Archive for Open Society Institute

Aaron Klein ties George Soros to Arab Spring Uprising

Posted in Muslim Brotherhood, Occupy Wall Street, Soros with tags , , , , , , , on November 4, 2011 by saynsumthn

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Aaron Klein ties George Soros to Arab Spring Up…, posted with vodpod

Left Wing George Soros financing Occupy Protests with “Subversive activities”?

Posted in Bill Gates, Occupy Wall Street, Socialism, Soros with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by saynsumthn

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George Soros speaks about his “subversive actit…, posted with vodpod

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:09am EDT
(Reuters) – Anti-Wall Street protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer, but the group that started it all may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world’s richest men.

There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda.

Soros and the protesters deny any connection. But Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street. Moreover, Soros and the protesters share some ideological ground.

“I can understand their sentiment,” Soros told reporters last week at the United Nations about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, which are expected to spur solidarity marches globally on Saturday.

Pressed further for his views on the movement and the protesters, Soros refused to be drawn in. But conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh summed up the speculation when he told his listeners last week, “George Soros money is behind this.”

Soros, 81, is No. 7 on the Forbes 400 list with a fortune of $22 billion, which has ballooned in recent years as he deftly responded to financial market turmoil. He has pledged to give away all his wealth, half of it while he earns it and the rest when he dies.

Like the protesters, Soros is no fan of the 2008 bank bailouts and subsequent government purchase of the toxic sub-prime mortgage assets they amassed in the property bubble.

The protesters say the Wall Street bank bailouts in 2008 left banks enjoying huge profits while average Americans suffered under high unemployment and job insecurity with little help from Washington. They contend that the richest 1 percent of Americans have amassed vast fortunes while being taxed at a lower rate than most people.

BANKING LIFE SUPPORT

Soros in 2009 wrote in an editorial that the purchase of toxic bank assets would, “provide artificial life support for the banks at considerable expense to the taxpayer.”

He urged the Obama administration to take bolder action, either by recapitalizing or nationalizing the banks and forcing them to lend at attractive rates. His advice went unheeded.

The Hungarian-American was an early supporter of the 2008 election campaign of Barack Obama, who will seek a second term as president in the November, 2012, election. He has long backed liberal causes – the Open Society Institute, the foreign policy think tank Council on Foreign Relations and Human Rights Watch.

According to disclosure documents from 2007-2009, Soros’ Open Society gave grants of $3.5 million to the Tides Center, a San Francisco-based group that acts almost like a clearing house for other donors, directing their contributions to liberal non-profit groups. Among others the Tides Center has partnered with are the Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

Disclosure documents also show Tides, which declined comment, gave Adbusters grants of $185,000 from 2001-2010, including nearly $26,000 between 2007-2009.

Aides to Soros say any connection is tenuous and that Soros has never heard of Adbusters. Soros himself declined comment.

The Vancouver-based group, which publishes a magazine and runs such campaigns as “Digital Detox Week” and “Buy Nothing Day,” says it wants to “change the way corporations wield power” and its goal is “to topple existing power structures.”

SLOW START

Adbusters, whose magazine has a circulation of 120,000 and which is known for its spoofs of popular advertisements, came up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, said Kalle Lasn, 69, Adbusters co-founder.

“It came out of these brainstorming sessions we have at Adbusters,” Lasn told Reuters, adding they began promoting it online on July 13. “We were inspired by what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and we had this feeling that America was ripe for a Tahrir moment.”

“We felt there was a real rage building up in America, and we thought that we would like to create a spark which would give expression for this rage.”

Lasn said Adbusters is 95 percent funded by subscribers paying for the magazine. “George Soros’s ideas are quite good, many of them. I wish he would give Adbusters some money, we sorely need it,” he said. “He’s never given us a penny.”

Other support for Occupy Wall Street has come from online funding website Kickstarter, where more than $75,000 has been pledged, deliveries of food and from cash dropped in a bucket at the park. Liberal film maker Michael Moore has also pledged to donate money.

The protests began in earnest on September 17, triggered by an Adbusters campaign featuring a provocative poster showing a ballerina dancing atop the famous bronze bull in New York’s financial district as a crowd of protesters wearing gas masks approach behind her.

Dressed in anarchist black, the battle-ready mob is shrouded in a fog suggestive of tear gas or fires burning. Some are wearing gas masks, others wielding sticks. The poster’s message seems to be a heady combination of sexuality, violence, excitement and adventure.

Former carpenter Robert Daros, 23, saw that poster in a cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Having lost his work as a carpenter after Florida’s speculative construction boom collapsed in a heap of sub-prime mortgage foreclosures, he quit his job as a bartender and traveled to New York City with just a sleeping bag and the hope of joining the protest movement.

Daros was one of the first people to arrive on Wall Street for the so-called occupation on September 17, when protesters marched and tried to camp on Wall Street only to be driven off by police to Zuccotti Park – two acres of concrete without a blade of grass near the rising One World Trade Center.

