Tag Archives: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

U.S. Catholic bishops call persecution of Christians in Middle East a genocide

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) describes itself as “an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the [Catholic] Christian faithful of the United States.”
Wikipedia describes the USCCB as “the episcopal conference of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded in 1966 . . . it is composed of all active and retired members of the Catholic hierarchy (i.e., diocesan, coadjutor, and auxiliary bishops and the ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter) in the United States and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Below is an excerpt from an official statement by the president of USCCB, November 2015.

A Statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Lord Jesus Christ.”
These three whispered words rose above the sound of the surf to overcome death, as 21 Coptic Christians – brothers as dear to us as our own family – knelt in the sand before the executioner’s sword. The body and blood of Christ were offered on the Mediterranean shore that all too recent February day. Our body and blood were offered, for as St. Paul teaches us, we are one body in Christ and “if one suffers, all the parts suffer with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
The words of our Lord Jesus Christ are alive and with us now. “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you as well” (Jn 15:20). Places of worship that have stood for centuries in the very cradle of Christianity are being destroyed. Families are fleeing from beheadings, sexual slavery and even crucifixion. In places such as Mosul, [Iraq] Christmas bells that have heralded the birth of our Savior uninterrupted for nearly two thousand years have fallen silent as our brothers and sisters in the faith have been scattered. It is nothing short of genocide.

Archbishop Kurtz calls on us to help our persecuted and martyred fellow Christians by (1) praying for them; and (2) witnessing for them: “We cannot be hesitant to speak their name, make their cause our own and ensure they are never forgotten by the powerful in a position to protect them.”

A crucifixion in Yemen, by the jihadist group Ansar al-Shariah

A crucifixion in Yemen, by the jihadist group Ansar al-Shariah

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Collusion of Church & State in Invasion of Illegals: $182M to house "unaccompanied children" for just 4 months

Poke a liberal, s/he will scream “Separation of Church and State!” ad nauseum — a phrase that, contrary to their claim, is not in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Instead, the phrase “separation of church and state” — that has become in the minds of too many Americans the definition of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause — actually originated in a letter by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists in which he wrote, referring to the Establishment Clause:

“that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

Given how Democrats insist on the separation of church from state, it is downright perverse that, among his many misdeeds, Obama has forged an alliance a collusion with Christian churches and “faith-based” organizations in aiding and abetting the invasion of illegals across the Mexican border into America.

As an example, the Religion News Service reported on Nov. 12, 2014 that U.S. “Catholic bishops are jumping into the increasingly contentious battle over immigration reform by backing President Obama’s pledge to act on his own to fix what one bishop called ‘this broken and immoral system’ before Republicans assume control of Capitol Hill in January.” In other words, as represented by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Church is actively supporting Obama in his scheme to subvert the federal government’s own immigration laws, and against the will of some 70% of Americans. In so doing, the bishops are being decidedly political, although religious groups are supposed to be apolitical, thereby justifying their tax-exempt status.

Then there are so-called “faith-based” organizations that get paid very well for doing the work of federal government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Chief among those organizations is a curious outfit that calls itself the Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) with very lucrative on-going contracts with the Obama administration’s HHS, DHS, and other agencies.
BCFS first came to public notice last July when they provided “Brown Shirts” security personnel for the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas where some of the illegal “children” were detained. (See “Obama’s Brown Shirts threaten health workers who divulge infectious diseases brought by tidal wave of illegals into America”)

Note: It is a deliberate misnomer to call the illegals “children” or “minors” because they include illegals in their late teens, some of whom are criminals who have committed torture and murder.

Then news came that BCFS had contracted to acquire and operate the luxury Palm Aire Resort & Hotel to house illegal “children” at a cost of $50 million. That particular scheme fell apart after news of the scheme resulted in immediate popular outrage, after which the media (and therefore the public) seemed to have lost all interest in the BCFS and the housing of those illegal “children”.
But not the D.C.-based citizen watchdog group Judicial Watch.

