Monday, February 14, 2011

Defunding of Planned Parenthood builds steam in House

 

Secular News Daily: Defunding of Planned Parenthood builds steam in House

 


Defunding of Planned Parenthood builds steam in House

Posted: 13 Feb 2011 03:12 PM PST

Pence: The bill is back.

Scores of Representatives have signed on to a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and any other health care provider which also provides abortions.

Mike Pence (R-IN) has re-introduced his failed 2009 (and 2007) bill, now HR 217, the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act“. The bill is described, in part, as:

Amend[ing] the Public Health Service Act to prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Service (HHS) from providing any federal family planning assistance to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion.

Pence makes clear in interviews that his primary target is Planned Parenthood. He promotes the bill as “getting taxpayer funds out of providing abortion,” even as he admits that it is not presently legal to use Federal funds for abortion services:

While federal funds may not be used directly for abortions, there is no question that the taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers receive are used to cover allowed expenses such as overhead and operational costs, thus freeing up other money to promote and provide abortions.

In numerous cases, Planned Parenthood clinics funded by Title X are only steps away from their abortion clinics, many times even in the same building.

Last week, Pence bragged on American Family Radio that his bill, which failed miserably in the last two attempts, is now gaining traction in the Tea Party Christian-dominated House:

There are now more than 160 co-sponsors — Republicans and some Democrats — who are coming together to say that no more public funding will flow into Title X clinics. I believe we’re reaching a point where we can end public funding for Planned Parenthood once and for all.

That’s right, not end funding for abortions, but end funding for Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood responded by saying that the bill:

would have a devastating impact on women’s and rural health by denying health centers across the country federal funding (through the Title X family planning program) for preventive care, including family planning, annual exams, lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception visits, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Another anti-abortion approach limits employee health-care access

A related bill, HR 3, is the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” introduced by Christopher Smith (R-NJ). This bill would prevent any Federal funding for any health benefit coverage which includes coverage of abortion. In other words, the health insurance coverage for Federal employees could not include abortion coverage. Medicaid could not include abortion coverage. Any state-level health benefits receiving any federal funds could not include abortion coverage.

Please note that it is presently not legal to use Federal funds to perform an abortion; this bill prevents the insurance plans from covering the procedure if they are to receive or are paid for with any amount of Federal funds.

OneNewsNow asks in a poll whether you would “cheer or jeer” if Congress defunded Planned Parenthood. What do you think?

Related articles:

1.       VA State Legislator: Disabled Kids "God's Punishment" for Earlier Abortions

2.      Houston Abortion Protest – Ongoing Coverage

3.      Anti-Abortion Groups to Use MLK Day to Protest Houston "Abortion Supercenter"


Huckabee’s Biblical Foreign Policy

Posted: 13 Feb 2011 02:07 PM PST

Is this Mike Huckabee's plan for Israel?

There used to be an unwritten rule against American politicians undermining American foreign policy overseas. Here at home, no holds barred; but beyond our borders, let’s keep our differences among ourselves, and pretend that America presents a united front.

That’s one more rule that now applies to everyone other than God experts. Rev. Mike Huckabee, who currently leads national polls for the Republican presidential nomination next year, was in Israel a week ago blasting away at a longstanding bipartisan principle of American foreign policy: the “two-state” solution for Israel and Palestine. This is the proposal in which the hundreds of thousands of Arabs kicked out of Israel would have their own semi-country in the territory illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.

Republican and Democratic administrations alike have championed this idea for decades – but not Rev. Mike. He says that Jews have the right to rule “the place that God gave them,” and that the Muslim world ought to find some other spot for squatters on the Chosen People’s land. “The Jewish people have indigenous rights to the land in which they occupy and live and it goes back not 60 years or 80 years but it goes back 3,500 years.” What’s more, in true God expert style, he vilified everyone who disagrees with him as racist: “To tell Jewish people, ‘You cannot live here, you cannot raise your children here,’ this is the true racism, this is apartheid,” said Huckabee. “I cannot imagine as an American being told that I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English.”

'The place God gave them'

Huckabee spoke in an East Jerusalem neighborhood where a municipal agency had just ordered the eviction of longtime Arab residents to make room for new Jewish residents. Could he imagine as an American being told that he could not live in a certain place because he was Muslim, or Palestinian, or spoke Arabic? That’s a trick question, because Rev. Huckabee doesn’t believe there is any such thing as a Palestinian. In 2007, he was filmed telling American Jewish voters that “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian … [before 1948] you had Arabs and Persians. And there’s such complexity within that. There is really no such thing. That has been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.”

 

“Faith defines me.”

 

Faith ... defines me

Unlike many politicians, Rev. Huckabee has a record of consistency on matters of religion and politics, so voters have good reason to believe he means what he says. His television ad in 2007 assures voters that “Faith doesn’t just influence me. It really defines me. I don’t have to wake up every day wondering, what do I need to believe.”

