American Elephants


Obama Pissed Off The Wrong People by The Elephant's Child

There are about 40-thousand Catholic priests in the US and about 220,000 parishes serving about 70+ million Catholics, over 20% of the US population. — If not religious, skip to about 1:25 minutes.

Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom.

This post is borrowed shamelessly from Bruce Kessler at Maggie’s Farm.

This one is from the Catholic Church.



Birth Control Prevents Climate Change? Oh Puh-leese! by The Elephant's Child

I want to go back to the origins of this kerfuffle. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has been given the authority to make hundreds of rules and regulations pertaining to ObamaCare, announced that all employers who offered health insurance for their employees, workers or members would be required to offer birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients at no cost. Catholics were appalled. This was a direct attack on the first amendment freedom of religion clause. Catholics were quickly joined by members of many other denominations.

They notified Secretary Sebelius that the requirement was unacceptable. Catholics provide a large percentage of the hospitals in this country, about 615, and not just hospitals but large medical centers, and 499 Long Term Care facilities. The hospitals are among the nation’s finest. There are around 6,900 k-12 schools, and many colleges and universities. All would come under the new regulation, which is in direct opposition to Catholic doctrine. The First Amendment is not about “separation of church and state,” but bans the state from making any law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Dr. Richard Land, one of the most influential evangelical leaders is president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He said flatly “We will not comply” with the HHS mandate.  When Catholic bishops said they would have to close their hospitals — the American medical establishment said there is no way they could absorb that many patients. Do not misunderstand this controversy. It is a battle about freedom of conscience and religious liberty. It is not about “birth control,” nor is it about a “war against women.”

President Barack Obama, who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, doesn’t have a lot of respect for that old worn-out document. Progressives, in general, see the Constitution as something to get around. They would prefer to re-draft it, bring it up to date — so it doesn’t interfere with things they want to do. Shallow, really shallow. Obama decided that he would take on the Catholic Church, that they were undoubtedly bluffing, and the rule was written into the Federal Register as law.

But what if the Bishops aren’t bluffing? The confrontation was not going the way Progressives wanted it to. Progressives determined to “redefine” the problem.  Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced that he would hold hearings. Just before the hearings were to open, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to run in a more promising witness to testify.  Chairman Issa looked at her qualifications, and decided that she was not only not qualified to speak, but had nothing to offer. So former Speaker Pelosi and cohort set up their own (pretend) committee hearing so they could get their witness’s testimony out to the public.

Enter the spurious Ms. Sandra Fluke (rhymes with cluck), a supposed 23-year-old coed in her 3rd year of law school at Georgetown Law, a Catholic institution.  She testified that her active sex life made it necessary for her to spend $3,000 over 3 years for birth control. Well, she turned out  to be 30 years old, the cost of birth control was no more than $9 a month at a nearby pharmacy, and she was a long time feminist activist who chose Georgetown because it was a Catholic institution and she wanted to take them on about abortion and birth control.

Now we have to go back a few years to the Bush administration, when Progressives were whining loudly in the press that they didn’t have any ideas because they didn’t have any think tanks like Republicans did. So they got together some big money from the Democrat 1%, and founded Think Progress — their very own think tank to give them ideas.

The problem was that their understanding of a think-tank differed from the Republican understanding of a think-tank. The big, long-established think-tanks like Heritage, the American Enterprise Institute, The Hoover Institution, The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cato (Libertarian) , The Hudson Institute, and the Manhattan Institute all employed scholars to do serious research on policy. They attempt to provide the background of research that will help Congress to understand the pros and cons of legislation, and what research shows works and what doesn’t.

Progressives were more interested in getting and keeping power. Think Progress undoubtedly does research, but its interest is in strategy of how to defeat Republicans and how to win. That’s where the redefining of problems comes from. So the GREEN division of Think Progress came up with this gem: “Access to Birth Control is A Fundamental Component of Climate Survival” February 10, 2012.

Any morally acceptable pathway to prevent catastrophic global warming includes broad access to affordable birth control for the world’s women. The conservative war on birth control is a war on women’s rights, and thus on the rights of us all. Manmade global warming is one of the most troubling symptoms of economic and social injustice around the planet, and the ”countries in the developing world least responsible for the growing emissions are likely to experience the heaviest impact of climate change, with women bearing the greatest toll.” Researchers have found that empowering women to reduce unplanned pregnancies is one of the most cost-effective ways to combat greenhouse pollution.

