If not, you may need to stay out of Oklahoma. Check out the birth control law Oklahoman Dominic Pedulla, M.D. has proposed and the medical pseudoscience he's conjured to support it. When The Onion seems more real than reality, we're in trouble, folks.
Oklahoma May Deny Women Affordable Birth Control Because It ‘Poisons Their Bodies’
By Tara Culp-Ressler on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm
Oklahoma already prevents women from using their insurance plans to help cover abortion services, but Republicans aren’t stopping there. One state lawmaker wants to continue stripping insurance coverage for reproductive health services, advancing a measure that would allow employers to refuse to cover birth control for any reason — based solely on the fact that one of his constituents believes it “poisons women’s bodies.”
Under State Sen. Clark Jolley's (R) measure [now there's an unfortunate name], “no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees.” According to the Tulsa World, Jolley’s inspiration for his bill came from one of his male constituents who is morally opposed to birth control, and wanted to find a small group insurance plan for himself and his family that didn’t include coverage for those services:
Jolley said the measure is the result of a request from a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, an Oklahoma City cardiologist who describes himself as a natural family planning medical consultant and women’s health researcher. [...]
Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.
“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” Pedulla said. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”
The bill has already cleared a Senate Health committee and now makes it way to Oklahoma’s full Senate. It is unlikely that either Jolley and Pedulla themselves rely on insurance coverage for hormonal contraceptive services — but if the measure becomes law, the two men could limit the health insurance options for the nearly two million women who live in Oklahoma.
Of course, contraception does not actually poison women. The FDA approved the first oral birth control pill in 1960, and that type of contraception is so safe that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends making it available without a prescription, as it is in most other countries around the world. Furthermore, considering that over 99 percent of women of reproductive age have used some form of birth control, the Oklahoma women who rely on insurance coverage for their contraception would likely disagree with Pedulla’s assertion that it “suppresses and radically contradicts part of their own identity.” [block emphasis mine]In reality, access to affordable birth control is a critical economic issue for women. When women have control over their reproductive choices, it allows them to achieve economic goals like completing their education, becoming financially independent, or keeping a job. But birth control can carry high out-of-pocket costs, and over half of young women say they haven’t used their contraceptive method as directed because of cost prohibitions. Nonetheless, Republican lawmakers have repeatedly pushed measures to allow employers to drop coverage for birth control.
For more about this Oklahoma M.D., who has nine kids of his own—a fact that would seem to disqualify him as a birth control expert—look below the golden IUD. You will also find the trail of a licensed M.D., once trained in the scientific method, who turned away from The Enlightenment and cast his talents amid the dark forces of superstition, gender, anecdote, pseudoscience, and religious dogma.
So who is this Doctor Pedulla? Here's what he posted about himself two years ago on tumblr.
Over the course of his career in medicine, Dr. Dominic Pedulla has won accolades from professional and humanitarian groups alike for his services. A regular contributor to various peer-reviewed journals and periodicals, Dr. Dominic Pedulla has earned publication for several of his research papers on family planning and women’s health. Considered among the top specialists in the fields of cardiology and vascular medicine, Dr. Dominic Pedulla was named to the 2004 list of “America’s Outstanding Cardiologists” by the Consumers Research Council of America.Pedulla's Professional Accolades
Let's take Pedulla's last accolade first, the one from the Consumers Research Council of America (CRCA) in 2004. Over the years the CRCA has been investigated by a number of news organizations, Forbes and ABC News being two very recent ones. One discovery: last year the CRCA gave Dr. Mark Silverberg top dentist honors even though he is an anesthesiologist! In the medical profession, such accolades are generally dismissed as vanity awards, complete with tax-deductible price tags. Sid Schwab M.D. (retired) blogs about almost receiving his very own CRCA accolade:
"Congratulations!" it grinned (or was it a wink?) "Your listing in the "Guide to America's Top Surgeons" is most impressive. You are among a select few..... Accomplishments like yours should be displayed proudly...." It went on to provide me with a number of options for flaunting my inclusion, from nicely framed, personalized and plaqued, to etched in glass. (Sadly, none carved in stone; but one of the glass panes is a proud erection on a faux marble base.) $149 to about $229.Among many wonderful things about Sid is his style:
Any point here? Yeah. All forms of data-gathering aimed at providing consumers (or payors or government agencies or financial fascists) with info on which to judge doctors or hospitals—no matter how well-intentioned or plotted (and less evidently cynical than this one)—are subject to such a wide range of sampling-error and other problems as to make them nearly useless. Any I've seen to date, at any rate. Yet it's a worthy goal, and in fact I'd always thought that if there were meaningful ways to measure and compare surgical outcomes I'd float to the top (so do turds of people with fat-malabsorption, but that's another story). Once or twice such lists appeared, based on an insurance company's data, and indeed I looked really good. Those who didn't screamed loudly enough that the lists got pulled. So, unfortunately, the state of the art remains for now, caveat emptor. And the poor emptor has a mighty meager set of resources on which to base his/her caveatizing. I might write more about that, later.Pedulla's other accolade came in 2012, the "Patients' Choice Award (2011–2012)." But like the CRCA, the "Patients' Choice Award" is also a pay-to-play, which seriously undermines its validity. As one link to the home site says: "Patients Choice Awards | Purchase PCA Plaques and Press Releases." [emphasis mine]
[Addendum: Curious, I emailed the Consumer's Research Council, asking who they are and requesting more information about their publication. I got an automated response promising a reply within 24 hours..... 96 hours, and counting. Were I you, I'd take them off my list of possible doctor reference aids. Those plaques, however: some are quite attractive....]
