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March 17, 2009

Naumann and Sebelius

Did anyone else notice a glaring “life issue” omission in Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann’s “As I see it” column? (3/15, Opinion, “Why Gov. Sebelius should refrain from communion”) Nowhere in the entire piece is a mention of the death penalty, which is curious since the Kansas Senate has recently explored abolishing this practice.
It does not appear that Naumann subscribes to the Catholic “seamless garment” theory, a consistent life ethic approach. No, Naumann here addresses only abortion, human embryo experimentation and euthanasia.
What do these life issues have in common that preclude including the death penalty? Ah yes, they are all Republican positions! Let’s not be fooled about the timing of Naumann’s concern for the soul of Kathleen Sebelius and those she is purportedly leading astray. This is all about attempting to prevent the Democratic governor from being confirmed as the nation’s Health and Human Services Secretary.
Archbishop Naumann, if you continue to blur the line separating church and state, at least try to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy and address all life-affirming stances.
Barb Domke
Kansas City

Reporter Dave Helling (3/14, A-1, “Bishops defend criticism of Sebelius”) provides a well balanced article, but perhaps some clarification is in order.
Firstly, it is the duty of the Church to point out when public policy is immoral. In the case of abortion, i.e. the killing of pre-born children, it is not difficult to discern the truth.
Secondly, Archbishop Naumann’s urging Gov. Sebelius not to receive communion is loving, pastoral advice to avert possibly serious harm to her soul. St. Paul in his letter 1 Corinthians 11:27 admonishes, “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup in an unworthy manner (i.e. while in direct conflict with Church teaching) is guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.”
Jerry Fournier
Kansas City

Archbishop Naumann indicates that Catholics “may and do” disagree over issues such as war and capital punishment. While that’s definitely true, Catholic laity seem to disagree on everything but who’s pope.
Vice President Biden finds himself in the highest political office that any practicing Catholic has obtained in the United States since John F. Kennedy beat Nixon nearly 50 years ago. While practice makes perfect, it doesn’t always work that way when it comes to Catholic politicians and often humanity in general.
The question I pose to Naumann is how come the Republicans tried for years to restrict abortion, but it’s still completely legal and cheap (monetarily speaking)? I know Republicans are anti-tax, but surely proposing an abortion tax might make a statement. One might say that pro-life Republican politicians are laughably ineffective. Others might say that they’re just taking advantage of a bunch of mostly decent-minded pro-life voters.
Curt Friehs

Catholics have many better “teachers” than Bishops Finn and Naumann — among them Pope Benedict XVI, who taught that a Catholic can vote for a pro-choice candidate if that vote is not cast precisely because the candidate is pro-choice and if there is a good (proportionate) reason for doing so.
Benedict is a scholar and a theologian who is not likely to give guidance like that if it refers to a ridiculous position like that of these two bishops that nothing can be “proportionate” to 45 million abortions, implying that anyone who votes for a pro-choice politician is responsible for 45 million “murders.”
Voting is a practical act with practical consequences. Most candidates for office are extremely unlikely to affect the abortion laws of the nation. But presidents, members of Congress, governors and legislators do decide issues of war and peace, health care, economic justice and care for the environment, each one of which is overwhelmingly more consequential (and therefore more “proportionate”) than a candidate’s stated position on the legality of abortion.
Albert de Zutter
Kansas City



Another glowing British health care story: “The British government apologised Wednesday after a damning official report into a hospital likened by one patient's relative to "a Third World" health centre.
Stafford Hospital in central England was found to have appalling standards of care, putting patients at risk and leading to some dying, according to a report on Tuesday.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected in a three-year period at the National Health Service (NHS) hospital, according to an investigation by the Healthcare Commission watchdog.” http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.09affc88c9815310300a92378aed0564.2f1&show_article=1

Mark Robertson

Oh, the tired old "conservatives have only one book on their bookshelf" ploy.
Some of the other books on my bookshelf that point out the catastrophe of socialized medicine are: Miracle Cure: How to Solve America's Health Care Crisis and Why Canada isn't the Answer, by Sally Pipes- The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care, By Dr. David Gratzer-Why We Spend So Much on Health Care, by Bast, Rue, and Westbury-and American Health Care from the Independent Institute, and Code Blue by Dr. Edward Annis.
I haven't read Sally Pipes new book yet,The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care, but have heard it talked about and excerpts from it. It also explains the disaster of socialized medicine.
One again, socialized health care is a proven catastrophe. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson


"Name just one" would work if you're talking about "spends as much."

