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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  November 24, 2008
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Pernicious Planned Parenthood Proving Principled Father Neuhaus Right

I am NOT sure that now President-Elect Obama really shares the same hope for a “pluralistic and free society” of Father Neuhaus, but I am sure that the President-Elect does not share the understanding of freedom of religion embraced by America's founders and that Father Neuhaus did not fully appreciate the relationship between ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) and the President-Elect and his presidential campaign.

A young, idealistic Obama supporter emailed me (and others) this message soon after Election Day 2008: "Please read the information at this site http://www.fightfoca.com/ and sign the petition opposing the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). This is basically a piece of legislation that will wipe away EVERY restriction on abortion nationwide regarding parental consent, which trimester, partial birth abortions, etc. Thank you."

That person (and millions of others) should have focused on the respective positions of the presidential candidates on the Freedom of Choice Act BEFORE they voted.

Electing a black man was historic, but a candidate's color or race should not determine whether or not he or she should be supported. That was NOT Dr. Martin Luther King's famous dream.

If 2008 was destined to be the year America elected a black man President, it should have been one who embraces life and traditional American values,. like Ambassador Alan Keyes, not the President-Elect.

Last Halloween, which Team Obama was tricking many prospective voters, Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor in chief of First Things, offered a treat to America's voters, am article titled "Why this Election is About the Freedom of Religion" warning what was at stake on Election Day 2008.

Father Neuhaus began: "One can argue that every presidential election is a 'historic' election. But some are more historic than others. Daniel Henninger had a provocative column yesterday making a strong case that this one is a 'tipping point' between America continuing as an entrepreneurial society or going the way of the European 'social democracies.' He cites the late Senator Pat Moynihan who said the big difference between Europe and America is that the former gives priority to equality and the latter to liberty. I’m not sure that Henninger is right in saying there would be no turning back after four or eight years of President Obama and an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress imposing their passion for a government-directed program of redistribution and social coordination, but the future he depicts is both plausible and ominous."

Father Neuhaus is right: the situation is ominous, but not hopeless.

Father Neuhaus continued: "There is another dimension of this ideological passion for the expansion of government control that is at least equally worrying. It has to do with the freedom of religion in the American constitutional order and the indispensable part that religion plays in checking the ambitions of the modern democratic state. Obama has said that he thinks it is 'tragic' that the Supreme Court has declined to advance the cause of redistributive justice. That refers, of course, to economic redistribution. But the language of healing divisions and bringing us all together—under government auspices—applies also to the social dynamics of American society."

Alas, thanks to the bulk of the major media and inept McCain campaign strategy, millions of voters were unaware of the danger of which Father Neuhaus warned.

Father Neuhaus:

"There are several issues, all closely related to religion, on which Obama, for all his undoubtedly sincere talk about his own faith and the importance of religion in public life, is manifestly hostile to the vibrant diversity of American life. The first is abortion, of course. The protection of innocent human life should not be seen as an exclusively religious concern, for it is grounded in scientifically-informed moral reason that should be compelling to all. Nonetheless, the pro-life cause is largely driven by the religiously motivated.

"Obama makes no secret of his intention to shut down that cause and disenfranchise the millions who are committed to the abolition of the abortion license imposed by Roe. This is evident beyond doubt by his repeated and enthusiastic endorsement of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would, among other things, eliminate all state regulation of abortions—such as informed consent and parental notification—and provide government funding for abortions. FOCA aims to extinguish once and for all the single issue in American public life on which the free exercise of religion has had greatest potency in the last several decades of our history. Similar dynamics are in play in the court-imposed laws favoring same-sex marriage, of which Obama has expressed his approval, such as the California ruling now being fiercely contested in a referendum.

"Consider also Obama’s consistent hostility to parental choice in education, even though for millions of African-Americans in our cities having an alternative to the failed government school system is their only hope for a decent education. Parental choice in education is by no means an exclusively religious concern, but religious and moral concerns are typically pronounced among supporters of charter schools, vouchers, and homeschooling. Here again, Senator Obama, in lock-step with the public-school teachers’ unions, is the champion of monism against pluralism in American society."Then there is his position on the faith-based social initiatives advanced by George W. Bush. Obama says he favors such initiatives, but he also insists that faith-based institutions using government funds must not be permitted to 'discriminate' in their hiring policies. This would, quite simply, mean the end of such institutions being faith-based. If an institution is not free to choose leaders who affirm its guiding and motivating mission, it is, in fact, forced to surrender that mission. That applies to any institution, but in this case it clearly violates the free exercise of religion by those for whom the most important thing in faith-based is faith. It is fatuous to say they are not forced to accept government funds. If they are denied government funds because they are determined to maintain their religious character, that is clearly discrimination against religion. Nobody suggests that Planned Parenthood, which also receives government funding, should be disqualified because it refuses to hire leaders who oppose abortion.