[Addendum is Schwab's]
As another check I randomly selected another Oklahoma physician who was a "Patients' Choice Award" (PCA) winner three years in a row (2008–2011). Seemed impressive so I checked him out on www.vitals.com. He has a decent rating: 3.5 stars out of 4. But then I noticed something odd (something I first discovered trying to buy Nikons cheap from New Jersey Internet vendors). Out of 33 ratings, only 13 came with reviews. The highest reviews were very short, sometimes a mere sentence. One came from an RN who spoke almost exclusively about her patients' experiences with the doctor, not about her experiences. And the reviews veered in two directions: he's really good (7 reviews) — 4 stars; OR he's really horrible, "lacks empathy," "worst physician I've ever had," "most rude person I've ever met," "has ADHD horribly," "rude doctor," "Look for another doctor!!," "bedside manner is horrible, arrogant," — 1 to 1.5 to 2 stars. All this for a three-time winner of the "Patients' Choice Award."
A winner of the "Patients' Choice Award" tells us mostly that the recipient received the "Patients' Choice Award," period. So much for Pedulla's declared professional accolades.
Remember, Pedulla has already claimed "Being a regular contributor to various peer-reviewed journals and periodicals, Dr. Dominic Pedulla has earned publication for several of his research papers on family planning and women’s health." This claim pisses me off because it forced me into the farthest virtual hallways of Google and PubMed and led me to bother a number of my friends who are cardiologists and experts in family planning and women's health (thanks, guys; and sorry). For a "regular contributor to various peer-reviewed journals and periodicals" in his medical fields, Pedulla's professional writing is very hard to find. I don't claim to have found all of it, but from what little I did find, I do find it hard to believe Pedulla is as "regular" a writer of professional medical pieces as he claims. There are literally a handful of professional publications (five) across his 35-year career.
Because Pedulla's publications are few and temporally scattered (1986 to 2007), and because I couldn't find a public list of Pedulla's publications using Google, I turned to PubMed to see what appears there. PubMed is the prestigious database accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of The United States National Library of Medicine. With few exceptions, PubMed identifies important medical publications. I asked PubMed to search for all publications of Dominic Pedulla, Dominic M. Pedulla, D. Pedulla, and D.M Pedulla. Out of 13 hits, 5 involved our Dominic "Varicose" Pedulla:
1. Letter. Not Peer Reviewed. "Moral Dilemma: Two Views." Postgraduate Medicine, 1986 May 1;79(6): 34-5. Major MeSH (Medical Subject Heading): Abnormalities, Drug-Induced/etiology*, Abortion, Induced*, Acne Vulgaris/drug therapy*, Ethics, Medical* Tretinoin/adverse effects*.
2. Case Report. Peer Review Status Unknown. "Endovascular stent implantation for severe recoarctation of the aorta: case report with angiographic and 18-month clinical follow-up."Catheterization Cardiovascular Diagnosis, 1997 Mar;40(3): 311-4. Major MeSH: Angioplasty, balloon/instrumentation*, Aortic Coarctation/therapy*, Stents*. Pedulla is first author, with three co-authors. [Journal has been renamed and now is peer reviewed: Catheterization Cardiovascular Interventions.]
A case report is a type of anecdotal evidence. As such, it is less scientifically rigorous than controlled clinical data involving a larger sample size.3. Review. Not Peer Reviewed. "Do the emotional side-effects of hormonal contraceptions come from pharmacologic or psychological mechanisms?" Medical Hypotheses, 2004;63(2): 268-73. Pedulla is third of four co-authors. Major MeSH: Contraception/psychology*, Contraception, Oral, Hormonal/side effects*, Emotions/drug effects*.