On August 1, 2014, Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Obama administration for information on BCFS’s funding and correspondence with the HHS Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

On September 9, 2014, Judicial Watch received documents from the HHS revealing that the Obama administration had paid Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS) more than $182 million ($182,129,786) to provide “basic shelter care” to 2,400 “unaccompanied alien children” for just four months in 2014. (See Judicial Watch’s press release of Dec. 3, 2014, “Judicial Watch: Documents Reveal Obama HHS Paid Baptist Children and Family Services $182,129,786 for Four Months Housing of Illegal Alien Children.”)

The more than $182 million spent on illegal “children” for just 4 months include:

(1) Over $104 million ($104,215,608) for 1,200 unaccompanied illegal “children” at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, June 12-Oct. 18, 2014 ($21,711.59 per child per month), including:

  • 1,200 “emergency surge beds.”
  • $180,000 for “recreational items,” including board games, soccer balls, basket balls, jump ropes, bracelet making kits, yarn, puzzles, arts and crafts, decks of cards, and eye-hand coordination game sets.
  • $180,000 for “educational items,” including tempera paint, paint markers, paint brushes, easel brushes, art paper, and multicultural crayons.
  • $200,000 for 100 laptop kits: each kit has 5 laptops, at $500 per kit.
  • $2,648,800 in compensation for 30 members of the BCFS “Incident Management Team” (IMT), or $88,293 per IMT member.
  • $6,765,000 for “hotel accommodations” for 822 staff members at $125 per night.

(2) $78 million ($77,914,178) for 1,200 unaccompanied illegal “children” at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, May 18-Sept. 18, 2014 (or $16,232 per child per month), including:

  • 1,200 “emergency surge beds”.
  • $20,000 for “utility expenses,” including cable television (video screen/projector set up – due to the large dormitory set and configuration to ensure large group seatings can view movies, sports, etc.), estimated at $5,000 per month.
  • $80,000 for 20 “shower stalls” at $1,000 a piece. But Judicial Watch notes that shower stalls at Home Depot can be purchased for as low as $163.71 per stall.
  • $576,000 for twice-a-week long-distance calls by the 1,200 illegal “children” to their families because “contact with family members is imperative and part of BCFS’s daily programing.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton rightly observes:

“It is outrageous that the Obama administration spent nearly $200 million of taxpayer funds to provide illegal alien children with the types of extravagant high-tech equipment and lavish benefits many American families cannot even afford for their own children. And very few American workers are bringing home the $80,000 the Obama administration pays the BCFS’s Incident Management Team for just four months’ work.  Obama’s lawlessness resulted in an illegal alien ‘surge‘ that has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in 2014.  Based on his new lawless amnesty plans, we can expect hundreds of millions more in taxpayer costs for the resulting wave of illegal aliens trying to take advantage of Obama’s illegal nullification of our nation’s immigration laws.”

Worse still, BCFS’s contract with the HHS has an end date of September 30, 2016, which suggests that the Obama administration anticipates that the “surge” will continue until near the end of his presidency.

So what is the Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS)?

BCFS describes itself as “rooted in Texas” with “branches worldwide”:

BCFS is a global network of … non-profit organizations that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of at-risk populations. BCFS partners with government agencies, corporations, non-profits, and community leaders to develop programs and service models that combat challenges in health and human services.

BCFS boasts locations in 10 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas) and Washington, D.C. in the United States, as well as in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Among the services that BCFS provides are “emergency management, including medical sheltering, during public health disasters” and “residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected.”
Emergency management? Gosh, I thought we have FEMA for that?!
Among BCFS’s “partners” are:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security:
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • U.S. Border Patrol
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (AID)
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • State governments of Texas, Nevada, Washington, and Maine.

The division of BCFS that directly pertains to its contracts with the Obama administration to house and service the illegal “children” is its Emergency Management Division (BCFS-EMD).

