Author archives: Cathy Ruse

Portrait of an Abortion Zealot: Glimpse of Obama in the NYT

by Cathy Ruse

April 11, 2011

In the midst of the budget debate last week an important premise was planted: That President Obama is willing to risk a lot, and lose a lot, in order to keep the federal spigot open and tax dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood.

The New York Times report on the budget negotiations included this gem:

At one crucial moment in the game of chicken over a looming shutdown of the United States government, President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, faced off in the Oval Office. Mr. Boehner, a Republican heavily outnumbered in the room by Democrats, was demanding a provision to restrict financing to Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions. Mr. Obama would not budge.

Nope. Zero, the president said to the speaker. Mr. Boehner tried again. Nope. Zero, Mr. Obama repeated. John, this is it. A long silence followed, said one participant in the meeting. It was just like an awkward, O.K., well, what do you do now?

That meeting broke without an agreement. But while Mr. Obama may have held tough on the abortion provision, he and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, had already made a broader concession agreeing to tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts that would have been unthinkable had Republicans not captured control of the House from Democrats in midterm elections last year.

Keep in mind, Mr. Obama wasnt protecting a right to abortion, but something even more radical: the right of Americas largest abortion provider to reach into our pockets!

Planned Parenthood has almost one billion dollars in net assets and $737 million in reported revenues, not counting the $363 million from taxpayers. Isnt that a special favor for Big Business?

And what a business. From its most recent report we learn that Planned Parenthood clinics aborted 332,278 American children, about the same number of people who populate the city of Cincinnati. (For more important facts on Planned Parenthood, see this wonderful piece by Susan Wills)

The budget negotiations revealed, again, President Obamas abortion zealotry. We have the Republicans congressional leaders to thank for that. As my colleague Tom McClusky asks: Who is the hard liner on abortion?

Elena What Memo? Kagan: Saletan Got One Big Thing Wrong

by Cathy Ruse

July 8, 2010

Theres a lot of buzz about Will Saletans incisive analysis of Elena Kagans role in shaping, from the White House, the medical conclusions of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on the partial-birth abortion method. (See full article, below.) The criticism of Kagan and ACOG is certainly welcome, especially coming from this pro-choice writer at this left-leaning magazine.

But Saletan is dead wrong on one central point: Kagan did substantively change the ACOG statement with the sentence she dictated to the organization. Before Kagans interference, the ACOG statement read:

a select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.

Before Kagan, partial-birth abortion was equal to or lesser than other methods in ACOGs view. With the addition of Kagans wording that it may be the best method in a particular circumstance, partial-birth abortion now became potentially better than other methods in the official view of ACOG. Saletan apparently doesnt understand that making it potentially best in some unnamed hypothetical situation was equivalent to making it definitively best in the view of the reviewing courts. Even a cursory reading of the lower court rulings shows that the Kagan best language was absolutely key to the courts reasoning in overturning the bans.

Ultimately, of course, the Supreme Court got past this politicized medicine and got the ruling right. But this revelation should be a permanent black eye for ACOGs reputation on any abortion-related issue in the future, and is proof that Kagan is a zealous pro-abortion political animal trying to disguise herself in judges robes.

http://www.slate.com/id/2259495/pagenum/all/#p2

When Kagan Played Doctor

Elena Kagan’s partial-birth abortion scandal.

By William Saletan

Posted Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 2:12 PM ET

Fourteen years ago, to protect President Clinton’s position on partial-birth abortions, Elena Kagan doctored a statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Conservatives think this should disqualify her from the Supreme Court. They understate the scandal. It isn’t Kagan we should worry about. It’s the whole judiciary.

Kagan, who was then an associate White House counsel, was doing her job: advancing the president’s interests. The real culprit was ACOG, which adopted Kagan’s spin without acknowledgment. But the larger problem is the credence subsequently given to ACOG’s statement by courts, including the Supreme Court. Judges have put too much faith in statements from scientific organizations. This credulity must stop.

