Pro-life Democratic former Rep. Bart Stupak told Chris Good of The Atlantic that there have been fewer abortions with health reform than there would have been without it.
Stupak, the leading pro-life House legislator during health reform’s enactment, made that statement in explaining whether the executive order had worked as intended:
Yes, because the president has had three opportunities to throw us under the us, if you will, and he has not. Number one, in the high-risk pools. Remember how New Mexico send theirs in and had abortion in there, and Right to Life and all of them jumped right on it, and [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and all of them said, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t do that. We had an executive order.’ They changed their law. So did Pennsylvania. So in order to apply for the high-risk pool, their law had to be reflective of the executive order, which says no public funding for abortions. They held firm to it.
Secondly, the community health centers, which the law was silent on. The executive order says you cannot perform abortions or advocate for them in public health centers. That has been upheld.
And, last but not least, there’s a number of grants you can apply for right now, especially for developing health care professionals–that’s going on right now in the bill–and if you go online and look at the application form, it says you must comply with the Hyde language, even in your application for the use of these federal funds. So there have been three opportunities for Secretary Sebelius or President Obama to just sorta look the other way, and they haven’t. They’ve upheld it. So there have actually been less abortions now because of that executive order and the health care bill than there would have been if we’d never had it.
Expert analysis showed that health reform was abortion-reduction legislation, all along. Arguments to the contrary were, as “ardent pro-lifer” and Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law Timothy Stoltzfus Jost put it, “erroneous information.” Still is.
[H/T: Bold Faith Type]
Young, religiously active people are more likely than their non-religious counterparts to become obese in middle age, according to new research. In fact, frequent religious involvement appears to almost double the risk of obesity compared with little or no involvement.
What is unclear from the new research is why religion might be associated with overeating.
Might is the key word here. It fell to atheist (and biological scientist) PZ Myers to put that story in its proper perspective:
How can our news media get the story so completely backwards? MSNBC is reporting a correlation between religiosity and obesity, which simply can’t be true. Aside from the difficulties of going from a correlation between two complex phenemona to an assumption of causality, we have it from an unimpeachable, objective source that the opposite is true.
The Conservopedia argues, Myers explains, that atheism causes fatness (not religion).
So that’s that.
Well, if and only if you dwell on “the difficulties of going from a correlation between two complex phenemona to an assumption of causality.”
Thus it was a combination of bad science and bad logic that produced the “religion linked to obesity” story. Yeah. Forget it.
The Florida Baptist Witness reported that. speaking last week to the Jacksonville Baptist Association’s Leadership Institute, the Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar repeated thoroughly discredited claims he made before health reform was approved by Congress. To wit, he said:
Recent healthcare legislation also threatens the sanctity of human life, Land said. If so-called “Obamacare” is not repealed, elderly Americans will be denied life-saving medical procedures because of the cost involved, he said.
“I personally think that the greatest threat to the sanctity of human life right now is Obamacare,” he said, adding, “I have no compunction about telling you that everybody in this room will live a shorter life, and it will be more filled with pain and suffering—if Obamacare is not rescinded—than you would otherwise. They are going to ration care.”
- Regarding sanctity of life, “none” is the amount of “federal funding for abortion” found in an expert assessment by Washington and Lee law professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, whom Mark Silk describes as “an ardent pro-lifer who’s an expert on abortion and health care.”
- Regarding care for elderly Americans, “senior scare“ is what FactCheck.org calls the alleged “half trillion dollar cut to medicare” with which this slander was launched. Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact.com is no more complimentary.
- His reference to rationed care is more scare words and the opposite is what helped inspired Catholic Health Association President Sr. Carol Keehan, DC to say “it is time for health reform.” No, as Jost explained more than a year ago, health reform provides more care for those who need it worst. Not less.