This is how CCFS’s Emergency Management Division describes itself:

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) is a non-profit partner of federal, state and local government and private industry. Our organization specializes in emergency management, incident management, disaster response, public health and medical emergency response, mass care, medical sheltering and planning for vulnerable populations.

Note that nowhere in BCFS’s or BCFS-EMD’s self-descriptions is there any mention of the Baptist Church or of Christianity.

In truth, any organization can call itself “Baptist” without actually being Baptist or even Christian. If the mafia were smart, it should rename itself Baptist Community Services Syndicate. As Sundance of the Conservative Tree House (aka The Last Refuge) observes:

Faith Based Organizations”. Has a nice charitable ring to it, no? …. Alas, not so fast.

Allow us to introduce to you Mr. Kevin Dinnin.
He’s the paid President and CEO of Baptist Child and Family Services Emergency Management Division (BCFS-EMD). We found him by backtracking the name of the principal officer posted on their 2012 tax filings.

Dinnin’s annual salary is over $477,799. Altogether, the BCFS-EMD leadership and staff are paid $33 million in wages for 2012.
In July 2014, BCFS and its Emergency Management Division secured a grant from DHS and HHS of more than $190 million ($190,707,505). That’s just one grant. Here are a few more of BCFS’s lucrative contracts with the Obama administration:
BCFS 2014
In just the first half of 2014, BCFS has received over a quarter billion dollars — taxpayer dollars.

In 2012, BCFS pulled in $67,325,953 and $63,321,669 of taxpayer funds through DHS and HHS grants/contracts. In other words, around 94% of BCFS’s entire operational “charity revenue” in 2012 came from American taxpayers.

And this so-called “Baptist” non-profit is expanding, thanks to Obama’s “border surge,” to form “regional hubs for BCFS’s new family support and evaluation programs” with four new directors (Celeste Garcia, Alexandria Peralta, Michelle Fuentes, Kelsey Keswani) — in New York, NY; Miami, FL; Houston, TX; Dallas, TX; Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA.

BCFS will lead these programs as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) strategic plan to provide safe and stable homes for international youth who are granted permission to stay with family or sponsors already living in the country.

Please tell me why exactly do we have the federal government agencies of FEMA, HHS, and Border Patrol?

There are many other posts FOTM’s has published on this subject. Please go our “Illegal Immigration/Refugees” page.


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U.S. bishops betrayed the unborn, fearing Catholics would leave Democrat Party

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
-2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Mark Gallagher had worked with the Government Liaison Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Washington from 1974 to 2007. He was mainly responsible for lobbying Congress on abortion and programs for the poor.
In a stunning article for Crisis Magazine, Oct. 22, 2014, Gallagher gives a first-person account that after the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade ruling opening the floodgates to the killing of unborn human beings by legalizing abortion in the name of women’s “right to privacy,” Catholic bishops — putting “social justice” before the right to life — made a collective decision not to aggressively warn and inform the laity because they feared doing so would drive American Catholics away from the Democratic Party into the GOP.
Our Lord Jesus the Christ had warned: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16)
These bishops have nothing less than the blood of innocents on their hands. They will be called to account for their grave sins before God.
Here is Gallagher’s article in its entirety.

