Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why we should defund Planned Parenthood

My home town, Perkasie, is a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Two weekends ago, Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, and during his visit I was fortunate enough to have had a "secret" meeting with him.  It did not last long, minutes at best.  While disappointed with the title of my recent literary work, An Atheist for Christ, he was pleased with the meaning of the work, and encouraged me to continue interpreting the teachings of Christ in light of present day issues.  I left with his traditional blessing, a lightness of heart, and a firmer belief both in the power of the message of love and the goodness of humanity.

In light of this encouragement, and after listening to and following the meetings on Capitol Hill regarding the funding of Planned Parenthood, it is clear to me that we must not provide any more federal money for this group.  Yes, clearly, the amount of taxpayer money flowing to this organization is only 1/100 of 1% of the total federal budget ($300 million out of $3 trillion, if I did the math correctly).  And, despite its detractors claims, we know that the vast majority of the services Planned Parenthood provides are in the areas of testing (for diseases), preventive exams (like mammograms) and contraception.  It is even illegal for any of the federal money given to Planned Parenthood to be used for abortions (thanks to the Hyde Amendment), although we all know that is just numbers on paper and surely some of it goes to fund abortion, even if it is only one or two percent.  The fact that people with money will always be able to get abortions while those in the lower income brackets depend on organizations like Planned Parenthood for this medical procedure, may seem a bit hypocritical but is not the point.   

Despite these facts, and the final fact that it is organizations like Planned Parenthood that operate beyond the hypocrisy of those who deplore abortion while also working tirelessly to condemn birth control and demonize contraception, I still believe we should defund Planned Parenthood, simply because an abortion ends a life.  Sure, data suggests that over 50% of abortions are performed in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy when the fetus is a small group of cells, and roughly 90% before 12 weeks when that baby bump first develops.  And, that late term abortions (those occurring after 24 weeks) account for about 1% of abortions, and are almost exclusively performed when the mother's life is in danger.  Still, all abortions take a life, and tax payer money, especially the tax payer money of a Christian country should not be spent to kill a person, or potential person.

Whew, that was cathartic.

So, now that we have established a policy of not providing money for organizations that participate in the taking of life, where else can we apply that money saving and life affirming tool.

A little research indicates that only 19 of the 50 states have abolished the death penalty.  That means that we can stop funding 31 of the states with federal tax money.  Sure, they might say that they use most of the money for roads and schools and such, but we all know that some of it is used to buy the drugs or electricity to kill another person, so no more money for those states.  There are some states that receive 3,4, even $5 in federal tax money for every dollar their citizens pay in federal tax.  We are talking billions of dollars here.  If those states want to continue to kill American citizens, let them pay for it on their own with no federal assistance.

But organizations providing abortions and states that kill their citizens are no match for the biggest American agency in terms of spending money to kill people; the department of defense.  While the Planned Parenthood committee meetings were all the rage last week, Congress approved funding in the amount of over $600 billion for this entity without so much as a peep as to why so much.  $600 billion is fully one out of every 5 dollars of the federal budget, and about one out of every 3 in discretionary spending.  In other words, we choose to allocate 33% of our tax money to an organization whose sole purpose is to plan, organize and execute the killing of other human beings.  Yes, I know, they claim it is for defense.  But, depending on whose data you believe, the United States military operates 800 overseas bases in 60+ different countries.  Now, when I consider home security, an alarm system, or a big dog, comes to mind. For some, perhaps a gun.  But I don't export my "defense", dog or gun.  Clearly then these bases qualify as staging areas for future conflicts so that the military can kill other people for less cost. 

And it doesn't end there.  That is just the overt or obvious cost.  What of the subterfuge, or secret funding that trains and deploys overseas agents to infiltrate and/or kill those we deem our enemies.  Or the funding we provide for other countries so they can kill other people.

Clearly then, we have come upon a solution for not only slashing the federal budget, reducing the tax burden on hard working American citizens, and releasing much needed federal dollars to improve our education system and infrastructure, but we have the perfect plan to proclaim to the world that the United States of America is a Christian nation and as such will no longer provide federal dollars for any activity that kills another human being.

Come on Joe, you might be saying.  There is a difference between killing an innocent blob of cells and a person who has committed horrible crimes or is an enemy of our country.  You are right, many of those on death row have perpetrated horrific crimes against other people.  But since the death penalty is recommended, granted and carried out at a higher percentage against people with lower economic status or darker skin color, one might argue against the fairness of its use.  And since collateral damage and death is routine in war, it is clear that our military efforts kill and displace just as many innocent people as real enemies. 

Still, just to make sure I am on the right path here, I checked the Ten Commandments.  I was surprised to find that there are a few different versions of this set of laws but all versions listed
"thou shalt not kill", which, if one takes literally, probably means DON'T kill.  I looked for but didn't see an asterisk that may have granted an exception for an unborn child, death row inmate or enemy of the state.

So, here we are then.  Pro-life.  Our choice is obvious.  Defund all groups, private or public, which engages in the taking of life.  Now if we can only find a candidate to reflect such a Christian viewpoint. 


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