state of affairs is unacceptable. In the Catholic tradition, health care is a basic human right not a privilege. It is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity.

Question: Are the bishops trying to promote an anti-abortion agenda through health care reform?

Answer: The bishops will continue to fight against the evil of abortion by all means available. But they have not demanded that urgently needed health care reform become a vehicle for advancing the pro-life cause, and they likewise believe it should not be used to advance the cause of abortion. In this sense, the bishops have asked that health care reform be “abortion neutral,” this is, that existing laws and policies with regard to abortion and abortion funding be preserved, allowing health care reform to move forward and serve its legitimate goals.

Question:Why are the bishops insistent that health care reform be “abortion neutral”?

Answer: Abortion advocacy groups are trying to use health care reform to advance their agenda, by having Congress or a federal official establish abortion as a “basic” or “essential” health benefit, guaranteeing “access” nationwide and requiring Americans to subsidize abortion with their tax dollars or insurance premiums. This would reverse a tradition of federal laws and policies that have barred federal funding and promotion of abortion in all major health programs for over three decades (e.g., the Hyde amendment, 1976), and have respected the right of health care providers to decline involvement in abortion or abortion referrals. This agenda would also endanger or render irrelevant numerous local and state laws regulating abortion. The bishops cannot, in good conscience, let such an important and pressing issue as health care reform be hijacked by the abortion agenda. No health care reform plan should compel anyone to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion. Any such action would be morally wrong and politically unwise.

Question: Are the bishops promoting socialized medicine by advocating for universal access?

Answer: All people need and should have access to comprehensive, quality health care that they can afford, and it should not depend on their stage in life, where or whether they or their parents work, how much they earn, where they live, or where they were born. There may be different ways to accomplish this, but the Bishops’ Conference believes health care reform should be truly universal and genuinely affordable.

Question: Health care is already expensive. Why advocate for legal immigrants to be covered too?

Answer: Legal immigrants pay taxes and contribute to the U.S. economy and social life in the same manner as U.S. citizens do. Therefore, there should be equity for legal immigrants in access to health care. In the Catholic tradition, health care is a basic human right, like education, and having access to it should not depend on where you were born. Achieving equality in this case, for instance, means repealing the five year ban currently in effect for legal immigrants to access Medicaid, and ensuring that all pregnant women in the United States, who will be giving birth to U.S. citizens, are eligible along with their unborn children for health care.

Question:What kind of actions do the bishops recommend to make quality health care accessible for all and genuinely affordable?

Answer: Many lower income families simply lack the resources to meet their health care expenses. For these families, significant premiums and cost sharing charges can serve as barriers to obtaining coverage or seeing a doctor. Medicaid cost-sharing protections should be maintained and new coverage options should protect the lowest income enrollees from burdensome cost sharing. The bishops have urged Congress to limit premiums or exempt families earning less then 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level from monthly premiums; they also recommend limiting co-payments and other costs which could discourage needed care, and increasing eligibility levels for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). They have urged Congress to provide states with resources to expand coverage and ensure sufficient funding for safety net clinics, hospitals and other providers serving those who will continue to fall through the cracks even after the system is reformed.

 

Hello world!

Welcome to the initial post to this blog.  It’s been a long time coming.  My sincerest hope is that the Lord guides me in all that I write here and that readers find what I have to say to be direct, engaging, consistent and interesting.  If the latter is not fulfilled then I guess I’ll be a lonely author.

For the record, I am Catholic first and Conservative second.  Everything that I hope to be in my life emanates from the Catholic Church, the source and fullness of all Truth.  If you have a genuine interest in following this blog, I ask that you take the time to read the About Tom Voiland section, because I sincerely want readers to understand who I am and where I am coming from.

The Catholic Church – The Fullness of the Truth

One of the most frustrating situations I often find myself in is talking to another Christian who is not Catholic about our Lord, His life, the Bible, etc .  Inevitably, the discussion will turn on my contention that the Catholic Church is the only “true” Church.  I am by no means a Biblical scholar or even a learned apologetic, but I do know a little bit about history and my Catholic Faith.

History and the Catholic Faith

So as my seperated Christian friend is reciting a myriad of Bible passages to the letter, I stop them and ask a simple question; “Which Church did Christ Himself establish when on Earth?”  Based on who I am talking to and to which one of the estimated 33,000 protestant denominations they belong, I will get varied answers.  However, I will never get the simple answer; that Christ established one Church on Earth in which He used His Apostles and disciples to propagate and by A.D. 107 that Church was first called Catholic by St. Ignatius of Antioch .  Ignatius wrote, “Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church”.  Thus, the second century of Christianity had scarcely begun when the name of the Catholic Church was already in use.

Let No One Separate What God Has Joined

The simple fact is that Christ established one Church on Earth which was coined the Catholic Church as early as the 2nd century.  Further that Church was the only source for Christian doctrine until the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century – 1,500 years.  Finally that it was man – human beings – who decided to divorce themselves from the Church without any authority whatsoever to do so.  The Protestant Reformation was not ordained by God, but by man and for reasons such as demanding a divorce that would not be granted (Henry the 8th).

No matter how derelict the institution of the Catholic church had become by the 16th century in the eyes of certain Christians or how egregious certain practices were, nothing had detracted from the absolute purity and perfection of the Church – Christ’s bride and Christ Himself.  The perfection of the Church – the Catholic Church – was borne by and of Christ and not an atom of that reality had changed by the 16th century or will ever change.  The perfection of the Catholic Church lives to this day and She contains the fullness of the Truth and that Truth is Christ.

Please launch the following link for a more in-depth discussion of this topic; http://www.catholic.com/library/Fundamentalist_or_Catholic.asp

 
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