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Principi Responds

By Greg L | 10 December 2008 | Prince William County | 39 Comments

Today’s Manassas News & Messenger contains a response by Frank Principi to a recent letter to the editor pointing out that Principi’s rather public support for pro-abortion candidates.  It’s a pretty unusual read that probably raises more questions than it answers..

In Saturday’s News & Messenger, Chris Royse, under the guise of wishing residents a Merry Christmas, indicated that I supported a pro-choice agenda and called upon church officials in the Arlington Catholic Diocese to deny me communion. Although I normally keep my personal and religious life private, I felt it necessary to respond to his letter.

First I would like to state that I am a pro-life, Knight of Columbus, practicing Catholic who believes in the separation of church and state. My faith has always been a very important part of my life.

Second, I am a life-long Democrat and I can honestly say that there has never been a time that I agreed 100 percent with the party’s platform.

Third, I hope that most people who read this article are aware that Chris Royse was my Republican opponent for Woodbridge Supervisor. It would seem that as a former candidate, he would be aware that the Board of County Supervisors does not make decisions regarding abortion. This is a matter addressed by the state and federal government.

This is a very special time of year to Americans. Whether we celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah , or Eid Day, it is a season of love, of giving back and appreciating all of our blessings. That we live in troubled economic times is all the more reason to look at the good in our community and work to make it better. We accomplished this recently when businesses and volunteers came together in Woodbridge to host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for those in need in our community. This makes a positive difference in our community.

In the New Year, let’s turn our focus to something we can influence on the local level, the public policy issues affecting our quality of life. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


Prince William County Supervisor

Woodbridge Magisterial District

There are a few things I don’t quite get in this response.  Principi campaigned pretty hard for Gerry Connolly, a pro-abortion Catholic who incongruously spent a lot of time attacking his opponent Keith Fimian because Fimian belonged to a Catholic organization and opposed abortion.  Yet he’s a pro-life kind of guy, and actively supporting pro-abortion candidates supposedly isn’t inconsistent with being pro-life.  Regardless of what the leader of his church says.

Another thing I find difficult to grasp is the reference to “separation of church and state”.  That phrase doesn’t have anything to do with the Constitution, and it’s about as far divorced from Catholic doctrine as it is possible to get.  That phrase is a reference to a 1947 court decision written by noted anti-Catholic bigot and Klan member Hugo Black, who didn’t want the State of New Jersey reimbursing parents for the cost of transporting their children to Catholic schools.  I don’t quite understand why someone who describes himself as a practicing Catholic would be confusing the Constitution with anti-Catholic bigotry.

What isn’t too hard to grasp is the entirely unprecedented correction that appears in the same issue.  What the paper formerly known as the “Manassas Urinal-Massager” is correcting is not one of their mistakes, but the letter to the editor written by Chris Royse.  I’ve seen editorials debating what was written in a letter to the editor.  I’ve seen this paper not publish a letter to the editor they didn’t agree with.  What I have never seen is a “clarification” published regarding an opinion piece written by someone else.  They must have gotten dumped on pretty hard by their liberal allies in order to pull something this over the top.

As for the rest of this letter, it’s all over the place and doesn’t seem to reassure anyone wondering about what Principi stands for about what his true convictions are.  That’s not too surprising.  When he campaigned for office, he told voters he was going to address day laborer sites and support the crackdown on illegal immigration.  We’ve seen how good those promises were.

Now this is all starting to make sense…

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  1. cdubbs said on 10 Dec 2008 at 11:33 pm:
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    Eid Day as part of the winter holiday season? How about Wednesday Oct 1st this year and the 20th of September next year. You know sometimes it is a bad idea to make stuff up just to be politically correct Mr. Principi. It seems to me it would also insult the group of people you are trying so desperately to include by revealing your total ignorance of what you are talking about.

  2. AnonFactCheck said on 11 Dec 2008 at 1:17 am:
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    cdubbs, Maybe Principi is wrong, or maybe he knows, unlike you, that there are two very major Islamic holidays that begin with the word “Eid.” The second one, Eid al Adha starts December 8 this year. The dates you are referring to are for Eid al Fitr, something else completely.

    I think December 8 would qualify, after all a year ago Channukah started on December 4.

    That said, I would assume some aide (pun intended) looked it up and found out that there is indeed a major Muslim holiday this month this year.

