Full Answers To Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops Questionnaire
My goal is to cut the abortion rate in this country in half. I grew up in the Church and attended Christian middle school, high school, and college. All of them taught abstinence-only education under a program called C.P.R. (Creating Positive Relationships). My Sunday school teacher’s day job was the sex education teacher in this abstinence-only education program. My middle school and high school had a higher rate of unplanned pregnancy than the public middle school and high school down the street. It also had a higher abortion rate. I learned in college that this was not an anomaly, it is actually what is happening across the country. Why is this the case?
Well, if we think about it, the answer is pretty obvious. The more unplanned pregnancies that there are, the more abortions that will occur. Most people reading this have either raised teenagers or will soon be raising teenagers. One thing that every parent with teenagers knows is that when you tell your teenager not to do something, they are probably going to do whatever you told them not to do. As much as we want to force them to, telling kids not to have sex (while good), does not actually work to stop them from having sex. We have 50+ years of research into this.
There are two leading causes when it comes to unplanned pregnancies
1. Kids (and adults) who only have abstinence-only education don’t know how to NOT get pregnant.
2. When they do get pregnant, they can’t afford to actually give birth to that baby or raise it. Currently, the average to give birth is $13,000 and then the average cost per year (per child) is around $12,000.
If we want to cut the abortion rate in this country in half, we have to do three things.
1. Cover all hospital visits and births under Medicare.
2. Bring down the cost of childcare by covering childcare for every parent through a universal childcare system.
3. Teach kids how not to get pregnant.
The last thing we have to talk about is the fact that we will never be able to completely get rid of abortions. Even when abortion was outlawed, those who are wealthy still found ways to the procedures done. In fact, the rates of them occurring were nearly identical to what they are now. No one who isn’t desperate or feels like they don’t have another choice gets an abortion. Instead of trying to put a band-aid (banning abortions) over an open wound, we need to fix the actual root issue (unplanned pregnancies). That is what I will spend my time doing. Fixing the root issues so we can bring down the abortion rate in the county.
2. Access To Healthcare - Support
The early church focused on healing and helping those in need. We have the opportunity to make sure everyone has healthcare and have a system that is cheaper than what we have now.
In America, we believe in Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Happiness. Right now, there are millions of Americans who do not have the right to life, because they don’t have access to healthcare. Access to Healthcare should not be dependent on money, it should be a not-for-profit good. What we have learned from this pandemic is if one person doesn’t have healthcare, then everyone is at risk. Medicare-For-All is cheaper, better, and allows for the free market to actually work. Anyone should be able to go to any doctor they want to, any hospital they want, and no one should ever be hit with a surprise bill. We need to remove insurance companies from the picture completely. If we do this, everything gets 30% cheaper and instead of worrying about insurance companies, we can actually focus on health.
3. Consumer Protection - Support
Interest rates for all other industries are capped around 15%. We had Usury laws to prevent companies from preying on and scamming desperate people. When credit cards were invented companies lobbied to get those laws changed. We need to cap interest rates far below 36% to prevent people from being taken advantage of.
Exodus 22:25 “If you loan money to my people, to the poor among you, don’t be like a creditor to them and don’t impose interest on them.”
4. Death Penalty Repeal - Support
The death penalty costs Florida $51 Million more per year than if we just got rid of it. I also believe that it is immoral. We need to follow Jesus’ lead by laying down our stones. John 8:1-11
5. Environment - Support
We have to, or else Hawthorne and Stark are going to be beach-front property. The market is also driving this push to renewable energy because oil is not a great industry to be in.
"The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left."
Day 6 - God created the animals to fill the earth. On day six, God also created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in his own image to commune with him. He blessed them and gave them every creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate.
6. Universal Background Checks - Support
Universal Background Checks would not restrict access to firearms, it would just make sure that crazy people and felons don’t have access to firearms. This would actually protect a lot of people. That’s why responsible gun owners (98%) are in favor of it. This is a poorly framed question because it leads the person reading it to a biased answer.
7. Human Sexuality - Oppose
Jesus spent his time protecting those in society that others looked down upon. The Samaritan Women at the well for instance had no legal standing in Jewish society, and yet, Jesus treated her as an equal. (John 4) Jesus also stepped in to protect a prostitute from being stoned to death. We need to make sure that no one is taken advantage or harmed because of who they are. The best (most effective) way to do this is legally. It is simply the right thing to do, and I believe that it is something the early church would have advocated for.
8. Immigration - Support
Absolutely. No kids should be in cages, no matter what party is in power in Washington. We need to remember that Jesus himself was a refugee for the first few years of his life.
Matthew 2:13-15 Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’
9. International Assistance: Support
Yes, Humanitarian efforts are far more effective and cost a fraction of what overthrowing countries does. We need to use the resources we have to affect the most good that we can.
10. Parental Empowerment: Oppose For Education Quality Reasons
I attended private Christian schools my entire life, so I know this issue well. In the states that passed this it actually hurt overall education scores for the state because the budget shortfalls (from the tax breaks) were taken from predominantly poor and working-class families schools’ budgets. I don’t trust the state of Florida not to do the same here after they just gave giant tax breaks to the biggest companies in Florida right before the Pandemic and then claimed they didn’t have any more money for unemployment benefits.