The Bishops’ Fateful Decision Respecting the Unborn

Mark Gallagher – Crisis Magazine – Oct. 22, 2014
In 1973 the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. It was projected that the decision would not just replace illegal abortions with legal ones, but that the total number of abortions would dramatically increase (it turned out by approximately a million a year). It was clear that there were only two remedies: the Supreme Court reversing it; or a constitutional amendment proposed by Congress and ratified by the states to overturn it. This required the election of presidents who would nominate Supreme Court justices not interested in creating constitutional rights to legal abortion, and the election of pro-life members of Congress to confirm the justices, and to propose a constitutional amendment. Elections were the key. How were the bishops to proceed?
The bishops’ conference staff provided two conflicting recommendations. As their pro-life lobbyist, I recommended that the bishops conduct a major campaign to educate and correctly form the consciences of American Catholics to their responsibility to elect candidates who support the Common Good, which is protecting the human life and respecting the human dignity of every person created by God (including the unborn). And those candidates who refused to support the Common Good would be morally unacceptable for public office. The laity’s responsibility included being involved in their political party so that Common Good candidates would be recruited and nominated for office.
The Social Development and World Peace staff at the bishops’ conference disagreed with this approach. They dealt with the economy, poverty, food policy, housing, human rights, military expenditures, and U.S. foreign policy, and felt their goals and prudential judgments were more reflected by the Democrats in Congress. I was told sometime later of their concern that Roe v. Wade would cause Catholics to seek the protection of the unborn by voting for Republicans (most were pro-life [90+ percent]) instead of Democrats (about 2/3rds were pro-abortion then [94 percent now]). This shift in the Catholic vote would necessarily hurt their legislative agenda. So a campaign should be undertaken to convince Catholics that there was justification to vote for pro-abortion candidates. Their view prevailed and they pursued with the relevant bishops’ committees the first-ever Catholic voters guide published in 1976, called the “Political Responsibility Statement” (now called Faithful Citizenship). It would be the primary tool to achieve their objective. The document:
(1) Did not call upon Catholics to vote against a candidate who opposed the Common Good by supporting abortion. It cited no intrinsic evil that if supported would render a legislator morally unacceptable for office. And It did not include relevant Catholic moral theology: (a) that the constant teaching of the Church is that there are “certain choices that are always intrinsically evil” (i.e. abortion: … if one could eliminate all poverty in America at the cost of permitting the killing of one innocent person, that cost was too high and morally wrong); and (b) the applicability of proportionalism. According to one authoritative source, it holds that “the moral quality of an action is determined by whether the evils brought about by proposed action are proportionate to the goods the action effects. If the goods effected by the action are not in proportion to the evils caused, then the action is evil, but if they are, then the action is morally good.” First, there are no proportionate goods achieved by the killing of a million unborn each year. Second, voting American Catholics are not faced with any moral evils equivalent to abortion that might warrant voting for a pro-abortion candidate. Voters have never been faced with the dilemma of choosing between a pro-abortion candidate and, for example, a rival candidate that would permit the killing annually of a million citizens through starvation or freezing. Or, by way of another example, Catholic voters do not have to choose between a pro-abortion candidate and a candidate advocating an unjust war that would involve a first-strike nuclear attack on millions of innocent persons. Voting for pro-abortion candidates in America has never been, and still cannot, be justified under the principle of proportionality.
(2) Listed everything they hoped a legislator would support (at least a dozen). This marginalized protecting human life by making it just one of many important issues. The candidate who supported abortion could say (and routinely did), that they supported 90-95 percent of the bishops legislative agenda.
(3) The current voter guide explicitly permits Catholics to vote for candidates who support intrinsic moral evils. It says, “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil” like abortion, “if the voter’s intent is to support that position.” But what if a voter supports a pro-abortion candidate for some other reason? “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.” The moral reasons must be “truly grave,” yet as I have argued, there are no grave moral reasons that trump protecting the unborn. Also would it really be far fetched to imagine that a Catholic voter, following the guide’s exception, might support a pro-abortion candidate because, for example, his position on “climate change” echoes that of the bishops who have said that saving the planet by reducing carbon emissions was a moral obligation?
In addition to this voters’ guide, the national Social Development and World Peace staff, as well as their diocesan counterparts, informed Catholics that there was justification to vote for pro-abortion candidates. This education campaign included workshops to persuade the laity that it was better to use their vote to achieve a good (helping the poor) rather than to oppose an evil (abortion).
A final step that helped pro-abortion Catholic candidates was the bishops giving them, or permitting them to receive, Communion. Many laity concluded that these legislators’ votes for abortion were morally acceptable, and that Catholics could vote for them in good conscience. Regular reception of Communion in the Catholic Church conveys that the person is a practicing Catholic, in the state of grace, in good standing, in communion with the Church.
All of these actions decreased the number of churchgoing Catholics voting pro-life, and this prevented (and still prevents) achieving sufficient votes to legally protect the unborn.
From a political science perspective the division of the Catholic vote (those voting for pro-life candidates and those voting for pro-abortion candidates) has severely limited if not completely neutralized the effect of the Catholic vote for good. If a significant majority of Catholics were united in only supporting Common Good candidates, as the Jewish community is largely united in only supporting candidates who support the State of Israel, then Catholics would legislatively achieve protection for the unborn and many other goals. When a group can decide the outcome of elections on one issue, then it will command serious consideration of whatever it pursues. The divided Catholic vote has prevented this.
The bishops have continued on their failed course for forty years, with fateful, disastrous results. If the bishops would change course, the legal killing, now at 56 million, could be stopped. The bishops need to teach that: (a) Legislators have the compelling moral responsibility to pursue the Common Good, protecting the human life and respecting the human dignity of every person created by God, born and unborn. And those who do not, are morally unfit for office; (b) “Catholic” legislators who support abortion are not in communion with the Church and they will not be given Communion until they are; and (c) Catholic citizens cannot in good conscience elect legislators who support the killing of the unborn (for there are no proportionate reasons to justify it).
H/t California Catholic Daily

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House says "No" to Obama's request for $3.7 BILLION for border crisis he fomented

The GOP-majority U.S. House of Representatives is saying “No” to the POS’s request for $3.7 BILLION to address the “border crisis” of wave after wave of illegals aliens surging across the Mexican border into the United States — a crisis fomented by the POS because he refuses to secure America’s southern border.
The Daily Mail reports that only about 3% of the $3.7 BILLION would actually be used to strengthen border security. The largest part of the $3.7 billion would go to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to care for the “unaccompanied children.” Business Insider has a more detailed outline of how the proposed $3.7 billion would be spent.
The Blaze reports that yesterday (Friday, July 11) morning, reporters asked Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky), chairman of the Appropriations Committee that controls spending, whether the House would approve the $3.7 billion spending package as-is. Rogers said no, “It’s too much money. We don’t need it,” and that no final action is likely until after the November midterm elections.

Rep. Hal RogersCongressman Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky)

Rogers spoke shortly after the Congressional Hispanic Caucus convened a news conference to denounce efforts to attach legal changes to the spending measure that would result in returning the children home more quickly to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Those countries account for most of the more than 57,000 unaccompanied “kids” who’ve arrived since October.
Republicans are demanding such changes, but key Senate Democrats are opposed, and members of the all-Democratic Hispanic Caucus added their strong objections Friday that sending the youths home quickly could put them at risk.
Imagine that: Sending the illegal “kids” home “could put them at risk”!!!
Luis GutierrezIllinois Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez draped himself with the banner of children’s “rights,” saying, “It would be unconscionable . . . to vote to undermine the rights of these [illegal alien] children.”
Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, piled on, also claiming that sending “the kids” back means “They’ll be sent back to their persecutors with no help whatsoever, and possibly to their deaths.”
So now those 57,000 “kids” — among whom are torturers and murderers — suddenly have morphed from pathetic “unaccompanied minors” into political refugees fleeing persecution!
Kevin Appleby
Make sure you tell your Congress critters who are running for reelection this November that you want our borders secured, the Invasion of the Illegals stopped, and that you oppose the $3.7 billion boondoggle that the POS is asking for a crisis that he himself has engendered.

