"Do not vote for his Governor, then-Governor Bill Clinton, because Clinton did not have the patriotism or the integrity to be the President of the United States." These are the words of the Bataan Death March survivor, who had over 20 men die in his arms.
Come to Loathe the Military
Life-and-death struggles were going on all over
if Joseph Kennedy II had survived the Second World War, he would have come to Congress rather than his younger brother, Jack. Today, August 12, is the 50th anniversary of the death of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, the oldest son of the nine children of Joseph Kennedy, Sr.|
Let me read just very briefly how Joseph Kennedy gave his life for his Nation 50 years ago today and quickly mention some other spots around the world where young Americans were giving what Abraham Lincoln so beautifully called the `full measure of devotion,' their mortal lives.
On this day, Navy Lt. (jg.) Joseph P. Kennedy, the older brother of Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, two sisters, Rosemary and Kathleen, and John F. Kennedy, soon-to-be congressman, Senator, President, and then assassinated in the 46th year of his life.
Joe Kennedy took off from Great Britain in a 4-engine aircraft known as a Privateer. Most of us would recognize it as a B-24 Liberator, the bomber that our Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and former Senator George McGovern flew in combat.
But the Navy version of the B-24 Liberator had an extremely large high profile single tail, and the Navy called it a Privateer. It was a big 4-engine bomber.
They loaded this airplane with high explosives, dynamite to the layman, from bow to stern and put on it exotic radio-controlled equipment.
Having bailed out of military planes twice in peacetime, I can assure you when you bail out there is a great risk of life. You wonder if you are going to make it. Joe Kennedy had never bailed out in his life from an aircraft, civilian or military. And he was going to bail out of this big aircraft with his copilot--usually they would have a crew of 10. I am afraid I did not look up the name of this young copilot who died with Joe Kennedy. Kennedy was going to get this airplane over the English Channel, and even in summertime, it was pretty risky going across that channel. They were going to bail out of this aircraft once it had been guided by radio experimental controls toward the German submarine pens. They were to bail out and be rescued after they had launched this massive flying bomb, 4-engine bomber that of course would be destroyed when it flew right into the target.
Something went wrong, some tiny little spark, and Joe Kennedy and his courageous volunteer copilot, their remains were atomized somewhere over the English Channel, his fate known only to God, after they had lost radio contact.
He gave his life for his country in that struggle.
Life-and-death struggles were going on all over Brittany and the Normandy Peninsula.
The great George S. Patton, 3-star general at that time, had just broken out. He had run 35 miles yesterday, 50 years ago, and had taken a left turn and was about to close the Phalaise gap, which he came within a hair's breadth of doing, and maybe shortening the war, trapping an entire German army, an army that had been fighting since D-day in Normandy. In Brittany he had reached out his forces, particularly the 5th Armored Division, which adopted a very simple nickname, `Victory.' The Victory Division was in the front, one of the spearhead units. We had crossed the beautiful Loire Valley, that beautiful chateau country. He had taken Nante and the French ports along Brittany. I only learned last night, reading something that I had never seen anywhere, that we never did conquer the German-held French ports of St. Milo and Lorean. They stayed German property until March 1945. Imagine how the areas around those citadels were littered with the bodies of young American infantrymen and armored artillery officers and men. We did take within a few days Brest and some of the other ports along there. And of course used those ports again to build up Patton's 3d Army and the 1st Army to make the final thrust across the Rhine in the dead of the worst winter, 50 years ago in March 1945.
What we always forget, and I have said this on the floor 4 or 5 times already in the last month, is the other struggles that were going on.
British forces took one of the most beautiful places in the world and liberated it today. They crossed the Arno yesterday into Florence and today they took the northern suburbs of Florence, 50 years ago today. The Russian Army, where more people were killed in combat than ever in history and probably ever again--God willing we never got ourselves into a nuclear conflict. In the South Pacific, in Guan, with the loss of almost 3,000 American lives and 17,000 Japanese lives, Guam was finally secure--secure except for the hundreds of Japanese that went into the jungle and fought on, not until just the end of the war, but fought on for years. One of them, one of the last survivors, turning himself in finally 27 years later in 1972. But Guam was safe enough to start building those B-29 based to bring Japanese Imperial warlords to a position of unconditional surrender in August and to sign a peace treaty September 2 of 1945.
I hope to be a U.S. Congressman next year at not only Iowa Jima's 50th anniversary on February 23 but there in Tokyo Harbor on September 2 for the 50th anniversary of the signing of that great end to a ghastly, horrible slaughter of 55 million human beings. Yes this is quite a date in history.
May I put in here some notes of important meetings going on that turned out to be Communist lies.
Vietnam was no different than France, no different than New Guinea, no different than Iwo Jima.