The Kagan story appeared Tuesday in National Review and CNSNews.com. You can read the underlying papers at the Media Research Center. There are three crucial documents. The first is a memo from Kagan on June 22, 1996, describing a meeting with ACOG’s chief lobbyist and its former president. The main takeaway from the meeting, Kagan wrote, was that “there are an exceedingly small number of partial birth abortions that could meet the standard the President has articulated,” i.e., abortions in which the partial-birth technique was necessary to protect a woman’s life or health. She explained:

In the vast majority of cases, selection of the partial birth procedure is not necessary to avert serious adverse consequences to a woman’s health; another optionwhether another abortion procedure or, in the post-viability context, birth through a caesarean section, induced labor, or carrying the pregnancy to termis equally safe.

The second document is a draft ACOG statement on “intact D&X” (aka partial-birth) abortions, faxed by ACOG to the White House on Dec. 5, 1996. The statement said that

a select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. Notwithstanding this conclusion, ACOG strongly believes that decisions about medical treatment must be made by the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman’s particular circumstances. The potential exists that legislation prohibiting specific medical practices, such as intact D & X, may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women.

The third document is a set of undated notes in Kagan’s handwriting, offering “suggested options” for editing the ACOG statement. They included this sentence: “An intact D+X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and a doctor should be allowed to make this determination.” This sentence was added verbatim to the final ACOG statement released on Jan. 12, 1997, which read in part:

A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman’s particular circumstances can make this decision.

The basic story is pretty clear: Kagan, with ACOG’s consent, edited the statement to say that intact D&X “may be the best or most appropriate procedure” in some cases. Conservatives have pounced on this, claiming that Kagan “fudged the results of [ACOG’s] study,” “made up ‘scientific facts,’ ” and “participated in a gigantic scientific deception.” These charges are exaggerated. The sentence Kagan added was hypothetical. It didn’t assert, alter, or conceal any data. Nor did it “override a scientific finding,” as National Review alleges, or “trump” ACOG’s conclusions, as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, contends. Even Power Line, a respected conservative blog, acknowledges that ACOG’s draft and Kagan’s edit “are not technically inconsistent.” Kagan didn’t override ACOG’s scientific judgments. She reframed them.

But Kagan’s defense is bogus, too. On Wednesday, at her confirmation hearing, Hatch pressed Kagan about this episode. She replied that she had just been “clarifying the second aspect of what [ACOG] thought.” Progressive blogs picked up this spin, claiming that she merely “clarified” ACOG’s findings and made its position “more clear” so that its “intent was correctly understood.” Come on. Kagan didn’t just “clarify” ACOG’s position. She changed its emphasis. If a Bush aide had done something like this during the stem-cell debate, progressive blogs would have screamed bloody murder.

At the hearing, Kagan said ACOG had told her that intact D&X “was in some circumstances the medically best procedure.” But that doesn’t quite match her 1996 memo about her meeting with ACOG. In the memo, she wrote that

we went through every circumstance imaginablepost- and pre-viability, assuming malformed fetuses, assuming other medical conditions, etc., etc.and there just aren’t many where use of the partial-birth abortion is the least risky, let alone the “necessary,” approach. No one should worry about being able to drive a truck through the President’s proposed exception; the real issue is whether anything at all can get through it.

The language in this memo”imaginable,” “let alone,” the quotes around “necessary”depicts a conversation in which nobody could think of a real case where intact D&X was, as Kagan’s revision would later put it, “the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” Indeed, the participants doubted whether “anything at all” could meet Clinton’s standardnamely, a case in which intact D&X would be “necessary to preserve the life of the woman or avert serious adverse consequences to her health.” So Kagan’s statement at her hearingthat ACOG had said intact D&X “was in some circumstances the medically best procedure”considerably stretches the truth as she recorded it. It implies, contrary to her contemporaneous notes, that ACOG had affirmed a specific need for the procedure.

