There has been a flurry of commentary on the Introductory Note added to the new version of “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” Some have commented that the version just published by the bishops’ conference is the 2007 version, without revisions, and, …
Medicare must be changed if the program is to survive. Leaving the program on its current trajectory would expose seniors to rationed and restricted care while the reforms that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is proposing would actually save and …
The Kingdom of God is neither a program of social reform nor a political platform. When rendering to Caesar those things that are Caesar’s, we do a disservice to God if we reduce God to the level of a political …
On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, Catholic Advocate President Matt Smith testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. The hearing titled “The Expansion of Internet Gambling: Assessing Consumer Protection Concerns” explored the consumer protection implications of the legalization of intrastate online gaming.
Mr. Smith’s prepared testimony for the committee:
Nearly seven years ago, Congress voted overwhelmingly to protect vulnerable communities within our country as well as the integrity of professional sports by stopping the expansion of gambling on the internet. Unfortunately Congress’ clear intent in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is now under assault.
A pro-internet gambling coalition of large states desperate for more revenue and foreign-owned gambling companies have lobbied the Executive Branch to get around Congress’ intended protections and, at the end of 2011, they received an extraordinary boost from an unlikely source: the U.S. Department of Justice. On Friday, December 23, 2011, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced it was upending more than five decades of consistent interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act which prohibited all gambling over the internet with a new, unilateral opinion that the law simply applied to online sports gambling.
The Wall Street Journal described what happened next: “When the U.S. Justice Department in December narrowed its interpretation of the 50-year-old Wire Act, saying it banned only sports betting and not other forms of online gambling, the decision sparked hope in state capitals that lotteries could start selling tickets online and lead a charge into online gambling.” The “charge into online gambling” was exactly what Congress intended to prevent – with very good reason.
DOJ’s determination has opened the flood gates for states to accelerate plans, many already underway, to go even beyond ticket sales to offer casino-like games on the Internet under the umbrella of their state lottery system. Several states have either passed on-line gambling statutes or are in the process of passing them quickly in upcoming sessions to take advantage of the Department of Justice ruling.
The CEO of the leading provider of lottery services in the United States has said, “The DOJ ruling does not limit the sale of authorized products solely to state lotteries. I think it’s possible that if lotteries are beat to market, they could be tarnished by the early entrants and also risk losing the ability to attract younger players.”
It’s those “younger players” and other vulnerable populations like seniors who are at the most serious risk. Ninety-three percent (93%) of teens age 12-17 utilize the Internet and 97% of teens of the same age participate in some form of on-line gaming making them attractive targets for gambling marketing as well as illegal and fraudulent operators.
Often, Congress is put in situations where issues that are already problems require solutions. Here is an opportunity to address an impending matter before it becomes a crisis. Congress still can act to reassert its authority and re-establish its intent to prevent the proliferation of online gambling in the U.S. By reinstating the more than 50-year old interpretation of the Wire Act and actually strengthening UIGEA, you can protect our children and families from the erosion of safeguards Congress has previously established.
We recognize Congress did not create this problem. Congress, though, does have the power to protect our seniors, our children, and give law enforcement the tools they need to protect the vulnerable from illegal predatory gambling interests. We urge bi-partisan congressional action to restrict the imminent expansion of on-line gambling throughout states, lotteries, and off-shore operators. Federal restriction of on-line gambling is vital, urgent, and consistent with recent congressional intent.
To watch a broadcast of the hearing, click here.
In 2009, the Vatican confirmed the first miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II’s intercession—curing a French nun of Parkinson ‘s disease—and Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree beatifying him in 2011. Last month, the Vatican confirmed the second miracle—curing a Costa Rican woman of a severe brain injury.
Well now it’s official. On Friday of last week, Pope Francis approved the second miracle, paving the way for Pope John Paul II to be canonized a saint by the end of 2013.
Pope John XXIII will also be canonized a saint.
These men are still examples for us today. With the Texas State Legislature likely voting this week on the fetal pain bill, I urge you to join me in prayer in honor of these two great men and servants of the Lord and those in Texas carrying the torch for the sanctity of life
Prayer for Life by Pope John Paul II
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives, and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.
Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us…
Blessed Pope John XXIII, pray for us…
On this final day of the Fortnight for Freedom and Virtual Vigil for Religious Liberty – which just so happens to coincide with our nation’s Independence Day – I’d like to thank you for your support throughout the past two weeks.
We united thousands of faithful Americans to pray for religious liberty for people of all faiths and encouraged hundreds of them to take action — either by contact their members of Congress, donating to support our mission, or sharing parts of the Virtual Vigil with their family and friends. Although we still face an uphill battle to defend religious liberty, and of course the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, I am positive we are making an impact.
So in closing today, I leave you with the full lyrics to God Bless America.
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home!
God, help America,
To be her best,
To reap justice and compassion,
And to stride strongly through every test!
From the Great Lakes to the bayous
To the canyons to snowy Nome,
God, bless America, My home, sweet home!
Which Obama administration policy makes you the most angry?
|1. Taxpayer-funded abortions, easy access to the “morning after pill,” and not requiring parents to be notified when a minor seeks an abortion.
2. The Health and Human Services Obamacare mandate requirinng employers – including religion-based employers like Churches and hospitals – to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees including the birth control, abortion, and sterilization procedures.
3. Refusing to recognize the Defense of Marriage Act – which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last week – and lobbying to legalize same-sex marriage in all fifty states.
Whether you chose 1, 2, or 3, the conclusion is the same. The Obama administration, led by two self-proclaimed “good Catholics” (Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi) is waging a war against people of faith – and right now, they have the upperhand. Until we put our foot down and reclaim our rights, which are enshrined in the Constituion, the Obama administration will do everything and anything it can to encroach on our religious liberty.
As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom and Catholic Advocate’s Virtual Vigil Religious Liberty winds down, your support today is even more critical to ensuring we have the resources to fulfill our mission and hold our elected officials – especially Obama, Biden, and Pelosi – accountable.
How is the Obama administration getting away with its unprecedented push to make abortion and same-sex marriage as commonplace as white bread?
By making his token Catholics – Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi – the faces of the pro-abortion and same-sex marriage movements.
When asked if she thought same-sex marriage would be legal in all 50 states within five years, Pelosi said, “I’ve been in this – shall we say – crusade for a long time. And to see the pace with which it has accelerated in the past few years is very encouraging. Let’s hope it’s even sooner than that…” Talk about an all-out endorsement!
It’s not surprising that a Catholic priest recently called on Pelosi to renounce her Catholic faith, saying, “You can’t say you’re a Catholic and then betray the faith.” This same priest went on to criticize Pelosi’s comments in support of late-term abortion saying, “With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves ‘practicing and respectful Catholics’ and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside of the womb — reprehensible.”