“When I was a carpenter, I lost my job because the financier of my project was arrested for corporate fraud,” said Daros, who was wearing a red arm band to show he was helping out in the medic section of the Occupy Wall Street camp.

Since its obscure beginnings, the campaign has drawn global media attention in places as far-flung as Iran and China. The Times of London, however, was not alone when it called the protests “Passionate but Pointless.”

Adbusters’ co-founder Lasn dismisses that, reeling off specific demands: a tax on the richest 1 percent, a tax on currency trades and a tax on all financial transactions.

“Down the road, there will be crystal clear demands coming out of this movement,” he said. “But this first phase of the movement is messy and leaderless and demandless.”

“I think it was perfect the way it happened.

READ: Did george Soros ‘make $10bn on 10/1 bet that U.S. credit rating would be downgraded’?

READ: Elitist: Warren Buffett says Gates Foundation to accept more ‘donations’ from billionaires (for eugenics agenda?)

Subversive

George Soros’ New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Posted in Church, Socialism, Soros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by saynsumthn

I have stumbled across something of interest…George Soros now has an outreach to “Evangelicals”. This has caught my attention.

On the website, the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, they have selected their language to appeal to the uneducated evangelical. Just read through their top principles:

The following are important principles, issues, and causes we are pursuing in the name of Jesus Christ.

* We stand against human degradation and for the human rights of all people, especially the rights of the most vulnerable and despised. We are working for human rights in areas such as torture, the conditions in our prisons, immigration, and religious freedom.
* We stand against war and for peacemaking. We are committed to peacemaking efforts between the world’s major religious traditions and especially in the Middle East, where tensions remain high. We are working toward nuclear disarmament and a world without nuclear weapons.
* We stand against the devaluing of human life and for a society in which no woman feels that abortion is her only choice. We are involved in creative efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women, improve our adoption laws and practices, and change cultural attitudes and practices—all with the primary goal of reducing the number of abortions in our country.
* We stand against environmental denialism and for God’s endangered creation. We are deeply involved in efforts to address major environmental challenges facing our world, including climate change, species loss, and green energy.
* We stand against needless human suffering due to lack of health care and for human health. We are involved in efforts to expand health care access in the United States and around the world and to reduce the current threats to human health already present due to the growing toxicity of the environment that we are polluting.
* We stand against the collapse of marriage and for stronger family life. We are involved in efforts to strengthen the fading institution of marriage and thereby protecting and enhancing the well-being of children. We do not believe that denigrating the dignity and denying the human rights of gays and lesbians is a legitimate part of a “pro-family” Christian agenda, and will work to reform Christian attitudes and treatment of lesbian and gay people.
* We stand against poverty and economic injustice and for dignified and decent economic conditions for all. We seek to be involved in creative efforts to build a more fair and humane economic order here and around the world.
* We stand against tyranny and for democracy, justice, and the rule of law. We are involved in efforts to protect and strengthen the culture of American democracy, the unique legacy of religious liberty in this land, and the always fragile rule of law. We look for ways to support indigenous efforts to advance democracy, religious liberty, public justice, and the rule of law in other lands.

Leading the move is the former leader of the National Evangelical Association, who was widely criticized for his open support of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

From the Open Society Website:

Richard Cizik Areas of Expertise: Climate Change, Criminal Justice Reform, Immigration Policy, Religion and Politics

Richard Cizik is the President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, an organization committed to a broad, holistic, moral vision for evangelical engagement.

As an Open Society Fellow, Cizik will organize and host gatherings of evangelical faith leaders, policy-makers, and academics to address key challenges facing the United States and the world. His work will focus on climate change, immigration, and criminal justice.

Cizik served for ten years as vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, a post he left in 2008 after expressing conditional support for civil unions.

In 2002, Cizik was a participant in Climate Forum 2002, at Oxford, England, which produced the “Oxford Declaration” on global warming. He was instrumental in creating the Evangelical Climate Initiative, introduced in 2006. In 2005, the New York Times dubbed him the “Earthy Evangelist” for his advocacy on climate change, and in 2008 he was named to TIME Magazine’s list of the “TIME 100” most influential people. In 2006, Fast Company placed him on its list of “Most Creative Minds.”

Cizik has written over 100 articles and editorials and is the author and editor of The High Cost of Indifference (Regal Books). He contributed to the landmark document “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Engagement.”

Initially after his NAE departure Cizik was affiliated with Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation, according to a Weekly Standard article.

According to US News and World Reports, an interview with National Public Radio host Terry Gross that aired on December 2,2008 Cizik responded to question about gay marriage by saying, “I’m shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say I believe in civil unions. I don’t officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don’t think.

Even evangelical figures who’d supported Cizik’s environmental activism were troubled by the comments. “I don’t know what was going on in his head,” says Christianity Today Editor David Neff, an NAE board member and a Cizik ally on environmental issues. “When I heard that interview, I said to myself ‘Good grief—what are you talking about?’ That was not the Richard I knew.”