Medical Hypotheses was originally intended as a forum for unconventional ideas without the traditional filter of scientific peer review, "so long as (the ideas) are coherent and clearly expressed" in order to "foster the diversity and debate upon which the scientific process thrives." The journal's lack of peer review and publication of ideas that are considered clear pseudoscience, particularly AIDS denialism, attracted considerable criticism, including calls to remove it from PubMed, the prestigious United States National Library of Medicine online journal database.4. Not Classified: Research Study(?). Peer Reviewed. "Effects of Tubal Ligation Among American Women." The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 2007 Apr;52(4): 263-72. Pedulla is third of three co-authors. Major MeSH: Patient Satisfaction*, Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological/etiology*, Sterilization, Tubal/adverse effects*, Sterilization, Tubal/psychology*.
5. Not Classified. Not Peer Reviewed. "Soldiers of a Different Army." The Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, 2009 Apr;102(4): 134-5. Major MeSH: Abortion, Induced/ethics*, Christianity*, Contraception/ethics*, Religion and Medicine*, Value of Life*.
That's all folks. Since graduating from medical school in 1986, Pedulla has professionally published five times--about once every five and a half years, And most of these five publications were not peer reviewed and did not appear in prestigious medical journals. Further, Pedulla's last professional medical piece appeared about four years ago, in 2009.
From where I sit, Pedulla is not even a lightweight when it comes to medical professional awards, and not even a flyweight when it comes to medical publications. And that's fine. Most non-academic doctors throw themselves into their practices and probably never consider writing for medical journals at all. Pedulla hides in plain sight as a member of appropriate medical professional organizations: the American College of Phlebology, the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Angiography and intervention, and the American Board of Vascular Medicine. But the gold standard for M.D. medical specialists is being "board certified."
Pedulla's M.D. Licensing, Board Certification(s) & Recertifications
Board certification is the process by which a physician (M.D. or D.O.), dentist (DDS or DMD), pharmacist (Pharm.D.) or podiatrist (DPM), in the United States demonstrates through either written, practical, and/or simulator based testing, a mastery of the basic knowledge and skills that define an area of medical specialization. The commonly used acronym BE/BC (board eligible/board certified) refers to a doctor who is certified or is eligible to be certified to practice medicine in a particular field.
Dominic M. Pedulla, M.D., is licensed to practice in the state of Oklahoma.
At various times and on sites which he controlled or controls, Pedulla has numbered and identified his board certifications differently. Pedulla says on the latest Edith Stein Foundation website that he is board-certified in one (1) field: cardiology. http://www.theedithsteinfoundation.com/...
Pedulla says on an early incarnation of The Oklahoma Vein & Endovascular Center website that he is "a triple board-certified physician": cardiology, vascular medicine, vein diseases.
Pedulla says on a later incarnation of The Oklahoma Vein & Endovascular Center website that he is board certified in "not only vein care, vascular medicine, and internal medicine but also in cardiology…"
So in how many medical specialties is Pedulla board certified? One? Three? Four? You'd assume a good M.D. would at least keep his credentials straight. Don't forget, this information comes from venues he himself controls. I suspect that part of the mess may stem from how many ways Pedulla cuts his pie. Cardiology is certainly a big piece. Perhaps he cut smaller pieces out of the large one: vascular medicine and vein diseases might easily be considered subsets of the larger cardiology. But if so, then he has again (as we've seen so often) padded his medical credentials, by counting a set and two subsets as three sets. Who knows what happened to his claim of being board-certified in internal medicine? Clearly the medical credentialing side of Pedulla's life isn't patient friendly. We'll soon see how the fog he hides in has become lucrative weather, be it financial or political.
So why this diary? This varicose vein doctor gave birth to one of the most misogynistic contraception state laws in the country, based on what he presents/implies as established scientific medical "fact." Given such political and professional hubris, Pedulla has opened himself up as a public figure, and one who should be examined very, very closely. And he should have to deal with political heat. At the end of this diary, I've posted ways you can contact him. (He'll probably shut them down, but someone close to him has promised to provide me Pedulla's up-to-date contact information.) Meanwhile he continues using his "credentials" in cardiology, vascular medicine, vein diseases, internal medicine as proof of his national and international qualifications to be a "natural family planning medical consultant and women’s health researcher." He seems to believe, along with most Oklahomans and too many Americans, that one size fits all. I'm a board-certified foot doctor so let me give you sound medical advice on IUDs. For the women we love, this simply is not good enough, not even close, and you will be astounded about what Pedulla has to say about abortion, rape, serial pregnancies, contraception, ethics, Barack Obama, and just about everything else under his Roman Catholic sun.
In a recent "interview," Pedulla said that in 1999 he participated in continuing education courses, including a family planning course at Creighton University, a Jesuit institution in Omaha. He goes on to say that that Jesuit experience along with his growing belief in a causal connection between ANY form of contraception and heart disease, psychological illness, and a number of other deleterious health conditions:
Contraception and The HeartAnd there it is (see material in bold in previous paragraph): invincible knowledge—faith in other words—looking to the scientific method to help sell it. I should also emphasize that Alegent Creighton Health is widely recognized as a high-quality, mainstream hospital, with the typical broad range of heath specialties. The head of its ObGyn Department holds an M.D. and Board Eligible Certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Now there's a credential in women's health that's worth noticing; and it's also worth noticing that the doctor holding these credentials is a woman.
For several years Dr. Pedulla observed that many young women often suffered from serious cardiac symptoms despite otherwise reassuring test results. These women were often profoundly distressed and suffered a great deal of anxiety. It was not until he began routinely asking about birth control practices that a causal connection began to be considered. Dr. Pedulla knows now from his own practice experience that all contraceptives—whether condoms, IUD's, pills, injections, or tubal ligation surgeries—are capable of causing this 'contraception syndrome.' Research now must be done to prove its existence, define its causal mechanisms, and determine how it is best healed.
Omaha is also home to the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women's Health. Thomas W. Hilgers, MD, is the director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women's Health. Working in the 1970s at the St. Louis University and Creighton University Schools of Medicine, Hilgers and his coworkers developed the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, fully developed in 1980. Dr. Hilgers is currently a senior medical consultant in obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive medicine and surgery at the Pope Paul VI Institute. He is a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska. In 1994, Dr. Hilgers was appointed to permanent membership to the Pontifical Academy for Life.
The current president (2012-2013) of the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals (AAFCP) emphasizes that AAFCP FertilityCare users should receive appropriate medical support from physicians who are competent in NaProTechnology. The Academy certifies Medical Consultants who have been trained in NaProTechnology. Akin to the hairpin-curve-at-120-mph auto commercials bearing the disclaimer "Professional Driver on Closed Course.".
Happily Alegent Creighton Health and the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women's Health are both staffed by M.D.s. Their main difference is philosophical. Alegent Creighton Health offers the full spectrum of options to women. The Pope Paul VI Institute offers women only "the Creighton Model" and other Natural Family Planning (NFP) options which have been approved by the Roman Catholic Church and which avoid any contraceptives, chemical, material, surgical.
The Edith Stein Foundation (ESF)
If you're not confused at this point, apply for sainthood because it's a miracle given this loaded mix of theology and science, both mixed, hyped, sold, and often misrepresented. I've included the material of The Creighton Method and Natural Family Planning because Pedulla took his continuing education courses at Creighton, at least one in family planning, at a time when NFP was at its zenith.
As Pedulla says, I founded the Edith Stein Foundation because of my keen interest in the dignity of women, and because of the obvious assault on that dignity that I felt was being practiced within the medical profession. I currently serve as President, giving direction and leadership to ESF's relaunch, project development & research funding.Pedulla and his family are devout, zealous Catholics, and after the Creighton experience, they created the tax exempt Edith Stein Foundation. Pedulla has been president since the beginning, his wife Bernadette (McGuire) Pedulla RN FCP is Vice President and Secretary, and their listed staff is their oldest daughter Rita Pedulla Slominski, Mission Development and Marketing Coordinator. So in addition to his varicose vein practice, since 2001 Pedulla heads a foundation with more mission statements than listed staff members. And though small, through the foundation's various "women dignity" clinics, distributed awards, and most of all publications, Pedulla's been able to spread Pope Paul VI's anti birth control and anti abortion dogma to power, even political power at the state level.
Edith Stein Foundation (ESF) Mission Statements
In 1968, an Italian scholar [Pope Pope Paul VI] predicted that if contraception were to become a cultural norm, four things would result: a general lowering of moral standards, an increase in promiscuousness and infidelity, a rise in the disrespect men have for women, and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments. Strikingly, in the more than forty years since that portentous prognosis, all four of these have been realized. Social science not only shows it, but is showing the connection between a contraceptive culture and the social maladies of our day.
What’s more, medical research has shown and is continuing to show the far reaching ill effects of all methods of contraception. Not many people have heard about the 1968 predictions, and the growing body of evidence against contraceptives. For the dignity and health of women, this has got to stop. This is where the Edith Stein Foundation comes in to educate, advocate, research, connect, and heal.
