Jakubczyk on Common Sense

Applying faith and reason to ideas, issues and events in today's world

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John J. Jakubczyk has been active in the Pro-Life Movement since 1975.  He served as President of Arizona Right to Life, Arizona's largest, oldest and strongest pro-life organization.  He was on the board of AzRTL for many years and now acts as the Arizona delegate to the National Right to Life Committee.  As the founder and president of Southwest Life & Law Center, he continues to use his legal skills to assist in advising, counseling and defending women, children, pro-life activists, organizations, as well as victims of abortion. A national speaker, motivator and adviser since the 1980s, he is very familiar with the history of the movement at the national level.   A founder and past president of Ville de Marie Academy, he served as a trustee for 15 years.  He has been an attorney in private practice for 35 years, is active in his church, married, the father of 11 children, and a proud grandfather.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Steve Benson and Senator John McCain

Leave it to Steve Benson, editorial cartoonist for the Arizona Republic, to attack Senator John McCain for being pro-life. In a recent editorial cartoon, Benson does just that claiming that the good senator wants to throw women "overboard" by supporting the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Of course it is Roe v. Wade that has been throwing women overboard for the last 34 years by treating them as objects and property rather than the persons they were created to be.

The abortion industry has long exploited the economic and social pressures that an unintended pregnancy may cause a woman. And for a fee, the abortionists have all been very willing to "take care" of the "problem" so that the woman could continue her life uninterrupted. Except that for the vast majority of women, the "interruption of a pregnancy" and its subsequent destruction never leaves the woman. She will remember this event for the rest of her life. And the event will color her relationships with everyone she knows or will know in the future.

The real "lifesavers" who throw out the "lifeline" to the mother in distress are the emergency pregnancy services and the right to life movement as a whole. These organizations offer real hope and healing to women in distress. Rather than try to sweep the reality under the table, the pro-life side addresses real problems and offers real long term life affirming solutions. Senator McCain knows this and that explains in part why he supports the efforts of the pro-life movement.

The real tragedy is the downward slide of Steve Benson from being someone who defended the innocent and the helpless to a cold calloused individual who just doesn't care anymore. What led him to his own embrace of the culture of death cannot be a lack of knowledge. Steve and I were friends at one time. He spoke at right to life functions showing his cartoons where he mocked the proprietors of the abortion industry and their political minions who kissed up to these purveyors of death. He and Chuck Assay, another cartoonist, would do a slide presentation ( this was in the late 1980s) and speak about the unborn child and the mother and how we all needed to be involved in some way. He was funny; he was sharp; he was passionate.

I still have some of his cartoons, one where he blasts Planned Parenthood for suggesting Mrs. Beethoven have an abortion, another where he compares the abortion mills to the crematoriums in Nazi Germany. He entitled it "Reich to Choose." The box cars leading to the crematoriums had "PP" on the side. But one of my favorite cartoons shows a Planned Parenthood office and a crisis pregnancy center side by side. Through the window of the Planned Parenthood office is the employee waving her hand at a teen age girl, screaming, "What?!!? Good heavens, girl, you don't want to go next door! They'll just manipulate you into not having the abortion we're trying to talk you into!"

What happened to Steve Benson is most likely tied to a number of things we will never know.

But in my last conversation with him years ago, he could not answer my questions. Perhaps the desire to get along with a more liberal environment, coupled with events in his family and church life, and a mid-life crisis, explains his abandonment of these pro-life principles. That is something that he will have to discuss in the depths of his heart with God.

Hannity’s confusion - his Arrogance and his Ignorance

On Friday March 9, 2007, Sean Hannity was called to task by Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International for Hannity’s errant statements on the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on birth control. Unfortunately Sean was not in the mood to take public criticism from a priest for his ignorant statements on the subject of birth control. What followed was an embarrassing display by Hannity of his lack of understanding of the Catholic Church’s teaching and his inability to articulate an argument in support of his position. He has been roundly criticized for his behavior.

We have all known for many years that Sean does not have a real serious understanding of the faith. This is unfortunate for him and his listeners, as a well-formed conscience would have assisted Sean to understand that he is wrong on the subject of birth control. Fr. Tom explained this problem while he was being castigated by Hannity. It was not Sean’s finest hour.

It was clear that Hannity did not appreciate being criticized by Fr. Eutenenuer. Hannity was mean spirited and defensive throughout the exchange. He was unable to address the real issue and instead threw out old canards against the church. I suppose though that the most ironic statement was the one that sought to praise people who remained Catholic in spite of the scandals. The most humorous one sought to establish Hannity as an expert because he studied Latin in school. That was funny if it wasn't so sad..

It was a combination of arrogance and ignorance that served to convict Hannity on Friday night. As someone born in 1961 he was most likely not properly catechized. His Catholicism was more cultural and now with success, it is something to be used as opposed to something to be lived. While many conservatives have come to appreciate that the Church’s teachings on moral issues is consistent with their own appreciation of the subject, the truth is that the church’s teachings based upon truth are 2000 years old and have stood the test of time. Whether one is discussing abortion, birth control or the concept of a just war, Catholic thought is both developed and logical. It is one of the reasons that the secular world hates the Church. The secularists know that the teachings of the Catholic Church are the single most dangerous obstruction to their own humanist based philosophy. Unwittingly, by attacking the Church, Hannity gives further credence to the very enemies of truth itself.

Of course he does not realize this, just as he did not realize that Fr. Thomas Euteneuer is one of the heroes in the current war against the children. In his zeal to attack someone who dared challenge his comfort level, Hannity reflects the classic Pharisaical position.
His anger clouded his mind and unwilling to let someone explain his position, he interrupted the priest and made all sorts of scurrilous remarks. It was not his finest moment.

Now this is not the first time Hannity has said stupid things regarding the Church. But it is instructive that these things are being said and done at a time when Hannity has been especially supportive of Rudy Giuilani’s run for the White House. Giuilani is very pro-abortion. Giuliani supported public funding of abortion in 1989. Yet, there are some who would claim that he is the only one who can beat Hillary and therefore are telling pro-life voters to hold their collective noses. However, I for one, say no. There are fine candidates such as Sam Brownback who can beat Hillary or anyone else the Democrats throw up.

So what are we to do with the likes of Sean Hannity?

Well, the first thing to do is pray for him.

It may be that the wealth and power that that been placed at his feet by being a national talk show host has affected him. This event may be a tool for bringing about greater prayer for him so that he will see the error of his ways.

Remember that two things are at stake. We do not want Catholics giving public scandal. In Sean’s case, if he would simply cease talking as a so-called authority on church matters, it was localize the error and not spread scandal.

We also want Sean to know and understand the truth and then to practice the truth. In his case he needs to read Theology of the Body. Humane Vitae, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He should pick up anything by Kreeft, Keating or the late bishop Fulton Sheen on the combined subjects of marriage and family life. He should also recognize that to be a practical Catholic, one does not pick and choose what one believes. Either one believes everything that the Catholic Church teaches or one does not.

Now having read over the various sites since Friday night, one can see a tremendous response by the Catholic community to his lack of understanding. Some have been very caustic, others are amazed at his stupidity. As for me, one sees the dangers of being so successful that one thinks one can be a law unto oneself.

Having met Sean a few times when he was in Phoenix, I do believe that he needs to sit down with an educated Catholic layman or priest and study the Faith. But first it would be appropriate to apologize to Fr. Euteneuer for the way he treated Father on Friday night.

After all, Sean we all need to reconcile with our brother before the Lord.