  3. Citizen12 said on 11 Dec 2008 at 1:29 am:
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    Perhaps Frank should take in a viewing of ” A Charlie Brown Christmas ” in order to get a better grasp of what it is we Americans celebrate this “very special time of year.”


  4. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 11 Dec 2008 at 7:28 am:
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    Royse’s letter was out of line

    I read Chris Royse’s recent letter to the editor and immediately thought how his letter represents exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party today, why so many of “us” moderates have left the party and don’t want to go back.

    I know Chris personally and consider(ed) him a friend, but making that letter pubic was a bad decision. For whatever reason, Chris had to let us know what a great Christian he is, but then without reason or provocation, he attacked Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi for supporting a pro-choice agenda.

    Whoa! What happened to your Christianity there, Chris? I think the letter was really a political statement directed to the far-right, Christian evangelicals that so dominate the Republican party today, written to let THEM know HIS position.

    To make himself the Republican, Christian good guy, Chris had to have a Democratic, Christian bad guy. Well, Frank Principi is a friend of mine and he is a good man and a good Christian. But by Chris’ illogic, as Frank Principi is a Democrat, he support a pro-choice agenda because as all Republicans know, all Democrats support abortion!

    Doesn’t matter that Frank Principi has long been a strong pro-life advocate! But to be a Republican these days — not just a “good Republican,” any type Republican — you can only be a white, blue-eyed, blond Christian evangelical, the only subjects you can talk about are “gays, guns and god” and you must hate anyone who doesn’t fit that description.

    Nothing else matters. And I guess Chris needed to let everyone know what a great Christian and, by extension, great Republican he is, by publicly trashing Frank Principi for no reason whatsoever. Way to go Chris. Go get those few Republican votes left in the county.


    Lake Ridge


  5. Tom Ridge said on 11 Dec 2008 at 8:26 am:
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    Someone on the “anti” site suggested a duel between Royce and Principi. Now who’s out of touch? You think Gray would volunteer to be the judge “gentlemen, pistols or swords?” ha ha.

  6. freedom said on 11 Dec 2008 at 9:31 am:
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    John, once admired, you now disappoint so many of us with your continuing litany of rants against EVERYTHING.

    It’s like, “John something today and John something different tomorrow.” Why can’t you decide upon what you genuinely believe, and what you are…then, stick with some consistency on philosophy?

    I consider you to be a friend too, John, and a supporter in lots of ways, but you’re simply destroying your credibility. You can’t even imagine what consistency would yield for you.

  7. Tom Ridge said on 11 Dec 2008 at 9:57 am:
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    Being a Knight of Columbus, Principi would probably pick the sword; Royse (sorry, I realized I was spelling his name wrong) being a Green Beret would probably pick the pistol. Just like a Democrat to bring a knife to a gun fight.

  8. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 11 Dec 2008 at 10:03 am:
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    Posted by ( JOhn S GRay CPA ) on December 11, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Message to “Do The Right Thing”, a quite inappropriate and inaccurate pseudonym: (1) Actually I am not an appointee of Frank Principi, though I voluntarily serve on his Budget Committee, so get your facts straight; I met with Mike May to discuss serving on his Budget Committee, even after running against him, but chose not to because I didn’t agree with some of his positions. I served on Corey Stewarts Budget Committee in 2004. I served on Sean Connaughton’s Budget Committee from 2005 until he resigned; I challenged Corey for the Republican nomination in AUgust, 2006 knowing I would loose the convention but doing so to send a message that what Corey Stewart and the hard core right he repsresented then and now, are not what all Republicans support; I had the courage to do so while three elected Republicans who strongly encouraged me to run, did not. In truth, I had a multitude of calls form elected Republicans asking me to run in teh convention but none of which had the political courage to “Do The Right Thing”. Fact is the party is hard core right. I and many, many Republicans believe so. You don’t. Thats your choice.(2) I do not read or write on Anti-BVBL (or any blog) because if I did, I would use my given name, not a pseudonym as you do. I admit who I am, accept responsibility for my words and do not hide behiind a false name; (3) Chris and I have corresponded privatey via email over his letter and HE can respect someone else having a difference of opinion without resorting to childish, sophomoric name calling as you so frequently do; (4) I have spoken with and emailed Jeff Frederick over his “slips” and he too accepts constructive criticism without resorting to childish, sophomoric name calling as you so frequently do; (4) Disagreeing with someone is not trashing someone. You can’t accept disagreement so you resort to childish, sophomoric name calling, but I repeat myself. Are you understanding the pattern here? (5) I have been a member of the RNC since 1976 and was the NoVa Captain for Rudy Guiliani’s campaign. I am not a Republican BASHER by any means but am not afraid of disagreeing with RP positions; I don’t drink Kool-Aid, I have a brain that functions and will talk about subjects I think are important. I agree with and support MOST of the RNC platform and very little, if any of the antics of the local PWCRC. I strongly DISAGREE with vitually ALL of the DNC platform (6) The term “white, blue-eyed blond” is a euphemistic, colloquial expression. You obviously don’t know that. And I know Jeff is of Hispanic heritage.