According to a statement posted on the NAE’s website Cizik acknowledged that he misspoke during the NPR interview. “Although he has subsequently expressed regret, apologized, and affirmed our values there is a loss of trust in his credibility as a spokesperson among leaders and constituents,” NAE President Leith Anderson said in a letter to the organization’s board of directors.”

The question I have to ask is….Why would an admitted Atheist- fund a so-called evangelical group? Answer AGENDA !

Recently, Soros has flooded the market with his Agenda driven videos like, The Story of Stuff, The Story of Cap and Trade, The Story of Bottled Water, and now, Let There Be…Stuff?, a “faith-based” video on American consumption.

Let There Be…Stuff?, the latest production, however, is perhaps the most unsettling of all, in that it attempts to indoctrinate teenagers by distorting religious teachings to adhere to the environmentalist agenda. Created by GreenFaith and The Story of Stuff Project, Let There Be…Stuff? is a six-session curriculum for teenagers that explores the relationship between their consumption, faith, and the planet’s health. Versions are available for Christian and Jewish teenagers.

The website for the newest production reads:

If you are a minister or lay church leader, youth group or bible study coordinator, we encourage you to download the curriculum here today…This 6-week series for teenagers of faith is designed to help them understand the problems facing the planet, raise awareness of the changes needed and empower them to develop environmentally sustainable patterns of consumption that honor creation and deepen their spiritual lives. It’s chock full of hands-on exercises, thought-provoking questions and great group activities.

But…why doesn’t Soros continue his “evangelical” ideals within this adventure…for example…in chapter one of Let There Be…Stuff? we learn that when we drink, we owe a debt. Not to God, however, but to Earth’s great waters.

Disgruntled by the video’s misrepresentation of Christians and Americans as environmentally callous beings, Calvin Beisner of Cornwall Alliance told a Glenn Beck audience recently, “The Greens want to make us feel that we’re supposed to be servants of the Earth. That is exactly the opposite of what the Bible says. Genesis tells us God blessed Adam and Eve and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, fill up the Earth, subdue it, and rule over it and over the fish of the sea and birds in the air.”

The New American explains this perfectly when author Raven Clabough wrote, “Perhaps the Left’s attempt to utilize faith in order to engage and manipulate students is the recognition that God continues to play a role in the lives of Americans. David Barton of Wallbuilders notes that 84 percent of Americans believe God had a hand in the creation of the Earth and man. Therefore, it may prove to be effective to combine the “teachings of God,” at least as the Left seems them, with the teachings of progressive environmentalists.

Of course, such an alliance is unholy and detrimental to true biblical teachings.

Soros money seems to be “Paying Off” Catholics may compromise on abortion / Health Care in Senate

Posted in Abortion, Anti-abortion, Health Care, Obama, pro-choice, Pro-Life, Soros with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by saynsumthn

ATHEIST SOROS FUNDS CATHOLIC GROUPS

By Cliff Kincaid November 13, 2009 Originally Located Here: NewsWithViews.com

The critical role of the Catholic Church in passing national health care reform legislation is coming under serious media scrutiny. But the story has taken a strange turn. It has now been revealed that George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund operator and well-known atheist, has been pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into “progressive” Catholic groups that are significant players in the national debates over health care and immigration.

On the surface, it would appear that Soros would be opposed to many positions of the Catholic Church. A major financial backer of the ACLU, Soros supports such causes as drug legalization, the rights of “sex workers” and felons, euthanasia, radical feminism, abortion rights, and homosexual rights. He does all of this in the name of promoting an “open society.”

But a review of the records of his Open Society Institute finds that a group calling itself Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) has received $200,000 from them over the last several years.

James Todd of Pewsitter.com, which represents traditional Catholics, calls such groups “CINOs,” or Catholics In Name Only. He explains, “This group and several others have sprung up recently—I suspect purposely organized and funded—to counterbalance the growing influence of the faithful Catholics AND to try to deceive and mislead the middle of the road Catholics that have determined the last 13 Presidential elections.”

An AIM investigation also finds, however, that Soros money has gone into the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), an organization established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops back in 1988. It has received at least $530,000 from the Open Society Institute.

The two issues merge in the fact that the Catholic Bishops are demanding that national health care legislation cover illegal aliens.

In a story headlined, “Religious Leaders Seek Healthcare for Illegal Immigrants,” the Los Angeles Times recently quoted Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as saying that illegal immigrants should be included in any healthcare reform plan. Father Richard Estrada of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Los Angeles was described as being part of a religious service and phone bank “to urge congressional leaders to include illegal immigrants in any healthcare reform plan.” His church has in the past offered sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

CACG played a role in House passage of H.R. 3962, the bill known as Pelosicare and boasts that it had joined with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Health Association, and “dozens of other Catholic and faith-based groups in celebrating this historic vote.”

The group’s blog even offered a “Health Care Reform Prayer,” asking for God’s help in passing federal legislation.