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The 46 senators who voted in favor of the UN gun control treaty

one world government
On April 2, 2013, after years of preparation, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was approved by a vote of 154 to 3.
In the name of regulating the international trade in conventional weapons, which include hand guns, the ATT is really a gun-control treaty because:

  • The treaty requires the governments of countries that are signatories to create “a national control system regulating the transfer of conventional arms.” (Article 5, sec. 5, ATT)
  • Those governments are to keep a record of all gun owners (called “end users”), i.e., a gun registry. (Article 12, sec. 3, ATT)
  • The “national control” list would be made available to the United Nations and the governments of other signatory countries. (Article 5, sec. 4, ATT)

Verify the above for yourself by reading the UN Arms Trade Treaty in pdf format, here.
Two days ago, on June 3, 2013, U.N. member nations began ratifying the ATT. Obama the POS is expected to sign it, despite bipartisan opposition in Congress. This was confirmed by his secretary of state John Kerry.
Obama can sign whatever he wants, but the U.S. Constitution gives the authority over foreign treaties to the United States Senate. This means the ATT is not enforceable unless and until the Senate ratifies it with a two-thirds majority vote.
If what the Senate did on March 23, 2013, is an indication, it is not at all certain that the Senate will reject the ATT.
In the pre-dawn hours that morning, the Senate narrowly approved a measure to oppose the ATT. By a narrow vote of 53-46, the Senate passed an amendment to the budget bill “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”
Imagine that: Ten weeks ago, America was four votes away from the  Senate giving our Second Amendment Constitutional rights over to the United Nations!

Here are the 46 U.S. senators (44 Democrats, 2 Independents) who had voted to surrender our Constitutional rights to the UN. Note that there is not a single Republican among the 46 traitors, so don’t tell me  there’s not a wit of difference between the two parties!

  1. Baldwin (D-WI)
  2. Baucus (D-MT)
  3. Bennet (D-CO)
  4. Blumenthal (D-CT)
  5. Boxer (D-CA)
  6. Brown (D-OH)
  7. Cantwell (D-WA)
  8. Cardin (D-MD)
  9. Carper (D-DE)
  10. Casey (D-PA)
  11. Coons (D-DE)
  12. Cowan (D-MA)
  13. Durbin (D-IL)
  14. Feinstein (D-CA)
  15. Franken (D-MN)
  16. Gillibrand (D-NY)
  17. Harkin (D-IA)
  18. Hirono (D-HI)
  19. Johnson (D-SD)
  20. Kaine (D-VA)
  21. King (I-ME)
  22. Klobuchar (D-MN)
  23. Landrieu (D-LA)
  24. Leahy (D-VT)
  25. Levin (D-MI)
  26. McCaskill (D-MO)
  27. Menendez (D-NJ)
  28. Merkley (D-OR)
  29. Mikulski (D-MD)
  30. Murphy (D-CT)
  31. Murray (D-WA)
  32. Nelson (D-FL)
  33. Reed (D-RI)
  34. Reid (D-NV)
  35. Rockefeller (D-WV)
  36. Sanders (I-VT)
  37. Schatz (D-HI)
  38. Schumer (D-NY)
  39. Shaheen (D-NH)
  40. Stabenow (D-MI)
  41. Udall (D-CO)
  42. Udall (D-NM)
  43. Warner (D-VA)
  44. Warren (D-MA)
  45. Whitehouse (D-RI)
  46. Wyden (D-OR)

Incredibly, according to the Huffington Post, the National Association of Evangelicals, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Council of Churches and “numerous retired generals and admirals” are outspoken advocates for the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Christian Post reports that a left-wing “faith” group called the American Values Network — which calls itself “an organization seeking to encourage community and family values” — even launched a video aimed at the seven U.S. senators who currently oppose the ATT.
So be sure to contact your senators and tell them to vote NO when the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty comes before the Senate for ratification.
See also:

H/t FOTM’s igor.


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Congress must protect Americans' freedom of religion from Obama's assault

Did you know that last Friday, June 8, 2012, TENS OF THOUSANDS of Americans rallied in more than 160 cities across the United States?