For 12 years as a Southern Baptist pastor, Huckabee preached the inerrant truth of the Bible. As governor of Arkansas, he refused to sign a bill that had a legal boilerplate description of tornadoes, etc. as “acts of God.” “While I realize that to some this is a minor issue, it is a matter of deep conscience with me to attribute in law a destructive and deadly force as being an ‘act of God.’”

Huckabee was the only major 2008 candidate to stand up for Biblical creationism over evolution. When he surged in the Iowa polls that year, he claimed divine anointment: “There’s only one explanation for it, and it’s not a human one. It’s the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of five thousand people.” (He never explained why God lost his enthusiasm after Iowa, though.)

“The Place that God Gave Them”


There are many concepts in the Bible that are a little vague or ambiguous, but the borders of Israel isn’t one of them. Genesis explicitly states that:

In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Israel's northern province?

There can’t be much doubt that the river of Egypt is the Nile. As shown on the map, the territory from there to the Euphrates would encompass all of today’s Syria and Jordan, and huge chunks of Egypt and Iraq as well – including most of the Iraqi oil fields, which must be why God placed them there. What this particular mapmaker overlooked, though, was the list of peoples God put under Jewish control. We don’t know much today about the Perizzites, but we know a lot about the Hittites, and what we know tells us that God gave the Jews control over lands extending all the way north into central Turkey.

Does Rev. Huckabee really mean to expand Israel’s borders from Cairo to Basra to Ankara? He hasn’t said that in so many words, but when he talks about “the place that God gave them” as being occupied by “Persians” as well as Arabs, and then refers to today’s Israel as just a “tiny postage-stamp-size piece of land,” one has to wonder. This is the guy who warns audiences that “If we don’t adhere to what we believe to be our biblical and eternal principles, then we have no reason to complain when we lose those principles in the public marketplace.” If God’s covenant with Abram and his seed isn’t a biblical principle, I don’t know what is.

The Zionist view


That’s certainly the view of many Jewish God experts, and they are not shy about saying so. When Israel was created by the United Nations in 1948, it was assigned territory far smaller than its current borders. War immediately broke out between Israelis who thought their allotment too small and Arabs who thought there should be no new state at all. The better-organized Israelis won, and in the process sharply increased in size. Recognition of the conquests by most of the international community and admission to the UN legalized these enlarged borders, but Israel was still dissatisfied. The Israeli constitution pointedly refused to limit its boundaries, and the official Government Year Book 1951-2 boldly proclaimed that “The state has been established in only a portion of the Land of Israel.” Five years later, Israel launched a sneak attack on Egypt in an effort to win more territory, which was only thwarted by the steadfastness of President Eisenhower. Eleven years after that, another sneak attack won the real prize, Jerusalem and lands along the Jordan’s west bank; we haven’t had an Eisenhower since then to make them give it back.

Instead, we’ve had a parade of Israeli God experts under various organizational names, such as the “Greater Israel Movement,” demonstrating and demanding that Israel grow and grow, step by step, to cover all the territories God gave Abram back in Genesis – especially the oil fields, while condemning the Israeli government for being too timid to live up to the Zionist ideal. As the rector of Bar-Ilan University, put it:

There is only one nation to whom the land belongs in trust and by covenant promise, and that is the Jewish people. No temporary demographic changes can alter this basic fact, which is the bedrock of the Jewish faith; just as one wife does not have two husbands so one land does not have two sovereign nations in possession of it.

Huckabee’s germ of truth


To be perfectly fair and balanced, I agree with part of what Huckabee said. Jews ought to be free to live wherever they feel like living, including any particular housing lot that happens to lie between the Nile and the Euphrates. Where we differ is that I think non-Chosen People Arabs should have exactly the same right. I also agree with Rev. Mike that the two-state solution is a terrible idea; history proves that dividing territories along denominational lines enhances God expert power on each side of the line, a guaranteed prescription for disaster.

Huckabee ought to lift up his eyes from his Bible long enough to take a look around the good old US of A, where Jews and Muslims live side by side in nearly perfect harmony. Why? Because here we have a largely secularized government (at least until Huckabee wins), that for the most part neither promotes nor punishes any religious belief, that doesn’t countenance private discrimination against religious belief, and that bases at least most of its laws on what people think makes sense, not on what some expert says is God’s will.

If the governments in Israel and its neighbors would agree to apply this model to themselves, with some sort of credible internationally-backed mechanism to enforce it, the single greatest threat to world peace would disappear – what would there be to fight about?

Related articles:

1.       10 Biblical Atrocities That Go Overlooked (Part 1)

2.      Dinesh D'Souza Denies Biblical Truth

3.      A Biblical Degree of Fraud


 

 

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