John Gehring, CACG media director, told AIM that “We have been primarily focused on highlighting the moral dimensions of this issue and articulating how Catholic social teaching addresses health care as a human right central to a just society. Along with other faith-based groups like PICO National Network, Faith in Public Life, Sojourners and others we brought citizens and faith leaders to Capitol Hill several weeks ago to meet with representatives and they emphasized the urgency for reform and specifically the critical issue of affordability. For example, Fr. Joseph Shad, S.J., a hospital chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, came to Capitol Hill and met with representatives. He shared stories we have collected from citizens across the country as part of our project, Voices for Health Reform.”

On the passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, CACG said, “As Catholics, we applaud the efforts of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Bart Stupak, and others who helped extend current restrictions on federal funding of abortion to health plans participating in the public [health] exchanges.”

But Judie Brown of the American Life League says the provision doesn’t go far enough and accuses the Bishops who lobbied for passage of wanting “mandatory, government-run health care for one and all more than it desires the protection of all vulnerable human beings’ right to life.”

The anti-abortion restrictions, Brown points out, still permit federal funding of abortions in some circumstances. What’s more, she says the bill:

• Expands access to and funding of abortifacient contraception (section 1714).
• Promotes federal funding of Planned Parenthood-style permissive sex education programs (section 2526).
• Allows euthanasia through withholding or withdrawing “medical treatment or medical care” and withholding or withdrawing of “nutrition or hydration” (section 240).
• Has only vaguely worded references to conscience rights and only partial protection of the same (section 258 and 259).
• Contains language that forces a “participating health benefits plan” to not “discriminate” against any facilities that provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions (section 304).

Meanwhile, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute says that “Catholics should be outraged at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops” because while they succeeded in getting a pro-abortion provision dropped from the bill, they “abandoned the Church’s doctrine of subsidiarity by endorsing the rest of the Democrats’ plan to centralize power in Washington.” Cannon says his grandfather served as counsel to the Bishops.

But the Soros-funded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has high-level connections of its own. The Treasurer-Secretary is Francis Xavier Doyle, a former top official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Executive director is Victoria Kovari, a former organizer for the Gamaliel Foundation, the same group that helped launch Barack Obama’s career as a community organizer in Chicago. The chairman is Alfred M. Rotondaro, a senior fellow at another Soros-funded group, the Center for American Progress.

Although CACG describes itself as “a lay Catholic organization that works to promote the common good and the broad spectrum of Catholic social teaching,” Frank Walker of the conservative Pewsitter website labels it a religious and political Trojan Horse designed to mislead Catholics and produce votes for the Democratic Party.

One purpose of the Soros money, Walker says, is to play down the importance of the abortion issue to Catholics and even make abortion rights a “respectable” Catholic position.

Walker notes that “The CACG is run and advised by powerful Democrats. Their board, staff, and advisory committee include top fundraisers and strategists as well as major labor union representation.” He adds, “Catholic Church Leadership from the Sisters of Mercy, the Jesuit order, the government-funded Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are also represented at CACG. Catholic academia has a strong presence.”

Indeed, the CACG advisory council includes figures from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AFL-CIO, Catholic University of America, Georgetown University, and Boston College.

In addition to health care reform, other big issues for CACG are “immigration reform” and “worker justice.” The latter links to a group promoting a bill, the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for unions to gain members.

The SEIU representative on the CACG board is Tom Chabolla, who serves as assistant to SEIU President Andy Stern. Before joining SEIU, he was associate director of programs for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the agency of the Bishops that funded ACORN to the tune of $7.3 million over the last decade. Funding of ACORN—but not of groups like Gamaliel—has been suspended by the Bishops.

Gamaliel says on its website that “Barack H. Obama, former Gamaliel organizer, is the 44th president of the United States,” and that this makes the organizing community proud. It also has a story about Obama friend and White House adviser Valerie Jarrett speaking to a Gamaliel event in Washington, D.C. of 2,500 activists. Jarrett is the official who said that “we” had recruited communist Van Jones to the White House. Another speaker was Melody Barnes, Obama’s Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Before coming to the White House, Barnes was the executive vice president for Policy at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP). Van Jones also worked at CAP before going to the White House. CAP CEO and President John Podesta, who served as President Clinton’s chief of staff, is a major “progressive Catholic” and member of the ACORN advisory council, and served as a professor at Georgetown University.

Interestingly, Tom Chabolla of the SEIU and formerly of the CCHD was on the dinner committee for the 33rd Annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award Dinner, which was held on May 7, 2009 in Washington, D.C. One of the award winners was none other than Van Jones.

On Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22, Catholics across the country will be asked to support the CCHD with their financial offerings. Gamaliel is appealing for support, saying that it is “under attack from those with a partisan agenda to de-fund groups committed to organizing for social justice.” It says: “Many Gamaliel Foundation affiliates rely on funding from CCHD to serve their communities.”

