Obama's Dawn Johnsen Appointment
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Dawn Johnsen is President Obama’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It’s arguably the most important office at DoJ. OLC sets policy for the entire federal government.
When not serving in government, Dawn Johnsen has spent her career promoting abortion-on-demand. She denies there is even such a thing as Partial-Birth Abortion. Even the term, she maintains, is “intentionally provocative.” She does not think that “progressives”—that’s PC-speak for liberal—should suggest that abortion is ever a tragedy.
Not for Dawn Johnsen Bill Clinton’s slippery formulation: “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” Dismiss for the moment that Bill and Hillary Clinton did everything they could in their eight years to promote abortion world-wide. The only places they made abortion rare were on the Moon and in Antarctica.
Even the Clintons’ basic premise was flawed. If abortion is “a fundamental constitutional right,” as they said in every official document, then why should it be rare? Is there any other fundamental constitutional right we want to be rare?
Hillary once said abortion is “wrong.” (Newsweek, 31 October 1994). Only once. But she pressed governments around the world to legalize it. That’s an odd way to deal with something you think is wrong.
Dawn Johnsen doesn’t think abortion is wrong at all. She is all for it. She drafted the five lethal Executive Orders that Bill Clinton signed within hours of taking the oath as President to promote easier access to abortion. Clinton struck down Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Doctrine, allowing U.S. funds to go to Planned Parenthood and the UN Fund for Population. This order sluiced money to abortionists worldwide and even, as in China, to those who force women to have abortions.
Bill Clinton struck down Reagan’s order to Planned Parenthood to separate their so-called family planning activities from their abortion facilities. Under Bill Clinton—and up until the current day—teens can take devices and pills out one door and, when these fail, they are hustled back into the revolving door to the abortion center.
Johnsen goes much further in her pro-abortion militancy than even the Clintons, than even President Obama. She worked for years to strip the Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status. Why? Because the Catholic Church has never wavered in its outspoken defense of unborn children. Dawn Johnsen was part of the Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM ) that fought a legal battle for eight years in the courts.
ARM’s assault on religious liberty and free speech was the brainchild of Lawrence Lader, the co-founder of NARAL, for whom Johnsen also worked. Lader said “abortion is central to everything in life and how we want to live it.” Johnsen’s record puts her very much in that camp. She has even likened pregnancy to slavery.
The Catholic Church would not be the only target if Johnsen is confirmed. Many Protestant churches and associations take pro-life stances. These include the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). All of these church bodies could find themselves in the cross-hairs if Dawn Johnsen is confirmed.
We are very close to seeing a nationalized Health Care bill pass through Congress and sent to President Obama for signature. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) has signaled us that the final bill that is being “ping-ponged” back and forth between Speaker Pelosi’s office and Sen. Harry Reid’s will likely include federal funding for abortion-on-demand. That’s bad enough. But we can see that if churches object to funding for killing the unborn, they could be targeted by Dawn Johnsen at the Office of Legal Counsel.
Chief Justice John Marshall famously said in McCullough v. Maryland that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” That’s what Dawn Johnsen tried to do for eight years to the Catholic Church in America. That’s what she could do to your church if she is confirmed by the Senate.
Fear of losing their tax-exempt status has for too long kept Christian pastors from speaking out on the grave moral issues of the day. It shouldn’t be, but it is so.
Because of Dawn Johnsen’s pro-abortion extremism, because she has sought to impose a “chilling effect” on religious free speech, because she has tried to destroy churches, this ACLU lawyer should be rejected by the U.S. Senate.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Among the interesting arguments in last week's 5-4 Supreme Court decision granting corporations First Amendment protections when making campaign contributions was the majority's decision to effectively treat corporations as persons.
Liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who disagrees with the ruling, wrote, "...the majority acted as if there could be no constitutional distinction between a corporation and a human being."
The ruling came the week of the annual March for Life, which draws thousands to Washington to mark that same court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The march has become not so much a protest as an affirmation of the value of all human life. What makes the ruling and the march ironic is that the 1973 court, in essence, downgraded a human fetus to the level of nonperson, while the modern court has invested "personhood" in corporations. Does anyone else see a contradiction or at least a moral inconsistency in these two rulings?
There is evidence that all the marches and the pro-life pregnancy centers are working. There have been roughly 50 million abortions in the United States since 1973. Opinion polls reveal a public increasingly concerned about the unrestricted disposal of human life and the potential contributions those lives could make to America and to humanity.
The shift in opinion is especially notable among the young. The Marist Institute for Public Opinion, a Catholic organization associated with the Knights of Columbus, has published a survey that shows "Millennials" -- those 18 to 29 -- are increasingly pro-life. Fifty-eight percent of them said they believed that abortion is "morally wrong." They are joined in their view by six out of 10 of those 65 and over. According to the survey, only 51 percent of Baby Boomers -- the "free love" generation -- consider abortion morally wrong.
A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey released in October 2009 found that 45 percent of all Americans oppose abortion in most or all cases, up 4 percent from last year. David N. O'Steen, executive director of National Right to Life Committee commented, "These results are unsurprising and track with earlier polling, including Gallup, and, most recently, a poll conducted by Rasmussen indicating that the majority of Americans are opposed to funding abortions in the health care bill." Still, pro-choice Democrats have kept pushing for federal funding of abortion, which is one of several reasons the bill has stalled in Congress.
The youth movement among pro-lifers has not gone unnoticed, even at newspapers whose editorials have been consistently pro-choice. Robert McCartney, a columnist for The Washington Post's Metro section, wrote this confessional: "I went to the March for Life rally Friday on the Mall expecting to write about its irrelevance. Isn't it quaint, I thought, that these abortion protestors show up each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, even though the decision still stands after 37 years. What's more, with a Democrat in the White House likely to appoint justices who support abortion rights, surely the Supreme Court isn't going to overturn Roe in the foreseeable future.
"How wrong I was."
The number of young people, which McCartney estimated made up more than half the crowd, got his attention. He believes the movement is "gaining strength." So do I. Thousands of pregnancy centers, many of which now offer high-resolution sonograms, not around in 1973, along with the unwavering commitment of pro-lifers, is wearing down the opposition and winning a new generation to their point of view.
While senator-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts is not totally pro-life, his election has slowed, perhaps halted, health care bills that might well have resulted in federal payments for abortion. Add to this the elections of Republican governors in Virginia and New Jersey and the optimism gripping the Republican Party and the conservative movement, which seemed to have evaporated a year ago with the inauguration of Barack Obama, and one could hopefully speculate that a Supreme Court, which now sees corporations as persons, might again recognize the personhood of babies in the womb.