Ask the alphabet TV networks why. [Read more about the liberal media’s non-coverage of the massive rallies, here.]
Last Friday, TENS OF THOUSANDS of people demonstrated for our religious freedom and against ObamaCare’s abortifaient/birth control mandate. The HHS (Health & Human Services) mandate forces Catholic hospitals and schools to include contraception and abortifacients in their health coverage. Doing so violates the Catholic Church’s religious beliefs. In effect, the mandate directly cuts into the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause’s promise of freedom of religion, as well as the standard interpretation of the clause as being “the separation of Church and State.” [See “Obama declares war on the Church. Church fights back with historic lawsuit”]
It is not just Catholics who should be concerned about Obama’s HHS mandate. All Christians, all faiths, and all non-religious Americans who value the U.S. Constitution should be concerned. Remember this?:

“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.” -Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

It is in that spirit that I recommend this letter written by FOTM’s co-founder Joan, which was sent to her state’s state and national legislators and representatives, as well as the state’s major newspapers.

Pro-religious freedom rally in Washington, DC, June 8, 2012.

We are members of a “Why Catholic” study group at our local parish. Some of us are United States Veterans and we are all productive American citizens. Now, we are studying the Early Church together, learning about the apostles, the Church Fathers and brave martyrs who gave their very lives for God, exercising their inalienable rights of religious freedom. Because we love God and our country, we must communicate to you our deepest concerns, asking for your effective help and advocacy. We must not and cannot be silent.
As you are aware, on August 1, 2011, the Obama administration, by and through the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued regulatory provisions pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). In part, this mandate requires American citizens to pay for health insurance plans that provide full coverage for surgical sterilization and contraception, which includes abortifacients, such as the “morning-after” pill. These drugs kill innocent and precious unborn children in their mothers’ womb.
Pursuant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ (USCCB) “Urgent Memorandum of February 15, 2012,” they stated that:

“On January 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reaffirmed a rule that virtually all private health care plans must cover sterilization, abortifacients and contraception. The rule exempted “religious employers,” but excluded those that served or employed people who were not members of their religious community. This was so narrow that it failed to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations, including Catholic hospitals, universities, and service organizations that help millions every year.”

Essentially, the HHS mandate would force Catholic American citizens to act against their Faith, to act against our religious beliefs, notwithstanding that the mandate also requires private businesses, American citizens of all faiths, to provide their employees with this insurance coverage since there are no exemptions for insurers that would object to these provisions, which include secular for-profit religious employers, or for-profit private enterprises or individuals. These horrific provisions are not dissimilar to the laws of the former Nazi Germany.
Religious liberty is now jeopardized, threatened and adversely affected, even though it is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States as an inalienable right: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” Religious liberty cannot exist under duress and coercion with regard to our beliefs and our conscience. As Catholic Americans, we cannot and will not act against our faith, and we will not comply with the mandate – a mandate that violates our religious freedom under the Constitution of the United States. It is unconscionable that such a mandate would ever be issued in the Land of the Free and of the Brave. But remarkably, it has been issued, and not surprisingly, under the Obama administration.
In response to the USCCB’s declaration of non-compliance, on February 10, 2012, the Obama Administration issued a “final rule”, “without change,” granting the delay of enforcement of the mandate for a one-year period directed to religious non-profit organizations that still were not exempted, such as our schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organizations. The Obama Administration then “promised” to draft other regulations to accommodate them by the end of the designated year period. But as the USCCB Memorandum states:

“But even under this future accommodation, our charities, hospitals and colleges will still be treated as second class citizens of our religious community, and still be forced to pay for coverage which violates their religious convictions. This is unacceptable.”

The issue in this matter is not about whether or not contraception or abortion can be prohibited or allowed by our government. Nor does this have anything to do with the “reproductive rights” of women. The REAL ISSUE IS whether or not American citizens practicing their religious beliefs can be coerced by the government to act against their religious beliefs. Accordingly, the REAL ISSUE is about religious freedom, religious liberty and freedom of conscience. The ultimate conclusion can only be that WE ARE UNDER ATTACK by the Obama administration!
Addressing Catholic Americans, Pope Benedict XVI wrote:

“Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience. Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.”