Kagan’s critics see her political meddling as a violation of science. The revised ACOG statement “was a political document, intended to bolster the case for partial-birth abortion, under the false flag of scientific objectivity,” says Power Line. National Review agrees: “Language purporting to be the judgment of an independent body of medical experts” was “nothing more than the political scrawling of a White House appointee.” These complaints are overboard. Science and politics aren’t mutually exclusive. The ACOG statement was largely scientific, and even Kagan’s insertion was more than political scrawling: It reframed but obeyed the constraints of ACOG’s objective beliefs.

But if conservatives are being naive about the relationship between science and politics, Kagan is being cynical about it. “There was no way in which I would have or could have intervened with ACOG, which is a respected body of physicians, to get it to change its medical views,” she told senators on Wednesday. With this clever phrasing, she obscured the truth: By reframing ACOG’s judgments, she altered their political effect as surely as if she had changed them.

She also altered their legal effect. And this is the scandal’s real lesson: Judges should stop treating the statements of scientific organizations as apolitical. Such statements, like the statements of any other group, can be loaded with spin. This one is a telling example.

National Review, CNSNews, and Power Line make a damning case that courts mistook the ACOG statement for pure fact. In 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortions, it cited ACOG: “The District Court also noted that a select panel of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded that D&X ‘may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.’” That sentence, we now know, was written by Kagan.

Four years later, when U.S. district judge Richard Kopf ruled against the federal partial-birth ban, he wrote:

I have summarized only the statements of the two leading national medical associationsthat is, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)regarding substantive medical questions, but only to the extent the statements reflected the considered medical opinion of such groups after an apparent professional inquiry. I did not summarize the policy views of these or other associations.

Kopf explained why he trusted the ACOG statement:

In forming the task force’s proposed ACOG Statement on Intact Dilation and Extraction, the members relied on their own education and expertise, obstetrics and gynecology textbooks, CDC information, published information on the safety of D&E and the D&X subset of D&E, and information about the safety of available alternatives. The textbooks were referenced for information about specific abortion procedures. The task force did not rely on information received from the public, did not interview or receive testimony from doctors, and did not draft and circulate individual position papers or statements for review and comment by other task force members. … Before and during the task force meeting, neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations, including congressmen and doctors who provided congressional testimony, concerning the topics addressed in the ACOG Statement on Intact Dilation and Extraction.

Kopf, like the rest of us, was apparently unaware that after the ACOG task force formulated its proposed statement, the statement was politically vetted and edited. Kagan’s memos and testimony confirm that ACOG consulted the White House and altered its statement accordingly. As a result, the statement reframed ACOG’s professional findings to support the policy views it shared with the White House.

All of us should be embarrassed that a sentence written by a White House aide now stands enshrined in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, erroneously credited with scientific authorship and rigor. Kagan should be most chastened of all. She fooled the nation’s highest judges. As one of them, she had better make sure they aren’t fooled again.

Raquel Welch Says The Pill Has Killed Marriage

by Cathy Ruse

May 13, 2010

Sage words from an aging sex symbol:

On Marriage: “I’m ashamed to admit that I myself have been married four times,” she writes, “and yet I still feel that it is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children, and saves us from anarchy.”

On Oral Contraception: Choosing a sexual partner “used to be the equivalent of choosing a life partner.” The growing proliferation of birth control methods has … led to a sea change in moral values. And a significant and enduring effect on women was the idea they could have sex without any consequences meaning fewer today see marriage as a viable option. Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it’s precisely because of the sexy image I’ve had that it’s important for me to speak up and say: Come on girls! Time to pull up our socks! We’re capable of so much better.”

Girl Scouts Deny Sex Guide Was at UN Meeting for Girls: But it Was There

by Cathy Ruse

March 15, 2010

Our friends at CFam, the pro-life watch dogs at the United Nations helmed by my husband Austin, issued a blockbuster last week when they revealed that the Girl Scouts had a meeting for girls only at the UN last week which included a Planned Parenthood guide for sex. It was a no-adults-allowed affair; any adult not associated with the Girl Scouts was kicked out.

