A few days ago, I noted President Obama’s remarks at the Easter prayer breakfast that appeared to affirm the resurrection. One wag suggested that the remarks reflected the work of a speech writer and not of the President himself. Amy Sullivan reports for TIME.com, however, that Obama did in fact write the speech himself. She writes: Continue Reading →
“Even after the passage of 2,000 years, we can still picture the moment in our mind’s eye. The young man from Nazareth marched through Jerusalem; object of scorn and derision and abuse and torture by an empire. The agony of crucifixion amid the cries of thieves. The discovery, just three days later, that would forever alter our world — that the Son of Man was not to be found in His tomb and that Jesus Christ had risen.
“We are awed by the grace He showed even to those who would have killed Him. We are thankful for the sacrifice He gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrection.”
See if you can guess who said it before looking at the answer in the first comment below. Tell me who you guessed in the comment section.
I’ve already been asked about the morality of paying taxes to the U. S. government in light of the new healthcare law which provides federal subsidies for abortion. Albert Mohler answers that question today in an extended essay on his website, and I commend it to you.
Mohler builds on two New Testament texts in particular that I think are important: Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17. Mohler rightly identifies the governing authority during Paul’s and Peter’s time as the Roman Empire. Both texts command Christians to subject themselves to governing authorities, and Romans 13:7 specifically commands Christians to pay their taxes: “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” Continue Reading →
“Obama has joined the pantheon of progressive presidents. Some of them, such as the ruthlessly cheerful Franklin Roosevelt, were politically dominant. Others ended as political failures: Woodrow Wilson, cold, cerebral and unloved; Lyndon Johnson, passionate, prideful and broken. But each tested the limits of executive power, changed the relationship between citizens and the state, and inspired generations to love or disdain. Obama now belongs in this company.”
Read the rest here.
It looks like this video was recorded last Fall before the House passed its version of healthcare reform. What it reveals is that Bart Stupak never intended to see his “pro-life” stand through to the end. I was mistaken about him before. His was never a principled pro-life position. (HT: The Corner)
The longer I look at this the worse it looks. The executive order that Stupak is relying on to bar federal funding for abortion clearly isn’t going to work. As Bill Burck and Dana Perino have noted,
“Executive orders have the force of law only within the executive branch and only to the extent they are consistent with legislation. Â Stupak believes that the Senate bill does not do enough to prohibit the use of federal funds; what he apparently does not realize is that the executive order can do no more to prohibit use of federal funds for abortion than the Senate bill does.”
Could Stupak really have been duped into believing that the order would work? I find it difficult to believe that Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats don’t know the limited value of an executive order. He has been so heroic up to this point, it’s also hard to accept that he might actually know better and has just decided to cave-in on his pro-life position. In any case, the sad result is the sameâ€”a bill that provides for tax-payer funded abortions.
Here’s what others are saying:
“Stupak has allowed himself to be tricked into supporting a bill that he disagrees with on the basis of an executive order that does precisely nothing to alleviate his concerns.” –Bill Burck and Dana Perino
“If Rep. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats were not satisfied with the protections against taxpayer funding of abortion in the Senate bill (as they rightly were not), there is simply nothing in the text of the order that should change their minds.” –Yuval Levin
“This anti-abortion EO is blatant chicanery: if the pro-lifers purport to be satisfied by it, they are participating in a transparent fraud and selling out the pro-life cause.” –Andy McCarthy
Here is Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the Executive Order that has secured Bart Stupak’s vote for healthcare reform:
“While we regret that this proposed Executive Order has given the imprimatur of the president to Senator Nelson’s language, we are grateful that it does not include the Stupak abortion ban.”
I hope Stupak is getting a sinking feeling in his stomach right now. In this late hour, he needs to reconsider.
Stupak announced earlier today that he was close to a deal:
Stupak said he engaged in talks late into Saturday night. Continue Reading →
The Washington Post reports that,
“House Democrats are working with the White House to craft an executive order that would clarify President Obama’s intention to maintain a long-standing ban on federal funding of abortion, congressional Democrats said.”
Stephen Dillard reports at First Things that Bart Stupak has agreed to vote “yes” on healthcare reform contingent upon adequate wording in an executive order. Kathryn Jean Lopez is also reporting that agreement has been reached on the executive order approach.
If this reporting bears out, then healthcare reform will indeed pass today.
How are pro-lifers evaluating this approach? The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, and the Family Research Council all agree that “any executive order President Obama makes on abortion cannot override a law duly passed by Congress.” Read their statements here.
I share the concerns of these pro-life groups. Moreover, I don’t see how an executive order can be considered a permanent “fix” to this bill’s abortion problems. Executive orders can be undone as quickly as they are done, and another president (perhaps this President!) could revoke or modify the order. If that were to happen, healthcare reform would remain the law of the land, but the prohibition on tax-payer funded abortions would not.
Bart Stupak still insists that he has 12 votes. He met with the “Stupak Dozen” on Tuesday morning, and he says that his group is solidly opposed to healthcare reform as long as it provides for tax-payer funded abortions. I guess we’ll know Sunday whether or not his group stays true.