The Edith Stein Foundation sees the family planning decision as a threshold 'moment of freedom' for the world's modern woman. Therefore the mission of The Foundation is to help woman cross that threshold by choosing methods that celebrate her fertility and make her fully conscious of its beauty and power. In the process we will promote genuine reproductive health, and expose the often hidden joy, vitality, freedom and power of life-giving love. The Edith Stein Foundation believes this change in the heart and mind of our culture will bring peace to future generations who, through us, dare to hope.
Mission StatementEdith Stein Foundation (ESF) Publications
To advocate the dignity of women through fostering a non-contraceptive culture.
The Edith Stein Foundation seeks to expose the profound and tragic effects that contraception has had on women and therefore society as a whole. We desire to heal the individual and collective wounds through our educational efforts, and inspire a new generation of women to know, love and live the gorgeous dignity that is womanhood in the spirit of Edith Stein, German philosopher, feminist, and canonized Saint. We hope for nothing less than the renewal of culture through woman, family, and society.
Almost without exception, Catholic Online publications flow from the hand of Dominic Pedulla, M.D. Each article comes with the acronymic soup of his various association (e.g. AAFCP, the acronym of the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals). Each notes his status as president of ESF. And each presents Pedulla as a cardiologist and even a social science researcher! These publications constitute the vast majority of Pedulla's published pieces and clearly show Pedulla's zeal as an extreme right-wing Catholic propagandist. Virtually all the articles involve some aspect of "natural" birth control, which to the converted is called "natural family planning." While most articles are disseminated by Catholic Online (www.catholic.org), some are distributed by ESF on its splash page; these articles have somewhat shorter strings for authorial identification. To get a good sense of what Pedulla has become, you should read two or three of these articles regardless of venue.
I’ve provided links to the entire articles. You can check to see the quotations in context, if you have the stomach for it.
The Herodias Syndrome: Women, Contraception and Priestly Timidity
Having spoken to many women about contraception in my professional practice, I know well the personal and professional cost one must be prepared to pay—the "grudge"—when one is willing to "trespass" this beehive of feminine shame and anger in the clinical setting. One fully expects to get stung!http://www.theedithsteinfoundation.com/...
Often she will almost rather suffer any other "negative" (including health complications), and take almost any risk, than expose this wound, and it underlines the importance of a true conversion experience, so that the wound can be healed definitively and the disabling "secret" safely sealed away, once and for all.
ESF PRESIDENT SPEAKS TRUTH ABOUT HHS MANDATE
August 16th, 2012
But what, it may be asked, is the main purpose of religious liberty itself if not the actual exercise of religion, meaning authentic religion? Why defend religious liberty at all if we don’t defend what that gift aims at? And why defend at all the prerogative of inherently religious institutions to operate freely, if not for the purpose of not only remaining free, but also of actually carrying out the religious nature of their mission? The calculation to emphasize only the religious freedom aspect without considering the immorality of contraception promotion creates the impression, however unjustified, that we are only concerned with the protection of our own institutional prerogatives, or perhaps our own private right to worship; or maybe we appear to be trying to preserve our social mission…http://www.theedithsteinfoundation.com/...
THE X, Y, Z ON THE AKIN CONTROVERSY
August 22nd, 2012
Imagine if we had truly educated and well-formed statesman [sic], who knew that ALL RAPE IS WRONG. ALL RAPE IS VICIOUS. But for the very same reason that ALL ABORTION IS WRONG AND VICIOUS, and not just because rape is our own politically correct pet peeve!http://www.catholic.org/...
A Doctor's Commentary: Akin is Right
I also didn't properly give Akin credit for exposing the major flaw behind the deceptive "abortion in cases of rape or incest" challenge, while making the pro-abortionists apoplectic.http://www.catholic.org/...
Here again he is correct.
To punish the unborn child through abortion, he said, is to create a second victim.
How does adding a second act of violence do any good?
The supposed rape and incest exception is deceiving because supporter of abortion know that if abortion is permissible once it is always permissible. If it is permissible for rape or incest, there really is no reason to condemn it ever, since the reason to condemn it is that it is an act of violence against an innocent, defenseless victim, something that is the same no matter how the unborn child came to be.
Akin is right. Rape, which is always and everywhere an atrocious, brutal and most heinous crime, is so precisely because it is a violent act perpetrated against an innocent victim.
But this also, it turns out, is a really good definition of abortion.
If we can't bring ourselves to condemn all acts of violence against innocents — I mean all, everywhere, without exception — then we are saying that some victims just don't count, and that we care more about our own political agendas than about real victimization.
