View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Senate candidate suggests Catholics shouldn't work in emergency rooms

There's an interesting Senate race over in Massachusetts - with a Catholic twist.

The race is between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown (and a third party candidate) to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy. The race has gotten surprisingly tight given the Democratic makeup of my home state (Boston born).

Coakley is not helping herself with comments like the one reported below by the Catholic News Agency.

On Thursday she was interviewed by WBSM radio talk show host Ken Pittman.

Pittman asked if she would support health care legislation what would protect a “conscientious objector” to procedures such as abortion.

Coakley said she did not exactly understand the question and then criticized Brown’s 2005 amendment.

“I would not pass a bill, as Scott Brown filed an amendment, to say that if people believe that don’t want to provide services that are required under the law and under Roe v. Wade, but taken individually decides to not follow the law, the answer to that question is ‘no.’

She repeated that the amendment would allow hospital and emergency room personnel to deny emergency contraception to “a woman who has came who’d been raped.”

“Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. Ah, you don’t want to do that,” Pittmann responded.

Coakley replied: “No we have a separation of church and state, Ken, let’s be clear.”

“In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom,” he replied.

After a short stutter, Coakley commented: “The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”

“Wow,” Pittman remarked.

Wow indeed. Catholics and prolifers need not apply, I guess.

This race is important because if Brown wins - still in doubt even though the polls have it close - the Democratic party would no longer have the 60 seats in the Senate it needs to ram through legislation. I don't know enough about their respective positions on other issues, but if this is typical of Coakley's thinking, then were I still a Massachusetts lad I'd have a hard time voting for her.


Blogger GrandmaK said...

Praying and hoping the voters in MA will see this as an instance where the well being of of the population is a risk. My goodness! Cathy

10:11 AM  
Blogger Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

if Brown wins - still in doubt even though the polls have it close - the Democratic party wood no longer have the 60 seats in the Senate it needs to ram through legislation.

Let's see. If the democrats have 60 votes for the legislation how is that "ramming?"

11:13 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Padraic - 60 votes in the U.S. Sentate allows the majority part to end debates on legislation. The Republicans would not have enough votes to force debate or changes - hence the Democrats could ram through anything they wanted. (The same would be true from the Republican side if the Republicans had 60 votes.)

11:27 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

And then she referred to Red Sox great Curt Schilling as "another Yankee fan."?????

A Massachusetts politician that out of touch is in trouble.

She lost a few votes there.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Padraic Mac Aodhagain said...

Lee, I know how the filibuster works in the Senate. I guess I was not very clear in the question I asked. It was not about a filibuster but the term "to ram" the legislator through. If the Democrats have 60 votes and pass the legislation, isn't that how a representative democracy supposed to work?

12:12 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Yes, it works that way. And when a party has a clear majority, it can "ram" legislation through over the protests of the opposition.

The voters can then vote some of the majorty out later, but that does not prevent the legislation from getting through. The Republicans did some of that back in the 90s after the 1994 elections gave them a strong majority.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

One of my concerns is that this particular group of Democrats will force through some pretty radical legislation concerning abortion and abortion funding.

I support health care reform - I disagree with some of the Republicans on that one - but not reform that mandates abortion coverage.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was born in Springfield to a Catholic family. I am surprised that Catholics in MA believe that letting 40,000 on average die each year (Harvard Medical School) because they don't can't afford and don't have health insurance is acceptable. But they vote for a Repulsive Senator that believes that's OK. That is the Repulsive Party's Health Care Reform, "Don't get sick and if you do die quickly." This is not to mention the number of people (63%) who have to go bankrupt because of medical expenses. How many went bankrupt or died in France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Spain, and Canada because they could not afford health insurance or because of the medical bills they faced? If you don't know the answer it's "0." Congratulations, MA citizens who voted for the Repulsive Party candidate, and just condemned another 40,000 Americans die and countless numbers more to have to go bankrupt because they can't pay their medical bills. Sleep nicely tonight because while CEO's of every major medical insurance company will celebrating the fact that they will be getting their multi-million dollar bonuses at the end of the year and your premiums are going to continue to go up because insurance companies have to pay for those bonuses. So this is what the Catholic Religion has become. Instead of recruiting mens souls for God they have lowered the bar to recruiting mens votes for Repulsive candidates.

If you wonder why I don't call Repulsive Candidates Republicans, I can not because that would an insult to the great people such as Barry Goldwater and all of the those who proceeded him. They were statesmen and concerned about Americans not just concerned with corporations and the wealthy. The Republican Party was filled with honorable men and statesman. But, sadly this party has evolved to a party that supports, Large Corporations and wealthy individuals. They control the media, have a disgust for anyone who is an academic that disagrees with their decision. They only represent big corporations and the wealthy not middle class Americans. They control the media and label anyone who questions the decisions or the Repulsive Party as Anti-Americans and not patriots.
The only thing the Repulsive Party produces is fear, hatred, and racism. And to support this argument, I give Rush Limbaugh, and all the talking heads on FOX news.

Well to end this memo. congratulations, you just killed 40,000 Americans and forced an uncountable of people into bankruptcy.

Have a nice night sleep
Dr. Wayne Gauteau

9:09 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I will sleep well - not because a Republican won (I'm not a Republican) - but because an inept candidate (Coakley) lost, and because this may now help to get abortion out of health care reform - which, by the way, I do support.

My hope is that a plan will pass so that the poor do get coverage, but that the unborn will have some protection.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 19, 1775 a single shot was fired at the Battle of the North Bridge in Concord Massachusetts. Ralph Waldo Emerson called it The Shot Heard Around the World. Historians called it the start of the American Revolutionary War. How fitting that today, a single Senate seat in Massachusetts becomes the marking point of a peaceful Revolution – one in which Americans begin to regain control of the country we so love.

Good Job Massachusetts!!

12:40 AM  

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