But Gamaliel also relies on George Soros. His Open Society Institute provided $300,000 to the organization in 2008.

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According to a June post on the Blog: Catholic Key: Frances Kissling’s Confused Attack on Catholics in Alliance
Hard core abortion supporters are up in arms about President Obama’s appointment of Catholics in Alliance Chair Alexia Kelley to head the Health and Human Services Department’s Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Former Catholics for Free Choice head Frances Kissling leads the attack with a June 7 editorial in Salon. Kissling makes some salient points about Catholics in Alliance, but her worries that Kelley would stand in the way of funding Kissling’s favored sex-ed / contraceptive approach are regrettably false.

Kissling correctly diagnoses the nature of Catholics in Alliance:

With support from George Soros and Michael Kieschnick, the founder of Working Assets and Credo Mobile, groups like Sojourners, Faith in Public Life and Catholics in Alliance entered the electoral arena. Catholics in Alliance and its sister organization, Catholics United, were active in voter registration and organizing Catholic voters in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2006 and 2008. Presenting themselves as more Catholic than the pope — faithful to church teachings on contraception, abortion and everything else the majority of Catholics have long rejected — the groups insisted in press release after press release that good Catholics could vote for pro-choice candidates, so long as those candidates were also working to reduce the number of abortions.


Kissling suggests Kelley’s appointment is political payback for her efforts to provide “abortion cover for the president and for candidates like Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.”

All of which is true. Where Kissling goes wrong is in believing there was any semblance of sincerity in Catholics in Alliance’ campaign rhetoric. In fact, the group’s aims post-election have tracked the President’s.

Kissling worries that the HHS job

which includes oversight of the department’s faith-based grant-making in family planning, HIV and AIDS and in small-scale research into the effect of religion and spirituality on early sexual behavior, has gone to someone who both believes abortion should be illegal and opposes contraception. That’s right — Kelley’s group of self-described progressive Catholics takes a position held by only a small minority, that the Catholic church is right to prohibit birth control.

At issue, is whether Kelley is likely in HHS her role to support the Planned Parenthood-style teen sex ed./contraceptive approach to teen pregnancy or will her supposed “more Catholic than the pope” views interfere with the abortion lobby’s preferred methods.

Catholics in Alliance own website indicates Kelley would be no obstacle to Kissling’s aims. Under the heading Consistent Ethic of Life on Catholics in Alliance’ recently revamped website, the group provides “links to organizations that promote human dignity and a consistent ethic of life.”

The only one called out for special attention is The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Catholics in Alliance asks viewers to join an NCPTUP forum “exploring the increase in the teen birth rate and what might be done to reverse the recent rise.”

NCPTUP makes no secret of its goal to supplant abstinence-only education programs in favor of what both they and Kissling euphemistically call “evidence-based” approaches.

NCPTUP is funded largely by abortion rights and population control advocating foundations including most prominently the Susan Thompson Buffet, Turner and William and Flora Hewlitt Foundations. Various population control advocates are represented on the board including Planned Parenthood and their religion and values advisors include the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board Chair, Catholics for Free Choice Board Chair and the president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

If Kelley was opposed to a contraceptive approach, why would she highlight this group on her web page? I fear Kissling has nothing to worry about in this appointment.

On a side note – What is the former head of the Catholic Health Association – Chicago priest Fr. Michael D. Place – doing on the board of a contraception lobbying group?

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And Now the New York Times reports:

Catholic Group Supports Senate on Abortion Aid
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK / NY Times 12/25/2009
WASHINGTON — In an apparent split with Roman Catholic bishops over the abortion-financing provisions of the proposed health care overhaul, the nation’s Catholic hospitals have signaled that they back the Senate’s compromise on the issue, raising hopes of breaking an impasse in Congress and stirring controversy within the church.

The Senate bill, approved Thursday morning, allows any state to bar the use of federal subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortion and requires insurers in other states to divide subsidy money into separate accounts so that only dollars from private premiums would be used to pay for abortions.

Just days before the bill passed, the Catholic Health Association, which represents hundreds of Catholic hospitals across the country, said in a statement that it was “encouraged” and “increasingly confident” that such a compromise “can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.” An umbrella group for nuns followed its lead.

The same day, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called the proposed compromise “morally unacceptable.”

The divide frames one of the most contentious issues facing House and Senate negotiators as they try to produce a bill that can pass in both chambers.
For months, the bishops have driven a lobbying campaign to bar anyone who receives insurance subsidies under the proposed overhaul from using them to buy coverage that included abortion. Citing the bishops, a group of House Democrats forced their liberal party leaders to adopt such a provision and threatened to block any final legislation that fell short of it. Abortion rights supporters, in response, have vowed to block any bill that includes such a measure.

Officials of the Catholic hospitals’ group and the nuns’ Leadership Conference of Women Religious declined to comment.

Catholic scholars say their statement reflects a different application of church teachings against “cooperation with evil,” a calculus that the legislation offers a way to extend health insurance to millions of Americans. For the Catholic hospitals, that it is both a moral and financial imperative, since like other hospitals they stand to gain from reducing the number of uninsured patients.