Ironically then, it is only the true pro-lifer who is the coherent, consistent, and credible opponent of rape.
The Doctor's Corner: The Right to Bear Harms - The War on Thinking Women
Seemingly few commentators have noticed the deeper or more fundamental conflict at stake in the phony and much politicized recent "war on women."http://www.catholic.org/...
Remember that phony charge? It targeted conservatives and others who oppose President Obama's HHS mandate, even though they for the most part framed their opposition strictly in terms of the defense of religious freedom, strictly avoiding the question of what benefits and harms women.
Debunking the Gnostic 'Parchment: Jesus Couldn't Have Had a Wife
The discovery of a 4th century papyrus fragment allegedly referring to Jesus' "wife" notwithstanding, and no matter how authentic or inauthentic the document, the idea that Jesus could have carnally married an earthly woman during His earthly life is incompatible with our faith, and probably downright silly if it were not tending toward sacrilege...http://www.catholic.org/...
Moreover, even the idea itself of human-Divine marriage reduces God to something other than God. Jesus is not a created human person, which would necessarily be required for Him to be able to make a complete self-gift of His Person with a woman. Giving him an earthly wife would theologically and necessarily reduce Him to only a human person, which hearkens back to the Christological heresies of old...
Where are the Unborn on Your Justice Scale?
If President Obama is re-elected his pent up rage from having been resisted by so many, and from having had to comply with annoying perfunctory American campaigns and elections that prevented him from ruling full-bore and unconstrained, will express itself in an immediate catharsis of anger against the Church, the unborn, and those who fight for them.http://www.catholic.org/...
The Aggressive Campaign for the Social Control of Women
Exploiting the false narrative of "reproductive health," the Democratic Party has for far too long enjoyed — uncontested — the social control of women. Translated, this means not health at all but rather unrestricted, politically guaranteed access to contraception, sterilization, and abortion on demand, without which women allegedly have no real control in their lives.— CONCLUSIONS —
If you've made it this far, congratulations! That's your second miracle! When I started this diary a week ago, I intended to toss out a few observations about Pedulla and his ilk and then move on. But the more I hung around Perdulla's stuff the more it started smelling like fish. You know, the week-old batch you caught and intended to gut and grill. That kind of smell. Two big things strike me about Pedulla and his Roman Catholic padres. First, they live in a world so inverted by doctrine, down is up and up is inside out. They are a hierarchy of men who exalt women by denying them their God-given rights as human beings; for these men women are abstractions to be diddled with philosophically. Their women are mere shadows in Plato's cave, never allowed to celebrate, embrace, and love their physicality. And don't forget, this hierarchy knows all too well about young boys and physicality. These men use phrases such as "the dignity of women" and "natural family planning," never once pausing to consider the cost. They pretend to know the horrible costs of contraception while not managing to notice maternal death and injury by childbirth; or the psychological, physical, emotional costs of being our lady of perpetual pregnancy; or the cost of not encouraging personal freedom. These men are trying to drum up future Catholics, and they would allow a woman to work herself to death before handing over some of the reins of hierarchical power. And consider Edith Stein, one of the great Jewish/Christian philosophers of the 20th century. She never met an idea she didn't grapple with, problematize. Her mind was never still. And she would not be silenced. When Pope Pius XI entered into an agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1933, the hierarchy was busy trying to save church property and possessions. That act alone forever stains Pope Pius XI. Yeah, Pius complained in German in 1937 about Nazis breaches of the 1933 agreement, but it was too little too late. And still Edith Stein would not be silenced. While Pius was refusing to publicly condemn brutal Nazi antisemitism, Edith Stein denounced the Nazi regime and asked the Pope to openly denounce the regime as well "to put a stop to this abuse of Christ's name." Folks who know little about Edith Stein know about her letter:
Holy Father!Even the foundation named after her has to admit that Stein's power was a great deal more than the "celebration of fertility":
As a child of the Jewish people who, by the grace of God, for the past eleven years has also been a child of the Catholic Church, I dare to speak to the Father of Christendom about that which oppresses millions of Germans. For weeks we have seen deeds perpetrated in Germany, which mock any sense of justice and humanity, not to mention love of neighbor. For years the leaders of National Socialism have been preaching hatred of the Jews. Now that they have seized the power of government and armed their followers, among them proven criminal elements, this seed of hatred has germinated. The government has only recently admitted that excesses have occurred. To what extent, we cannot tell, because public opinion is being gagged. However, judging by what I have learned from personal relations, it is in no way a matter of singular exceptional cases. Under pressure from reactions abroad, the government has turned to "milder" methods. It has issued the watchword "no Jew shall have even one hair on his head harmed." But through boycott measures — by robbing people of their livelihood, civic honor and fatherland — it drives many to desperation; within the last week, through private reports I was informed of five cases of suicide as a consequence of these hostilities. I am convinced that this is a general condition, which will claim many more victims. One may regret that these unhappy people do not have greater inner strength to bear their misfortune. But the responsibility must fall, after all, on those who brought them to this point and it also falls on those who keep silent in the face of such happenings.