Churchill, 50 years ago today,
was in the recently liberated city of southern France. And he was there meeting with Yugoslav leader Josip Tito and the royalist prime minister of the kind of put together from World War I the false state of Yugoslavia. That prime minister was Irvan Subasic. Tito swore that he would not impose a Communist Government on Yugoslavia. Tito was probably a Croat, mostly with Serbian support. Preying on and eventually executing Radij Mihalevic, he says, `I am not a communist, and there will be no communist government,' in lies to the great Winston Churchill, lies to his face. I repeat the British Army, 8th Army, driving the Germans out of the Italian city of Fiorenzi, or Florence. by the way, Joseph Kennedy's mission was called Aphrodite. I wonder if that is taught in schools about the first of the Kennedy brothers who died violently serving his country. It is interesting that Joe's death came 1 year and 11 days after John F. Kennedy's PT boat was cut in half, when he lost two of his men, and he won the Navy Cross by swimming to the Tuculumbungara Island with his life preserve on one of his burned enlisted crew members in his teeth. Kennedy picked up there a painful back injury from the Japanese destroyer cutting him in half that gave him great pain until the day he was assassinated in Dallas 20 years and some months later--back pain from his service in World War II.|
Now what was happening to George Bush, our last immediate President, the 41st President of the United States? This week, 50 years ago, George Bush flew his 41st, 42nd and 43rd combat missions, building up to September 2, when he bailed out for the second time. That time he lost both his crew members. The first time he ditched, and both were saved; that was his 48th combat mission. He went back, and, after his second bail out, he had every right to be sent back stateside. They offered it to him. He had just done 30 days of unexpected submarine duty when the lifeguard submarine had picked him up. He was depth charged in that sub, had combat missions under the water, and he said, `No, I'm going back to my ship, the San Jacinto,' and he flew ten more combat missions. But this was the week in the Marianas, bombing Iwo Jima, Chi Chi Jima, that George Bush got missions 41, 42 and 43.
Cut that half a century in half. Where was Clinton 25 years ago today?
Meeting with the pro-Hanoi movement to set up those coordinated demonstrations that he would lead in England while they were being led here by his friends, David Metzger and the deputy, No. 2 man at the State Department today, Strobe Talbott--all that pro-Hanoi gang. They were working on dual objectives for Clinton, crush and suppress his draft notice in which he was ordered to show up July 28 of 1969. He had that crushed, reversed, undone. I had never heard of that in my life before or since. Right to this day, never heard of that. And now he was spending all of August getting ready for the demonstrations in Europe and was about to head back at the end of this month, 25 years ago, to Oxford where all the evidence indicates he never went to class, never stood for his June exams and, thereby, never got his degree until they gave him the honorary one at the end of the week-long photo opportunity period during the 50th anniversary at Normandy.
So, that was what was going on 25 years ago. By the way, 25 years ago in Vietnam the 101st Airborne was still mourning its wounded from the battles in Hamburger Hill; the mini Tet offensive of September before was 11 months old. They were expecting another, a third, Tet offensive. That summer it never materialized, and it was Nixon's first year. His secret plan to end the war in Vietnam was not to be implemented until 3 years later when Nixon had watched another 15,000 or more lives squandered in Vietnam. That is why this Republican was never a fan of Nixon's conduct of the war. Our POWs were at about the half point in numbers. Some of them had already been there. As I said, Alvarez was shot down 30 years ago this month on August 5, and so he was at the halfway point of his--beyond the halfway point of his captivity, but hundreds more were to be taken in this off-again, on-again, uncertain struggle.
And, as I have said on this floor, and I will say it until the day I die, Vietnam was no different than France, no different than New Guinea, no different than Iwo Jima, no different than France on the first go-around in 1918. It was American men from the same type of family, the same type of background, the same kind of patriotic conservative upbringing, the same men that fought in Desert Storm. These are all the same families, the same middle class background, with a few heroic, young, nobless oblige kids from wealthy families, and some poor kids generally, but they were the lucky ones because most poor kids were rejected by the draft board because they did not have a sufficient education to serve.
Remember 18,000,000 people were called by our draft board in World War II, and 6,000,000 of them were told--6,000,000--`We don't need you. You're not physically strong enough. You weren't fed well enough when you were young, and you don't have a sufficient education to even enter the Army as a G.I. doughboy, grand M-1 rifle-toting infantryman.'
So, that is the background of my remarks today about what those men fought for.
Feeding Christians to the Media Jackals
As a young kid
in the Second World War, I remember the Saturday Evening Post magazine's coming out with those Norman Rockwell paintings of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. So, if I were doing a separate special order and starting out now, I would have ended the one called `Come to Loath the Military,' and I would now be starting a special order entitled, `Feeding Christians to the Media Jackals.'|
Madam Speaker, here is my House Res. 519:
Mr. DORNAN submitted the following resolution, and in the Congressional Record, those people on C-Span that may want to look at it up in the library in their hometown that carries the Congressional Record, and most do, they will get the list of 28 cosponsors. I expect to have 150 before we adjourn here someday in the first week in October. Here is the resolution, which is also being introduced on the Senate side today, I repeat, by a great Senator from Mississippi, Trent Lott.