"On these and other issues, Senator Obama is an ideological statist, determined to impose a monist vision on a pluralistic society. Although some were more explicit about it than others, the American Founders understood that religious freedom is the foundation of all the other freedoms they intended to protect. It is not entirely by accident that the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment is the freedom of religion.

"To contend for the free exercise of religion is to contend for the perpetuation of a nation that is, in Lincoln’s words, 'so conceived and so dedicated.' It is to contend for the hope 'that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.' Despite the perverse jurisprudence of recent decades, most Americans still say with the Founders, 'We hold these truths.' And, with the Founders, they understand those truths to be inseparably tied to religion, both in their origin and in their continuing power to elicit assent.

"This is not to say that the founding truths cannot be supported for reasons unrelated to identifiably religious warrants. They can be. But in their origins and continuing power to elicit popular adherence, they are inseparable from religion. Remove that foundation and we remove the deepest obligation binding the American people to this constitutional order.

"The words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, under God, were added to the Pledge of Allegiance only in 1954, but, as recent debates over removing those words have made clear, for most Americans they are inseparably connected to their understanding of this constitutional order. There are those who make no secret of their wish that the American people were not as religious as they are. One is reminded of the observation of the playwright Berthold Brecht. After the June 1953 uprising in East Germany, the secretary of the communist party’s writers union distributed leaflets declaring that the people had lost the confidence of the government and it would take redoubled efforts to win it back. To which Brecht responded, 'Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?' Church-state decisions by the Supreme Court, and by the judiciary more generally, sometimes seem to be aimed at replacing this inconveniently religious people with another people more to its secular fancy. His rhetoric about the importance of religion notwithstanding, these are the decisions that, whether explicitly or by logical inference, Senator Obama supports—only adding that he wants a more interventionist judiciary to press for their full implementation.

"The free exercise of religion can be inconvenient, and sometimes more than inconvenient. Sometimes—reluctantly, and in cases of supreme and overriding public necessity—the claim to free-exercise protection for certain actions must be denied. Where such lines should be drawn is a matter of both constitutional law and democratic deliberation. It is sometimes simply a matter of prudence, civility, and common sense that does not require the invocation of high constitutional doctrine. In this age and this country, as Lincoln might say, the limits on the free exercise of religion must themselves be legitimated to the satisfaction of those who care, and care deeply, about religion."We have in this last half century drifted far from the constituting vision of this novus ordo seclorum. The free exercise of religion is the irreplaceable cornerstone of that order. In his famed Memorial and Remonstrance, James Madison wrote: 'It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.' The last line bears repeating: This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. That is the truth that the Religion Clause is intended to protect from the overweening ambitions of the modern state.

"The great problem today is not the threat that religion poses to public life, but the threat that the state, presuming to embody public life in its entirety, poses to religion. The entire order of freedom, including all the other freedoms specified in the Bill of Rights, is premised upon what Madison calls the precedent duty that is signaled and sustained by religion. When the American people can no longer publicly express and give public effect to their obligations to the Creator, it is to be feared that they will no longer acknowledge their obligations to one another—nor to the Constitution in which the obligations of freedom are enshrined. The word enshrined is used advisedly.

"Those who belong to what St. Augustine called the City of God on its pilgrim way through time are careful not to sacralize any temporal order short of their destination in the New Jerusalem. Along the way, however, as the prophet Jeremiah counseled the Israelites in Babylonian exile, we seek the peace of the temporal city in which we find also our provisional peace. In this penultimate world of temporal orders, the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom touches upon the sacred. Upon its vigorous defense rests the hope of novus ordo seclorum—the hope that this experiment in representative democracy may be a new order for the ages.

"I am sure that Senator Obama shares that hope. I am also sure that—based on his above-mentioned positions and his enthusiasm for a monistic and government-directed rather than pluralistic and free society—he does not begin to understand why that hope depends on the first freedom of the First Amendment, the freedom of religion."

