Huffpost Politics
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Douglas Forbes Headshot

Respect Life? Gimme a Break.

Posted: Updated:

Call the doctor. This healthcare-cum-abortion debate is sickening.

If the historic dust-up proved one thing, it's that God handles the gavel for the United States government.

The First Amendment continues to wilt under weight of marriage equality antagonists. And now with the anti-abortion battle-call to reign in HR3200, it's painfully apparent just how little separation there is between church pews and congressional chambers.

The Hyde Amendment already bars federal funds from being used to pay for elective abortions. But that's simply not good enough for those feisty right-to-life folks. They demand the bill's anti-abortion language be crystal clear, crypt-tight and colossal in its fight to protect that beloved ball of amorphous, macrobiotic goo. Or as pro-lifers call it, a pre-schooler.

NPR acutely cited that Hyde is "an agreement between anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights lawmakers that is so delicate it could balance on a pin." Now if we can only turn that pin inward and pop this carnival balloon chock-full of bunk.

Protect life? Respect life? Gimme a break. The very people who prescribe life more than often also prescribe death. And like death row, healthcare -- or the dearth thereof -- continues to submit massive amounts of American citizens to a point of no return. Although in this case, their only crime is citizenship.

Maybe the best way to address this healthcare hot-mess is to explore the ever-bedeviled life-death continuum.

For instance, our pro-life pal, Sarah Palin. Sarah's a good ol' god-fearing gal who just loves to keep building upon that bundle of little babies. And wouldn't you know it, daughter Bristol loves to oblige, even at the ripe old age of 17. (Think Obama would've even been a political consideration were his daughter 17 and knocked up?)

OK. So what if the tables turned? Let's say Sarah's reality TV vis-à-vis Fox News programming vis-à-vis pseudo-political career tanks. (Safe to say stranger things have happened.) Then husband, Todd, can't fish enough salmon out of the Nushugak. (That is happening.) And due to mom and dad's declining social capital, Hollywood closes the door on Bristol, the aspiring thespian who's mustered but one teeny acting turn on ABC's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. (Gonna happen.)

Soon enough, the Palin well would dry up. Mom and Dad might have to move their family from the (built-for-free-in-exchange-for-government-contracts) sprawling lake house to a tiny tract home on the North Slope near the source point of Sarah's beloved Trans Alaska Pipeline. Who knows? They might even have to slaughter wildlife to keep the family fed instead of just for the pure fun of it.

If you think this is the stuff of pure fiction, think again. Happens every day. The dark shadows of under-employment and over-inflation consume families of ALL ilk. Having worked at a nonprofit that afforded outreach for America's chilling number of homeless families, I witnessed the plight of this sinking ship firsthand. The once wanted become perpetually unwanted. Pawns become casualties of kings and queens.

Should the Palins suffer such a spiral, God forbid any one of them suffer frostbite or some crippling illness. Free healthcare would suck. It's just not pro-life enough.

The healthcare debacle provides a platform for holier-than-thou preaching the likes we haven't seen in some time. How is it that something like the on-again off-again political love affair between pro-lifer Reps Michele Bachmann (Republican, MN) and Bart Stupak (Democrat, MI) became more important fodder than rate breaks for small businesses or coverage for pre-existing conditions?

And just why does the debate slate abortion as tantamount to fiscal and social accountability? God knows. And that's not meant idiomatically. According to our Democrat and Republican pro-life politicos, only God actually knows, literally.

Well here's what we do know. Palin's Alaska is the rape capital of America. By a wide margin. Though one would NEVER wish this upon any soul on the planet -- if her own daughter were to tragically suffer such monstrous violence and become pregnant and diseased as a consequence, would the Hyde abortion funding amendment in HR3200 still be up for such debate?

And how's this for further irony? While God continues to consummate the halls of Congress over heavenly healthcare language, piles of priests were being caught with their pants down, AGAIN. Surprise, surprise.

Granted these priests were practicing their Tickle-Me-Elmo routines in Germany, but their band of evil brothers has certainly staked its own claim here in the States.

Oh, those poor pious souls who manhandle God's little munchkins. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," say the Catholic Bishops. In fact, the sexual abuse committed by their priests is "a general social problem, traceable not to the church but to the sexualization of society, to the zeitgeist, to the sins of the 60's generation."

So, while the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops lobbies Capitol Hill to fight for the protections of the unborn, their white collared soldiers fight to suppress the rape and brutality inflicted upon those not long removed from the womb.

Over 11,000 cases of priestly violence against youth have been reported over the last five decades alone. (And who knows how many tens of thousands of cases still reside in tortured minds with tied up tongues.) That's at least 200 cases of ungodly molestation every year for fifty years - from one institution! Could you imagine if executives at an institution like AIG inflicted such evil upon that many souls? Our government would never let them off the hook. Bad example.

Furthermore, Bishops have the balls to recently declare, "Unborn children remain the persons whose lives are most at risk in America." Oh really? What about the 62% of Americans whose medical problems led to personal bankruptcy, according to a recent Harvard research study. Better yet, what about the bubbly little boys who attend C.C.D. classes with Father Fondle?

Listen, everyone has a right to practice what they believe and as they see fit. But this ain't fit practicing, folks. Apostolic succession does not grant legislative appropriation nor does it exist above and beyond retribution.

Though 25% of Americans are self-identified Catholics, which translates into massive political and financial influence, this argument cannot and should not solely spotlight Catholicism. Religious practices across the board must not continue to morph into mandates for public policy. And everyone from Obama on down should rock that boat.

"This is a health bill, not a bill addressing abortion as an issue," said pro-choice Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison). Nice try, but not true. The House voted 219-212 for HR3200 to move on to the signing desk of our President. If Mr. Stupak and his gang of five weren't given the royal abortion treatment, Mr. Obama would be counting down the days to early retirement and the American public would be holed up in their cubbies afraid to go outside for fear of catching the common cold.

God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.