The resolution expresses the sense of the House of Representatives regarding religious intolerance:
Whereas the rights, liberties and freedoms derived from the Constitution of the United States are guaranteed to all citizens regardless of their religious beliefs or affiliations; and whereas individuals of all religious denominations have made substantial contributions to the establishment, preservation and protection of the system of government of the Nation; now, therefore, be it resolved that, one, the House of Representatives strongly opposes anti-Christians bigotry and all forms of religious intolerance and condemns all manifestations and expressions of religious bigotry and intolerance; two, the House condemns individuals and organizations that foster intolerance, suspicion, hatred or fear of individuals who, A, hold values rooted in religious tenet; B, participate in the political process to ensure that the laws of the Nation reflect such values; C, advocate public policies that are respectful of such values; and, D, it shall be the policy of the House to seek to ensure that the rights of individuals to participate in the political process of the Nation are not infringed on the basis of their religious beliefs or affiliations.
Now, what motivated me, Madam Speaker, to have our legislative counsel draft this, I believe, important resolution? And what causes us to reaffirm what, when I was a young kid, was part of the whole American fabric of life, a respect for all religions? Well, it was, I am sorry to say, my friend, the gentleman from California [Mr. Fazio], one of the Democrat leaders and deputy chair of the Democrat conference.
I came to this House on my first go-around in 1976. Vic came 2 years later. He is a decade younger than I am, but I remember him over by that leadership desk in January of 1979 with little blond and red-headed children. They looked like my children just a few years before, and I went over and introduced myself, and I said, `Boy, can I borrow some of these kids? They're just duplicates of mine, only a couple of decades younger.'
The gentleman from California [Mr. Fazio] and I have always, always had nothing but the most cordial of relations during our whole time here in Congress. I assume with that good paisano name, Fazio, that he might be a fellow Roman Catholic. So I asked him and he said no, that he was Episcopalian or something, and I said, `Well, great,' I said, `I'm glad to have you on board from northern California. This is an exciting time to be serving our country.'
Since that time, I have crossed swords with the gentleman from California [Mr. Fazio] in debate on this floor only once. He apparently did not know that Kate Michaelman had admitted publicly in Senate testimony that she had aborted her fourth child --it was her first abortion, the other three daughters were born alive--and that she was a Catholic, and had done it with a heavy heart. Kate Michaelman is now the spokesperson for NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League. I had mentioned this fact on the floor of the House. Mr. Fazio thought I was revealing some personal secret of hers. He took me on, I took him on, and on a point of personal privilege we resolved the matter. It is the only time we crossed verbal swords in this House. But I think my pal from California, Vic Fazio, is walking on very slippery ground when he goes down to the National Press Club and talks about firebreathing Christians and gives egregious, and I cannot believe sincere, advice, to my party, the party that he is in opposition to here 90 percent of the time. He held a press conference to suggest that Republicans must purge from our party all firebreathing Christians who have entered politics because they are worried about the cultural meltdown, the moral decline and the degradation, and what the prior speaker, the gentleman from New York [Mr. Nadler] said, the bad guys and gals winning in the streets of our Nation, tearing our young people apart. We cannot demonize, and that is a word that the New York Times and the Washington Post and the L.A. Times have commented on. We cannot demonize the marginalize people in our country whose primary obligation as they see it is to raise stalwart young men and women and to pass on to them the verities that they learned at their mothers' knees, that were reinforced by their dads and by their school teachers.
I can remember the first thing I had to write in my binder as a Air Force preflight aviation cadet was we hold these truths to be self-evident, and that all men are created equal. And I remember taking my soft plastic binder, and with a ball point pen, embedding into it, with a firm reliance on divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. And those very words that were signed by 56 early American forefathers, many of which gave up their fortunes, and some of them gave up their sacred lives, and none of them gave up their honor.
There is Moses' face in this chamber, the only one of the 23 large marble medallions of lawmakers that is other than a left or right profile. It starts with Moses, the keystone, the lodestar, dead center, looking right down at you, Madam Speaker, and over your head are the words `In God we trust.'
We are not going to strip out of our country our religious heritage.
This is the religious right. What you are taking on would be one-quarter of this country.
I spent my 30th year
proudly watching John Lewis, the distinguished gentleman from Georgia, up there on that stage with Martin Luther King, speaking on that great August day, 31 years ago, it is amazing, August 28th, 1963.|
John and I are the only two members of this Chamber or the U.S. Senate who were present to hear Martin Luther King give his speech, `I have a dream.' And that speech is the only words of Martin King, Reverend King, that supersedes his great words in his letter from a Birmingham jail, where he said, `The laws of God supersede every law of man.'