Well. There is a perfect example of redefining the problem! Suddenly neither the argument nor the conversation is about the attack on the First Amendment to the Constitution and religious freedom for Catholic Hospitals and Schools in the United States — it is about “reproductive health for the world’s women and empowering them to reduce unplanned pregnancies.” A world where women and girls have more power is a healthier world.

Think Progress is really quite good at what we might call “changing the subject.” Republicans, earnestly trying to accomplish something effective for the country are always blindsided by their unexpected approach.

Who could have thought that the phony testimony of Sandra Fluke (rhymes with cluck) would lead to an attempt to rid the airwaves of the Left’s favorite demon, Rush Limbaugh; Ms. Fluke’s acquiring an agent, and PR representative to book her for TV appearances, for her future stardom, and controversial attorney Gloria Allread rushing to her defense, since she hadn’t been charged with anything except completely misrepresenting herself and her history, and obviously needed a lawyer.



The Freedom of Religion Battle by The Elephant's Child

Congressional Democrats in the guise of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have been trying to pull a fast one. Sandra Fluke, portrayed as a 23 year-old coed at Georgetown Law School is actually 30 years old, and a long time activist for unmarried victims of domestic violence. Somehow this morphed into being an activist for “reproductive justice,” which means getting someone else to pay for your birth-control pills.

You have probably heard about her testimony. She claimed it cost poor law students $3,000 for three years of birth control; Rush Limbaugh noted that she was declaring on national television that she wanted to have an active sex life without benefit of marriage, and wanted someone else to pay for it, and suggested that implied that she was a slut. That prompted President Obama to make a personal telephone call to her to tell her how proud her parents must be that she was standing up for her principles.

Birth-control seems a private matter, and I don’t understand why someone else should pay for the cost. It is not a health matter, but a matter of Democrat feminists’ demand for “choice.” You choose whether or not you want to have sex outside of marriage, you choose whether or not you want to have a baby, and you choose whether or not you want to pay to do something about it. The price of a 30-day supply of birth control pills at WalMart has been variously described as $4, $6 and $9. That does not seem exorbitant — even for a student.

Adding birth control to mandated health insurance raises the cost of that insurance. Catholic institutions are morally opposed, and the matter is clearly unconstitutional under the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment. The State shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

This is a major case of hypocrisy. Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius are both Catholic. President Obama, at the same time he celebrates adding to the cost of ObamaCare unnecessarily, is asking Congress to triple the cost of Tri-Care, the military’s health insurance, to the troops, in order to cut the budget.

All this is an attempt to garner women’s votes by telling them that Republicans want to deny women the right to birth control. They are already running ads to that effect. This president has made it clear that he has little respect the separation of powers nor for the Constitution that he took an oath to preserve, protect and defend. He intends to get around it with executive orders and regulation.



This Isn’t a Euphemism, It’s an Obfuscation! by The Elephant's Child

A euphemism is the substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered explicitly offensive.  Jessica Mitford once said “euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’ abound in the funeral industry.” To obfuscate is to confuse or becloud.

Religious leaders told a House panel Thursday that the Obama administration was violating basic rights to religious freedom with its policies requiring religious affiliated institutions to fund birth control, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs for their members and employees.

Democrats were indignant because they had been denied the ability to present witnesses before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee who might support the government stance or speak for the rights of women to reproductive health coverage.

This isn’t even obfuscation and it’s more than an attempt to confuse. It’s an attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ears. The edict handed down from the Catholic Secretary of Health and Human Services has nothing to do with women’s reproductive health. It involves only who pays for their birth control.

No woman is deprived of contraceptives. No woman is deprived of the ability to be sterilized. No woman is deprived of the morning-after pill.  They can pay for it themselves, they can get someone else to pay for it. They can get it from Planned Parenthood. They can get a 30 day supply of birth control pills from WalMart for $4. (That’s only $48 for a whole year— they get more than that back from Obama’s payroll tax extension).

House Democratic leader, former speaker, and Catholic Nancy Pelosi said Thursday morning that “I think that all institutions who cover, who give, health insurance should cover the full range of health insurance issues for women.”

Not a health insurance issue. Nor are condoms for the other sex. Nor is the toothpaste that helps prevent my tooth decay, the aspirin that assuages my headaches. With the declining birth rate, it may not even be a national good.  Smaller generations of children can’t pay for the Social Security and Medicare entitlements of women.

Nobody is preventing women of childbearing age from obtaining or using birth control. We just suggest they should pay for it themselves.




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