Posts by Beth Dahlman

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Bachmann Misleads on Abortion

April 14, 2011, 1:59 pm | By Beth Dahlman

Michele_Bachmann_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpgCaught this from Rep. Michele Bachmann in an interview with Christianity Today:

Would you have supported a budget compromise that might keep federal funds directed towards Planned Parenthood? Or is that out of the question?

We do need to defund Planned Parenthood, a billion dollar a year organization. It receives fully one-third of their funding from the taxpayers. It’s important that this is an area, again, where a nonprofit–which Planned Parenthood is–seek their funding from private sources as opposed to the taxpayers. I’ve also been unwilling to vote for a budget that would include funding for Obamacare. Obamacare will be the first time in the history of the country that we truly have full taxpayer support of abortion, and I cannot go down that road.(Emphasis added).

Of course, there is no federal funding for abortion in the Affordable Care Act, but that hasn’t stopped opponents of the law like Bachmann from continuing to make such false claims. When pressed, they make what’s been called the fungibilty argument.

We’ve explained this before, but here’s a great summary from Jessica Aarons at Wonk Room today of what this argument is and why it doesn’t add up:

Conservatives claim that they object to funding Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services, even though they know that Planned Parenthood is barred from spending any federal money on abortion by a provision known as the Hyde Amendment, as well as numerous other laws. The truth is that they want to cut off funding for family planning services because they oppose contraception as much as they do abortion.

Nevertheless, they assert that funding should be cut because taxpayers are “subsidizing” abortion. Their argument is that money is “fungible,” meaning that every dollar the government gives Planned Parenthood for family planning services, STI and HIV prevention and treatment, and cancer screening “frees up” money for it to spend on abortion care. According to them, mechanisms to segregate public from private funds are mere “accounting gimmicks” and “funding schemes.”

However, when it comes to their pet projects, like granting government money to faith-based organizations, they suddenly have every confidence in a recipient’s ability to keep pots of money separate and only use government money for approved uses. For instance, there was no parallel attempt (nor should there have been) during health reform to prevent Catholic-affiliated hospitals and health plans from receiving money under the Affordable Care Act on the theory that it would subsidize their religious activities and violate the Establishment Clause.

Photo by Gage Skidmore.

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Fox News Drops “Glenn Beck”

April 6, 2011, 6:44 pm | By Beth Dahlman

Today FOX News announced Glenn Beck’s daily TV show will be no more.

FOX executives deny the move had anything to do with outside pressure, but it’s hard to see how FOX could ignore more than 300 lost advertisers and continuous criticism from the faith community.

Faithful America, which has been putting pressure on Beck for his attacks on social justice, called the news a “major victory for people of faith.”

It’s too early to tell who will take Beck’s place in FOX’s lineup, but thanks to the work of Faithful America, Jewish Funds for Justice, Sojourners, Media Matters, Color of Change and the entire Stop Beck effort, I doubt we’ll see another host who quite like Beck anytime soon.

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Fighting for Families “Preach-a-Thon”

April 4, 2011, 3:29 pm | By Beth Dahlman

The budget fight is heating up this week here in Washington. Egged on by the Tea Party, leaders in Congress are refusing to compromise and govern responsibly, meaning we could be headed for a government shutdown as early as Friday.

Faith leaders have joined together to fast and pray for a moral budget — and we’re working hard to amplify that voice and keep up the pressure.

All this week, we’ll be hosting a “Preach-a-Thon” on the budget here at Bold Faith Type. Every day we’ll post new video and written commentary from religious leaders and people of faith on what their faith says about the budget fight. At the end of the week, we’ll package all the preaching, along with petition signatures from Faithful America, and deliver it to wavering Members of Congress who need to hear from constituents calling on them to do the right thing.

Our first video comes from Ben Dumas:

You can participate by posting a video on the Preach-a-Thon Facebook page.

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The government’s moral responsibility

March 31, 2011, 1:45 pm | By Beth Dahlman

Another interesting finding from today’s new poll commissioned by Faith in Public Life is the clear consensus of people of faith in Ohio on what the government’s moral responsibility is.

Conservatives have tried to frame tax cuts and reducing the deficit through vital program cuts as moral issues, but today’s poll shows they haven’t had much success.

Sixty-three percent of Ohioans (including 66% of Catholics and 57% of Evangelicals) think it’s the government’s more important moral responsibility is to make sure citizens have a quality education and safe and healthy communities, while only 26% think the more important responsibility is to cut taxes.

role of gov chart.jpg

As our executive director Rev. Jennifer Butler said today: “Attacks on workers’ rights and reckless cuts to needed investments in education, public safety, and protections for the most vulnerable don’t honor our values, and people of faith are standing up to these immoral policies.”

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Young Adults Get Affordable Care

March 25, 2011, 11:33 am | By Beth Dahlman

One of the scariest things about college graduation — besides feelings of ohmygoshwhatamIgoingtodowithmylifenow — was the realization that I was about to be kicked off my parents’ health insurance. I knew that if I didn’t find a job with health benefits soon, I would be left either without adequate coverage or with unaffordable premiums (and jobless to boot).

Thankfully, I was able to find a job and health insurance. But many people my age were not so lucky and were forced to buy overpriced insurance on the individual market or go without pray they wouldn’t get hit by a car or twist their ankle.

The Affordable Care Act, which turned one year old on Wednesday, fixes this.

Young adults now have more and better health care options — most significantly the ability to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.

With jobs even less plentiful than when I graduated back in 2005, I know this small but important change is a huge relief for both young adults and their parents.

Young adults looking to get coverage can check out this great toolkit from the Young Invincibles.

The White House has also been getting the word out, including via a personal phone call from the President to Erick Moberg, a college senior who under the old rules would have been kicked off his parents’ insurance but who can now take a year off to prepare for medical school without worrying about how he’ll get health insurance coverage.

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