  9. Here we are! said on 11 Dec 2008 at 11:37 am:
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    He may think he needs to show the Far Right he is with them,but he’s a little late.It will not be the Far Right that rules the roost in the elections to come.
    Many of us have nothing against these far right thinkers but they have to realize not everyone thinks alike. Plus I have seen the Far Right do some pretty dirty tricks and actually told lies and made up stories,So they need to clean their own body and mind of all their evils.

    And John Gray, where did he come from?Until a few years ago no one heard of him in Politics. Yes he was on a Budget Committe and yes he was appointed by Principi,but he was also let go by Principi.
    Or shall we say he was given the chance to resign.

    I don’t care for Principi,as he has not done ANYTHING TOWARD WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO. But he sure doesn’t need the likes of John Gray.

    Maybe Principi would get smart and get rid of the Barg people and really start a New Woodbridge.

  10. Riley said on 11 Dec 2008 at 11:50 am:
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    According to Catholic Bishops, voting for a pro-abortion candidate is cooperating in evil. Period. In fact, bishops have asked that Catholics who voted for pro-abortion candidates in the recent election go to confession prior to receiving Communion. That said, I’m not certain of the wisdom of the original letter, but Principi’s response is pathetic given that he didn’t just vote for these pro-abortion candidates, but he actively campaigned for them. The following quote is instructional on this point.

    From Rome, Archbishop Raymond Burke offered similar views in an interview with Inside the Vatican Archbishop Burke, who was Archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri, before he arrived in Rome this year to head the Apostolic Signatura, told correspondent Andrew Rabel: “My fellow citizens of the United States of America should be deeply concerned about any candidate for the presidency who supports legislation which permits the destruction of human life at its very beginning, the killing of babies in the womb, or legislation which violates the integrity of marriage and family life.” Stating the case positively, the archbishop said: “A good citizen must support and vote for the candidate who most supports the inalienable dignity of innocent and defenseless life, and the integrity of marriage.”

    A vote in favor of a pro-abortion candidate cannot be justified by the argument that the candidate takes more morally acceptable stands on other issues, such as the war in Iraq, Archbishop Burke said. He explained:

    One can legitimately question the wisdom of the decisions taken in the war in Iraq, but war in itself is not always and everywhere evil, as are, for example, procured abortion, human cloning, embryonic stem-cell research, and the so-called “marriage” of persons of the same sex. Engagement of the nation in a war cannot be placed on the same moral level as the nation making laws which permit the wholesale killing of the unborn or the artificial generation of human life or experimentation on embryonic human life or “marriage” between persons of the same sex.

    There is a simple solution here. Principi needs to repent. He needs to go to confession and then he can receive Communion.

  11. Hmmm... said on 11 Dec 2008 at 12:29 pm:
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    I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who is truly “pro-abortion.” There are candidates that do not support banning abortion, but calling them “pro-abortion” implies that they are advocating for every woman to go out and get an abortion. That’s disingenuous.

    How are we to know whether Principi has or has not gone to confession for his sin of supporting candidates who do not oppose all forms of abortion or birth control. Aren’t the bonds of the confessional personal and private, between a parisher, his priest, and God? Remember the Gospel call to pray in private so that the left hand doesn’t know what that right hand is doing. Also remember that the Gospel makes clear that no sin is greater or less than another. And finally, recall that the same admonition to pray in private also warns of boasting in your faith. Is this not what Mr. Royse has done in his public “calling out” of his former political opponent? Would that not also be a sin that Mr. Royse should be confessing before he partakes of communion?

    Before we cast stones, let’s be sure we are without sin ourselves lest we be pointing at the speck in our brother’s eye while ignoring the log in our own eye.

