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« Defenders of Life and Signs of Hope | Main | Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan criticizes Obama administration's decision in... »

Friday, January 20, 2012

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Dave

With respect, if you wish to not have your conscience violated do not use birth control. This is different from abortion in that birth control is an act to prevent birth, while abortion ends life after conception. So if you wish to follow Church teaching simply decline the free birth control. What am I missing??

Carl E. Olson

What am I missing??

Simply put, the stage is being set for the federal government to require religious institutions (churches, schools, hospitals, etc.) to provide sterilization and contraceptives in their health care coverage/insurance. Or, in the words of Abp. Dolan: "Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights..." See more on the USCCB site.

Maureen E. McCabe

This move reminds me of a government of dictators not a democracy. China's government limits the number of children, why are we imitating this move??????
Our founding fathers had more moral principles than today's leader, why we would even get involved in this idea in a country of the people and for the people.
This is morally wrong as well as against all of the Principles of out "Preamble" to the Constitution.
Religious interference is against the First Admenment!

Alan

Problem is this battle is already lost. Over 90% of Catholics use birth control during their reproductive years. The Obama Administration knows the bishops have almost no support even within their own community. The contraceptive mentality has taken over all but a small minority of Americans.

Wendi

Dave, the information you appear to be missing is that the birth control pill is in a small but measurable number of cases an abortifacient. That information is part of package insert along with the other possible side effects.

This law requires Catholic organizations to provide medication known to cause abortions, as well as surgical sterilization both of which are directly contrary to the teachings of the church.

Catholic organizations, run by Catholics, cannot "just decline the free birth control". They are now required by law to provide and pay for it. If Catholic organizations decide to stop hiring people who want these services, they will then face the risk of being sued for discriminatory hiring practices. If these organizations stop offering health insurance they face punitive fines which will then be used to provide these services anyway. There is no exemption and no work-around.

The only moral option this law allows religious employers is to close their doors.

That is the problem.

Joe


Pre-marital sex is the norm. Contraception is the ultra-norm. People don't like abortion, but don't want 21 yr olds having babies. And they want their nice gay priests left alone.

Harsh, yes, but true? Yes.

Bishops have been busy doing what? How often do you hear counter-cultural teaching on sex that is clearly and patiently explained, with objections answered, that says you do the hard thing because truth matters .... Crickets .... Sorry, but you can't do a poor job teaching for decades while the culture is sprinting the opposite direction, and then cry the sky is falling. Anyone with an ounce of sense who looked at Obama, his words, his life trajectory, his friends ... this has all been lit in neon for years.

Howard

There are two possible ways to defend the Church's position.

One is on the basis of Freedom of Religion. The strength of this approach is that it does not depend on convincing anyone that the Church is right about issues like contraception and abortion.

That is also its weakness. If freedom of religion allows a Catholic to be an OB/GYN without having any contact with "medical procedures" like contraception, sterilization, and abortion, the same argument would allow a Jehovah's witness to practice surgery without the possibility of blood transfusions -- as would have been routine a little more than a century ago. If people find this conclusion outrageous (on the grounds that it will expose the patient to needless risk), they will reject the whole premise on which it is based. There is a very real chance that this is exactly what will happen.

Another problem, of course, is that a doctor who has a "religious conviction" that women have the right to abortions at any time for any reason (and there are "churches" that support this claim) does not/should not have the right to practice in a Catholic hospital. This is because the Church has never believed that an individual conscience, no matter how well or poorly formed, is the final arbiter of right and wrong.

The other defense is to drop the pretense that all religions are equally true and insist that there is more truth in the Catholic Church than among the Jehovah's Witness, for example. It would not be necessary to prove that the Catholic Church is the one true religion, but it would be necessary to show that it is right about contraception, sterilization, and abortion. This is hard work, because it is not what people want to believe.

We can still say that some things should be up to the conscience of the individual health-care provider and others should not, but when dealing with any specific problem I think we can only use one argument or the other. In the cases we're talking about now, I think we have to insist that we are RIGHT, not that these are quaint but protected idiosyncrasies.

David K. Monroe

It does not matter what the majority of Catholics tolerate within their community or within their private lives. The Catholic Church cannot capitulate to this demand without overturning its own teaching on sexual morality and the nature and value of life. This will not happen.

As Pius VII reportedly said to one General Radet when ordered to annul the excommunication of Napoleon, "We cannot. We ought not. We will not."

Charles

Alan,
The 98% statistic is bunk. All newspaper reports claim NSFG as their source. However, NSFG notes the claimed usage of contraception (minus NFP which NSFG incorrectly puts under the contraceptive heading) and sterilization (which it doesn't put under the contraceptive heading) among women 15-44 is 61.6%. And the only figure they show for Catholics (which they define as 'raised as') is not the percentage who use, but used on their first intercourse and a breakdown of the kinds of contraceptives those that do violate Church teaching use.
According to the newspaper reports, it seems the figures were re-engineered by the pro-abortion Guttmacher to match the line the dissident group Catholics for Choice have been pushing to lie about their support. Is it possible that Catholic men and women are using contraceptives in violation of Church teaching? Very likely. Even of those that attend Mass weekly? More than enough (1) to want to re-evangelize. But 98%? Absurd claims from an unbelievable organization and unfounded in the official statistics.

irishsmile

This goes far beyond birth control. This is about sterilization and abortion in the fine print. My grandson is an RN at a Catholic hospital. How long will he be able to keep his job when it becomes mandatory for the staff to cooperate in these procedures? The right to die, abort, euthanize, and sterilize, will fast become the obligation in a totalitarian, socialist America.