I suppose the Democrats are so desperate this election year that they will try anything to hang onto their majority. My gosh, the Democrats have controlled this place for 40 years, since I was too young to vote. In my first election, I was 21 then, I was in pilot training in Florida--no, I moved to Texas for jet training by that time, and everybody I voted for in California by absentee ballot lost. Jim Wright got elected in November of 1954, Eisenhower lost the House and the Senate, and it was only his second year. We have sat on this side of the aisle ever since. We have never had anything but minority loyal opposition on this side of the aisle. We are in our 40th year. We will come close, but I wouldn't put money that we will take it. And if Republicans do not take over Congress, the Democrats will continue to have liberals running the leadership positions and every committee for the 41st and 42nd year in a row. Totally unknown, that type of domination of one party in the first 150 years of our Nation's history.
And now, the Democrats are trying to save themselves from losing more than the average 14 seats. They may lose 20 seats. They may lose 30 seats. This conduct comes up, we might just have a seat change and turn this place upside down. We will move to that side of the aisle, and maybe in my last 2 years I will get to be Speaker pro tempore, standing up there and looking eloquent like you, Madam Speaker, which I have never done in 18 years of tenure around this place. Anything can happen.
But I will give my friend Vic, and he is my friend, the same warning that I gave my classmate from 1976, Al Gore, who is now the Vice President of the United States. I gave it to him to the right, of that door here, when he said Hi to me, warmly one morning, We have got good relations. And he had with him the prime minister of Ukraine. He introduced me to the prime minister.
I said Al, let me talk to you a second. I crossed that door, spoke to him by that half a pillar on the Republican side, I said Al, Vic Fazio is giving my party advice. I don't know whether to take it seriously, about kicking activist Christians out of my party because they control the State organizations in six States. That kind of makes me happy. But let me give you some real advice. Al, we don't want a battle over religious belief. I said Al, are you aware that Mother Theresa is not part of the political religious left? She is certainly not the nonbelieving pagan left in this country. She is not the country-club-Republican atheist right in this country. And she is not part of the National Council of Churches, that doesn't know where they stand one month to next. Mother Theresa is part of the conservative religious right. And I said Al, so is Pope John Paul II, who you have met with twice.
This is the religious right. What you are taking on would be one-quarter of this country. Because I speak for the majority of my church. I am in the mainstream of my faith. I may not agree with my bishops over certain forms of gun control or Central America or capital punishment or universal medical care--all of those are optionable beliefs in my faith.
But the sacredness of human life, growing in a woman's womb, the sacredness of that life with an immortal soul for all of eternity infused into it by God the Creator Himself? That belief is not optionable.
We have got all these caucuses focused on a positive good.
And when I hear
that nine members of this House go to a meeting yesterday, right here in our own building, guarded by nine Capitol Hill police in case something untoward happened--to a meeting of a task force called the Radical Right Task Force, it struck me that every caucus in this House, funded or not funded, usually has a positive purpose. For strong Rational defense, for instance. Or the Hispanic Caucus. We are allowed to belong to that, even if we are not Hispanic. I am a southern Californian. I love Hispanic history in my adopted State. The Arts Caucus, I am on that even though I get on the floor here and get angry at certain NEA grants squandering our good taxpayers' money for pornography or blasphemy. I am in the Grace Caucus. We have got all these caucuses focused on a positive good.|
I cannot recall--may find an exception over the weekend--I of a task force or caucus ever formed in this House like the one that Mr. Fazio that is focused on one group of people because of their religious beliefs.
Now, to be sure, that whole group would say, oh, we are not talking about the Pope or Mother Theresa or your run-of-the-mill average loyal or disloyal Catholic.
We are not talking about mainstream Protestant designations. We are not even talking about smaller Protestant groups like Christian Scientists or Mormons. We are talking about fundamentalists. That is the word they use in all of these fire-breathing press releases of theirs.
Fundamentalists. That word has taken on a terrifying meaning in Iran. It has taken on a terrifying meaning, when that is the way the general media describes terrorists who blow up the second and third tallest buildings in the world after the Chicago Sears Tower, it is the Trade Twin Towers in New York. Blowing them up, five people dead, a sixth dies horribly in pain with lung failure weeks later. Six people dead, 1,000 injured by people called radical fundamentalists.
I know that Vic never makes a move, nor does Mr. Clinton, without these focus groups, without this garbage of putting people in a theater somewhere and getting touchy-feely buzzers, to press a button every time they ask them a test question.
And boy, when those focus groups or pollsters tell you this is up or this is down, then you come out with this bizarre attack on fundamentalist Christians who have tended to avoid politics as Caesar's world. All my adult life, how many groups I have spoken to begging them to come into the political process so they can have home school for their child and keep their young daughter innocent and try to teach their son to live up to the same standard of chasteness and decency that they are asking of his sisters. And then when they turn that son out into the angry, dangerous, violent and drug-ridden streets, they can expect that their son or daughter not to have their family values trampled upon. These people must come into the marketplace and get involved, they must make sure that Mosaic law and Christian principle and Jesus Christ's golden rule is written into law in this Chamber.
