Sunday, February 12, 2012

Somehow The Catholics, a Protestant and a Jew Find Their Voice on an Issue that Matters to Them!

What about a child's right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - once they are born?"


"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence and considered by some as part of one of the most well crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language. These three aspects are listed among the "unalienable rights" or sovereign rights of man. Also, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person." (Wikipedia)


United We Stand for Religious Freedom

ObamaCare's contraception mandate stands the First Amendment on its head.


Stories involving a Catholic, a Protestant and a Jew typically end with a punch line. We wish that were the case here, but what brings us together is no laughing matter: the threat now posed by government policy to that basic human freedom, religious liberty.

Last month the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Affordable Care Act requires employers to pay for insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraception. What made the announcement especially troubling is that HHS specifically declined to exempt religious institutions that serve those outside their own faiths, such as hospitals and schools.

Coverage of this story has almost invariably been framed as a conflict between the federal government and the Catholic bishops. Zeroing in on the word "contraception," many commentators have taken delight in pointing to surveys about the use of contraceptives among Catholics, the message being that any infringement of religious freedom involves an idiosyncratic position that doesn't affect that many people.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Catholic Church's teaching on contraception (not to mention abortion and surgical sterilization) has been clear, consistent and public. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's decision would force Catholic institutions either to violate the moral teachings of the Catholic Church or abandon the health-care, education and social services they provide the needy. This is intolerable.

And while most evangelicals take a more permissive view of contraception, they share with Catholics the moral conviction that the taking of human life in utero, whether surgically or by abortifacient drugs, violates the basic human right to life. Evangelical nonprofits such as Prison Fellowship would therefore also have to choose between violating their consciences or paying fines that would ultimately destroy their ability to help the people they are committed to helping.

Even worse than the financial impact is the breach of faith represented by Ms. Sebelius's decision. Her notion of an "appropriate balance" between religious freedom and "increasing access" to "important preventive services" stands the First Amendment on its head.

In 1790, George Washington exchanged letters with Moses Seixas, the warden of the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I. Seixas praised the newly formed United States for "affording to All liberty of conscience, and immunities of citizenship." People who knew all too well what it meant to be deprived of the "invaluable rights of free Citizens" held religious liberty and freedom of conscience most dear.

In reply, Washington wrote that U.S. citizens had a "right to applaud themselves" for setting an example of "an enlarged and liberal policy" that enshrined freedom of conscience. He added that the ability of members of one faith to seek the benefit of all Americans is the foundation of America's civic strength.

We see evidence of that strength all around us: If a working mother's child needs to visit the emergency room, there's a good chance the hospital is a Catholic one. If an ex-offender needs help readjusting to life outside of prison, there's a good chance help will come from a Christian ministry like Prison Fellowship.

Yet instead of encouraging the different faith communities to continue their vital work for the good of all, the Obama administration is forcing them to make a choice: serving God and their neighbors according to the dictates of their respective faiths—or bending the knee to the dictates of the state.

For Jews, George Washington's letter has always been cherished. It embodies the promise extended by America not only to them, but to all citizens. That is why many in the Jewish community are alarmed to see the very religious freedom Washington praised centuries ago endangered by Washington's successor. "May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land," Washington wrote, "continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants."

At this critical moment, Americans of every faith, as guardians of their own freedom, must, in the words of the First Amendment, "petition the government for the redress of grievances." That's why over the past two years more than 500,000 people have signed the "Manhattan Declaration" in defense of religious liberty. They believe, as do we, that under no circumstances should people of faith violate their consciences and discard their most cherished religious beliefs in order to comply with a gravely unjust law.

That's something that this Catholic, this Protestant and this Jew are in perfect agreement about.

Cardinal Wuerl is the archbishop of Washington, D.C. Mr. Colson is the founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Rabbi Soloveichik is director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and associate rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan.



Anonymous said...

Rav Belsky was rushed to Maimonides hospital this morning for emergency surgery. Please be mispallel for his recovery, bideieved.

bigstick1 said...