The Girl Scouts have been officially pro-choice for years. Now theyre pushing promiscuous sex on the girls. Heres an excerpt from page 11 of the Planned Parenthood guide offered at the secret meeting:

Some people have sex when they have been drinking alcohol or using drugs. This is your choice. Being drunk or high can affect the decisions you might make about sex or safer sex. If you want to have sex and think you might get drunk or high, plan ahead by bringing condoms and lube or putting them close to where you usually have sex.

Apparently Planned Parenthood does advocate some limits to sex: It is not okay to have sex with someone who is so drunk or high that they are staggering, incoherent or have passed out. (What prudes!)

C-Fams report has rocketed around the Girl Scout world. Girl Scout officials have issued denials that the brochure was even present at the meeting while faith-filled Girl Scout leaders are up in arms and threatening to leave. C-Fam stands by its report: the Planned Parenthood sex guide was at the meeting.

The Quotable Stupak on Health Care and Abortion

by Cathy Ruse

March 10, 2010

Youve gotta love Bart Stupak, the brave Democrat from Michigan who is standing athwart the Obama-Abortion-Care Juggernaut, yelling, Stop!

Here are some choice quotes (to use a pun) from Representative Stupak from a recent interview with the Weekly Standard:

When the reporter mentioned speculation that Stupak was ready to cave and vote for a health care bill that would force taxpayers to fund abortion, his response was clear: “Obviously they dont know me,” he said. If I didnt cave in November, why would I do it now after all the crap Ive been through?”

President Obamas attempt to get Stupaks vote is both ridiculous and revealing: Apparently the President invited Stupak to the Russian opera last week. (This is reminiscent of candidate Nelson Rockefeller at the working mans bar ordering beers all around and a Courvoisier for himself.) The Weekly Standard writes: Asked if he was a big fan of the opera, Stupak, who represents a district encompassing the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, laughed and said: No, Im not a fan of opera, especially not Russian opera because I wouldn’t understand a thing.

Stupak isnt afraid to call out his own Party, saying that White House officials are “trying to get face time with members to convince them to vote for a bill that no one has seen in writing.”

Jesus Never Condemned Therapeutic Abortion Say What?

by Cathy Ruse

March 1, 2010

So says the slogan spread by Catholics for Choice in Nicaragua and El Salvador to overturn laws in those countries restricting abortion.

This pro-abortion propaganda effort is in anticipation of what will be one of the most heavily attended U.N. conferences this year: The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a gathering of radical feminists, from all points on the globe, with so-called reproductive rights as its centerpiece.

Samantha Singson reports in C-Fams Friday Fax that groups like Catholics for Choice and other NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are circulating declarations to present to delegations who attend the event in New York on March 1-12. This so-called Catholic group demands “the immediate restitution of therapeutic abortion in Nicaragua and, in El Salvador, the restitution of law that guaranty therapeutic, ethical and eugenical [sic] abortion.”

Singson writes that this years CSW is particularly significant because it is the fifteenth anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women where advocates tried, but failed, to establish an international right to abortion on demand. She reports that abortion is a matter of frequent debate among member states at this conference, where delegates attempt to sneak into conference documents ambiguous language that can later be used as a platform for such a right.

Against all odds, pro-life forces have defeated their efforts year in and year out. WWJD at the CSW? Maybe Hes been doing it all along.

Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child.”

by Cathy Ruse

February 5, 2010

Following on Bob Morrison’s post on the President’s National Prayer Breakfast remarks, read Mother Teresa’s speech, reprinted below in full. It is beautiful, and in it three times she calls abortion the greatest destroyer of peace:

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, “Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me.” Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, “Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me.” These will ask Him, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!”

As we have gathered here to pray together, I think it will be beautiful if we begin with a prayer that expresses very well what Jesus wants us to do for the least. St. Francis of Assisi understood very well these words of Jesus and his life is very well expressed by a prayer. And this prayer, which we say every day after Holy Communion, always surprises me very much, because it is very fitting for each one of us. And I always wonder whether 800 years ago when St. Francis lived, they had the same difficulties that we have today. I think that some of you already have this prayer of peace — so we will pray it together.