When Moses wrote, thou shalt not kill, did he say, you cannot defend yourself in uniform if you are a police officer, a police woman, in the military, a fighter pilot in the skies? No.
The dumbest, the most ignorant remark
I have ever heard in my life is, you cannot legislate morality. What an asinine half-truthful statement. What that purports to mean is you cannot legislate morality in somebody's heart, which is an organ that we use to indicate the sensitive reasoning of brain power. You cannot do that.|
But all law is a form of legislative morality. If not, why do we have St. Gregory over this door? Why do we have St. Alphonse over the other door, St. Edward the Confessor, St. Lewis, whose mother said, `I would rather have my son dead at my feet than have him commit one grievous mortal sin'? Why do we have Moses up here? Why do we have the great Rabbi who rewrote all the Talmudic law, a genius, Maimonides, writing in 11th century Spain.
Oh, we have got some losers up here like Napoleon, but we still have his Napoleonic law. We have people who did not belong to any specific religion but who certainly believed in God, like Thomas Jefferson. I tend to believe that he was a sincere man when he wrote, with a firm reliance on divine province. He meant every word of it.
Hammurabi, with his dark sides and did some killing. There are Greek and Roman people up there like Solon and Justinian who had their dark moments. But we have got Suleiman. We have got saints up on these walls. All law is a form of legislative morality.
It is easy to take down the tablets of Moses. Just off the top of my head, I remember when I was traveling against child pornography 3 years before I came here, finding the tablets on the front lawn of the courthouse in Duluth, Minnesota, up in Lake Superior, in the capital city of Nevada. Are they still there? I did not know there were tablets on the wall of the third floor in the Montgomery County, MD courthouse where the ACLU is trying to rip them down.
When Moses wrote, thou shalt not kill, did he say, you cannot defend yourself in uniform if you are a police officer, a police woman, in the military, a fighter pilot in the skies? No. He meant killing, murdering, immorally. But then we took his commandment and turned it into first-degree murder, second-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter.
When he says, thou shalt not steal, did he foresee Bunco? Did he foresee a rip-off televangelist minister, a disgrace to religion, focused on greed and money, giving a bad name to religion but disappearing quickly, destroying themselves. They always do. Did he think about pickpocketing or, I said bunco artists, armed robbery, burglary, carjacking, home invasion? We are learning terms like carjacking and home invasion that we not even dreamed of when I first arrived in this Chamber. We have codified all of those stealing fever laws under mosaic commandments, thou shalt not steal.
When he says thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, does that mean you could do it if you were a lesbian and she was separated from her husband? No, we do not have all that codification. It says basically, thou shalt not commit adultery and thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. And it is left up to men and women of good will, with the guidance of religious leaders and lawmakers of principle, to decide what should be in the law and what should be taken care of by our hearts.
We know that there has not been a single person ever maybe in this Chamber, we left it to the States, who have tried to pass any laws against easy, quick, no-fault, cheap lying divorce. Never going to be adjudicated in my lifetime. I have never even thought of writing a law. But we know that quick, easy divorce, where children are involved is causing those angry streets out there. It turns into the community deserted children.
You can never snuff out a human being's heartbeat in the womb of its mother and zero line its brain wave
I do not like the term 'dead beat dad.'
It may both start with a D and have a little alliteration to it, but dead beat dad sounds far too cute to me. This is a deserting, rotten person who brought children into the world and then ditches them and, so he can keep his Mercedes-Benz payments, does not contribute to the education of the children, let alone the funding of how they live and how they eat.|
We all know when we study divorce that it turns loose a man. And unless he is a person of particular courage who becomes that Sunday visiting dad, his income goes up and the woman's income goes rock bottom and a life of terrible pain and struggle begins. That is for the States to decide and really for a change, a sea change of heart in culture, in our society.
The abortion battle is going to be with us forever, forever, because it is like slavery. It involves life. You cannot steal a human being's life and lock them up, as with a slave, and that can never be accomplished without turmoil and bringing a curse on your society. And you can never snuff out a human being's heartbeat in the womb of its mother and zero line its brain wave. You cannot ever do that. And that brain wave starts, that heartbeat starts at day 18, about, and the brain wave, by day 40, is established. You can never snuff that out without having this always a matter of public concern.
I tell my friend Vic that when he reads editorials like this in the New York Times or a front-page story, he better run from this. Here is the New York Times, June 3d. This is the paper that gave Vic Fazio some of these ideas. Conservative Christians have burst into view this year as an important, often divisive force in Republican politics. They now have control of six State organizations and are making inroads into several others. Front page. The mother paper of America.
Here is an editorial in the New York Times 4 days later:
`Many of the retrograde forces that brought us the ugliest Republican National Convention in recent memory,' I was there. I did not see this festival of hate and fear. I saw some speeches I did not agree with, but it was dominant media culture, 95 percent liberal at the top of the networks, the three biggest papers in the country, they put this hate and fear spin on my Republican convention with a darn good platform.