Yes, it would. According to the WHO, the US is #1 in health expenditures per capita (in international dollars).

Also of note is that the US is #1 in responsiveness of care.

Here's the breakdown of US statistics:

Life Expectancy (DALE model): #24 (70.0 yrs)

Responsiveness of Health Care: #1

Care Expenditures Per Capita: #1

And for comparison, the "hated" United Kingdom statistics:

Life Expectancy (DALE Model): #14 (71.7 yrs)

Responsiveness of Health Care: #26

Care Expenditures Per Capita: #26

Pub 17

Actually, I meant the post right before the post that just crossed, but that last one is AWESOME. Can you explain to me, or at least to my departing back, how it is that one of those eternally desperate socialist states (Red China) is in such horrifyingly bad economic shape that the U.S. has to rely on it to fund our wars?


Didn't think so. Let the cat out before you go, El Marko.

Pub 17

Yeah, Mark, that last post indicates you really should move from under that high-tension line. I'm right, should listen to myself more: trying to communicate with you is like trying to communicate with my second-best pair of running shoes. Thanks, Pub, I'm glad you finally realized that. You're welcome, Pub, let's go over to Westport and I'll stand you for an early beer. Great idea, Pub.

Mark Robertson

By the way, the financial situation in virtually all the socialized systems is desperate, as is always the case with socialism. The high costs with U.S. health care are mostly the result of government involvement and private third party payments distorting prices
The U.S. and other world systems need to get back to direct pay with health savings acounts. The current system is not health insurance, it is health coverage.
Health insurance should just cover catastrophic medical costs and some other high costs. Private charity is the way to help the poor. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson

Pub 17

Mark Robertson--
I don't have all afternoon to spend on this, but in less than five minutes I find that the overall U.S. mortality rate in 2005 from cancer was 225 per 100,000 population. The overall U.K. mortality rate in 2006 from cancer was 214 per 100,000. The overall U.S. mortality rate from cancer has been dropping since it peaked around 1995, primarily from a collapse in lung cancer mortality. The overall rate in the U.K. has been dropping FOR THIRTY YEARS.

Educate yourself before you post. In particular, realize that reading one right-wing book on a subject doesn't give you an objective view.

Why am I wasting my time with this schlub? why why why

Mark Robertson

Let's see now. it's ok to vote for a politician who favors terrorism and slavery if they also favor the failed welfare state and always failed socialized medicine. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

The Catholic Dioceses of Kansas City-St.Joseph and Kansas City Kansas have been blessed with great bishops in Bishop Finn and Archbishop Naumann.
Both have been strong and courageous spokesmen for life, and Archbishop Naumann is properly doing his pastoral duty in compliance with the Canon Law of the Catholic Church(Canon 915)in his dealings with Governor Sebelius.
It's obvious that strong bishops such as Finn and Naumann rile and panic the National "Catholic" Reporter(An embarrassment to K.C. Catholics for being headquartered here.) wing that de Zutter is a part of. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson

Pub 17

Yeah, "and" instead of "either." Actually on rechecking there's a table of CIA [!!!] estimates that show the U.S. higher than the U.K., the Netherlands, and a few more EU countries.

However, expenditure is ours and ours alone. There's nobody but Luxembourg in even the same weight class. "Name just one" would work iff you're talking about "spends as much."

Also, it's interesting to see what's happened to Russia's system since the USSR collapsed. It's apparently turned to poop, despite the government throwing bags of money at it. I don't know where THAT would go on the scale--socialized system that goes kind-of free-market then returns to more socialized, and still continues to tank.

Mark Robertson

Suggested Reading: "Lives at Risk, Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around the World," by Goodman, Musgrave, and Herrick.
It details how government health care costs lives.
For example, cancer deaths are significantly higher in socialized systems than in the U.S. In the United Kingdom and New Zealand nearly half of all women diagnosed with breast cancer die from the disease. It's one in three in Germany and France. In the U.S. it's one in four.
In the U.S. slightly less than one in five men die of prostate cancer. In the United Kingdom it's 57 percent, France 49 percent, Germany 44 percent, New Zealand 30 percent, and Canada 25 percent. (Source for breast and prostate cancer: Gerald F. Anderson and Peter Hussey, "Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data," Commonwealth Fund, Oct.2000)
Overall the annual rate of cancer deaths is 70 percent higher in the United Kingdom than in the U.S. A WHO study found that 25,000 people die each year because they are denied the highest quality of cancer care.(Karol Sikora, "Cancer Survival in Britain," British Medical Journal, Aug 21, 1999, pp. 461-462.)
In Canada the average waiting time form referral to treatment is over 4 months and it has been getting worse each year.(Fraser Institute)
I'm sure you'll find something wrong with facts though. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson

Pub 17

"Nationalized health care is a catastrophe wherever it is tried."