  12. w e stewart said on 11 Dec 2008 at 2:35 pm:
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    One can’t be, be pro-abortion and a Catholic at the same time! One can’t be Christian, and be pro-abortion at the same time. The math does not compute.
    “Hey God, listen up, your wrong on this abortion thing.” A woman, not a man has the right to do with her body as she pleases, period. I can be as irresponsible as I want and the tax payers will have to pay for it. Else, we wouldn’t have ‘Planned Parenthood’ AKA, ’so you had a good time last night and now you worried that you may be pregant,’ Hmmgh. Ok, let’s see. Ok, take these pills and it will resolve your anxiety. Ok, just check at the window before leaving. Next woman… “I had to use the word ‘woman’ in case there is/was a comocrat man reading this, I didn’t want to be accused of????
    I really liked the part where he said, “I’m in touch with my Christain/Cathloic side and, ” First, I would like to state that I am a pro-life, Knight of Columbus, practicing Catholic who believes in the separation of church and state. My faith has always been a very important part of my life.”
    First, you must ah got your Knighthood, from another one of those practicing Knight’s of Columbus cathloics, who is pro-life, some of the time, like you said, ” I have never agreed 100% with the comocratic party, over my whole life.
    ” Well, not yet you haven’t, but given time, I’m sure you will.
    Just more of the same BS. I would suggest reading up on, “how to recognize a Bull S****** who wants your vote. Then after he/she gets the power, we get the shaft. I say we, because we, who didn’t vote for the liar get to share in the grief these people cause. Where in the constitution do you see anything re abortion? Nowhere! Where in the constitution do you see anything re seperation of ‘Church and State’ Nowhere. Just more Bull S*** from the left. Say it often enough and, guess what?
    I dispise people like Sen Harry Pelosi…. another idiot, and what about Sen Byrd, they have him propped up in a corner with a rope tied to his arm, so when they need his vote they pull the rope. The problem with gov’t critters? is they get to control their own paychecks. I want a job like that, maybe I’ll run for Supervisor. Ohhhh…..

  13. Emma said on 11 Dec 2008 at 2:46 pm:
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    Hmmm…before you get all holier-than-thou on us, how about not publishing what you think are hilarious cartoons that offend other people’s religious sensitivities? I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about. Take the log out of your own eye first, sister.

  14. Tom Ridge said on 11 Dec 2008 at 3:49 pm:
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    There has been a long held notion that there is a double standard applied to Republicans. Democrats can say/do anything, but if a Republican calls them on their action/inaction they are “mean spirited,” “evil” what have you. After the last Presidential election, we were presented with data on another long held notion, that the media (I purposely left the prefix “liberal” off) were biased towards Obama. Whether it was intentional or not is another discussion.

    What Royse has simply done is prove both notions to be alive and well. Connolly used religion to attack Fimian and no one cried foul, except ironically, the Potomac News. Also, there is a lot of outrage focused at Royse for associating Principi with Connolly and Obama, both pro-choice advocates, because he claims to be pro-life. Where was the outrage when Obama ran an entire campaign on associating McCain to Bush just because he was a Republican? Also, in true form, the media folded under pressure from the liberals and took an unprecedented step of “correcting” a letter to the editor because a liberal got their feelings hurt over the truth.

    What came out of all of this that is extremely disturbing is the amount of animosity towards Catholics in PWC found in the comments at the paper’s site. I don’t think anyone knew how hated they actually are.

  15. Chicko said on 11 Dec 2008 at 5:59 pm:
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    no matter what principi says he’ll always be a pissant

  16. sursum corda said on 11 Dec 2008 at 7:07 pm:
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    see below for what the democrats think of unborn babies, I keep waiting for folks to be honest and admit that this is infanticide . . .

    shame on all of us for allowing such a thing to even be considered, we treat dogs and cats better . . .

    keep believing the myth that you are not pro-abortion but pro-choice ‘cuz it makes you feel better about your enlighten self who needs no god but him or herself . . .

    how can one support a candidate who would allow such a thing; oh, I forgot, there are other things more important like the economy or the war, that’s why you voted for him . . .

    wake up . . .

    WASHINGTON (April 25, 2007) – In response to the April 18 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, prominent Democratic members of Congress the next day reintroduced the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA), a proposed federal law to nullify virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion.

    NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson commented, “In the interests of truth in advertising, the bill should be renamed the ‘Freedom for Partial-Birth Abortionists Act’.”

