"Saltwater Baptism," by Jared Callahan and Russell Sheaffer: The Awful Rowing Toward God for Two Gay Latino Evangelical Youth
18 October 2017 | 10:58 am

A painful journey to self-acceptance, and to the understanding that God calls us to love and accept ourselves as we have been created — a journey undertaken within a Latino wing of evangelical Christianity in the U.S. today . . . .

(The phrase "awful rowing toward God" is from Anne Sexton.)

"Today He's Blowing Up Obamacare. Tomorrow, Maybe, the World" & "Memorize the Faces of the Smiling Scum Surrounding the Filth in Chief": Will Bishop Peter Jugis Address This Scandal?
13 October 2017 | 1:59 pm


Under cover of darkness last night, after he signed his executive order gutting the Affordable Care Act, the moral monstrosity that "pro-life" white Christians put into the White House then turned the switch on billions of dollars subsidizing the healthcare coverage of the poorest citizens in the country — who had just gotten healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Here's Paul Krugman commenting in a Twitter thread about this act of cruel savagery:




And as Jonathan Payne tweets in response to Krugman,


One of those laughing and applauding the moral monstrosity's decision to attack the vulnerable was — I repeat — North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, who is standing next to the moral monstrosity and is wearing an aqua blue jacket in the photos above. Virginia Foxx is Catholic, and an outspoken defender of pro-life values.

Catholic magisterial teaching — pro-life teaching — states that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege: Pope John XXIII began his encyclical Pacem in Terris by listing human rights that, as he notes, pertain to the right to life: these include "food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest and finally the necessary social services" (Pacem in Terris, ❡11).

In his encyclical Centesimus Annus surveying the rights of workers, Pope John Paul II lists the right to healthcare coverage alongside the right to social security, pensions, and compensation when one is injured while working (Centesiumus Annus, ❡15). 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 

Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance (❡2288).

On 14 August, in a sworn deposition, Virginia Foxx's bishop, Bishop Peter Jugis of the Charlotte diocese, stated that Catholics who give public "scandal" by publicly defying Catholic teaching must be rebuked publicly by their bishop (and, in the case of gay employees of Catholic institutions, fired) — because, if the bishop does not publicly rebuke public statements of disagreement with official Catholic teaching by Catholics making those statements in public, people may be led astray, causing "scandal." Bishop Jugis' desposition defines scandal as a situation

where some behavior or action which is wrong offends an innocent person such that they would be led astray into thinking, if there was no response from some person in authority, that this activity was acceptable.

I am deeply offended by Congresswoman Foxx's jubilation at the eminently anti-life action of removing healthcare coverage from millions of people on the margins of society. I am also deeply offended by her vote within hours following the executive attack on healthare coverage for those on the margins of society against aid for the people of Puerto Rico, who are in dire need of food, potable water, electricity, shelter, and many other basic necessities to keep themselves alive following a horrendous disaster.

Neither of these actions in any shape, form, or fashion supports Catholic pro-life teaching.

Will Bishop Jugis speak out about how Ms. Foxx is representing Catholic teaching and values in the public square, lest people be scandalized by her actions, and lest silence on the part of the bishop of her diocese lead us to think her behavior is acceptable? 

Trump Eviscerates Obamacare by Executive Action, "Pro-Life" North Carolina Catholic Virginia Foxx, a Member of Bishop Peter Jugis' Flock, Exults
12 October 2017 | 7:32 pm

Charles Pierce on the executive action taken today by the man "pro-life" white Christians placed in the White House, to undermine healthcare coverage of millions of Americans in need of coverage:

The sheer meanness of the calculations behind the effort to deprive millions of people of their health insurance, including the millions of people who found relief from this nightmare only in the past eight years, is hard for the decent mind to comprehend. On Thursday, the president* signed an order guaranteed to corrupt health insurance marketplaces all across the country, and that corruption will not be an unintended consequence. It will be a deliberate act of vandalism, like cutting a gas line into a house and waiting for the explosion that inevitably will occur. 
Trump and that pack o'bastards applauding him are the perps, giggling and sweating into their palms across the street, waiting for the detonation that will shatter so many lives.

And there, prominently displayed in the Getty photo accompanying Pierce's article, laughing and applauding beside the president, is North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx. 

There is North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx — I repeat — laughing and applauding. She's laughing and applauding an action to snatch much-needed healthcare coverage from millions of needy citizens.

There laughing and applauding is pro-life Catholic Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, a member of the diocese of Bishop Peter Jugis, who has just stated that Catholics who publicly disagree with "fundamental moral tenets" of the Catholic magisterium — like, say, the fundamental moral tenet that every human being has a right to basic healthcare coverage, and that pro-life principles require us to defend healthcare coverage for all — should be punished. Bishop Jugis has just stated that bishops have an obligation to speak out when members of their flock publicly contravene fundamental moral tenets taught by the Catholic magisterium, lest the rest of their flock be led astray.

"Pro-life" Catholic Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, a member of Bishop Jugis' flock, is publicly jubilant about an act that could not more fundamentally contravene pro-life teachings of the Catholic church.

Will Bishop Jugis publicly censure this member of his flock now?

I think we all know the answer to this question — and I think we all know who Bishop Jugis means when he speaks of those who publicly contravene Catholic teaching and should be publicly censured by bishops.

Later: By the way, "pro-life" Catholic Congresswoman Virginia Foxx of Bishop Peter Jugis' Charlotte diocese went from her photo-op session with the moral vacuity occuping the White House, where she applauded his executive order to try to rip healthcare coverage from millions of citizens, to vote no on aid to Puerto Rico.

Will Bishop Jugis make a public statement about her public defiance of core pro-life Catholic moral principles? Since he has just said this is his duty as a bishop — when gay employees of Catholic institutions come out of the closet, of course . . . .

But in the case of Virginia Foxx and her defiance of core Catholic moral principles (feed the hungry; shelter the homeless; tend to the sick; succor the dying, etc.) . . . .

(As I have noted, the photo is a Getty photo that was published with Charles Pierce's article.)

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