The Biden Admin and the Culture of Death
“They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation. Nor, on the contrary, are they any less wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone and in the discharge of certain moral obligations, and who imagine they can plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life. This split between the faith which many profess, and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.” ― Gaudium et Spes, 43
Unfortunately, last week President Joe Biden used his State of the Union address to express his support once again for the culture of death.
In his remarks, the president urged Congress to codify abortion access in law. “Congress must restore the right that was taken away in Roe v. Wade,” he said.
“The vice-president and I are doing everything to protect access to reproductive healthcare and safeguard patient safety. But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans,” he added. He also vowed that if Congress were to pass a ban on abortion, “I will veto it.”
The president also touted his signing of the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” which he said, “protects the right to marry the person you love.” In reality, this bill codified into law the radical redefinition of marriage, mandating that the federal government recognize “marriages,” unions between two people of the same sex. It repealed and replaced provisions that defined, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex.
Biden also urged Congress to pass the “Equality Act,” in order – he said – “to ensure LGBTQ Americans, especially transgender young people, can live with safety and dignity.”
As pro-family advocates have warned, the Equality Act is one of the most radical pieces of legislation ever put before Congress. It would amend the Civil Rights Act to forbid so-called “discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and “gender identity.”
The effect of this radical expansion of the scope of the Civil Rights Act would be to crush religious liberty and conscience rights. It would pose a grave threat to parental rights, with parents effectively losing their fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. And as Kenneth Craycroft summarizes over at First Things, the law would outlaw such things as counseling for gender dysphoria, force schools and other organizations to allow biological males to compete against girls, and block any religious exemptions.
The Equality Act is not about ending unjust discrimination. It is about imposing a radical ideology, with sweeping implications.
Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act discriminates against people of faith precisely because of those beliefs. In the process, the Equality Act codifies the new ideology of “gender” in federal law, dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting “gender” as only a social construct (cf. the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).
Biden Lies about Bishops and the Pope
It is galling as a Catholic priest to watch President Biden propose these radically immoral positions to the entire nation, all while presenting himself as a Catholic in good standing. Indeed, the president is so shameless that he recently tried to suggest that the U.S. bishops and the Holy Father aren’t opposed to his pro-abortion radicalism.
Biden was asked by a reporter with EWTN about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USSCB) support for the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion“ bill. This piece of legislation would codify the Hyde Amendment, a bipartisan amendment renewed annually since 1976 that prohibits public funds from being used to pay for abortions. According to some estimates, this amendment has saved the lives of over two million preborn children.
The reporter noted that the “Catholic bishops are demanding that federal tax dollars not fund abortions.” The president replied: “No they are not all doing that. Nor is the Pope doing that.”
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was not impressed. He promptly released a statement in response to the president’s remark, setting the record straight.
“As we are taught by Jesus, human life is sacred,” he said. “God calls us to defend and nurture life from the moment a new human being is conceived. The Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in this teaching. The Catholic bishops of the United States are united in our commitment to life and will continue to work as one body in Christ to make abortion unthinkable.”
The archbishop quoted Pope Francis, who recently noted that, “It is not right to ‘do away with’ a human being, however small, in order to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hitman.” The Pope has frequently referred to abortion in this way – as a form of assassination.
The archbishop concluded:
Taxpayer funding of abortion would force people of good conscience to participate in this grave evil against their will. It would contradict our right to live in accord with the tenets of our faith. Our nation is better than that. I pray that we will protect every child no matter his or her age and open our hearts to respond to mothers in need with love and support rather than the violence of abortion.
Bishops Support ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’
Indeed, contrary to Biden’s claim, the U.S. bishops have been unmistakably forthright and consistent in their support of a ban on taxpayer funding of abortion. This couldn’t have been any clearer than in the letter that Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, sent to Congress on January 27.
In the letter, the bishop noted that just days earlier, “tens of thousands of Americans from across our nation gathered at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. to celebrate God’s miraculous gift of human life from its very beginning and to urge our government to respect and protect that most fundamental human right—the right to life.”
He highlighted in particular the joy and gratitude that attendees felt at the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, he added, he was writing to express the bishops’ support for a clear congressional ban on the use of any taxpayer funds to support abortion. “The government should never fund the destruction of innocent preborn children,” he wrote.
How President Biden could bald-facedly claim that the bishops don’t oppose taxpayer funding of abortion in the face of such a letter is beyond me. What does it say about him that he has to resort to lies in this way?
Be that as it may, I am grateful to Archbishop Broglio and Bishop Burbidge for their swift response and absolute clarity on this most important issue. When it comes to the violence and crime of abortion, there is no room for ambiguity or double-speak. While we must always be compassionate towards those who have been harmed by the great evil of abortion, we can never compromise one iota on the moral stakes at play.
Biden’s Tragic Error
In 1994, Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Calcutta) visited the United States. While there, she gave a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event attended by numerous congressmen.
At the time President Biden was serving as a U.S. senator. I can’t find anything saying for sure whether he attended the breakfast that year. However, as a high-profile, self-declared “Catholic” statesman, that if he was not in attendance, he undoubtedly was aware of Mother Teresa’s speech and its implications.
Biden would have heard Mother Teresa tell the crowd, which included the stridently pro-abortion President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary, Vice President Al Gore, and his wife Tipper, some of the most prophetic words ever spoken in defense of the lives of the preborn. “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion,” the sainted religious sister told the assembled crowd of dignitaries and lawmakers, “because Jesus said, ‘If you receive a little child, you receive me.’”
She continued, “[Abortion] is really a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” She concluded, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love one another, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
Whether in attendance or not, President Biden was familiar with these powerful words. Sadly, however, it seems that he did not take them to heart. The unfortunate reality is that as the years have gone on, President Biden has become more and more extreme on the abortion issue, and with his radical anti-family agenda.
For decades the president, while serving in Congress, actually supported the Hyde Amendment. While running for president, however, he suddenly made an about-face, renouncing his former support.
Since the reversal of Roe, he and his administration have tried to push abortion as much as they can through executive action. In 2021 and 2022, they attempted to push through budgets without the Hyde Amendment – earning the praise of Planned Parenthood in the process. Last fall, Biden also signed an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to find ways to pay for women to travel to states where abortion is legal to end the lives of their preborn children. And, of course, the president has supported the codification of Roe at every turn.
A Beacon to the World
“I have no new teaching for America,” said Mother Teresa in a letter to the Supreme Court in 1994, as it was considering another abortion-related case. “I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world. Your nation was founded on the proposition—very old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight—that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”
Let us pray for President Biden – and for Catholics in leadership positions – that, before it is too late, he may allow the words of Mother Teresa, and the many bishops that have spoken to him and urged him to rethink his position. May they penetrate his heart and lead him to repent of the scandal and damage he has caused – causing by his “divided life.” As President, he has it within his power to make the United States a beacon of light, committed to spreading respect for life and the dignity of marriage and the family not only within its own borders, but to the whole world.
That is certainly something worth praying for.
As president of Human Life International, Fr. Boquet is a leading expert on the international pro-life and family movement, having journeyed to nearly 90 countries on pro-life missions over the last decade. Father Boquet works with pro-life and family leaders in 116 counties that partner with HLI to proclaim and advance the Gospel of Life. Read his full bio here.