Everything that happened and continues to happen on a daily basis originates with a government that calls itself "Christian." For weeks not only Jews but also thousands of faithful Catholics in Germany, and, I believe, all over the world, have been waiting and hoping for the Church of Christ to raise its voice to put a stop to this abuse of Christ's name. Is not this idolization of race and governmental power, which is being pounded into the public consciousness by the radio open heresy? Isn't the effort to destroy Jewish blood an abuse of the holiest humanity of our Savior, of the most blessed Virgin and the apostles? Is not all this diametrically opposed to the conduct of our Lord and Savior, who, even on the cross, still prayed for his persecutors? And isn't this a black mark on the record of this Holy Year which was intended to be a year of peace and reconciliation?
We all, who are faithful children of the Church and who see the conditions in Germany with open eyes, fear the worst for the prestige of the Church, if the silence continues any longer. We are convinced that this silence will not be able in the long run to purchase peace with the present German government. For the time being, the fight against Catholicism will be conducted quietly and less brutally than against Jewry, but no less systematically. It won't take long before no Catholic will be able to hold office in Germany unless he dedicates himself unconditionally to the new course of action.
At the feet of Your Holiness, requesting your apostolic blessing,
(Signed) Dr. Edith Stein, Instructor at the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy, Munster in Westphalia, Collegium Marianum
[Edith Stein Letter to Pope Pius XI, 1933]
As a brilliant feminist scholar she was able to challenge certain assumptions of the day, arguing for greater involvement of women in the liturgical life of the Church, in the professions, and in the workplace. She was an intellectual innovator of the fledgling women’s movement in Germany, following World War I.Yet the foundation has the gall to say:
We believe that if Edith Stein were alive today she would be a zealous promoter of fertility consciousness and appreciation, and would see this issue as an existential core feminist issue. She would see this alternative as the only authentic and empowering way of satisfying modern woman’s fertility-control needs, in a way that fulfills the deepest needs of her person.Hypotheticals are always risky, but the foundation's is appalling. It clearly demonstrates how little the foundation knows about Stein's essential nature, and even leads me to wonder if the foundation staff has read, let alone thought about Stein's work. One thing I'm sure of is that Stein would be gratified by the improved status and the extent of women in the professions and workplace. And she would be dismayed by the slow progress of involving women in the life of the Church, liturgically and otherwise.
Such misunderstandings are unavoidable when words no longer mean what they mean, such as rape being "a really good definition of abortion"! I'd much rather see ESF grapple with the problems of forcing a woman to carry her rapist's fetus to full term.There are no easy answers here and Stein continually reminds us of that.
The second thing that strikes me about Pedulla and his Roman Catholic conservatives is their willingness and readiness to impose their doctrines, habits, laws on the rest of us. The scientific jury is far from settled about the possible risks of contraception. It seems highly unlikely that the scores (perhaps hundreds—it keeps growing) of "medical problems" Pedulla lists as being caused by contraception will turn out to be verified. The issue is so far from being settled that contraception is still best practice in non-Catholic women medical care centers across the country. Wonder what the odds are that studies of vasectomies will also show health risks for wives as well as husbands? If there aren't any, vasectomies could quickly become the world's most popular "healthy" form of family planning that is not "natural." Employers are constrained by government in many ways, safety, minimum wage, etc. Shall Catholics be allowed to pull out their Faith card and ignore whatever employment requirements they'd rather not be bothered with? I'm allergic to incense. Does that mean Catholic churches have to stop swinging it around when I come visit? Contrary to popular belief, this country was not built on religious freedom. Each colony wanted freedom all right, but freedom to suppress the religious freedom of others. Some colonies hung Catholics; some Baptists; and most were after Quakers. So in coming to terms with religious tests and strictures and doctrine, the framers came up with a brilliant idea: let's agree to let each person engage in her faith however she pleases; and neither the national government, the state government, the local government, or citizens with other beliefs can abridge this agreement. The Constitution explicitly prohibits religious tests and the First Amendment tries to keep religion and government apart. Nobody really likes this agreement because in the heart of hearts of most of us sits a little tyrant, content in his own needs and contemptuous of others. Thomas Jefferson, who almost lost his bid for the presidency because he was widely believed to be godless (in fact Jefferson was a lot of things a lot of times, but IMHO, monotheistic rationalist seems to fit best). After Jefferson's election in 1800, John Leland, a Baptist pastor in Cheshire, Massachusetts, wanted to give Jefferson a gift in thanks for Jefferson's efforts in keeping state and church apart. Hard to believe, but in 1800 Calvinist New England, the Baptists were perhaps the strongest advocates in the early republic of the separation of church and state. And so the non-federalist citizens of Cheshire gathered milk from each of their 900 cows(!) and turned it into one of the largest rounds of cheese I've ever heard of. It came to be known as the "Cheshire Mammoth Cheese," weighing in at 1234 pounds, with a four-foot diameter and a thickness of fifteen inches. In winter 1801-1802 Pastor John Leland used a sleigh to transport the cheese 500 miles to Washington D.C. (For excellent history about the religions of the framers and how the framers addressed the tensions in the Constitution, check out Faiths of the Founding Fathers, by David Holmes.
