UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from Free Canuckistan! Did you know that Binks is a web elf? It’s true!
UPDATE: Welcome visitors from 4Simpsons blog! Thanks for the link, Neil!
Here’s the purpose of the amendment:
To protect the freedom of conscience for patients and the right of health care providers to serve patients without violating their moral and religious convictions.
And here’s the roll call.
Senate Democrats voted down the Coburn Amendment #828 tonight.
The vote was 41 to 56 against the amendment.
Senators Snowe, Collins and Specter voted with democrats on the amendment.
The description of the amendment is up at Coburn’s blog.
This amendment ensures that the funds made available through the budget’s health care reserve fund will not be used to violate the conscience of health care providers or to allow government bureaucrats to make health care choices for patients, including which doctors they may see.
But the Democrats are not the only ones who disagree with the right to conscience. Commenter ECM sent me this story from the Anchoress on abortion. Rev. Ragsdale, the new Dean of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts has a peculiar belief about the place of abortion in Christianity. The Anchoress cites a sermon on her blog in which she states her views plainly.
Here is Rev. Ragsdale on abortion:
…when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.
These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.
I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.
And in a different place, Rev. Ragsdale writes about medical personnel who refuse to perform abortions due to conscience:
Let me say a bit more about that, because the religious community has long been an advocate of taking principled stands of conscience – even when such stands require civil disobedience. We’ve supported conscientious objectors, the Underground Railroad, freedom riders, sanctuary seekers, and anti-apartheid protestors. We support people who put their freedom and safety at risk for principles they believe in.
But let’s be clear, there’s a world of difference between those who engage in such civil disobedience, and pay the price, and doctors and pharmacists who insist that the rest of the world reorder itself to protect their consciences – that others pay the price for their principles.
This isn’t particularly complicated. If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military or become a police officer. If you have qualms about animal experimentation, think hard before choosing to go into medical research. And, if you’re not prepared to provide the full range of reproductive health care (or prescriptions) to any woman who needs it then don’t go into obstetrics and gynecology, or internal or emergency medicine, or pharmacology. Choose another field! We’ll respect your consciences when you begin to take responsibility for them.”
Laura at Pursuing Holiness explains how to get the sermon here since it was quickly deleted by Rev. Ragsdale:
… Ms. Ragsdale deleted the sermon, but on the intarweb things have a zombie-like way of coming back to get you. Cached copy is here. And for posterity, here’s a PDF of the cached page with Our Work Is Not Done.
Laura goes on to make these admirable comments:
Yes. I am so sick of this postmodern “what’s true for you” mindset that prevents people from calling out evil in the name of tolerance. Aside from “Katie Rags” blessed sacrament of abortion, though, obviously the American church continues to weaken. We’re so seeker-sensitive, tolerant and multi-culti we scarcely bother to defend it. Success is too often defined by butts in the seats – an easy metric to quantify – not true discipleship, which is less metric and more “I know it when I see it.”
I agree with you, Laura! And I’d go further. My readers already know what I think about the feminized church, its anti-intellectualism, and its refusal to engage. I also wrote about how to talk about your faith with others, even in the workplace. Please check out my index of posts on Christianity for more on how to defend your Christian beliefs in the public square.