I am NOT sure that now President-Elect Obama really shares the same hope for a “pluralistic and free society” of Father Neuhaus, but I am sure that the President-Elect does not share the understanding of freedom of religion embraced by America's founders and that Father Neuhaus did not fully appreciate the relationship between ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) and the President-Elect and his presidential campaign.

In the mid nineteenth century, it was the God-defying Karl Marx, the father of Communism, who deemed religion the opiate of the people and mocked believers for clinging to religion out of bitterness over their economic circumstances.

During the latter part of the twentieth century, the President-Elect was badly influenced by his Marxist professors of whom he wrote in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father.

During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Obama was caught on tape telling supporters at a San Francisco private fundraiser that some Americans cling to God and guns out of bitterness over their economic circumstances.

The Soviet Union fell, but Communist thinking did not disappear.

When the President-Elect spoke to "Joe the Plumber" about sharing the wealth and giving a tax cut to 95% when about 40% don't pay any income tax, he was exposing himself as a believer that the role of government is to spread the wealth.

Or, as Karl Marx put it, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

No wonder Obama supporter Peggy Joseph exclaimed: "I never thought this day would ever happen! I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car, I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help him, he's going to help me."

Senator McCain learned that the media really was not his "base," but people like Peggy Joseph surely are Obama's base.

LifeNews.com Editor Steven Ertelt, in "Planned Parenthood CEO Claims Cardinal O'Malley Out of Step With Catholics," reported yesterday that Planned Parenthood is saying, in effect, that Church teaching should be poll-driven.

Mr. Ertelt:

"It's no surprise that Catholic Church officials take pro-abortion politicians or groups to task for saying they are out of step with pro-life Catholic teachings. Now, a Planned Parenthood CEO in Massachusetts is turning the tables and claiming Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston is out of step with his membership.

"After the presidential election, O'Malley told the Boston Globe that he is worried about the election of Barack Obama because of his pro-abortion views.

"The concern come despite his pleasure that the nation turned a corner in electing the first African-American president.

"'My joy, however, is tempered by the knowledge that this man has a deplorable record when it comes to pro-life issues and is possibly in the pocket of Planned Parenthood,' O'Malley said.

"The Catholic cardinal told the newspaper that Planned Parenthood 'in its origins was a very racist organization to eliminate the blacks' and 'it’s sort of ironic that he’s been co-opted by them.'

"Dianne Luby, the president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, responded to O'Malley in an email to the newspaper. She didn't respond to the racism contention but claimed O'Malley's views don't represent those of Boston Catholics.

"'It diminishes Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s credibility when he attacks President-elect Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood for views and services his own members overwhelmingly support,' Luby claims.

"'If Cardinal O’Malley is going to opine on politics, and the bishops are planning to discuss lessons learned from last week’s election, it would be good for them to understand why their messages didn't stick with their primary audience,' Luby shot back.

"'Cardinal O’Malley and the bishops have a lot of work to do in order to reconnect with their members,' Luby concluded. 'It appears from exit polls during this most recent election cycle, that Cardinal O’Malley is out of step with most voters on this very personal decision.'

"O'Malley, in his original comments to the Globe, appears to disagree.

"'Obama is the president, and everyone wishes him well, and we will try to work with him. However, I hope he realizes that his election was not a mandate to rush ahead with a pro-abortion platform,' he said.

"The Catholic cardinal also said Obama and Planned Parenthood are disingenuous about claming they want to reduce abortions because their main legislation in Congress will promote them.

"'Now they're talking about pushing this FOCA, which doesn't sound to me like it’s going to try and reduce abortions, but simply make them much more accessible to people, and pay for them, at home and abroad,' he said."

That's one more of Planned Parenthood's absurd positions.

All Catholics, and especially Cardinals, should embrace and defend their Church's teachings, not sacrifice them in the name of hedonism, popularity or public approval. What diminishes Catholics, including Cardinals, is wallowing in sin, pretending sin is not sin and disregarding canon law, permitting sacrilege and promoting public scandal by giving Holy Communion to prominent pro-abortion "Catholic"politicians, like Vice President-Elect Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Senators Kennedy and Kerry, whether for personal reasons or to protect a tax exemption.

And Cardinal O'Malley is right that voters did not do what they should have done: treat the 2008 presidential election as a referendum on cultural values.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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