Robert Miller

A fundamental problem we need to address is the notion, widely accepted among US Catholics of all stripes, that the "Founders" or the "framers" were men of goodwill who were engaged in a good faith effort to erect some kind of Christian commonwealth in North America.
Hogwash, I say. The men in question were activated mainly by fear that Great Britain's geopolitical aspirations were likely to result in the toleration of nearby Catholic Frenchmen, Catholic Spaniards and Indians. The British Quebec Act was the real casus belli of the Revolution, not the laughable antics of the Boston Tea Party rebellion against transitory British tax enactments.
The Founders' Revolution was the precursor of The Revolution -- and, in this sense, it truly did provide the "shot heard round the World".
Until we Catholics realize that the trajectory of the US republic has been anti-Catholic from the beginning, we never will be able to mount an adequate response to that republic's unconscionable provocations.
Obama, Sebelius, Pelosi & co. are as American as apple pie.

David K. Monroe

So, Robert, placing the blame on a bunch of dead guys will do...what exactly? I really don't see how trying to change the subject to "The U.S. is Anti-Catholic and has always been particularly Anti-Catholic" is helpful.

Robert Miller

David:

It's because getting over the naivete about the "founding myth" is essential to getting real about what we are faced with in the here and now.
Archbishop Gomez of LA has begun to stake out a "program" that has real promise. We stop looking for unique wisdom in the Protestant/philosophe founders, and we appropriate the wisdom of the missionaries, Catholic Kings and conquistadors who founded a new Christendom in the Americas a century before the little rag-tag band of Christendom-denying Puritans landed at Plymouth.

LJ

David,

Further to what Robert Miller said, whether or not you wish to concede the extent of the anti-Catholicism he describes, it does seem that a pattern has been established to deal with it.

Catholics have tried for as long as they have been in America (from the beginning) to placate and play nice to their suspicious or hateful neighbors, suffering persecution along the way. One such attempt has been from the Knights of Columbus in fact. This is not a criticism as much as an observation and my point of departure from their particular trajectory. I was asked to consider being a 4th degree and turned it down precisely for the reason that it seemed to focus on patriotism in a manner which to my mind carried that old hat-in-hand aura of I-can-be-a-good-American-patriot-too. Perhaps my sense of it was wrong, and I know there are many who might be offended by such an idea, but I think that even Father McGivney was seeking to advance some respectibility into the community of Catholic men of his time, because of that overriding hatred or at minimum distrust of Catholics.

The modern day pattern was established, or at least set in motion, by JFK. The most recent version of it we saw in Ted Kennedy and his fellow Catholic political travelers, Pelosi, Sebelius, Kerry, et. al. The idea is not only to promise not to take orders from the Vatican (which in a very real sense an orthodox committed Catholic does) but to display a disdain for the very faith you were raised in, and do everything possible to make practicing that faith difficult or impossible, and at the same time reduce wherever possible the influence of the Church in any social context.

That is what it takes for a Catholic to be accepted by the mainstream. In essence it is to not be a Catholic, at least in any meaningful way.

So Robert Miller's point is well taken. Perhaps we need to cease trying to play nice wherever and whenever it means we are expected to compromise. We need to get into the real world if we haven't already, and pray that the USCCB as a body will also get into the real world. It seems that Archbishop Dolan has learned the hard way how much the current administration can be trusted to keep their word to serious Catholics.

Practically speaking it mey well be too late to fight this current battle. The real issue is whether or not the leadership of the Church in America is willing to fight the next one, or will they once more be lulled by the lies of politicians and pretend Catholics.

b.b.

Archbishop Dolan was also lulled into trusting NY pols who said gay marriage would not pass. Now he is faced with a year in which being lulled is out of the question. How will he do now that being lulled is off the table.

David K. Monroe

I dunno guys, I have heard this sort of "unconquerable grievance" narrative expressed by every kind of political and social group and it always boils down to, "We'll never get anything done until we accept that America is racist/sexist/imperialist/anti-Semitic/anti-Christian/anti-Catholic etc. etc. etc." I see it as the first step to getting fitted for a tinfoil hat. If you want to do an academic study on Catholicism in America, then it might be relevant, but I think that in confronting clearly abominable mandates such as this one, it is better to appeal to the actual founding and governing principles of our nation which I do not believe were created to be anti-Catholic, regardless of the fact that many have exercised them in an unbalanced way, or that sectarian prejudices have thrived in our nation even though such attitudes would seem to contradict the principles the nation was founded on.

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