Why is it the institution needs to make the choices for the individual. Isn't the individual the one who should have access and control over how they would like to apply their faith to themselves. Maybe this is why religion is diminishing in this country and people are tiring of dictating controling manmade doctrines that inflict their dogma upon people. We are simply sick of the manmade doctrines influence and their loopholes on taxes and money aquistion. Then again their hypocrisy is astounding as the Catholic Church has big investments in birth control. Of course so many of us knows how religion of the Abrahmic faith was generated and the lies they have been told throughout history and that knowledge grows. Yahweh was after all a pagan god before he was the one. He was the beginning from the multiple of gods. Learn your history and you will see religion has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with control of the alleged weaker sex, hatred, division, racism, etc. It always depends on how you spin it and how you want to interpret it. Manmade demi-gods is all it is. But guess what now, the backward controlling types are out as the insurance companies will just cover this cost and it will be automatically applied. So there no more issue. It is back to allowing people to determine the course of how they decide religion should be applied to thier own lives without the organized hate mongering churches/organizations dictating that to them. As far as I am concerned, good riddenance to bad rubbish. It is about time Abrahmic religions die at least in this country.

By the way if everyone is in agreement why are people within the faiths using birth control, having abortions or getting sterilation procedures. Could it be that that statement is extremely over reaching? I think so.

Binyamin said...

Kind and compassionate friends:

A rabbinic mentor mine, who acted more like a father to me and is considered to be among the most prominent Orthodox rabbis in America, was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery this morning, Feb. 12.

Every prayer is precious to the Almighty. So are doing extra acts of kindness (no matter how small) in the merit of those who need Divine mercy.

No matter what your faith, PLEASE act on behalf of Yisroel ben (Hebrew for "son of") Chana Tzirel. Please forward this note and post it to social media.

The power of prayer is often spoken of. But those of us who truly believe in it, act on it.

The next 48 hours are critical.

May the One who is the True healer, bless you in kind for your kindness,

Binyamin L. Jolkovsky,
Editor in Chief,

VHR of Queens member said...

Over the weekend, R' Yisroel Belsky overdosed on viagra and was suffering serious side affects and had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital for some emergency procedure.

Anonymous said...


Stones supposedly taken from the Kotel in Jerusalem are being offered for sale on internet auction site eBay, as talismans for good luck and health.

Jewish people from the world over saw this as sacrilege and alerted Kotel Rabbi Rav Shmuel Rabinovich to the phenomenon.

In response, Rav Rabinovich wrote the site's owners and demanded that they stop allowing the sales. He explained that use of stones from the Kotel is sacrilegious and belongs to the most serious category of offenses in Judaism because it is forbidden by the Torah itself.

Besides, he noted, it is a violation of the Israeli Antiquities Law.

The Rabbi quoted the late Rav Moshe Feinstein who wrote (in Igrot Moshe) that anyone committing such an act is embezzling sacred heavenly items and transgressing very seriously. Furthermore, Rav Rabinovich explains, there is fraud involved, too, because Kotel stones do not possess power to heal and bless. On the contrary, the rabbi contended, they will confer a curse on whoever possesses them.

In his book on Halachot and Customs at the Kotel, Rav Rabinovich quotes Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein as telling a story of a woman who fell ill. Her husband heard that if he places a small stone from the Kotel under her head, she will regain her health. However, the moment he did so – she passed away.

Anonymous said...


Watch out for the punk Yosef Liebowitz who splits his time between the 5 Towns & Boca Raton. He keeps getting arrested for stuff like here for possession of a forged instrument.

UOJ gets results said...


Anonymous said...

NPGS supermarket in Lakewood in owned by Zeev Rothschild who Rabbi Yudel Shain accuses of kashrus fraud and mafia tactics.


The former Monsey fire commissioner who attempted to defraud taxpayers in a real estate scheme to pay off a six-figure personal debt was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months and one day in prison.

Nathan Rothschild, 54, the ex-fire district chairman and former president of the East Ramapo Board of Education, had sought probation after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud in the summer.

With about a dozen of Rothschild’s relatives and friends in the courtroom, Rothschild’s brother Zeev; his rabbi, Ephraim Pessin; and Monsey Fire Commissioner Jonathan Kaufman spoke for more than 30 minutes, citing Rothschild’s long history of civic and religious community service.

They asked Karas to consider Rothschild’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder and his health problems in the sentence. Rothschild entered and exited the courthouse by using a walker.

Outside the courtroom, Rothschild’s attorney, Michael Burnbaum, called the ruling fair.

He said he didn’t expect his client to appeal the sentence.

The sentencing began with an element of intrigue as Karas announced he had been notified Monday that Burnbaum was the subject of current Massachusetts State Bar proceedings. The probe, through which Burnbaum could potentially be disbarred, was sparked by a complaint filed against him in November in Massachusetts. Karas questioned Burnbaum about the proceedings and concluded that since he was still in good standing with the Massachusetts State Bar and the case was long over, there was no issue about his ability to counsel Rothschild. Rothschild, who said he had known of Burnbaum’s criminal conviction, said he chose to keep Burnbaum as his lawyer.