This freedom of religion is not being fought just for Catholics. The USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, chaired by Archbishop-designate William E. Lori of Baltimore, issued a statement on religious liberty, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” which begins:

“We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together.”

More particularly, this teaching is actualized by all of the thousands of Catholic organizations, such as hospitals, schools, universities, charities, all providing remarkable contributions to the common good of the people of America. As a result of the HHS mandate, all of these wonderful contributory Catholic entities are jeopardized, perhaps out of existence. According to the mandate, we can only hire Catholic employees and can only serve Catholics. But we are called to serve all of humankind. Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, commanded us to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind, and with all of our being, and He also commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We cannot allow Obama and his administration to define for us who are our neighbors and how we are to live our Catholic Faith! To echo the Ad Hoc Committee’s “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty”: “Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans.” Our Catholic Faith is lived in the totality of our lives, as we live our Faith in our worship, in our vocations, in our works for the good of all humankind.
Accordingly, we are stand with our bishops in their calling to us, to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience, where we:
a. Request of the Obama administration that they immediately rescind this HHS mandate; and
b. Request of Congress to enact legislation to protect religious liberty, to protect the constitutional rights of religious institutions and individuals from government force and undue dictatorial coercion, regarding health care and any and all matters that might affect religious liberty.
Indeed and in fact, we are aware that the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011, H.R. 1179, S. 1467, introduced on March 17, 2011, sponsored by Representative Jeff Fortenberry with 223 co-sponsors, which is a response to Obamacare, has been languishing in Committee, having been referred to the House subcommittee on March 28, 2011. This Act provides in pertinent part that those entities who participate in health insurance coverage, “retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.” That is why we are asking for your intervention to help us with appropriate legislation, even emergency legislation, to protect our religious liberty guaranteed to us under our Constitution. Please free the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act from lingering unproductively in Committee enabling that it be brought for Congressional vote at once.
Furthermore, pursuant to the document, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the USCCB states as follows:

“We suggest that the fourteen days from June 21 – the vigil of the feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More (the patron saint of religious liberty), to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom” a great hymn of prayer for our country.”

During this fortnight for freedom, we are called to focus all the energies we can muster, wherein special events will be held setting out the absolute importance of religious liberty. This period has been declared as it memorializes courageous martyrs who remained faithful to their faith, to their consciences, facing persecution by political powers that took their lives: St. John Fisher, St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. It would be wonderful if appropriate legislation could be introduced during this period of time to insure our religious liberty.
Arizona State Representative Debbie Lasko and State Senator Nancy Barto re-introduced HB2625 into the Arizona legislature this year to help protect the religious freedom of many organizations in Arizona. This legislation broadens the religious exemption to include “any organization whose articles of incorporation state a religious motivation and whose religious beliefs play a significant role in its operations.” Governor Jan Brewer signed this bill into law in May of 2012. She stated in pertinent part, “In its final form, this bill is about nothing more than preserving the religious freedom to which we are all constitutionally entitled.” She further stated, “It’s also a very good time to unite with people of other faiths on this bedrock issue. If we don’t do it now, we’re going to see much more serious erosion.” Our names will be counted as holding firm and true to our Catholic Faith, and true to religious liberty for all of the citizens of this country.
Finally, the First Amendment prohibits the “establishment” of any faith or religion or belief system which cannot be coerced or forced upon the American people. Obama and his administration violate this provision because they are trying to force upon us the belief system for this country of “radical secularism,” overshadowing any other religious beliefs held and coercing compliance of radical secularism by unjust federal laws. This is reprehensible and it is sickening.
Consequently, we thank you in advance for your valuable considerations and timely actual help in this important matter. We are praying for you and your effective contributions to ensure religious liberty!

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