[H/T Right Wing Watch]
Virginia Federal District Court Rejects Constitutional Challenges To Health Reform [plus other religion news updates]
- Religion Clause: Virginia Federal District Court Rejects Constitutional Challenges To Obama Health Care Law
- Bold Faith Type: Pro-choice, Pro-life leaders support contraception as common ground
- CommonWeal: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops calls for the Senate to ratify the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
- ABP: Christian leaders fighting to Pass immigration reform: DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act
- Christian Post: Daystar Television Network founder Marcus Lamb admits affair
- UPI: Jews for Jesus, ex-missionary/former employee suing one another
- BP: SBC’s Frank Page announces Executive Committee staffing consolidation, Reductions: Cites economy as cause
In the Catholic magazine America, James Martin, S.J., wrote regarding Pope Benedict XVI’s “comments about the use of condoms in the prevention of passing on HIV/AIDS:”
Once again, the Catholic Church has not changed its teaching on the use of condoms as a means of birth control. Nor has the church “officially” changed its teaching on the use of condoms: an interview is not the same as an encyclical or a document from a Vatican congregation. But the previously out-of-bounds discussion about whether condoms can be used as a means to prevent the spread of disease is now in-bounds. That is change, by any definition. And that change is a good one, for if it moves the conversation ahead, it may mean a further lessening of the spread of HIV/AIDS and the prevention of death. It is a pastoral approach that has listened to the voices of many in the field–Catholic lay health care workers, moral theologians, bishops, priests, sisters and brothers–who have reflected on their experiences ministering to those living with AIDS, especially in the developing world. As such, it may be seen as a new kind of pro-life initiative on the part of the Holy Father.
Read the entire post here.
Georgia megachurch Pastor Jim Swilley said the death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, 18, who jumped off a bridge after a secretly-taped sexual encounter between him and another man was posted on the internet, prompted him to come out.
Swilley is founder of Church in the Now in Conyers, Ga. NPR reported:
“There are two things in my life that are an absolute,” the megachurch pastor told his flock. “I did not ask for either one of them, both of them were imposed upon me, I had no control over either of them. One was the call of God on my life… and the other thing … was my sexual orientation.”
Jim Swilley — a twice-married father of four, a man who comes from a long line of evangelical preachers — revealed a secret he’d been holding onto most of his life:
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land stumbled over the heels of the exit polls to argue without foundation that in the mid-term elections, “American voters” demanded the Republicans “repeal ObamaCare.”
Land is wrong, as Dan at Bold Faith Type explained:
Edison Research’s exit polls – which are used by the Associated Press, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News – show that a minority of midterm voters (48%) wanted to repeal health care reform, with 31% wanting it to do more and 16% wanting to leave it as is. Furthermore, voters who turned out on Tuesday were more conservative than the country at large. Taking a wider view, a Gallup poll that was in the field last weekend showed that less than ¼ of Americans (23%) think repealing health care should be Congress’s top priority after the election.
Inattentive to the polling data, Land appeared to be instead parroting the message of right-wing strategist Richard Viguerie. Both said the voters had decided “to give the Republicans one more chance” to cut the size of government, although the polling data shows that Americans’ overarching concern is the economy.
Centers for Disease Control analysis suggests that any further health reform action should take the form of an expansion of benefits. Not repeal. As Reuters reported:
Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of them with conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials said on Tuesday.
hey said 4 million more Americans went without insurance in the first part of 2010 than during the same time in 2008.
“Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.
The findings have implications for U.S. healthcare reform efforts. A bill passed in March promises to get health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans who currently lack coverage.
Lack of health insurance kills at a rate of about one American every 12 minutes, Harvard Medical School researchers found.
The Public Religion Research Institute’s biennial American Values Survey reported this week that “a(54%) of voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported health care reform.”
That’s a contradiction of of Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission chief Richard Land’s prediction in March that those who voted for health reform would be driven from office in a November electoral Battle of Midway.
There is still a Battle of the Pacific metaphor to abuse. Running hard against health reform may be a kamikaze strategy, Richard.
Andrew Brown at the Guardian muses:
When I consider my Christian academic friends – people who are smarter, better read and harder working than I am – it’s clear that Christianity is a very dangerous profession. Three have daughters who died in their 20s; another has a daughter who is a drug addict. Parents and spouses get Alzheimer’s disease when they don’t get cancer. I imagine they all prayed for these things not to happen. I know they all still pray.
So what is going on here? What is the point of all that prayer? This is hardly a new question. It has been around at least since Job. Nor is there any hope of finding an answer that will convince everyone. But it is possible to tease out a couple of questions. The first is whether intercessory prayer works better than chance. There aren’t any reputable studies suggesting that it does, which is, I suppose another example of unanswered prayer, since at least some of these studies must have been commissioned in the hope that they would prove prayer is a worthwhile medical intervention.
. . .
The second question is whether prayer works on the pray-er as a form of pain relief. It obviously sometimes does and I can’t imagine any remotely plausible way to run a controlled trial of these effects. Now, my Christian friends would object at this point that the point of prayer is not “pain relief” and that prayer does not deliver from anguish. I don’t think it does. But it makes life capable of being borne, and that is sometimes the only possible step forward.
. . .
Read the rest here.