    The House bill, H.R. 1964, was introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who in the new Democratic-majority Congress is the chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee that has jurisdiction over such legislation. At NRL News deadline on April 25, his bill had 71 cosponsors (70 Democrats, one Republican). (To view an always-current list of co-sponsors, arranged by state, click here.)

    The Senate bill, S. 1173, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), had 13 Democratic cosponsors, including presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), plus independent Joseph Lieberman (Ct.). (To view an always-current list of co-sponsors, arranged by state, click here.)

    The lawmakers proposing the legislation, and groups endorsing it, repeatedly emphasized that the bill would, among other things, completely nullify the national ban on partial-birth abortion that the Supreme Court upheld on April 18 in Gonzales v. Carhart.

    Congressman Nadler issued a statement harshly attacking the Supreme Court ruling. “Overturning a decision only a few years old, the Court has, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, allowed an abortion procedure to be criminalized,” Nadler said. The FOCA, he noted, “would bar government – at any level — from interfering with a woman’s fundamental right to choose to bear a child, or to terminate a pregnancy.”

    Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, also tied the FOCA directly to the Supreme Court ruling, explaining in an e-mailed alert that the bill “would legislatively reverse the Court’s damaging decision and will enshrine in federal law our right to safe, legal abortion. . . . Our ultimate success depends on electing a president who will sign the legislation and electing a Congress that can withstand any challenge or filibuster.”

    “Those promoting this bill intend to use it as a litmus test for those who seek congressional office, or the White House, and as a fund-raising tool,” NRLC’s Douglas Johnson explained. “They know they cannot enact anything like this, so long as a pro-life president is in the White House.”

    Not Only a “Codification of Roe”

    The promoters of the FOCA sometimes claim that its purpose is to “codify Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand. But the key binding provisions of the bill would go further than Roe, invalidating all of the major types of pro-life laws that have been upheld by the Supreme Court in the decades since Roe.

    “The claim that the bill would ‘codify Roe’ is just a marketing gimmick by the proponents,” explained Johnson. “The sponsors hope that journalists and legislators will lazily accept that vague shorthand phrase – but it is very misleading. The references to Roe in the bill are in non-binding, discursive clauses. The heart of the bill is a ban that would nullify all of the major types of pro-life laws that the Supreme Court has said are permissible under Roe v. Wade, including the ban on partial-birth abortions and bans on government funding of abortion.”

    The bill flatly invalidates any “statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice, or other action” of any federal, state, or local government or governmental official (or any person acting under government authority) that would “deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose” abortion, or that would “discriminate against the exercise of the right . . . in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.”

    This no-restriction policy would establish, in Senator Boxer’s words, “the absolute right to choose” prior to fetal “viability.”

    The no-restriction policy would also apply after “viability” to any abortion sought on grounds of “health.” The bill does not define “health,” but in some past abortion cases the Supreme Court has sometimes used the term to apply to any physical or emotional consideration whatsoever, including “distress.”

    The term “viability” is usually understood to refer to the point at which a baby’s lungs are developed to the point that he or she can in fact survive independently of the mother – currently, about 23 or 24 weeks. However, the bill contains no objective criteria for “viability,” but rather, requires that the judgment regarding “viability” be left entirely in the hands of “the attending physician” – which is to say, the abortionist.

    The bill also prohibits any government actions that would “deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose to bear a child,” but supporters of the bills have not cited any actual laws that would be invalidated by that provision.

    Effects Admitted by Supporters

    In a factsheet posted on its website, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) explains, “FOCA will supercede anti-choice laws that restrict the right to choose, including laws that prohibit the public funding of abortions for poor women or counseling and referrals for abortions. Additionally, FOCA will prohibit onerous restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, such as mandated delays and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations.”

    In addition, PPFA explained, “Parental consent or notification statutes have been used as a tool to deny access to abortion services for minors. When such laws deny or interfere with the ability of minors to access abortion services, they would violate FOCA.”

    (About half of the states have parental notification or consent laws in effect, which the Supreme Court has said are permitted under Roe v. Wade as long as they meet certain requirements, including availability of judges to authorize abortions without parental notification or consent.)

    In a press release issued when she introduced the FOCA in 2004, Senator Boxer gave a number of examples of current laws that would be invalidated by the bill, including:

    – Laws restricting government funding of abortion. (The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funding of most abortions, and many states have similar laws. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that these laws do not violate Roe v. Wade.)

    – Laws prohibiting abortions in public hospitals. (The Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that such policies do not violate Roe v. Wade.)