Now, Mark Robertson, are you lying when you say that? Because if you're lying about something that simple to check, there's really no reason to believe anything else you say, is there?

Can you name a country in the European Union, in Canada, Australia, Japan, or New Zealand, that have nationalized health care that have lower life expectancies and higher health care costs than the United States?

Or do you have any other definition of "catastrophe" that would permit you to make that statement and not be lying when you did?



I couldn't resist. Denmark is an industrialized country with universal health care that has a lower life expectancy than the US (according to the WHO).

It doesn't really affect the notion that US life expectancy is relatively low in relation to other countries that spend a similar amount for health care, but does illustrate the fallacy of "absolute" arguments, and talking points like "name just one...".

Mark Robertson

So elected officials don't have much effect on abortion? President Obama has reversed the Mexico City policy, originally brought about by President Reagan. It was reversed by President Clinton. President Bush brought it back, and now President Obama has again repealed it.
The Mexico City policy stops U.S. taxpayer dollars from funding worldwide "family planning" (abortion) oraganizations.
Obama has also reversed President Bush's order on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Research that has been a total failure.
Embryonic stem cell research is not even needed, even if it had been proven successful. Such stem cells can now be replicated from skin cells. It's all about politics with Obama.
Plus President Bush's order caused money to shift to adult stem cell research, which has been very successful.
President Bush also signed the partial birth abortion ban, something Obama obvioulsy would never do.
It is such a lie to say that elected officials don't have much of an effect on abortion and other destruction of life.

Mark Robertson

Pub 17

Mark Robertson, welcome back!

And here's one golden chance to prove that maybe you're not the fuzzywishwash your post suggests you are!

Name one country (in the industrialized world, please) where socialized medicine has resulted in EITHER shorter lives than the "free market" system in the U.S., or in higher costs.

Just one.

Mark Robertson

Besides being wrong(lying)on the Pope Benedict's stance on voting for pro-abortion candidates, Albert de Zutter,(Thank God he is not able to terrorize Catholics anymore from his former editor post at the Catholic Key.)plays the usual leftist misdirection play by implying that Democrat stances on various issues such as national defense, poverty, health care, and my personal favorite, the environment, are Catholic stances and/or the right stances.
The Democrat welfare state has been a catastrophe. Nationalized health care is a catastrophe wherever it is tried. Most of those systems are turning towards free market solutions. In case anyone hasn't noticed, Iraq is now an amazing success. And virtually all of us want a clean environment, but the claim that man has created harmful global warming is a total hoax.
The Democrat welfare state has greatly harmed the poor. The best anti-poverty program is a strong economy.
It's also pathetic that de Zutter puts quotes around "murders." The Catholic left panics when truth is spoken. It hurts their agenda. They just hate it when abortion is called murder, as Catholic teaching has taught since the first century.
When then Cardinal Ratzinger made his "proportionate" statement on voting, he was talking about how Catholics should vote if both candidates were pro-abortion.
Catholics should vote for the lesser of two evils. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson


"Teddy (the swimmer) Kennedy"???

I had my suspicions that Kee is just another name for BuddyT, but that pretty much nails it down for me.

Pub 17

Actually he DIDN'T forbid her to receive communion--literally, to ex-communicate her. He said she did not deserve to receive communion. Radically, radically different position, and very clever on Naumann's part, since he probably knew he'd catch holy hell from the Holy See trying an excommunication.

And what I said is exactly correct. Whether by formal excommunication or by intimidation, if the clergy wants to limit Catholics to expositing Church policy, a Catholic who wants to be elected to national office can only choose not to be elected, since only a minority of voters agree with Church policy on abortion, or not speak to the issue (i.e, lie by omission).


What's the big deal here?

If you want to be a member of the club "in good standing", then you have to play by their rules. If you don't want to follow their rules, then don't expect to be welcomed in the club.

Fortunately, holding political office in this country doesn't require that you be a member of their club, so really, the only thing you have to complain about is that you may have lost the ability to tout your membership in their club during the next election cycle.


You may be onto something 17 given that San Fran Nan Pelosi, Teddy (the swimmer) Kennedy, etc. are Catholic........

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