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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Civil Rights, Abortion and Other Light Topics!


Civil Rights, Abortion/Conscience, Elizabeth Warren and a Few other Light Topics!!

I have been focused on C. Peter Wagner and the controversies he has invited upon himself, but a few stories more directly related to debating Obama are happening and this post is on those topics.

FRED SHUTTLESWORTH AND WILLIAM NORVEL

Another civil rights lion has passed away, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Duane Shank has a nice tribute to him at God’s Politics, noting that Shuttlesworth “helped organize and participate in most of the most significant events of the Civil Rights struggle. He was one of the founding members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, participated in the first sit-ins in 1960 and the Freedom Rides in 1961.” Rather than attempting to add my halting words of tribute to him, I thought it would be fitting to use his passing as an occasion to introduce people to another African American Christian leader who I just learned about yesterday. The Washington Post had an excellent article yesterday about the Rev. William Norvel:

A native of Pascagoula, Miss., Norvel is considered by black Catholics across the country as a peacemaker who looks like them, understands their issues and has advocated on their behalf before an often unresponsive church hierarchy. His elevation increases the profile of black Catholics, a small group among the nation’s 77 million Catholics…“For 350 years, African Americans have been in this church, and we are not going anywhere,” said Turner, of the Archdiocese of Washington. “This is our church. We belong to it, and we will nourish the faith.”

PRO-LIFE DEMOCRAT SENATOR CASEY URGES OBAMA TO CHANGE COURSE

The group Democrats for Life of America, which I am a proud member of, is urging its members to back Senator Casey of Pennsylvania who has written a letter to the Obama administration seeking “to ensure that ‘no religious organization’ will be ‘compelled to take actions that violate their conscience rights’ under the Affordable Care Act.” Pro-life Democrats like me have been mocked for supporting Obama, who Robert George has consistently called the most pro-abortion president in American history, and the full dimensions of that debate was the subject of a lengthy cover story in Commonweal’s last issue. I have joined other pro-life Democrats in arguing that with respect to the recently passed Affordable Care Act, charges that it is pro-abortion are without merit because it “does not fund abortion and, in fact, provides clear provisions to disallow abortion funding.” A more complicated question, in my view, is the one that Casey has written his letter about—namely, how to protect the consciences of individuals and institutions that received federal funding but do not want to provide contraceptive services, some of which we believe cause the death of new embryos. In addition to Casey’s letter, “An ad hoc group of 15 Catholic leaders and professors, including Democrats For Life executive director Kristen Day…sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius on August 25, 2011 also asking for broader protections.” These requests from pro-life Democrats reflect our sincere belief that these conscience protections serve the common good of all Americans and reflect the deepest truths of our Constitutional order. We hope the President will agree.


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