It says, `The retrograde forces that brought us this national, ugliest national convention of recent memory have now conspired to nominate Oliver Lawrence North for the United States Senate in Virginia.' That became a fait accompli.
`Mr. North's startling ascendancy is ominous evidence that the GOP remains vulnerable to the foot soldiers of fundamentalism.'
Listen to this paragraph from my brilliant young friend, William Crystal.
`This month marks an important and alarming development in the politics of American religion.' The month he is talking about is June. `As the influence in the Republican Party of `fervent Christians' emerges as the hottest trendy story and talk show topic of the summer.' And it persists, 2 months later. Why should just now there be all this dark talk about this subject is an interesting question.
The church would like to repeal Roe versus Wade. I would, too. After all, the whole case was based on lies.
The answer is not,
despite what the Times suggest, that the religious right has `taken over' one of our two national parties and that our civil liberties, therefore, hang in the balance. It is by no means clear, in fact, that the influence of religious conservatives has increased much at all over the past many months.|
We remember a front-page Washington Post story reporting significant Christian coalition participation in the Republican politics in more than half a dozen States a year ago. That story presumably about the same States featured with such drama not 2 weeks ago in the Times was in fact in September of 1992.
Madam Speaker, at this point let me look for another few key articles to put in here. I was over here at St. Peter's on the Hill, St. Joseph's on the Senate side, St. Peter's on the House side, and here, just like many churches, only a block away from what used to be, and I would like to think still is, the heart of the District of Columbia.
Madam Speaker, in the back of the church I picked up the standard Archdiocesan newspaper for this area of the country called the Catholic Standard. The senior publisher of this would be, of course, the Archbishop, James Cardinal Hickey.
Madam Speaker, I read in here in a front-page story that many of my colleagues are distraught at the role the Catholic church is now playing in politics vis-a-vis the health debate. Leaders in the Catholic church are demanding that there not be coverage of abortion on demand for any reason under the sun, or no reason whatsoever, for all 9 months, right up until 1 microsecond before labor begins. That is the Roman Catholic Church's stand.
I read on the cover that my friend and colleague, the gentlewoman from Colorado [Patricia Schroeder], is really upset with that, that the church is making these statements. She says that, `The church is now going to undermine women's health care needs.'
That is my colleague, the gentlewoman from New York [Nita Lowey], a Democrat from New York. She insisted that the church is using health care reform to repeal Roe versus Wade. No, it is not. It is a separate debate, although, of course, the church would like to repeal Roe versus Wade. I would, too. After all, the whole case was based on lies.
Madam Speaker, the name for the young woman, Roe, was a lie. She never was raped. She made it up. Whoever heard of a Supreme Court decision that significant and far-reaching based on a foul lie? She simply was not raped, and had that baby anyway. It was her third attempt at abortion.
The woman who uses this pseudonym, Roe, has three daughters, all grown up, in their twenties. They have never met, as far as I know. The daughters would like to reconcile, but they said, `Not until our mother says she is happy that she did not get to kill all three of us.' That is the Roe in Roe versus Wade. The Wade was the district attorney in the State of Texas.
Madam Speaker, the gentleman from California [Don Edwards], who is in his last months; in just 88 days is the election, when he will be replaced in this Chamber; Don Edwards says, joining the debate, `I especially resent the fact that certain religious groups are entering this political fight here in Congress.' He resents that fact? Certain religious groups? Come on, Don, you mean Catholic, Roman Catholic Church.
I guess there have to be stupid abortion doctors out there with a totally twisted and malformed conscience.
If you want to be a know-nothing,
like the people that got a rowboat and took a carved stone that the Vatican had sent for our Washington Monument, and took it out in the middle of the Potomac and dumped it, where it remains to this day, and that kind of know-nothing shut down the building of the Washington Monument for the better part of several decades; if you want to be a know-nothing about the Catholic Church, go ahead, take it on, Don.|
Madam Speaker, the landscape of history for the better part of 1,900 years is littered with the forgotten and demeaned reputations of people who took on Holy Mother Church, or religion in general.
Let us have a debate about that some day. That is a good subject for our Oxford debate, casting the fire-breathing right to the media jackals. It would come up with a softer title than that.
Madam Speaker, here is a great lady that I have only have the opportunity to meet once, Helen Alvare, of the Life Issues Forum under the National Conference of Bishops. She says, `The best antidote (in addition to prayer, for the graces of dignity and holding your temper) is a good dose of the truth.'
With that preamble, this spokeswoman for the Life Issues Forum of the Catholic Church takes apart these false claims. She says, `One of the claims is that the church is trying to take away what women presently have in private insurance.' According to Alvare, `Virtually everyone who supports abortion mandates in health reform has claimed that most women have private insurance coverage of abortion. They say that unless abortion is `a basic benefit,' and it is, in the Gephardt and Mitchell health care reform plans, and of course, Clinton or Clinton-light or Hillary Clinton health care plan, all this abortion coverage is in there, making all of us pay for what we believe is the flat-out killing, and in some cases, in the cases of these abortionist doctors who kill 32 or more a day, knowledgeable, knowledgeable murder of innocent human life; not all of them, I guess there have to be stupid abortion doctors out there with a totally twisted and malformed conscience.