If only we in the 21st century could also embrace the framers' great idea rather than penalizing citizens who hold different beliefs, like the nearly two million women who live in Oklahoma. My sense is that Pedulla would destroy, not simply lower, Jefferson's wall of separation between PEDULLA'S Roman Catholic church and the state which belongs to US, to ALL OF US. His god reigns supreme in his universe and it's never occurred to him that my god is bigger than his, I admire and salute Pedulla for all his good work and fidelity to his family and Faith. He is a devout, zealous, extremely conservative Roman Catholic, one who founded and heads the Christian Cardiovascular Institute and also founded and serves as president of the Edith Stein Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Family Planning Foundation, which is active throughout the Third World and has served as a missionary medical provider in the Dominican Republic, which heaven knows needs doctors. Pedulla supports a number of charitable organizations, including the Pope Benedict XVI Preparatory School Foundation, Kids2Achieve, Catholic Charities, the Girl Scouts of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Oklahoma family Policy Council, the Natural Family Planning Outreach, and Catholic Charities.
But Dominic Pedulla also serves as a Legislative Council Member with the Oklahoma State Medical Association and a member at large of the Oklahoma State Medical Association; and from that position of financial and political influence and power, Pedulla seems perfectly willing to impose the doctrines of his Roman Catholic Church on the rest of us. He has forgotten, if he ever knew, the little tyrant in his heart of hearts, imposing its wants and needs on the rest of us, mocking our first black president, and accusing him of doing what Pedulla's been doing for decades: usurping the religious freedom of non-Roman Catholics for himself. The history of Europe chokes on the blood of religious wars. Even the American colonies had their taste. Thank God our framers found another way, from the bottom up, not from the Pope down. That American genius is our greatest strength and defender against the lesser angels of ourselves. And we should draw the courage we need from Edith Stein, who never remained silent, never, not even in the midst of Nazi madness.
If you want Dr. Pedulla to hear your thoughts about these matters, his contact information is below. Don't waste your time leaving comments after his articles. My Catholic friends say non-doctrinal comments get pulled as fast as they're posted. :-)
Christian Cardiovascular Institute
3366 NW Expressway Suite 630
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
(405) 947-2228 (Office) [unfortunately this phone number turns up in several Pedulla venues]
The Oklahoma Vein & Endovascular Center
3300 NW 56th St, Suite 200
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
The Edith Stein Foundation
ATTN: David Lassiter
3366 NW Expressway
Bldg. D #630
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Edith Stein Foundation
Once firstname.lastname@example.org, but now a dead link. Instead try https://www.facebook.com/... This is Pedulla's oldest daughter, Rita Slominski. Please request she forward your message to her father. And please be patient as she guides her own daughter into the world.
UPDATE: April 18, 2015
As far as I can tell, Google hits for the "Edith Stein Foundation" (ESF) now lead to bluehost.com, a company that offers (in its own words) "Affordable, Reliable / Web Hosting Solutions." Evidently one solution is hiding yourself from the world, a solution at odds with Edith Stein's philosophy. In fact many Google hits for Pedulla now crouch behind the bluehost curtain. Clearly Pedulla's "foundation" has been taking so much heat (thanks Kossacks!) Pedulla has blocked even ESF's "education" and fund-raising links. Ouch. The one link that gets through is http://www.oklahomadirectory.co/.... There you will find the various phone numbers, location (with map!), email address, and a link to ESF itself. Of course the latter will lead you straight back into the arms of bluehost.com.