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Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News August 17, 2009
New Casino Being Proposed in St. Louis County
 
Opponents of casino gambling are gearing up to fight plans to site yet another casino in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  A group called North County Development is seeking approval from St. Louis County officials to develop a casino. It would be located on the Mississippi River just north of Interstate 270 near the Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area. 
 
The challenge for proponents is that a referendum approved by Missouri voters last year limits the number of casino licenses to 13.  All those licenses are being used by 12 existing casinso, and a new casino being built in the Lemay area of south St. Louis County.  Speculation abounds that the current license held by the troubled President Casino in downtown St. Louis could become available if that casino, housed on the old Admiral riverboat, were to cease operations.
 
Opposition to the casino is being led by Rev. Harold Hendrick, a longtime gambling opponent who is a familiar voice on the Bott Radio Network.  Hendrick lives in the Spanish Lake area where the casino is proposed.  The Spanish Lake Community Association has come out unanimously against the proposal, citing the damage it will do to the natural beauty of the Columbia Bottoms area.
 
Even the liberal St. Louis Post-Dispatch has editorialized against the proposal, saying:  "Twelve casinos are twelve too many.  State-sanctioned gambling preys on human weaknesses and creates social problems (among them bankruptcy, broken families and addiction) that aren't properly addressed."  In this instance the Post-Dispatch has it right.
 
Judge Dismisses
Suit Against Pledge of Allegiance
 
A Missouri circuit court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a St. Francois County judge on the subject of the Pledge of Allegiance.  A father and son,  Robert Stamm, Sr. and Robert Stamm, Jr. filed the lawsuit against Judge Kenneth Pratte, the Presiding Judge of the 24th Judicial Circuit.  The Stamms objected to Judge Pratte's practice of beginning each court day in Farmington with the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Stamms claimed that the recital of the Pledge violated their First Amendment free speech rights and amounted to an establishment of religion because of its reference to one nation "under God."  Judge Bernhardt Drumm, Jr. dismissed the lawsuit without comment. 
 
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster applauded Drumm's decision.  "The court's decision to dismiss this case protects the rights of our judiciary and our citizens to express thier patriotism to their country,"  Koster said.  "The decision leaves open the opportunity for everyone in the courtroom to be reminded of the right to 'liberty and justice for all.'"
 
More Stations Carry Jeff City Update
 
 
 
Additional Missouri radio stations have signed on to carry the broadcast version of the Missouri Family Policy Council's Jeff City Update.  Spirit FM will now carry the 60-second daily news update which is aired Monday through Friday.  Spirit FM is based in Camdenton and broadcasts its programming on frequencies in fourteen Missouri communities from Kirksville to Cabool.  KMFC Radio has also agreed to air the Jeff City Update.  KMFC is located in Centralia and broadcasts into the Columbia/Jefferso
City area.
 
The Jeff City Update is already being aired by the Bott Radio Network on its stations and translators in 31 different communities across the state.  We are very grateful to our broadcast partners for helping us provide news of interest to Christian families to their listening audience.
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Will President Obama's Health Care Plan Promote Euthanasia?
 
 
Federal health care legislation being pushed by the Obama administration has raised a number of fears among defenders of the sanctity of human life.  A leading concern is whether the proposed federal health care plan will limit health care services to elderly citizens with failing health, and promote euthanasia for those who are physically or mentally infirm.
 
Provisions in the legislation under consideration by Congress call for "advance care planning consultation" for senior citizens.  An "advance care planning consultant" would provide "end of life resources" to senior citizens and develop "end of life" plans.  The plan would determine who has the authority to sign "end of life" orders. 
 
Congressman John Boehner of Ohio believes "end of life counseling" would cause senior citizens to feel pressured to sign end of life directives that would hasten their death.
 
"This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-sponsored euthanasia if enacted into law," Boehner says.  With three states having legalized physician-assisted suicide, this provision could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide.  Health care reform that fails to protect the sanctity and dignity of all human life is not reform at all."
 
Boehner quoted the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin's thoughts on such an approach:  "The message is clear:  Government can save money by encouraging old people to die a little sooner.  Instead of being regarded with reverence...human life is subject...to a utilitarian cost-benefit calculus and can be sacrificed to serve fiscal policy..."
 
Interestingly, the end of life provision in the House bill originated with Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who has been a major proponent of that state's assisted suicide law.  There have been recent stories out of Oregon of state health officials refusing to pay for chemotherapy but agreeing to pay for "physician aid-in-dying."
 
The coercion elements of the end of life provisions are revealed further by the proposal's "quality control" standards.  They state that the federal government will measure the implementation of end of life care and advanced care planning.  Quality control efforts will measure "both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment."
 
Concerns about the motivations behind the language are elevated by the philosophy of Ezekiel Emanuel, a chief architect of the health care plan and the brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.  Ezekiel Emanuel has stated in the past that the medical benefits of a government-controlled health care plan would not be given to "individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.  An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to people with dementia."
 
Bradley Mattes, Director of Life Issues Institute, states that vulnerable individuals under such a scheme would include both the medically fragile and the disabled.  He says, "So who else will be killed by medical neglect under such a plan?  It will likely be patients with Down Syndrome, Parkinson's, or one of many other debilitating illnesses."
 
The threat to senior citizens is intensified by the clear intentions of the health care plan to ration medical services.  Health care covered under the plan would be "allocated" based on age, the present health of any patient, and the "availability" of health services and supplies.  A Health Choices Commissoner and a health care benefits advisory committee appointed by the President would determine what coverage would be provided.
 
President Obama's own statements on this issue are a cause for alarm.  He has expressed dismay that "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there."  He made the curt remark in one forum that "maybe you're better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller."
 
It is clear that the Obama health care plan is the gravest threat posed to the pro-life values of the American people since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  In addition to the euthanasia-friendly provisions of the legislation, both the House and Senate bills mandate coverage of abortions.
 
You can read more about the many components of the federal health care legislation by reviewing an analysis formulated in part by Liberty Counsel.  You can do so by choosing this link:
 
We implore you to make your views known on this issue to your representatives in Washington if you have not already done so.  You can contact your Congressman by clicking this link:
You can contact your Senator by clicking this link:
 
Please be praying fervently that our nation will be spared from this extremely anti-life initiative that will negatively impact every one of our families.
  
© 2009 A KTLLC Communications Solution