Let us thank God for the opportunity He has given us today to have come here to pray together. We have come here especially to pray for peace, joy and love. We are reminded that Jesus came to bring the good news to the poor. He had told us what is that good news when He said: “My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” He came not to give the peace of the world which is only that we don’t bother each other. He came to give the peace of heart which comes from loving — from doing good to others.

And God loved the world so much that He gave His son — it was a giving. God gave His son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with Him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary’s life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child — the child in the womb of Elizabeth — leapt with joy. While still in the womb of Mary — Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth.

And as if that were not enough, as if it were not enough that God the Son should become one of us and bring peace and joy while still in the womb of Mary, Jesus also died on the Cross to show that greater love. He died for you and for me, and for the leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street, not only of Calcutta, but of Africa, and everywhere. Our Sisters serve these poor people in 105 countries throughout the world. Jesus insisted that we love one another as He loves each one of us. Jesus gave His life to love us and He tells us that we also have to give whatever it takes to do good to one another. And in the Gospel Jesus says very clearly: “Love as I have loved you.”

Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us — to save us from our selfishness in sin. He gave up everything to do the Father’s will — to show us that we too must be willing to give up everything to do God’s will — to love one another as He loves each of us. If we are not willing to give whatever it takes to do good to one another, sin is still in us. That is why we too must give to each other until it hurts.

It is not enough for us to say: “I love God,” but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don’t love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live? And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is not true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.

It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must “put on Christ” as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love as He loves us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, “You did it to Me.” On the last day He will say to those on His right, “whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me, and He will also say to those on His left, whatever you neglected to do for the least of these, you neglected to do it for Me.”

When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, “I thirst.” Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.

I can never forget the experience I had in visiting a home where they kept all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them into an institution and forgotten them — maybe. I saw that in that home these old people had everything — good food, comfortable place, television, everything, but everyone was looking toward the door. And I did not see a single one with a smile on the face. I turned to Sister and I asked: “Why do these people who have every comfort here, why are they all looking toward the door? Why are they not smiling?”

I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the dying ones smile. And Sister said: “This is the way it is nearly everyday. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten.” And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that ‘the future of humanity passes through the family.’

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: Because there is no one in the family to receive them.’ Our children depend on us for everything — their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So their children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child, which is were love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today — abortion which brings people to such blindness.

And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere — “Let us bring the child back.” The child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things — to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.

But what does God say to us? He says: “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.

I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption — by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: “Please don’t destroy the child; we will take the child.” So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: “Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child.” And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child — but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said, “Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me.” By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.

Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child. From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.

I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception. In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gifts of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.

I also know that there are great problems in the world — that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.

The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: “You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other.” And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.

When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society — that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.

Those who are materially poor can be very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: “You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse.” So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: “thank you” — and she died.

I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: “What would I say if I were in her place?” And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said: “I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain,” or something. But she gave me much more — she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. Then there was the man we picked up from the drain, half eaten by worms and, after we had brought him to the home, he only said, “I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for.” Then, after we had removed all the worms from his body, all he said, with a big smile, was: “Sister, I am going home to God” — and he died. It was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that without blaming anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel — this is the greatness of people who are spiritually rich even when they are materially poor.

We are not social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of some people, but we must be contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we must bring that presence of God into your family, for the family that prays together, stays together. There is so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice, are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do.

If we are contemplatives in the heart of the world with all its problems, these problems can never discourage us. We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: “Even if a mother could forget the child in her womb” — something impossible, but even if she could forget — “I will never forget you.”

And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?

I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: “Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something.” So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children — their eyes shining with hunger. I don’t know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: “Where did you go? What did you do?” And she gave me a very simple answer: “They are hungry also.” What struck me was that she knew — and who are they? A Muslim family — and she knew. I didn’t bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing.

But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy and peace with their mother because she had the love to give until it hurts. And you see this is where love begins — at home in the family.

So, as the example of this family shows, God will never forget us and there is something you and I can always do. We can keep the joy of loving Jesus in our hearts, and share that joy with all we come in contact with. Let us make that one point — that no child will be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or killed and thrown away. And give until it hurts — with a smile.