And in practical political terms, some Democrats — including some opponents of abortion rights — say that the Catholic hospitals’ relative openness to a compromise could play a pivotal role by providing political cover for Democrats who oppose abortion to support the health bill. Democrats and liberal groups quickly disseminated the association’s endorsement along with others from the nuns’ group, other Catholics and evangelicals.

“I think it is a sign that progress is being made, that we are getting there,” said Representative Steve Driehaus of Ohio, one of the Democrats who forced the House to adopt the stricter restrictions in its bill. The hospitals’ statement, he said, recognized the Senate’s compromise as a meaningful step, making him “optimistic” that Democrats could find a bill that he and other abortion foes could support.

Other abortion opponents argue that liberals are overstating the hospital association’s influence. “They don’t carry the same sway,” said Representative Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who led the effort that resulted in the House bill’s including a full ban on abortion coverage in any subsidized health insurance plan.

Mr. Stupak said he still had commitments from at least 10 Democrats who voted for the House bill and pledged to vote against the final legislation if it loosened the abortion restrictions — enough to keep the bill from being approved. “At the end of the day we are going to have something along the lines of my language,” he said. Abortion rights supporters said the signs of openness from Catholic groups were helping some Democratic abortion foes accept the Senate compromise.

“We have known for quite some time that the Catholic hospitals and also the nuns are really breaking from these hard-line bishops and saying, ‘This really is our goal: to get more people into health care coverage,’ ” said Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado.

The abortion rights faction of the House Democrats was initially dubious about the Senate bill’s provision but has warmed up to it after reassurances from their Senate counterparts, Ms. DeGette said. President Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders say they aim to follow 30-year-old rules blocking the use of federal money for elective abortions, but lawmakers have fiercely disagreed over how to do so.

Like most Catholic groups, the Catholic Hospital Association has echoed the bishops’ opposition to any federal financing of abortion in health care proposals. But its officials also stood at the White House last spring to endorse Mr. Obama’s plans as part of an administration deal with the hospital industry.
After the Catholic Hospital Association’s endorsement of the proposed compromise, Catholic conservatives and some abortion opponents accused the group of selling out to the Democrats.

“The Catholic Health Association does not represent the teaching of the Catholic Church on the non-negotiable defense of innocent life,” the conservative Catholic activist Deal Hudson said in a statement, calling the association’s move “utterly offensive.”

Catholic ethics experts said the groups evidently disagree about how far to go in avoiding even remote complicity in abortion.
“The Catholic Health Association seems to be using traditional principles of cooperation with evil,” said Prof. M. Cathleen Kaveny of the Notre Dame University Law School.

Such principles, she said, could permit support for “imperfect legislation,” as long as one’s intent was not to “further abortion,” one made every effort to “minimize the harm,” and one achieved “an extremely important good that can’t be achieved any other way.”

In contrast, she said, “some bishops have adopted a prophetic stand against abortion that wants to eliminate any form of cooperation with evil no matter how remote.”
The United States Bishops Conference has not responded to requests for comment. But in a letter to the Senate before its vote this week, the bishops’ group argued that the bill still made some level of support for abortion the default position of the federal government, requiring states to actively “opt out” to avoid participating in insurance plans that offered indirect subsidized coverage of abortion.

Citing the abortion provisions and limitations of the coverage of immigrants, the bishops wrote, “Until these fundamental flaws are remedied, the bill should be opposed.”

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Some interesting info on the CCHD

CCHD Grantees here

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UPDATE: Here is a post from LifeNews.com

Catholic Health Association: We Agree With Bishops on Abortion, Health Care
by Steven Ertelt LifeNews.com Editor December 28, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The president of the Catholic Health Association is saying in a new interview today that her organization agrees with the bishops on banning abortion funding in the health care bill. However, the organization released a statement recently that made it appear otherwise.

On December 17, Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the CHA, released a statement LifeNews.com obtained showing it praising a phony compromise on abortion funding
Sen. Bob Casey floated a compromise in an attempt to get Sen. Ben Nelson to withdraw his then-objection to the Senate bill because of its abortion funding. The measure would have forced pro-life advocates to opt out if they objected to their tax dollars paying for abortions. Otherwise, Americans would be forced to pay for abortions under the legislation.

The proposal was thoroughly trashed by pro-life groups with the National Right to Life committee and other organizations calling it “unacceptable” and Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the bishops appreciated the goals of some of Casey’s proposal, but that they did not actually stop taxpayer funding of abortion.

But Keehan said in the statement that, although she hadn’t seen the text of the Casey proposal, “we are encouraged by recent deliberations and the outline Senator Casey is developing.”

Keehan claimed that “now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table, we are increasingly confident that Senator Casey’s language can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.”

“It is our understanding that the language now being written would prohibit federal funding of abortion,” Keehan said.