    – Laws requiring that girls and women seeking abortion receive certain information on matters such as fetal development and alternatives to abortion, and then wait a specified period before the abortion is actually performed, usually 24 or 48 hours. In her press release, Boxer referred to these as “antichoice propaganda lectures.” (The Supreme Court said in its 1992 Casey ruling that such regulations are constitutional as long as they do not impose an “undue burden” on obtaining an abortion.)

    Other Effects

    NRLC’s Johnson said that a number of other types of laws also would clearly be invalidated by the bill:

    – All laws allowing doctors, nurses, or other state-licensed professionals, and hospitals or other health-care providers, to decline to provide or pay for abortions. (Such “conscience rights” with respect to abortion are generally protected by certain federal laws, and by the laws in many states. Supporters of the laws usually call them “conscience laws,” but pro-abortion groups refer to them as “refusal clauses.”)

    – All laws prohibiting medical personnel other than licensed physicians from performing abortions would be invalid because they may “interfere with” access to abortion. (All but a handful of states currently enforce such “doctor-only” laws, which are specifically authorized in Roe v. Wade itself.)

    – The provision of the FOCA that prohibits any government agency or official from taking any action that would “discriminate against the exercise of” the FOCA-created legal rights, with respect to any “benefits, facilities, services, or information,” would leave government officials open to lawsuits for anything that anybody thought “discriminate(s)” against abortion. Johnson observed, “This sweeping mandate could cover everything from rural health clinics, to health education programs in public schools – and even to pro-life speeches by public officials.”

    History of the FOCA

    An earlier version of the FOCA was pushed by pro-abortion forces beginning in the late 1980s, when they feared that the Supreme Court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade. When President Clinton, a FOCA supporter, took office in January 1993, Planned Parenthood predicted that the FOCA would be law within six months. But the bill died after an education and lobbying campaign, led by NRLC, persuaded many pro-Roe lawmakers that the bill went beyond Roe and would strike down many state laws that had broad support.

    Johnson noted that during the debates over the FOCA in the early 1990s, many proponents of the bill often tried to deny some of its more radical effects – effects that they have already admitted with respect to the new bill, such as the invalidation of all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

    The original FOCA faded from view after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in the 1994 election.

  17. Faithful and True said on 11 Dec 2008 at 7:33 pm:
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    The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion and support of abortion as a federal, state, or even local policy is a grave sin (there is an abortion clinic somewhere in the county I believe). People like to justify a vote for abortion favoring candidates in many ways, however the Church has always taught that abortion “trumps” issues such as the war, homeless, poverty because it is a crime against an innocent human life created by God who has commited no crime and in justice has a right to his or her life. Rightly so, there is more culpability for the politician who supports such an act by his vote, legislation or inaction than the poor and often confused woman who decides she slept with a man she doesn’t want to have a child with. If you don’t like the Catholic position, there are plenty of protestant churches that will welcome you with open arms.

  18. not your father's democratic party anymore said on 11 Dec 2008 at 7:43 pm:
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    goggle “freedom of choice act ” and see what the democrats are up to these days with regards to unborn babbies . . . I don’t like it but hey, other things are more important to me like the economy . . .

  19. jfk said on 11 Dec 2008 at 7:46 pm:
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    I wish that only Catholics would put in their “two cents” about what Catholics believe and should do. And by the way, if you no longer go to mass on a regular basis, consider yourself non-Catholic. It’s not a birthright or an ethnic group. I know some of you from prior posts have said that you don’t go to mass anymore because you don’t like the pastor, yada yada, yada. Tough. Your opinion no longer counts unless you are a participating member of the Roman Catholic Church.

  20. Tom Ridge said on 11 Dec 2008 at 7:47 pm:
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    Faithful and True, amen. Principi’s letter still does not explain how he can claim to be a pro-life Catholic while supporting National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, “Pro Choice America,” endorsed candidates. Connolly doesn’t even try. He’s too important to be bothered with questions by the Constituents.

  21. Hmmm... said on 12 Dec 2008 at 6:30 am:
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    You have me confused with someone else. I’m a middle-aged male who hasn’t posted cartoons anywhere.

  22. Anonymous said on 12 Dec 2008 at 10:54 am:
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    Actually, “separation of church and state” is a reference to Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists, in which he described how the First Amendment creates a separation between church and state.

    But don’t get all hung up on “facts” and “truth,” Greg.

