Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Obama finally crosses the line with HHS contraception mandate

I felt a curious sense of elation while reading the outpouring of outrage over the HHS mandate that Catholic institutions have one year to offer contraceptive coverage to employees and patients. I was pleasantly surprised to note that outrage has come not only from the expected sources like USCCB Head Cardinal Designate Timothy Dolan    but even some surprising quarters like Cardinal Roger Mahony and EJDionne. who said,
Speaking as a Catholic, I wish the Church would be more open on the contraception question. But speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government, I think the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings. The administration should have done more to balance the competing liberty interests here.
One of my favorite quotes on this situation is "Obama has done what the Pope has failed to do, unite US Bishops". Reading this I began to understand my positive feelings toward what is clearly a threat to the First Amendment rights of Catholics. I am pleased to see Catholics of all stripes actually care about the fact that our institutions will be forced to provide contraception/abortifacients for our patients and employees. Read a roundup of reactions to the mandate at MercatorNet article here. 

Like most orthodox Catholics I have become a bit cynical over thedecades of Catholic indifference on the contraception issue. You don't have to go any further than TV/radio host Sean Hannity to see a Catholic passionately justify his flouting of Church teaching.  Here are some of my experiences of how casually the Church's ban on contraception has disregarded.

Twenty years ago, a Catholic nun was running a health fair in my parish on Long Island. I suggested that a couple who teach Natural Family Planning run a booth helping young couples like my new husband and I plan our families with respect for Church teaching. She gave me a disdainful look and reminded me that the parish allowed her to work as a social worker for federal funds, and that precluded her from doing anything "Catholic" like NFP.

I was not stunned, I had seen the same phenomenon as a social worker at Catholic Charities in the eighties. When a church or social service agency accepts government funds it accepts government control. The difference is, up until now the encroachments have been gradual and voluntarily accepted by the faithful themselves. After all, how many Catholics entered that health fair seeking Natural Family Planning?

When my husband and I took the diocesan course in preparation for marriage, half the couples were using NFP because too many years of contraceptives had left them sterile. Few were doing it in obedience to Humanae Vitae. In fact, NFP training should have been part of our Pre-Cana program, but the couple running the program admitted they used the pill and it "worked for them".I didn't bother reporting this to the pastor of the parish, I knew I would be met with a shrug.

A great majority of Catholics have disregarded Church teaching on contraception, in fact the Sisters of Mercy who taught me at the all girls high school I attended, instructed us on how to use it and where to obtain it, warning us not to let our parents see our notebooks. My mother did, and was horrified.

Contraception has been widely accepted in the Catholic community for nearly half a century. So why the fuss over the HHS mandate that Catholic institutions provide contraception for its employees?  Perhaps we as a Church thought it was our dirty little secret. We convinced ourselves that no one outside knew how few Catholics actually obeyed this Church teaching to have the marital act be perpetually open to life. Except the research arm of Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute who reported last spring in the Huffington Post that 98% of Catholic women have used contraceptives. They have been dispensing contraceptives to Catholics for decades.Shame on us! So now we are outraged to be forced to do what we have been volunteering to do for half a century.

Elizabeth Scalia explains.
With the administration’s decision, the covert culture of death has finally made a truly overt move against the culture of life. 

PP Director Cecile Richards with Obama
 Obama just had the arrogance to think we wouldn't care if he was open about it. After all, when Rick Santorum explained how contraception led us to the legalization of abortion, Catholics yawned while the media attacked him. So Obama assumed, carefully advised by liberal Catholics friendly to his administration who helped him get Obamacare approved, that just one more push and he'd have Catholics on the ropes. No one cares about contraception, then we can use this mandate to force abortion down the line.

After all, it worked for Bill Baird an abortion clinic owner whose case in the Supreme Court made it legal for unmarried couples to obtain contraception, creating a gold mine for abortionists like himself.
Here's a little history of Bill Baird's activism from the website "The Pro-Choice League". Note how birth control leads to abortion.

Some facts about Pro Choice League's founder Bill Baird:March 22 is the anniversary of Baird v. Eisenstadt, his 1972 U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized birth control for all Americans (replacing the 1965 decision for married couples only).  Baird v. Eisenstadt was a landmark case that became the bedrock of countless privacy cases such as Roe v. Wade and the gay rights victory Lawrence v. Texas (2003). 
1964  - Baird established the nation's first aboveground abortion referral and birth control clinic (Well before abortion was legal facing a potential 10-year jail term).
1965 - Baird led the first demonstration ever outside of St. Patrick's Cathedral against the Church's stance against birth control for all citizens not only Catholics.
1965 - Established the nation's first birth control and abortion club on a college campus (Hofstra University - NY)
1965 & 1966 Challenged anti-birth control statutes in New York and then New Jersey for which he was arrested and jailed.
1967 - established the nation's first "abortion slush fund" to help students pay for illegal abortions.
1967 Baird led another march against the Catholic Church saying "... no religion has a right to impose its dogma on others."

Note how his activism lead to the legalization of all kinds of perversion from abortion to homosexuality. When Catholics disregarded Humanae Vitae in the sixties, they gave Bill Baird, Planned Parenthood, their ally,  Barack Obama the abortion president, the opening they needed to slowly and covertly undermine the Church's influence on the culture.
 Until Humanae Vitae in 1967, Catholics were holding the line on morality, keeping sexuality largely inside marriage, but our hedonism and love of government money provided the opening for the intolerable situation we find ourselves in today, where our Catholic institutions will have to pay for contraceptives and abortificients. Its time to shut the barn door, but the horse has already escaped.
Senator Marco Rubio
Rick and Bella Santorum
I am grateful for the opportunity to see my Church unite behind this issue and hope it becomes a teachable moment on how our own sinfulness created this weakness which Obama so wickedly exploited. I bet he and his staff are shocked at the amount of outrage they created, and are hoping it dies down in time for the election.

Thanks to Senator Marco Rubio, son of Cuban refugees and no stranger to creeping religious oppression, for introducing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012. 
Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio have shown the moral courage which the Kennedys  and the Cuomos lacked when abortion was overtaking our formerly moral culture. They along with bishops like Robert Tobin of Rhode Island, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia,  and Fabian Bruskewitz of Nebraska have long held such Catholic politicians' feet to the fire on life issues. Now the Johnnny-come-latelies are at long last realizing where ignoring the Church's teaching on contraception has led. May this moment be one of conversion of all hearts on this issue, and bond us together into a force for authentic moral reform in this nation. This is what can save America from total implosion.

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Dina said...

Awesome post, Leticia!