Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A light that shines in the darkness

Just found this article on the Fox News website last night. The press is really not understanding why Catholics are so enraged, and for that matter, why isn’t anybody else worried? This administration is trashing the First Amendment, and Americans are looking the other way. Apathy such as this was the precursor to many atrocities.
Catholics are fired up over new rules implementing Obama's health care reform law forcing Catholic universities, hospitals, and charities to provide insurance for their employees covering contraception -- even though that violates church teachings.
"When you push people of faith and you tell them the government is going to knock down the wall of separation of church and state and overreach like the Obama administration, you've got a war on your hands," Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told Fox News.
In an extraordinary move this past weekend, New York Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan and other archbishops throughout the nation had their priests read letters denouncing the Obama administration policy from the pulpit at Sunday Mass.
"Never before has the government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience," Dolan said in a web video that takes the battle online. "This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights. How about letting our elected leaders know that we want religious liberty and rights of consciences restored and the administration's mandate rescinded? We can't afford to strike out on this one."
Pressed on the matter at his daily briefing Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney repeated several times the administration believes it struck an "appropriate balance" in crafting the policy.
"The administration believes that this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services," said Carney. "We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns."
Even some Catholic Democrats are not buying that claim, however, with liberal columnist E.J. Dionne ripping the policy in a Washington Post column. Dionne charged Monday that the president "utterly botched" the issue and "threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus."
A report last year from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit sexual health research organization, found that 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used birth control despite the church's teachings. According to a Reuters report on the study, only 2 percent of Catholic women rely on natural family planning.
Nevertheless, the bishops have noted in their lobbying campaign that contraceptive coverage would include the so-called "morning after pill," opening the door to even more controversy over abortion.

Apparently, the author of this news story does not understand the what the "big deal" is. Contraception has become so mainstream that most of the media is surprised by this reaction. They think it's JUST about the "morning after pill." The study from the Guttmacher Institute demonstrates this point most strikingly...but also note how it is worded to skew the data.

"98 percent HAVE used birth control." Language like this might cover any of us who have ever used any sort of birth control method at any time, regardless of what we hold to be the teaching of the Catholic Church. Reading between the lines, one is left with the following impression..."An overwhemling majority of Catholics have been using contraceptives for years anyway, so why is the Catholic Church all up in arms about a mandate that meets a realistic expectation?" My answer: just because most of us HAVE caved to a culture that is constantly barraging us with propaganda about "safe sex" and "planned pregnancies" and "population control" doesn't mean that we are on board with a boldfaced rejection of Church teaching. Granted, there are many dissidents within the Church, our current director of Health and Human Services being one of the foremost authorities on defiance against her own faith. However, many of us have come to realize the great beauty of the Church's teaching on human sexuality through time, and according the the wording in the statistics above, we would have been lumped into that 98 percent.

Actually, maybe we should thank the government for calling us to arms. Our Catholic Church has been steadily growing in the numbers of Catholics who are faithful to the Church's teaching on artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion. This dark and deadly mandate has allowed some of us to be able to see the great shining light of the Church's unabashed dedication to truth.

Even if no one else comes to the defense of the Catholics on this issue, we must make our voices heard, and we must brace ourselves. Yes, it really could get that bad.

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