She goes on to say that is not a proven fact at all, and mandating abortion in every policy in this country. Not so, she says. `There is no conclusive proof that most private policies now cover abortion. Even if the claim were true, it would be irrelevant. What people can freely choose to buy or not buy' in abortion insurance coverage today `is no argument for forcing them under penalty of law to buy it tomorrow.'
Then again, in answering my distinguished colleagues, the gentlewoman from New York [Mrs. Lowey] and the gentlewoman from Colorado [Mrs. Schroeder] and the gentleman from California [Mr. Edwards], she goes on to say, `If those who claim they only want to preserve the `status quo' were honest,' said Alvare, `they would insist that health care reform preserve people's ability to choose whether to buy abortion insurance. They would never insist that abortion be a `basic benefit' that every person must own.'
The rest of us will not have to subsidize other people's decisions to kill their young in their womb
Then here is myth,
too, that she explodes. `Another claim is that the church,' and this speakes for most Christian denominations, `does not want women to benefit from health reform. This was the premise of Schroeder's argument as she harshly accused the church of plotting to harm women's health interests under cover of removing abortion mandates from health care. The Congresswoman included `osteoporosis' in her list of woman's services and diseases targeted for destruction in the church's `plot.'|
`In reality,' comes back Mrs. Alvare, `the church has been in the forefront of efforts to promote access and quality services for women. Our hospitals,' over 1,2000 of them, `provide care to millions of women every year. And our respect life agenda includes both support for healing and opposition to killing.
`That is why the church opposes legislation that would force individual abortion coverage, force Catholic hospitals into business relationships with abortionists, and force communities,' and this includes Lutheran hospitals, `to open unwanted abortion clinics.' She emphasized the word `force' in the statement.
As an aside, Alvare added, `The church thinks women deserve really good,' excellent, `treatment for osteoporosis.'
The argument that the bishops are really trying to overturn Roe versus Wade admittedly tries Alvare's patience. `It is legally impossible for Federal health care legislation to overturn Supreme Court decisions,' she says firmly. `Roe could be overturned only by a constitutional amendment' or another whole group of flesh-and-blood people on the Supreme Court, people who have maybe had a life, unlike Justice Souter, who indicated one thing and votes the other, which so often happens with appointees to the Supreme Court.
She closes, `Unfortunately, Roe is the law. It made abortions legal on demand,' for all 9 months, for any reason at all, `but a health insurance bill that mandates abortion coverage would go much,' much, much `further. It would force abortion into the private lives of every family, every health provides, every community, and every taxpayer.'
Alvare notes that if abortion is eliminated from the basic benefits package and made available as a supplemental benefit, abortion-on-demand is sadly going to remain legal but the rest of us will not have to subsidize other people's decisions to kill their young in their womb.
Much of the rhetoric by prochoice advocates is a way to deflect attention from the truth
Still another claim
floating around the halls of Congress is that the bishops are really trying to impose their religious values on everyone. Yeah, they're really having luck with that, aren't they? `Does this one sound familiar?' she asks. Every time an identifiable Catholic or Catholic institution speaks up in the public square about abortion, someone else raises this question.|
She suggested practicing the following response in front of a mirror. She is recommending looking in a mirror for Edwards and Lowey and Pat Schroeder. Look in a mirror, without a hint of impatience in your voice, and say this to yourself:
Being for unborn life is not a religious perspective, but a moral one shared by millions of Americans, religious and nonreligious. Opposition to government coerced involvement with abortion--China--is shared by even more millions. Poll after poll shows it. American women and men do not want universal insurance coverage with abortion mandates.
The final phony, false, lying claim is that the church really wants to make contraception illegal. I have never heard a sermon on making contraception illegal in the 45 years of my life since I was a middle teenager, not that I even heard it then, as anything but for the faithful.
She noted, Mrs. Alvare, that contraception is an important moral issue but she makes this key distinction: It does not kill human life, which abortion does. In the area of contraception, the church is seeking conscience protections but not seeking to make it illegal or unavailable.
She pointed out that much of the rhetoric by prochoice advocates is a way to deflect attention from the truth.
`People don't lie about you or your arguments if they have good arguments themselves.' Well said, Mrs. Alvare.
Look, what I see here is a veiled attack, marginalizing and demonizing born-again, charismatic, evangelical, protestant Christians in order to try and cripple, intimidate or to scare orthodox and traditional Jews, Serbian orthodox, Greek orthodox, Armenian orthodox, Russian orthodox, eastern orthodox, Greed orthodox and traditional loyal orthodox Roman Catholics. By hitting at these groups that they think in their little focus groups do not have the clout to fight back, they think they can accomplish a major objective and save about 20 seats that they are probably going to lose in the coming election 88 days from this very day.