  23. Greg L said on 12 Dec 2008 at 11:08 am:
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    That reference by Jefferson would have remained obscure and irrelevant until Hugo Black decided to use it as the basis for his decision in Everson v. Board of Education in 1947. If you’re concerned about “facts”, you might want to learn about the philosophical foundation of the argument you seem to be making.

    Here’s a summary, for those who may be too busy to spend a lot of time trying to understand what they may be espousing:


  24. Harry said on 12 Dec 2008 at 11:44 am:
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    As you are aware abortion was made a mortal sin in the mid 1800’s by the Catholic Church, this was not something that St. Peter came up with.

  25. Anonymous said on 12 Dec 2008 at 12:21 pm:
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    If by “obscure and irrelevant,” you mean “formed part of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, was subsequently used in the writing of James Madison, appreared in John Tyler’s famous ‘Noble Experiment’ letter, appeared in Reynolds v. United States (1878), and drove the French principle of laicite amongst many others,” then I completely agree with you.

  26. Greg L said on 12 Dec 2008 at 1:16 pm:
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    Nowhere in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom is there any reference to “separation of church and state”. Again, you’re barking up the wrong tree.


    [Sec. 1] Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

    [Sec. 2] Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

    [Sec. 3] And though we well know that this assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act to be irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such act shall be an infringement of natural right.

  27. junes_reston said on 12 Dec 2008 at 1:56 pm:
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    Where is it written that the Republican Party is an extension of the Catholic Church?

    I personally have little regard for the Catholic Church - it preaches one doctrine about morality while still sweeping its own sins under the expensive hand woven carpets.

    Far Right Reaching Republicans are the cause for the downfall of the party. Venting so much anger on an individual who supports a woman’s right to choose is hypocricy at its worst when many Republican “christian” families aren’t doing such a great job in the “morality teachings” at home.

    If Republicans REALLY want to make a change for the better, they should lean more to the center and focus on PREVENTING pregnancy.

  28. Greg L said on 12 Dec 2008 at 2:50 pm:
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    To me this isn’t about the Catholic Church, it’s about someone who on one side says he’s in agreement with it but on the other side acts as if he’s not. If Principi is willing to violate the tenets of his faith, is he equally willing to discard the principles he campaigned under and do something entirely different once elected?

    Ever see someone campaign that their a life-long NRA member, and then they turn around and support gun control? Or say what they need to in order to get an endorsement by the National Taxpayers Union and then vote for tax increases? It’s incredibly frustrating when a candidate or an elected official claims one set of beliefs and then fails to rely on them when it comes time to make a decision.

    Principi can’t be a pro-life Catholic and then expect no one is going to raise issues when he goes out and campaigns for Gerry Connolly. He can pick one or the other, but both doesn’t compute at all.

  29. junes_reston said on 12 Dec 2008 at 4:40 pm:
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    “Ever see a politician …. willing to discard the principles he campaigned under and do something entirely different once elected?”

    In every single election.


    In his interview, he said: “In Saturday’s News & Messenger, Chris Royse, under the guise of wishing residents a Merry Christmas, indicated that I supported a pro-choice agenda and called upon church officials in the Arlington Catholic Diocese to deny me communion. Although I normally keep my personal and religious life private, I felt it necessary to respond to his letter.

    First I would like to state that I am a pro-life, Knight of Columbus, practicing Catholic who believes in the separation of church and state. My faith has always been a very important part of my life.


    As an FYI: CatholicNewsAgency.com reported:

    Washington DC, Oct 8, 2008 / 11:48 pm (CNA).- A new poll of Americans ages 18-34 has surveyed the faith, politics, and issue positions of young adults before the 2008 election. The poll claims about 60 percent of younger self-identified Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 44 percent reportedly support same-sex marriage, a number which rises to 64 percent when religious liberty protections are emphasized.


    75 percent of Catholics believe that a person can be a “good Catholic” even if they use birth control.


    Obviously, even the majority of Catholics don’t want politicians peering into their private lives, yet respect their right to practice their religion in their PERSONAL lives.

    Principi has made it very clear that abortion is not an option in his PERSONAL life. If he lives by these values, then he has deceived no one.

    Now, I don’t care for the man’s political platform and wouldn’t vote for him for that reason - if I were able to vote in PWC.

    I would take far more offense to Principi campaigning for Connolly.