The language did not ban abortion funding and it left some Catholics — and the New York Times — with the impression that CHA was at odds with the Catholic bishops.
In a Christmas Day news story, “Catholic Group Supports Senate on Abortion Aid” the Times reported that there is “an apparent split with Roman Catholic bishops over the abortion-financing provisions of the proposed health care overhaul” and that “the nation’s Catholic hospitals have signaled that they back the Senate’s compromise.”
The Times exploited the supposed divide with quotes from pro-abortion Representative Diana DeGette, who said “We have known for quite some time that the Catholic hospitals and also the nuns are really breaking from these hard-line bishops.”

Today, Keehan talked with the Catholic News Service about the dustup.

She said CHA has never wavered in its commitment to health care that protects “from conception to natural death” and she disputed the Times’ report.

“There is not a shred of disagreement between CHA and the bishops,” Sister Carol said. “We believe there is a great possibility and probability that in conference committee we can work toward a solution that will prevent federal funding of abortion.”

She told CNS that CHA, representing over 600 Catholic hospitals, “brings a lot of expertise with funding structures in the marketplace” to the debate and hopes to “bring that to bear” during the conference committee process.

Keehan also commented on the December 17 statement praising the Casey amendment, that was not ultimately adopted.

“I felt they were making progress and were getting where we needed to be,” she said. “I understand that it doesn’t make a good story to say (CHA and the USCCB) are working together. But it would have been an honest story.”

Catholic Culture, a pro-life web site that follows Catholic and pro-life issues, commented on the tenuous situation — which clearly saw CHA have a different take on the Casey language than the Catholic bishops, even if Keehan doesn’t want to describe it as a difference of opinion.

‘The Catholic Health Association has not endorsed the health legislation that was passed by the Senate,” it noted. “Nor did it endorse the Casey compromise language that was later opposed by the bishops’ conference.”

However, the web site pointed out that “a Catholic Health Association officer made significant contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Obama campaign.”

“One or more of the officers of the Catholic Health Association, then, may privately support the health care bill that was approved by the Senate and opposed by the bishops,” it contended.

Whether the CHA is in disagreement or not, Catholic Culture appeared to urge CHA officials to do a better job of crafting its take on the abortion-health care process to help avoid future confusion.

“The failure of the Catholic Health Association to follow the bishops’ conference’s lead in opposing the Casey compromise and the eventual Senate legislation lends plausibility to the idea of a private parting of ways on the issue,” it concluded. “Reports of a public split, however, seem premature.”

That may be good advice because Keehan’s December 17 statement also alleged: “As we understand it, the Senate intends to keep the President’s commitment that no federal funds will pay for abortions and in addition, provide significant new support for pregnant women.”

But President Barack Obama has repeatedly violated that commitment and the Senate actually rejected the Nelson amendment to ensure no federal funds pay for abortions.

Also, the CHA statement made it appear to many pro-life Catholic stalwarts — including respected writer Deal Hudson — that it had endorsed the phony Casey compromise.

This isn’t the first time Keehan has raised eyebrows within the Catholic community.

She caused controversy last December when she defended President Barack Obama against criticism from pro-lifers and praised his choices of pro-abortion Health and Human Services secretary Tom Daschle and deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew.

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Newsmax Reports:

Catholic Hospitals’ Pro-Abortion Money Trail
Mon, 28 Dec 2009 11:41 PM

By: Theodore Kettle

The New York Times dropped coal in Catholic pro-life stockings on Christmas Day with an article reporting a split on abortion between the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference and the Catholic Health Association, which represents about 600 Catholic hospitals.

CHA president Sister Carol Keehan had issued a statement that said, “now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table” in the Senate’s health care reform bill, the CHA is “increasingly confident” that a compromise formulated by Catholic Democratic Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania “can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.”

Pro-life activists call Casey’s proposal phony. National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson, for example, said the Casey language “apparently would make it the default position for the federal government to subsidize plans that cover abortion on demand, and then permit individual citizens to apply for conscientious objector status.”

A year ago, Keehan defended ill-fated Obama HHS nominee Tom Daschle and his choice for deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew, both abortion rights supporters.

But after last week’s New York Times story, Keehan claimed that the CHA is committed to health care for human life “from conception to natural death,” adding that “There is not a shred of disagreement between CHA and the bishops.”

A look at the campaign contributions of the governing board members of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, however, tells a very different story.

The pro-life Catholic Culture website notes that “a Catholic Health Association officer made significant contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Obama campaign.” That, however, is just one part of a surprisingly large pro-abortion iceberg.

Catholic Culture was apparently referring to the 2009-10 CHA Board of Trustees’ speaker of membership assembly Lloyd H. Dean, CEO of Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco. Dean was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s candidacy, giving $2,300 to his campaign in September, 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records. And the FEC reports Dean giving a total of $10,000 to the DSCC this year.

