Yesterday, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of 60 New York leaders to his transition committee. He instructed them to “identify women and men from every part of our city and walk of life” that wants a better New York. He lied. Also lying was Transition Co-Chair Jennifer Jones Austin, who said that committee members “come from every slice of civic life—business and labor, science and the arts, clergy….” (My italic.)
In fact, there are two ministers, two rabbis and one imam on the transition committee. There are no Catholic priests. Catholics make up 52.5 percent of New York, yet they have no clergy representation. This is not an oversight: every attempt was made to include persons from virtually every sector of New York. This was clearly done by design. Looks like de Blasio’s politics of inclusion has its limits.
To make matters worse, de Blasio showed his contempt for Catholics by naming to his transition committee the man who insulted them in 1999 with the “Sensation” exhibit, Arnold L. Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. That exhibit featured a portrait of Our Blessed Mother with elephant dung and pornographic cut outs on it. I led a demonstration against it.
On November 19, NewsBusters ran a story on the MSNBC segment with Thomas Roberts on abortion. This occasioned Bill Donohue to write the following letter to MSNBC today:
Ms. Kathy Kelly-Brown Senior Vice President, Communications NBCUniversal News Group MSNBC 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York 10112
Dear Ms. Kelly-Brown:
If MSNBC wants to invite someone from Catholics for Choice to discuss abortion, that’s fine. But truth in advertising standards demand that the spokesperson not be identified as representing the position of the Catholic Church. That is exactly what happened on November 19 when Thomas Roberts introduced Sara Hutchinson, a spokesperson for Catholics for Choice. After MSNBC contributor and abortion-rights advocate Irin Carmon expressed her position on the Albuquerque, New Mexico proposed law banning abortions after 20 weeks, Roberts said, “Okay, so let’s talk to the Church side.”
There is nothing “Catholic” about Catholics for Choice, and everyone knows it. Would MSNBC allow someone from Jews for Jesus to speak for Jews? If you want to present two pro-abortion sides as part of your discussion, that is your business. But please refrain from lying to your viewers about “the Church side.”
They said that, with its “coercive mandate,” the Obama administration “is refusing to uphold its obligation to respect the rights of religious believers.”
“Beginning in March 2012, in United for Religious Freedom, we identified three basic problems with the HHS mandate: it establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries and so reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship; it compels our ministries to participate in providing employees with abortifacient drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception, which violates our deeply-held beliefs; and it compels our faithful people in business to act against our teachings, failing to provide them any exemption at all,” they said.
“Despite our repeated efforts to work and dialogue toward a solution, those problems remain. Not only does the mandate undermine our ministries’ ability to witness to our faith, which is their core mission, but the penalties it imposes also lay a great burden on those ministries, threatening their very ability to survive and to serve the many who rely on their care,” the bishops added.
They continued: “The current impasse is all the more frustrating because the Catholic Church has long been a leading provider of, and advocate for, accessible, life-affirming health care. We would have preferred to spend these recent past years working toward this shared goal instead of resisting this intrusion into our religious liberty. We have been forced to devote time and resources to a conflict we did not start nor seek.”
“I would not be able to live with myself knowing that we're contradicting what we believe,” he said during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab.
Religious employers such as the diocese are exempt from providing coverage for those services, but their nonprofits — such as Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh — are required to provide coverage or certify that they morally object so that an insurance company can do so.
Under the law's penalties, Catholic Charities would be subject to a daily fine of $100 per employee if Zubik doesn't sign, said Susan Rauscher, the nonprofit's executive director. That would total $2 million to $4 million a year for an organization with a $10 million operating budget, she said.
The Pittsburgh and Erie diocese are suing the government, claiming that the requirement violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They're asking Schwab to temporarily block enforcement of the mandate on their nonprofits while the dioceses pursue the lawsuits.
Bishop Lawrence Persico, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, testified that signing the document would cause the church to cooperate in the provision of “immoral” services.
A young woman was brought to the abortion center by her mother, father and sister. She had three children under the age of 6 and was pregnant again. The children had different fathers. One is in jail. One had simply vanished.
One of the volunteers handed some literature to the woman’s mom, and begged her to get that information to her daughter, who had already gone inside. The woman’s sister then came out, and the same volunteer pleaded with her to just get her pregnant sister out of that place. So she went back in.
Other vigil participants continued to pray. A bit later, the young woman and her sister came out crying. “You saved a life today!”
“The entire family is joyful this baby will be born,” Claire said. “This story illustrates the sad fact that the abortion mentality is deeply ingrained in our society. None of the family members really wanted to have it done, but felt it was the ‘responsible choice.’ Please keep this woman, her family and our country in your prayers.”
The Westchester-Putnam Right to Life PAC and the Right to Life Party are helping you vote and get out the vote by sharing their candidate picks with you and through you to others prior to the election on Tuesday, November 5th.
From Liz Costanzo and Ed Riely: A great and in-depth list of candidates at their RTL website at http://www.righttolife-9jd.com/. No computer access? Call Ed or Liz with questions at 914.478-1189.
From Alan Mehldau:
"I have been asked by several people to let them
know which candidates are pro-life. The Westchester & Putnam Right to
Life PAC has endorsed the following candidates for next Tuesday's election!
These candidates are pro-life (or is some cases at least more pro-life than
their opponents) I have attached a copy of our voter guide card for your
use. I recommend them to you! God bless!
Here's that voter guide:
District Supreme Court Justice
Mark Dillon(vote for
AngiolilloJohn Sweeny, Jr.
County Court Judge
District 1John Testa
District 2Andrea Rendo
District 3Michael Smith
District 4Gregory Kane
District 5Miriam Levitt Flisser*
District 9Peter Tripodi
District 10Sheila Marcotte
District 15Gordon Burrows
District 5Carl Albano
District 9Kevin Wright
Yonkers City Council
District 4Dennis Shepherd
District 6John Larkin
supports some “pro-life” positions!More pro-life than opponents!
Candidates not listed
have not been endorsed by W&PRTL