  30. Slick said on 12 Dec 2008 at 5:12 pm:
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    Hey frankie, did hilda proofread her…er, I mean your letter before you sent it? Oh that’s right, she’s busy cutting deals with developers so you can push them through the BOS, my bad. DUMP PRINCIPI!!!

  31. jfk said on 12 Dec 2008 at 5:43 pm:
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    junes_reston said on 12 Dec 2008 at 1:56 pm: Flag comment
    Where is it written that the Republican Party is an extension of the Catholic Church?

    I personally have little regard for the Catholic Church - it preaches one doctrine about morality while still sweeping its own sins under the expensive hand woven carpets.

    Personal feelings are best kept that way. You sound very predjudiced and uninformed.

  32. legal2 said on 12 Dec 2008 at 5:47 pm:
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    “75 percent of Catholics believe that a person can be a “good Catholic” even if they use birth control.”

    The Church is not a democracy and not poll-driven. Sorry, but you are not a “good Catholic” when you support anti-life issues. This type of thinking is what B16 addressed at the beginning of his pontificate: moral relativism. Principi is not “in the Church” if he publicly supports pro-choice candidates, even if he *believes* he still is. He is duplicitous at best and one more reason to throw him off the BOCS.

  33. Benton said on 12 Dec 2008 at 6:07 pm:
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    To me this isn’t about the Catholic Church, it’s about someone who on one side says he’s in agreement with it but on the other side acts as if he’s not. If Principi is willing to violate the tenets of his faith, is he equally willing to discard the principles he campaigned under and do something entirely different once elected?

    Agree completely Greg you can’t pick and choose what to agree with and what not to agree with and you shouldn’t violate the tenets of faith. That would be a cafeteria Catholic. The Catholic Church teaches against - remarriage, pre-marital sex as well. I am axiously awaiting Mr. Royse’s call for those who support anyone or has who has divorced and re-married without benefit of annulment or engaged in pre-marital sex to be denied communion.

  34. Greg L said on 12 Dec 2008 at 8:13 pm:
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    My understanding, which isn’t all that comprehensive about the Catholic Church, is that Holy Communion is not forever denied. They, like other Christian churches understand that we are all sinners, we all fall short of the mark, and we are saved only through faith and by grace alone. Denying Communion would be the incentive for the parishoner to seek repentance, which is how we are forgiven our sins. We repent, we try our best to sin no more, and we are welcomed back into the unity of the Church.

    I’m absolutely sure there are plenty of folks in any Church who have sinned. I can pretty confidently assume that each and every person who is a member of a Christian church, including Catholics, have sinned. I hope they repent, pledge to do their best to change, and join their brothers and sisters in Christ in a congregation that supports each other in leading God-pleasing lives.

    Benton, I can understand if from the outside this all seems strange and unfamiliar, and you’re making assumptions about how Christians act that seem to make no sense at all. When you find yourself in that position again, see if you can ask someone who does understand and can explain what’s going on. I think you’d feel a lot better understanding that Christians are pretty far from a bunch of close-minded hypocrites who lead stupid and pointless lives. Even if you’re not part of that community, understanding how good it can be can be pretty reassuring.

  35. Benton said on 12 Dec 2008 at 10:45 pm:
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    I do know what inconsistancy is when I see it. :)

  36. Slick said on 12 Dec 2008 at 11:15 pm:
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    “I do know what inconsistency is when I see it.”

    you mean when you look in the mirror.

  37. Benton said on 13 Dec 2008 at 11:27 am:
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    Hey, you react like a liberal!!! Best response you got?

  38. legal2 said on 15 Dec 2008 at 9:36 pm:
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    one of the Catholic Church’s best Cardinals speaks on the subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv3MRyKfEHA

  39. Tom Andrews said on 16 Dec 2008 at 7:53 pm:
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    This entire thread illuminates a large problem with not only our party but with our perspective on local government as a whole. All personal convictions aside, the PWCBOS will no sooner be debating the legalities of Roe than they will be debating the closing of an Air Force base in Idaho. It simply is a subject that is not relevant to the level of government we are speaking of. Until we get serious about government, and focus on effective, efficient governance with sound public policymaking we will continue to get the government that we have. To focus on Supreme Court decisions rather than focus on solutions for the citizens of PWC will guarantee our continued frustrations on election day. Our Republican values and beliefs are to be defended and cherished; however, some of those values and beliefs cannot be allowed to obscure the entire Republican viewpoint and perspective which include national security, economic development through low taxation, effective, efficient governance and personal responsibility.

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