But then there is CHA trustee Lindsey Artola, vice president for advocacy and development of Provena Health in Illinois. She gave $250 each, according to the FEC, to Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin and Rep. Debbie Halvorson, both Illinois Democrats. Planned Parenthood Illinois Action calls Halvorson a “strong supporter of reproductive rights and women’s health and has a 100 percent pro-choice voting record.”

Durbin, who is Catholic and formerly supported restrictions on abortion, was also endorsed by Planned Parenthood, which gave him, like Halvorson, a 100 percent rating.

Another CHA trustee, Roslyn Brock, the director for advocacy and public policy of Bon Secours Health System in Maryland, gave $1,000 to the Obama campaign early last year, FEC records indicate, as well as $1,000 in 2006 to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat with a 100 percent rating from the NARAL Pro-Choice America.

On top of that is trustee Robert Stanek, the CEO of Catholic Health East in Pennsylvania, who has given thousands of dollars in recent years to abortion rights supporter Sen. Arlen Specter – with his contributions coming both before and after the Pennsylvania Democrat’s switch from the Republican Party in the spring of this year.

Stanek has also given to Rep. Michael McNulty, D-N.Y., a Catholic with a mixed record on abortion who has voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research and voted against George W. Bush’s ban on contraception funding in U.S. foreign aid.

Then we have CHA advocacy and public policy committee chairman Joseph R. Swedish, the CEO of Trinity Health in Michigan, who gave $1,000 in 2005 to the re-election campaign of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., according to the FEC. NARAL gives Stabenow a 100 percent rating.

CHA trustee Alan Yordy, President of PeaceHealth in Washington State, gave a total of $1,500 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and $1,000 to Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and Catholic, both of whom get 100 percent NARAL scores. In addition, Yordy gave $500 to Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash, a Catholic, and $1,500 to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., both of whom voted against both the Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004. Both get 100 percent NARAL ratings.

Finally, there is David Benfer, a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives who serves as one of 10 members of the CHAUSA advocacy and public policy committee. According to the FEC, Benfer has donated to the campaigns of abortion rights supporters like Connecticut Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman, former Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a Catholic who was executive director of the pro-abortion Emily’s List.

Most Catholic Americans wrongly assume that Catholic hospitals are dedicated to fighting abortion. In fact, many of the most important people running those hospital systems, and representing them before government, have spent fortunes supporting some of the most powerful pro-abortion politicians in America.


UPDATE Jan 2010:

San Francisco Archdiocese Reinvestigates, Approves Pro-Abortion CCHD Grantee

Washington, DC, January 5, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Archdiocese of San Francisco continue to support an organization that helped create and promote contraception, elective-abortion and sex-education programs for kids, the American Life League is reporting.
In November, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development issued “For the Record – The Truth about CCHD Funding” in response to criticism that the group funds organizations that support pro-abortion programs.

The document contains this defense of the San Francisco Organizing Project:

Archdiocese of San Francisco strongly supports the work of the SFOP to expand access to health care to children. Both Archbishop Levada and Archbishop Niederauer have spoken at SFOP events; SFOP has met regularly with [a]rchdiocesan staff to coordinate work on health care access and other issues that affect the poor and immigrant families.
The initial investigation conducted by the Reform CCHD Now campaign (of which American Life League is a member) revealed the SFOP’s strong support for health care facilities that provide family planning and “emergency” contraception.

Further investigation reveals the SFOP was instrumental in establishing the Healthy Kids and Healthy San Francisco insurance programs. Covering the full range of birth control, from drugs to devices, and elective abortion, SFOP worked to launch Healthy Kids, enrolling over 2,000 children through the San Francisco Health Plan. SFOP not only engaged in public campaigns to get Healthy San Francisco, which also covers birth control and elective abortion, passed, but a member of SFOP served on the Healthy San Francisco Advisory Board, which provided expert consultation on “implementation of employer spending mandate, membership, benefits, provider network, utilization, costs, and evaluation.”

“The SFOP was cleared for funding after a reinvestigation – how could the Archdiocese of San Francisco not know about SFOP’s involvement in Healthy Kids and Healthy San Francisco?” asked Michael Hichborn, American Life League’s lead researcher on the CCHD.

In August, Bellermine Veritas Ministry, another participant in the Reform CCHD Now campaign, released its first report on the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the CCHD, showing that the CCHD-funded organizations “Young Workers United” and the “Chinese Progressive Association” issued 2008 voter guides advocating abortion, homosexual marriage and decriminalized prostitution. The report prompted the CCHD to defund them.

“Given that the CCHD and the Archdiocese of San Francisco have a history of clearing pro-abortion groups for funding, a disturbing pattern is beginning to emerge,” said Hichborn. “Bishop Roger Morin (chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the CCHD) called our charges against the CCHD ‘outrageous.’ In light of the latest revelations, he and Archbishop Niederauer owe Catholics across the country an explanation.”

See the fully documented report which also contains some other disturbing details HERE

UPDATE – Read CCHD, San Fran Archdiocse Supported Abortion-Funding Health Plan