I would say for the sanity and the comity and the well-being and the decency of debate and discourse in this Chamber, do not proceed with your battle plans, Task Force on Radical Right. Jim Moran was in the well right today when I used his name as having been at this 9-policemen-guarded opening meeting yesterday, chaired by Louise Slaughter. Do not do this.
I close, Madam Speaker and let my time clock run out on this: Intelligent, lovely black lady columnist Adrienne T. Washington that I read occasionally in the Washington Times, the headline of her article from this week, 3 days ago, August 9, caught my eye. It says ACLU Censors the Ten Commandments. I will start reading it and I will include it in the Record in its entirety:
For decades a 3-by-4-foot bronze plaque with a centuries-old message has blended into the brickwork of the Montgomery County Courthouse. It's been around so long it hangs virtually unnoticed.
But no longer.
The ACLU wants the plaque of the Ten Commandments taken down from its perch on the third floor of the Judicial Center in Rockville.
Is Moses next, the author of those commandments? I would guess so, in the long run. Do they not have more significant causes to champion?
Madam Speaker, you will find the rest of her article compelling reading.
Her last words are:
Those 10 commandments are a necessary reminder, something we can learn from, if not aspire to. It should stay right where it is as just one expression, one example, of what a whole lot of people believe it takes to truly live free in today's topsy-turvy world.
Madam Speaker, I include the Washington article for the Record, as follows:
Picking on the Ten Commandments
ACLU CENSORS THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
(By Adrienne T. Washington)
For decades a 3-by-4-foot bronze plaque with a centuries-old message has blended into the brickwork of the Montgomery County Courthouse. It's been around so long it hangs virtually unnoticed.
The American Civil Liberties Union wants the plaque of the Ten Commandments taken down from its perch on the third floor of the Judicial Center in Rockville, saying it violates the First Amendment separation of church and state.
Don't they have more significant causes to champion?
Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the Montgomery County chapter of the ACLU, told reporter Arlo Wagner of The Washington Times that the plaque should be removed `because the government should not be telling people to observe the Sabbath,' among other religious teachings.
How ludicrous. Mr. Spitzer is wrong. If ever there was a place to hang the Ten Commandments, it's in the so-called hallowed halls of blind justice. Here, humankind may welcome a little divine guidance along with a little divine intervention.
Most of the criminal codes and civil laws of Western civiliazation are based on the Judeo-Christian ethics espoused in the Ten Commandments. Besides, what about the other First Amendment rights that guarantee free speech and the right to religious freedom?
Wiping out any mention or symbol of religion or faith in all public places does not constitute religious freedom. This could be construed as religious censorship for some. Surely, the ACLU opposes censorship.
The Ten Commandments plaque was presented to the Montgomery officials by the Church Women of Montgomery County in 1940. Before the Judicial Center was built in 1981, the plaque hung outside Courtroom One in the District Court.
No doubt this plaque is like the hundreds of statues and monuments you walk by, drive by or stand by each day and never notice. Rather than take the Ten Commandments down, other religious and secular groups should be encouraged to place other placards that espouse their affirmations and thinking.
I fundamentally agree with the ACLU's position opposing adult-led prayer in public schools. It's too difficult to administer without offending someone.
But I firmly believe all students should learn about various world religions as part of their basic education. Just as they study history, geography and languages, people ought to know the difference between Hindus and Muslims, Christians and Jews, atheists and agnostics. Such information breeds religious tolerance. Lack of knowledge--like removing the Ten Commandments as though they don't exist--is what leads to more problems.
So why is Mr. Spitzer picking on the Ten Commandments?
Only three of the 10 tenets speak directly to God or religious practices. The rest speak to what should be appropriate behavior and interpersonal skills. And God knows we can't be remained enough about common courtesy and human decency.
The Commandments were engraved on stone tablets and given to Moses by God at Mount Sinai. They are the foundation of divine law in the Old Testament. They are also paramount, individually or collectively, in the ethical systems of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
And just is case your memory needs to be refreshed or you never learned the Commandments, let me give you the hit parade:
1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
3. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
5. Thou shalt not kill.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.
This is the fundamental moral code on which this country was founded, and to which the framers of the Constitution subscribed. I really don't think they thought the day would come that something as harmless as the Ten Commandments would be viewed as inappropriate to be seen in public building, especially a courthouse.
Montgomery County Attorney Joyce R. Stern unfortunately agrees with the ACLU's stance that the plaque, as presently displayed, does violate the Constitution. She ruled the plaque must be made part of a larger `historical display' to remain in the courthouse.
The Ten Commandments plaque is a necessary reminder, something we can learn from, if not aspire to. It should stay right where it is as just one expression, one example, of what a whole lot of people believe it takes to truly live free in today's topsy-turvy world.
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