Saturday, October 13, 2007

Catholics United Putting Up Pro SCHIP Ads On Talk and Christian Radio

Last evening on the way home from our office, my wife told me about a water cooler encounter she had with one of our co-workers. She told me the discussion drifted to the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty. My wife was surprised to learn that the co-worker didn't believe it when my wife told her the Catholic Church was seriously opposed to the death penalty. The co-worker knew about the Church's stand on abortion and stem cell research, but she hadn't realized it extended to the death penalty.

As we talked about the Catholic positions on a whole range of issues including the death penalty, war and withholding or withdrawing food and water (euphemistically called nutrition and hydration in Health Care Directives) from the permanently comatose, my wife and I agreed that we had to admire their consistency. From before the cradle to the grave the Catholic Church's position is all about the sanctity of life. Uniformly, Catholics come down on the side of life. Whether you disagree, as I do, with the Church on some issues you have to admire that consistency.

We should not surprised to learn that Catholics United have come out strongly in favor of the SCHIP override. The group has gone so far as to generate radio ads targeting 10 allegedly pro life and pro family Republicans saying that their votes against SCHIP are neither pro life nor pro family. You can read the release posted below or follow the above link to find out if your favorite is on the list. If you are from Kansas City you might want to listen to the Sam Graves ad. The ads will be broadcast on Christian and conservative stations starting Monday.

John Cole and Steve Benen wonder if the right wing smear machine is going after the woman reading the ad? Actually, Cole thinks they will. I think Catholics United can take care of themselves. The smear machine should have learned a lesson last week. Stick to the issue. If your ideology informs you that you must deny children health care then say so proudly and honestly. Most people will think you are wicked, but at least you will be ideologically consistent.

More after the break.


Washington - Catholics United will launch a radio advertising campaign targeting ten members of Congress whose opposition to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) have compromised their pro-life voting records.

The ads, which feature a mother urging her Congressional Representative to support SCHIP, will primarily air on Christian and talk radio stations from Monday Oct. 15 to Wednesday, Oct. 17 as Congress approaches a critical Oct. 18 vote to override President Bush’s veto of bipartisan SCHIP legislation.

“Building a true culture of life requires public policies that promote the welfare of the most vulnerable,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “At the heart of the Christian faith is a deep and abiding concern for the need of others. Pro-life Christians who serve in Congress should honor this commitment by supporting health care for poor children.”

The following members of Congress have voted against SCHIP, which provides high-quality health coverage to more than six million children whose families would otherwise be unable to afford insurance. Radio ads will air on local radio stations in their congressional districts.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida (listen)

Rep. Joseph Knollenberg, Michigan (listen)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan (listen)

Rep. Tim Walberg, Michigan (listen)

Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio (listen)

Rep. Gene Taylor, Mississippi (listen)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota (listen)

Rep. Sam Graves, Missouri (listen)

Rep. Thelma Drake, Virginia (listen)

Rep. John Peterson, Peterson (listen)

The script for the radio commercial reads: “I'm the mother of three children, and I'm pro-life. I believe that protecting the lives our children must be our nation’s number one moral priority. That’s why I’m concerned that Congressman X says he’s pro-life but votes against health care for poor children. That’s not pro-life. That’s not pro-family. Tell Congressman X to vote for health care for children. Call him today at XXXX, that’s XXXXX.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, and the Catholic Health Association have all urged Congress and President Bush to support SCHIP.