Because I talk so much of giving with a smile, once a professor from the United States asked me: “Are you married?” And I said: “Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at my spouse, Jesus, because He can be very demanding — sometimes.” This is really something true. And this is where love comes in — when it is demanding, and yet we can give it with joy.

One of the most demanding things for me is travelling everywhere — and with publicity. I have said to Jesus that if I don’t go to heaven for anything else, I will be going to heaven for all the travelling with all the publicity, because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to heaven.

If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world. From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak — the unborn child — must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!

Mother Teresa, “Mother Teresa Goes to Washington.” National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, D.C., (February 5, 1994).

The Face of God in the Child Waiting to Be Born?

by Cathy Ruse

February 4, 2010

President Obama’s speech this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast included a moving litany about looking in the eyes of every different kind of person and in each seeing the face of God. They should’ve scheduled a Q & A! What should we see when we look through the screen of an ultrasound machine at the sweet little closed eyes of a baby? It would be impossible for President Obama to answer that question in any way that would not utterly undercut the central theme of his speech. And “above my pay grade” would be the worst answer.

A word to the White House image mavens: The rank hypocrisy here will be clear to the majority of Americans who are pro-life, and no doubt to many in the minority who are not.

NYT Can’t Bear to Mention the Bible — Even When It’s the Point of the Movie!

by Cathy Ruse

January 18, 2010

On Friday, the New York Times published a review of the new Denzel Washington movie, The Book of Eli. But the review doesn’t mention even once what Eli is protecting: the last copy of the Bible on Earth. The closest the reviewer can bring herself to mentioning the point of the story is to speak of the “fog of religiosity that hangs over the movie.” Ha!

Wash Post Editors Smear Candidate for His Conservatism

by Cathy Ruse

January 6, 2010

On Monday the Post endorsed the Democratic candidate for the Virginia Senate seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. No news there. But in the process the editors took the opportunity unfairly to smear the other candidate, Steve Hunt, a Republican who previously served on the Fairfax County School Board. The vote is January 12th.

While claiming it is his views on transportation funding that make Hunt the wrong man for the job, whats really got their goat —- judging from the amount of ink they spill —- is Hunts principled and heart-felt social conservatism. They cite a letter he wrote to high school principals in 2005 suggesting that, on the issue of homosexuality, students be given information not only from those promoting the homosexual lifestyle as natural and positive but from other perspectives, such as from those in the ex-gay community. Here is an excerpt from Hunts 2005 letter:

My challenge to you is to ensure that the students are presented with all of the facts and the spectrum of perspectives. I know that many schools in Fairfax County have brought in guest speakers to talk about homosexual and transgender issues. It is my understanding that these have been speakers that have spoken in favor of the homosexual life style. The remaining viewpoints have been missing from the discussion. Allowing students to make decisions based after hearing only one side of an issue is more indoctrination than discourse.

There is a local group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX at www.pfox.org). Regina Griggs is the PFOX Executive Director and can be reached at Pfoxmom@pfox.org or 703-360-2225. She has offered to speak or provide speakers from the Ex-Gay perspective. As you might imagine, her perspective is one of great love and concern since she has people very close to her that are living in the homosexual lifestyle. (Click here to read letter in full.)

Unquestioningly respectful, the letter informed the principals about a resource of which they might otherwise not have been aware. But the School Board issued a statement critical of Mr. Hunt, calling his letter an unauthorized, unilateral recommendation of changes to the school systems instructional materials and programs. (Click here for School Boards statement) Hunt explained that he was not trying to change curriculum and apologized to all concerned. (Click here for Hunts response.)

The Post editors also make fun of Hunt for remarks he made at a meeting of the School Board which they characterize as a soliloquy about his regrets in losing his virginity before marriage and about which they quip: As the kids might say: Too much information. Their use of a childish idiom is apt, for theyre acting like children: Steve Hunts comments were part of his remarks on abstinence education — he was, as the kids might say, just keeping in real. Their taking him out of context and trying to make him look like an oddball is nothing more than a childish prank.

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