About a month ago, in the wake of the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius to the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services, I wrote a letter to my Senator, Bob Casey. I was rather miffed that a Catholic and supposedly pro-life politician would vote to confirm Ms. Sebelius given her radical pro-abortion stance and given the revelations of the depth of her political, financial and personal ties to Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortionist from her home state of Kansas.
I recently received his response and find it disconcerting. I will share my letter and his response (with my commentary). I would, however, like to note that in retrospect I realize that I might have been a little bit uncharitable in my letter in the passion of the moment. While I have clear disagreements with Senator Casey, if my letter seems to question his faith or to accuse him of acting disingenuously (and, who am I kidding, it does...) I apologize. I trust that, as misguided as I believe he is on this matter, he takes his positions in good faith.
So, here it is:
I am disturbed by your decision to vote in favor of the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius. Leaving morality aside, her inept fiscal management of the state of Kansas should have given all members of our Congress serious pause before entrusting such an important federal department as Health and Human Services to her.
But, much much worse is her history of militant support for abortion, including support for the murder of post-viable fetuses. The strong financial ties between her and late-term abortionist George Tiller should be nauseating to any human being, let alone to a follower of the Roman Catholic Church.
I recently sent you a letter applauding you for your opposition to President Obama's rescission of the conscience protections for America's medical professionals. Now that you've just voted to confirm the radical Sebelius to head HHS, giving her authority to implement new policies in that vein, I can't help but wonder if your previous stands have been sheer demagoguery.
Your party is making it more and more uncomfortable for faithful Catholics to live in the United States. You have an obligation to our God, our Church, and the people of Pennsylvania to use your position to be a constant witness to the Natural Law. Here, you've betrayed the principles on which you've campaigned and on which you've claimed to believe in the depths of your heart.
God's will for our Nation does not follow party lines. I will be praying that God will give you the courage to stand up to evil, regardless of the political party putting it forward. I ask that you continue to seek the Holy Spirit's guidance as you proceed with your work in the Senate, and that you keep in mind that it is the Truth, not political expediency, that shall set us free.
And the Senator's response [My comments in bracketed italics]:
Dear [Collegiate Catholic]:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the nomination of Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about the issues that matter most to them.
Governor Sebelius was nominated by President Obama to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services on March 2, 2009. Although I disagree with her on some issues related to abortion [Wait, wait, wait... let's be very clear here. Sebelius does not simply disagree on "some issues related to abortion." She is an abortion extremist], Governor Sebelius is a leader with a proven record of bipartisanship and eight years of experience as the Kansas Insurance Commissioner [a job which the Washington Post tells us " had little to do with the delivery of care or the achievement of the sort of quality improvements and efficiencies that Obama and policy experts speak of when describing a high-performing health-care system of the future"]. As governor of Kansas, Governor Sebelius has overseen many reform efforts in the areas of health care and early childhood education.
She brings extensive knowledge of America's health care infrastructure, which will be critically important in the coming months as President Obama and the Congress work to reform our Nation's health care system. I also believe that it would be irresponsible to leave the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services vacant while the Nation and the world are confronting the Influenza A H1N1 virus and the potential pandemic that it may cause. [Bird flu? Is this a joke? It seems like excuse-making to me. Even if it is genuine, I think we need to start putting the abortion issue in perspective. Abortion results in 1 million deaths each year in the United States. Policies directly shaped by the Secretary of HHS will hold thousands of unborn lives in the balance, and Ms. Sebelius has made clear that she sides against these lives. Bird flu should not compare as a concern.]
Governor Sebelius came before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of which I am a member, on March 31. However, her nomination was only voted on by the Committee on Finance, which approved her nomination on April 21. When her nomination came before the full Senate on April 28, 2009, I was pleased to vote to confirm her as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. [Here's where things get downright disturbing. If Sen. Casey had claimed that he had reluctantly voted for Ms. Sebelius because he made the calculation that it was a lesser evil, that would have been one thing. But to be PLEASED to vote for such a clear ally of the culture of death... Well, I find it very hard to understand how that's reconcilable with the pro-life position.]
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you. [Don't worry, sir. You'll continue to hear from me regularly.]
If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to visit my web site, http://casey.senate.gov. I invite you to use this online office as a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator