RSS

Tag Archives: Marriage

Whom Will You Serve?

serveIf somehow Catholics didn’t realize it before Friday, I hope the realization has dawned. We have a choice to make.

If you’re a Catholic who feels like celebrating this wretched Supreme Court decision to impose same-sex “marriage” on the nation, may I strongly suggest that you reconsider your cheers.

I saw a lot of that on Facebook all day on Friday. Catholics, using the transparent rainbow on their profile pictures; Catholics repeating the secular line about “not imposing their beliefs” on anyone; Catholics talking about their unwillingness to “judge” anyone who supports same-sex “marriage”, and so forth.

It was discouraging to say the least.

It means that too many Catholics have been catechized only by the secular culture and not by the Church. They believe the lie that by speaking the truth, they are “imposing” their beliefs on others. They fear the accusations of hatred and bigotry from friends or family more than they fear the Lord.

That may sound harsh, but let’s cut through the crap and get right to the point. Each of us must choose whom we will serve. We can no longer live as though agreeing with the world isn’t disagreeing with God.

We’ve gotten away with such duplicity, it seemed to us anyway, until now because the culture tolerated it.

Those days are over.

The Supreme Court has declared a “new orthodoxy”, as Justice Samuel Alito called it. How fitting that he used religious terminology to describe Friday’s ruling and this new mandated form of “marriage” that we must all accept, by their decree.

“Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”

Dissent from this new orthodoxy will certainly not be tolerated, even to the smallest degree. This brings us swiftly to the decision point: Who will it be? God or Caesar? There is no middle ground — that earth has been scorched.

If there remains confusion about what our Church teaches on the subject, let’s clear it up. From Canon lawyer Ed Peters:

“Catholic doctrine and discipline can never, ever, recognize as married two persons of the same sex, and any Catholic who regards “same-sex marriage” as marriage is, beyond question, “opposed to the doctrine for the Church” (Canon 750 § 2). I am sorry so many Catholics apparently think otherwise and I recognize that many who think that Church teaching on marriage can and should change, do so in good faith. But they are still wrong and their error leads them, among other things, to underestimate how non-negotiable is the Church’s opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions as marriage.”

And from the United States Catholic Bishops:

“Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.”

It doesn’t matter how popular same-sex “marriage” becomes. It changes nothing, because the truth of the human person and marriage will never change. Catholics need to understand that marriage has an ontology that cannot be changed. There are no such things as round triangles; or green made from two similar shades of yellow; and there is simply no such thing as marriage between two men or two women. It is an impossibility.

In the beginning God created them male and female… Do we now think that God made a mistake? Are we really so arrogant as to insist that what God designed and ordained can be altered because the present age demands it?

On the one hand, I believe there are those, as Ed Peters said, of good will who think Church teaching should change. They are wrong, but I don’t doubt their good will.

I think there’s something else at play here as well though, and that’s self-image, fear, and personal cost. We want to be nice. No one wants to be called hateful. No one wants to be branded a bigot. Nobody wants to lose friends or family over the “issue” of marriage. No one wants to risk being publicly ridiculed and persecuted for not riding the rainbow parade float.

It’s hard to stand against the crowd. When the crowd looks like they want blood, nobody wants to offer theirs.

It’s very hard to withstand the accusations of being narrow-minded, discriminatory, homophobic, backwards, bigoted, and hateful. It means being very unpopular in a world that prizes popularity.

Christians who’ve not suffered for their faith often romanticize persecution. They imagine themselves willing to lose their jobs, their liberty, or even their lives for standing up for the Gospel. Yet when the moment comes, at least here in the United States, they often find that they simply can’t abide being called “hateful.” It creates a desperate, panicked response. “No, you don’t understand. I’m not like those people — the religious right.” Thus, at the end of the day, a church that descends from apostles who withstood beatings finds itself unable to withstand tweetings. Social scorn is worse than the lash.”

Indeed. It’s terrifying to risk great personal sacrifice; even real persecution in the loss of a business or job or position; or agonizing grief at losing a loved one or a friend. It takes some real inner steel, some unshakable conviction to stand firm in the face of all that.

But there is no compromise. If we choose to obey the world’s mandates, we will forsake the God we claim to love and forfeit our eternal inheritance.

Some will read those remarks and recoil, saying how can a God of love condemn me for supporting “equal rights” for all people?

Catholics need to understand there is no “right” for two men or two women to marry, just as there is no “right” to kill the unborn child in abortion. Just because people may want to do something doesn’t mean they have the right to do it.

Feelings are not the barometer of moral rightness. Love is not a feeling!

Is all this hatred toward homosexual persons? No, it is not! At least not what is being called hatred. If by hatred, you mean saying that homosexual sex is not licit and morally right, then there’s the problem. If by hatred, you mean saying that marriage only exists between a man and a woman, then there’s the second problem. If by hatred, you mean upholding the Natural law and the truth of the human person created male and female, then that’s the trouble.

It isn’t hatred to say what is true. It isn’t hatred to obey the sovereignty of God’s law, and to recognize the Natural law. (For the record, it’s also true that adultery, fornication, and pornography are also immoral, illicit, unacceptable. It isn’t hatred to say so.)

Frankly, Catholics have got to stop being so emotional about all this. We’ve got to stop worshiping everyone’s feelings, including our own.

Don’t be deluded into thinking it ends with marriage. Oh, no. Far from it.

The end goal is the family. The militant activists in this movement to normalize homosexual sex will not stop until they have decimated the family unit of father, mother, and children. They call it “heteronormative” as though being male and female is by its very nature discriminatory against homosexuals.

The movement to wipe out gender entirely is well underway and gaining tremendous steam. A man can chemically castrate himself, get breast implants, hair extensions, wear a push-up bra and make-up and voila! He’s a woman, because “gender is a social construct” that must now be rendered meaningless.

“Sex Ed” beginning in Kindergarten now will indoctrinate children into this kind of thinking, and cause healthy, normal, impressionable young kids to question their own sexuality, their own gender, and reject the natural differences between boys and girls in favor of “gender fluidity”. They will be taught to see their God-given bodies as separate and even opposed to how they feel, then told all that matters is how they feel.

We’re on a luge going at breakneck speed toward this depraved societal revolution. Catholics who are celebrating this as a “victory” for equal rights are as sorely deceived as the rest of the crowd, but far more accountable because they are obligated to know better.

Now that marriage means anything (and thus, nothing), now that being male or female either means nothing or whatever we want it to mean, the assault on the family by the enemy of our souls will gain a power and intensity most of us are not prepared for.

We have to stop being afraid of hurting someone’s feelings and start focusing on eternal truths.

The goal isn’t to discriminate against anyone or deny anyone their human rights. The goal is to not be deceived into believing that sin is no longer sin just because that sin has become wildly popular and celebrated by the whole world.

“And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

It’s decision time for every Catholic in America: the false gods of our culture, or the Lord. There’s no fence to straddle. It’s time for courage and fidelity.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Why Marriage is Not a Water Fountain, via Public Discourse

At The Public Discourse, by Anthony Esolen.

Separate Water FountainsFive stars! One of the best pieces I’ve read on the subject of same-sex “marriage” and why opposition to redefining marriage is not analogous to discrimination or segregation. Simply excellent, thoughtful, and solid. Would that this sort of thorough thinking would spread through our culture like a welcome winter flu. We would be healed.

An excerpt:

“Marriage is Not a Water Fountain”

Conjugal Marriage: Not Peculiar, But Universal

“Now, none of these conditions characterizes our efforts to restore and protect the institution of marriage. If anything, they characterize some of our opponents in the debate. Let us see why.

First, the idea that marriage requires a man and a woman is not peculiar to us. It is universal in human culture. Its universality is based upon the obvious functions of the reproductive organs, and the obvious need to propagate the species. We may add, too, that in a multitude of manifestations, wide in variety but recognizably of the same kind, what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman are also universal in human culture. That too is observed and accepted as natural and good, most nobly embodied in the complementarity of marriage, man and woman.

What is peculiar? The idea that there are no such things as manhood and womanhood; that the sexes are empty of significance, except in the sole case of what must then be considered a mere irrational and inexplicable desire: that this particular male must have another male, and this particular female must have another female. We can pretend that a man can possibly marry another man, because we have shut our eyes to what marriage is, and what men and women are.

That means that we have to shore up a lie. Suppose I say, “A marriage by our bodily nature requires a man and a woman. If we think about it for a moment, it also requires a vow of permanence and exclusivity, because marriage involves the time-transcending act that brings a new generation into being.” What about that is not true? When a man and a woman unite in the congress of the sexes, that is exactly what they are doing, even if they try to thwart its natural result. Nothing in human reality is comparable to that act.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/09/13730/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Two Hard Sayings in one Sunday!

Msgr. Charles Pope does an excellent job explaining both, and hopefully quelling rash emotions regarding the passage from Ephesians.  Don’t get yer knickers in a twist, gals, just listen!  It’s good stuff.

Alright, so maybe it grates on modern ears today but don’t just dismiss what God teaches here. One of the great dangers of this passage is that it is so startling to modern ears, that many people tune out after the first line into their own thoughts and reactions, and thus miss the rest of what God has to say. It will be noticed that there is text that follows, and before a man gloats at the first line, or a women reacts with anger or sadness, we do well to pay attention to the rest of the text, which spells out the duties of a husband.

You see if you’re going to be the head of a household there are certain requirements that have to be met. God’s not playing around here or choosing sides. He has a comprehensive plan for husbands that is demanding and requires him to curb any notions that authority is about power and to remember that, for a Christian, authority is always given so that the one who has it may serve. And before we look at submission we might do well to look at the duties of the husband.

So what are the requirements for a husband?

Read it all and find out.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

More Than Traditional, It’s True: A Call to Change the Way We Speak of Marriage

at Catholic Online

Don’t shoot me, but I think maybe the choir is singing the wrong tune.  At least I think they’re getting the lyrics mixed up a bit.  So I’m sticking my neck out (I may regret it) and piping up.  Here goes…

Honestly, more and more these days I find myself feeling like Eliza Doolittle. Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words…   (Campaign season does nothing to help. Ugh.)  Especially since words are being twisted into such wildly contorted things; words are being drained of their real meaning and stuffed with something cunning and artificial; words are being hijacked and deformed. And sadly, words have always made pretty powerful weapons.

So it’s all the more incumbent on us as Christians in a culture descending into an immoral abyss to choose our words wisely and use them well. Let’s make sure what we say accurately reflects what is true about the human person; about God; about marriage and the family. Above all, we must make sure our words aren’t crafted to cause harm but to shed light.

I want to scream when I read articles containing the ever-popular term “fertilized egg.” It’s a favorite of the abortion industry because it’s a handy dehumanizing term in their rhetoric war against the fact that life begins at conception. But I’ve also seen the phrase used by pro-lifers and people of faith.

The term drives me nuts because it’s wholly inadequate at best, and just plain inaccurate at worst. Fertilization is a singular event in time when a sperm joins with an ovum and once it happens, what you have is no longer an egg (fertilized or otherwise) but a newly-conceived human — an entirely new and distinct being.

Think of it this way: it takes yellow and blue to make green. Once you mix yellow and blue, what you have is not “yellowized-blue” or “blueized-yellow” but green. You could no longer separate the yellow from the blue if you wanted to. They have combined to create something entirely new and different and it has its own name.

We’re now caught up in a similar word-game with marriage.

I have a little bone to pick with well-meaning people who are using the phrase “traditional marriage” to refer to marriage, in an attempt to distinguish it from same-sex “marriage.” This idea is everywhere these days in secular as well as religious media. It posits that there is “traditional” marriage (between a man and a woman), and now other, more modern, progressive forms of marriage as well (same-sex couples). Christians and other people of faith have begun adopting this language right along with the rest of society.

I politely suggest it needs to stop. Language matters. We are not doing marriage any favors by using such terminology, no matter how good our intentions, or even if we’re just seeking clarity in dialogue. The world has decided that marriage will now be classified into types and that same-sex “marriage” is now one of those types. We cannot go along with that classification.

Marriage means something. It has an intrinsic and unchangeable nature. If we reduce marriage to simply an agreement between any two people who love each other then we have utterly destroyed the meaning of marriage. It will become a trivial, throw-away concept because its core will be only self-seeking.

In the same way that we do not call abortion “choice” because it isn’t in any way a legitimate moral choice but is in fact murder, so we cannot succumb to the easy temptation to call marriage “traditional” in order to set it apart from same-sex “marriage.” Two persons of the same gender cannot enter into marriage. It is ontologically impossible. So it’s quite silly for us to begin describing marriage as “traditional” vs. “same-sex” because it’s drawing a distinction between marriage and something that can never even exist in the first place.

Using the green analogy again, no matter how forcefully I insist that I want to make green with two yellows or two blues, it will never happen. It’s just not possible.  The nature of green cannot be changed.

There is a better way to draw a distinction and that’s the way Deacon Keith Fournier has been doing all along: using the word true. True marriage only happens between a man and a woman. Some may feel that’s a more provocative term, but it is accurate and faithful to the integrity of marriage.

There is only marriage, and it only happens between a man and woman. That’s not my plan or your plan; it’s God’s plan. We have to understand this, and be unflinching in stating it and defending it. Whatever relationship of sexual intimacy, fidelity, and love exists between two men or two women, it can never be marriage. That’s not bigotry or discrimination or hatred no matter what the world says. Leave the hyper-charged feelings aside for a moment: refusing to call a thing what it isn’t is nothing but logical, reasonable, and factual.

For thousands of years human civilization has known that marriage is only between a man and a woman, as the foundation of society, ordered toward the raising of children, but now suddenly in our so-called enlightened age those of us who refuse to part with reason and morality are on the wrong side of history? Absurd.

So there’s my two cents’. Fellow defenders of true marriage, choose your words wisely and well. Don’t join the rest of the world in declaring what is true to be merely traditional.

Our challenge is to be unafraid and resolute without ever abandoning love. That’s not an easy task, and I admit I have failed often. We’re not wielding weapons, and we don’t seek destruction or discrimination.

For myself, I don’t write with animosity or any desire to wound. But like so many others in America today, I won’t be bullied into capitulation either. I won’t forsake what I know is true. I won’t call something that is not marriage, marriage. It’s that simple.

For the sake of true marriage and the family, even though I’m getting quite sick of words, words, words… silence is not an option.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Homosexuality, Marriage, Family, and the Truth: What Would Love Really Do?

at Catholic Online

It seems my choices these days are either: 1. Celebrate homosexuality or be a homophobe. 2. Support the “right” of two men/two women to marry, or be a hateful bigot. 3. “Do unto others…” or be a hypocrite.

Loving my neighbor seems to have gotten a whole lot trickier.

Just how the heck am I supposed to love someone who demands something I cannot give? How do you love the person who requires you to celebrate their sin or be punished? How do you love the neighbor you must engage in the battle for our culture? How do you love the person whose lifestyle you must actively oppose for the sake of protecting what’s right?

It’s a good question. WWLD? (What would love do?) And what is love, anyway? What does love have to do with all of this? Everything. Just not what you might think.

Mr. Obama now says his opinions about marriage have “evolved” as dictated by his Christian faith and the Golden Rule, and no longer can he deny same-sex couples the “right” to marry. See that? In one fell swoop the President, in his infinite wisdom, decreed that all of human history, the Natural law, and the revealed moral law are suddenly contrary to Christian love. He has determined what “love” really means, and no one can honorably disagree any longer.

I disagree anyway.

St. Thomas Aquinas said: “Love is wanting the good of the other, as other.” Love can never want what is bad for the other. What is good for the other? The truth. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.” Not the popular truth, or the current truth; not the truth that makes everyone feel good, or the sentimental truth; not the truth that makes people happy and gives them what they want, but the real truth.

There’s such a thing as objective truth and it comes from a perfect and unchanging God. Love tells the objective truth. It does so as patiently and gently as possible, but it does so without flinching. Love does not apologize for the truth. Love will not amend the truth in order to spare someone’s feelings.

The sentiment in America today says that love is all about “equality”. If I love this or that person, I will make sure they have all the same rights I have. I will not deny them what they desire, because that would be discriminatory and mean. (The exception to this, of course, is the child in the womb. That person must never be granted equality or any rights whatsoever!)

So now if I really love my neighbor, I will support same-sex “marriage” and stop denying homosexuals the “equality” they are supposedly entitled to. If I continue to oppose same-sex “marriage” then I must not love my neighbor; I’m a hateful bigot, and I’m ignoring the only thing Jesus ever said — “Don’t judge.”

Love has been reduced to tolerance, and tolerance has been warped to mean embracing everything and opposing nothing. But love that has discarded the truth is not love at all. It is sinking, mindless, sentimental mush.

WDJS? (What did Jesus say?)

At times I’ve thought it would have been nice if Jesus, at some point in His three years of teaching, had stood on a hillside and proclaimed, “Amen, I say to you, homosexual sex is a sin. Two men cannot marry each other; two women cannot marry each other. Marriage shall be a covenant only between a man and a woman. Anything else, I tell you, is wrong and you shall not do it.” Or something like that.

At least then we could move past the “Jesus never said homosexual sex is sinful” argument. But He didn’t explicitly say those words. Does that mean Jesus is okay with homosexual sex and same-sex “marriage”? Hardly.

The same challenge is issued regarding abortion. “When did Jesus ever say abortion was wrong?” Well, in so many words, He didn’t. Are we to conclude that He had no opinion, or that He would say women have a “right” to abortion? Not so fast.

It’s a grave mistake, and usually a self-serving manipulation, to say that Jesus’ spoken words are the sum total of His teaching and the sole barometer for determining right and wrong. Jesus is The Word. His coming into this world speaks volumes about the will of God and the blessing of God and what God considers holy and right.

He did not descend from heaven a grown man (though He certainly could have), but God the Father sent His Son to be born of a woman. He began His earthly life unseen in Mary’s womb. He grew in exactly the same manner that each of us grew. He took on our humanity from its very single-celled beginning and declared it holy by virtue of His holiness. Though Jesus had not uttered a word, yet He taught us that the life in the womb is sacred and human from the moment of conception.

He was born into a family. If God the Father had chosen, Jesus could have been born to an unmarried woman, or He could have been left as a baby to be found and raised by two men or two women. God is purposeful and precise in all His ways. It is not an accident that God gave His Son into a family: husband and wife, father and mother. This again is a deafening statement on the significance and primacy of the family. God does not violate His own standards or His own laws. Children are the fruit of marriage. By His coming and His birth and His life, Jesus proclaims the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman which forms the only proper foundation of the human family.

Without saying a word, He testifies to the Natural law, the plan for the human person, the holiness of human sexuality, the sanctity of life in the womb, and the nature of marriage.

It’s also significant that when Jesus wanted to shake things up, He didn’t abolish the moral law and say that this thing that used to be sinful isn’t sinful anymore — no, He actually tightened the moral law by upping the ante. So, you say adultery is a sin? Well guess what — I’m saying that if you even look at a woman lustfully you’ve committed adultery in your heart! You’ve heard, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’, but I tell you to love your enemy! You say you can give a certificate of divorce and all is well? Well, I say anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery!

No ambiguity there! He plainly reminded the people, God “created them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one.’ So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together let no man put asunder.” (Matt 19: 4-6)

You know, come to think of it, that sounds an awful lot like a declaration from Jesus that marriage only exists between a man and a woman. Huh.

The truth is that God does not and cannot join together two men or two women in marriage because He created woman for man and man for woman. That’s how He designed it, and we have neither the power nor the authority to alter His design. That is so plainly obvious, it’s absurd that suddenly saying so out loud qualifies me for the label of Hateful Bigot.

So… WWLD?

I love the truth. I also desire to love my neighbor. If loving my neighbor is determined by my willingness to discard what I believe is true, then I will surely come up short. And I’m okay with that. I reject the new prevailing definition of charity.

Love is not capitulation to someone else’s wants in order not to offend them. Love bears all things, but it does not include all things. Love does not take bitter for sweet and it certainly does not call evil good. Contrary to current thinking, love does not treat all things equally.

Love cannot contradict God. Since God does not change His mind about sin, I cannot love my neighbor by telling him a particular sin is now magically okay. Sin never evolves into something righteous. And here’s the thing — homosexual sex isn’t really a “special” sin. It doesn’t require more of Christ’s blood than the sins of murder, adultery, stealing, or lying, for instance. It is noteworthy because it involves a peculiar distortion of human sexuality, and a disordered expression of the sexual love that is the prerogative of marriage. That’s what makes it so harmful to the human person.

Loving the truth does not mean I hate you. I do hate the rising conflict and cultural upheaval being forced on us right now. I do hate that human society as it’s always been is under threat of dismantling in order to create a new order based not on objective truth or right reason or the common good, but only upon individual wants and “evolving” rights.

I hate the damage being wrought on the family by homosexual activists who want to redefine marriage and sexuality for generations to come; by bullying activists and politicians who want to silence the Church and silence me, and set themselves up as the new moral authority.

I hate the perverse, insidious thinking that says human sexuality is a spectrum reality for people; that gender is some kind of fluid condition or continuum we travel, morphing as we go.

Come what may, I have no choice but to oppose with all my might the redefinition of marriage and the normalization of homosexual sex. I won’t go quietly into this strange new world where marriage and human sexuality look like the twisted images of a carnival house of mirrors. Love won’t let me do that.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Divided State of America: How Long Can We Stand?

at Catholic Online

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

Our house is divided and may not stand much longer. We’ve been bitterly divided once before, and just as the evil of slavery nearly tore our nation in two, so will the evil of abortion and the desecration of marriage. We seem poised on the verge of a new Civil War. (The difference now, of course, is that those who value the sanctity of human life will not wage war on fellow citizens. We cannot kill in the name of stopping the killing.)

The modern-day battle is for true marriage and the humanity of the child in the womb.

There’s no way to satisfy the demand of full “equality” for cohabiting homosexuals in a newly invented view of marriage and still protect religious liberty. Any exception written into same-sex “marriage” laws to protect those people or institutions who define marriage as between a man and a woman will always be rejected by homosexual marriage equivalency groups.

The two views of what truly constitutes a marriage are irreconcilable; there’s no way to accomplish so-called “equity” in marriage and still allow individuals or institutions the freedom to reject that so-called “equity” based on their faith teachings and the Natural Law. The stage is set for a bitter clash that has no solution. The writing on the political wall right now clearly says that the Constitutional right of religious freedom will be sacrificed on the altar of the homosexual equivalency movement.

This is the divided state of America.

It is the same with abortion. It comes down to a stark and unyielding difference: one side says the unborn are human beings from the moment of conception; the other side says it’s just tissue, just cells, an insentient thing that has no right to anything. Both cannot be true. Both cannot be even partially true. One is entirely true and the other is entirely false.

Science tells us that at the moment of conception, a genetically unique human being is created and exists. The size of the human being is not the issue, nor is that human being’s independence or awareness or intelligence. There exists, in point of fact, a human being that did not exist before.

With science against them, those who demand abortion now switch their argument to whether or not this human being is a person. Personhood, under their rules, requires physical separation from the mother, as well as the ability to survive apart from her. Many go even further and insist that personhood requires a certain degree of intelligence, self-awareness, and function. By their standards, a newborn, a 2 month-old infant, even a toddler is not a person.

Mostly though, their demand for abortion revolves only around the woman and her “rights” to do whatever she pleases with her body. Do not bother them with the logic that it is not the woman’s body being destroyed in an abortion, nor with the logic that the woman’s actions (her choices) are the reason the baby is now residing in her womb. They insist that the baby is nothing more than a parasite and no woman is obligated to play host to such an unwanted intruder.

So which is it? Will we decide once and for all that a newly conceived child in the womb is a meaningless, parasitic clump of tissue or a human being? We cannot continue to have it both ways. A choice — a real choice — must be made. We can dispassionately look at reality and science and acknowledge the truth, or we can continue to write our laws based on sophistry and willfully blind, self-interested, and unjust emotional demands.

No longer can we continue to hide behind euphemistic rhetoric. We take cover under the deceiving phrase “terminating a pregnancy”. Childbirth terminates a pregnancy, but it doesn’t kill the child. A pregnancy does not happen apart from a baby. We’re terminating babies, not pregnancies.

We spit out the word “fetus” with a pejorative tone and use it as a shield, as though the term magically empties the child of all human value — because that’s exactly what we want the term to do for us that we might more comfortably live with our “choice.”

When we scream for “choice”, we have to summon the guts to admit what choice we’re talking about. We want the right to kill our babies. We want the right to kill our babies. That’s what we’re talking about. Is that who America is? Is that who America wants to be?

We want the right to take a chemical poison and cause a 9, 10, or 11-week fetus to die and be expelled from the womb as though he or she were nothing more than a large blood clot. We want the right to suction a baby out of the womb as though we were vacuuming out our cars of junk and stray french fries.

We want the right to reach into the womb and dismember a 23-week fetus. We want that right so badly that we delude ourselves into thinking it’s moral and just and even compassionate. Which of us would find it compassionate to dismember a 2 month-old infant? Why is it any different simply because the dismembering is done on a smaller baby who is still in the womb? Does that make the dismembering kinder? Does it make the dismembering less grotesque? Does it make the act itself respectable? Of course not.

We can’t delicately operate on a 23 week-old fetus in one room and stab the heart and crush the skull of a 23 week-old fetus in the room next door. We call the first an example of life-saving, miraculous medical advancement and the other a sacred “right” and protected “freedom.” One child is considered a patient and the other child is not considered anything at all.

How long can we perpetuate this absurd incongruency?

This intellectual dishonesty is leading us toward national schizophrenia. We simply cannot insist that to kill one child is moral, right and respectable while to kill another child is abhorrent and criminal.

Either it is moral, right and respectable to kill a child at any age and stage of development or it is abhorrent and criminal and the height of evil. It must be one or the other. Either we will protect our defenseless children from harm, or we’ll inflict the harm ourselves and call it our right.

It’s time for honesty. Those who demand abortion must come clean and say out loud, “We want the right to kill our babies.” Those who legislate for abortion on demand must come clean and say, “We will make sure it’s legal to kill our babies and pay for it with our taxes.”

Those who want to sit on the fence rather than “tell someone else what to do” must come clean and say, “I’m content to let it be legal to kill our babies. That’s okay with me.”

The issue is not “reproductive rights” but the humanity of the child in the womb. The question is not one of “equality” in marriage, but of defending the foundation of the family, and the unchangeable meaning of marriage.

In both cases, the conflict demands a final and coherent answer. Government does not have that answer. The Church does. But we’re not really “one nation under God” anymore, are we? Soon we may not be one nation anymore either.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

My Love/Hate Relationship with NFP: Is It Worth It?

At Catholic Online

Next week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week.  (Do we get thermometer pins?)  Talking about NFP tends to be awkward because it’s so personal and it rapidly descends into the realm of “too much information.”  On the other hand, a little honesty on the subject is long overdue, so here goes nothin’!  And anyway, Danielle Bean started it.  (And God bless her for it.)

I have a real love/hate relationship with NFP.  There are days I’d give anything for another way to live in harmony with my faith and my reproduction.  It’s a great tool for understanding and managing fertility, but it’s not fair to put a pretty ribbon on NFP and sell it as just a shiny, wonderful wedding gift.  NFP requires some real sacrifice, and we should be honest about that without sugar-coating the challenges.

If you’re a healthy woman whose body is great at being pregnant and giving birth, and you & your hubby are thrilled to receive as many children as God wants to give you, then you probably don’t have any complaints about NFP because you probably have no need of NFP.

But what if you’re slightly less than healthy, or you have complications during pregnancy and a pattern of premature labor with every child (like me)?  What if you have serious reasons for not having more children?  (Some of us may wish the Church would come out and define more specifically what qualifies as a “serious reason” but She wisely leaves that for each married couple to discern for themselves through prayer and honest evaluation of their circumstances.  The Church gives guidelines regarding health and finances, but the decision is between the spouses and God.)

If, like me, you fall into this latter category, then NFP becomes a necessity.   In my case, I’m able to take care of my family today thanks to a wonderful drug that is “incompatible with pregnancy.”  Another child for us would have to be a very intentional choice, would have to be well-planned beforehand and would involve some risk for me.  Should we?  Shouldn’t we?  Don’t think for a second that my husband and I don’t wrestle with that decision.  (We’d be thrilled to welcome a new baby.)  You know how often I’ve wished for writing on the wall?  It doesn’t work that way.  So we keep praying and doing the best we can to follow God’s lead.

In the meantime, it means very careful NFP.  It means living by The Chart.  Not much room for spontaneity or surprise romantic interludes.  (Here comes that “too much information” part.)   It means small windows of opportunity for sex.  And don’t think abstinence is only hard on the guys!  Women are hard-wired to want sexual intimacy when they’re fertile, so if you must be diligent in avoiding pregnancy, you have to say ‘no’ precisely when you most want to say Yes!  It stinks!!

Times of abstinence are ideal for finding other ways to connect and be intimate with each other; or to pray together, relax and watch a movie together and above all, to “offer it up.”  When that actually happens, it’s wonderful and rewarding.  But in reality, this is where it can sputter and falter because we’re only human and we’re vulnerable to mood swings, fatigue, and chaotic schedules.  Alas, often those times of abstinence are just, well, uneventful.  That’s life.

NFP can also feel very one-sided.  It’s never the man’s fertility we have to be concerned with; only the woman’s.  It’s not his temperature being taken at the same time every day, or his – ahem – fluids being checked (what am I, a car engine?).  No wife wants to feel like the Gatekeeper.  It’s crummy to have to turn your husband down time after time.  And when it’s your health issues that necessitate all this trouble, well, you feel doubly crummy.

It’s not NFP’s fault it’s so one-sided.  Reproductive biology does not spread the burden equally between men and women.  We may not always like it, but it’s simply a fact that women bear the heavier load (no pun intended).  We’re the ones who get pregnant; we’re the ones who breastfeed.  We’re the ones who deal with weight gain, sickness, complications, exhaustion, loss of freedom, and the pain of childbirth.

The flip side is we’re the ones who get to be pregnant!  How many of our husbands would love to know what it’s like to carry a child inside you and feel the kicks and hiccups and experience the miracle of new life?  I bet a lot of men would love to know how that feels.  But that gift has been reserved for us, ladies.  Along with the ability to feed our children with the most miraculous food God ever designed.  The men have no share in that; it’s all ours.

So come to think of it, maybe all this one-sidedness presents another perspective that gets overlooked.  All this woman-centeredness means that a husband who loves his wife must really love her as St. Paul described, and give himself up for her.  He must really tame his own desires in light of her body and her needs.  He must truly prefer her above himself.  It forces him to acknowledge the wondrousness of her co-creator status with God, and treat her with appropriate reverence.  No longer is his wife merely his source of physical satisfaction, but she becomes someone that, dare I say it; he should be in awe of.

And then, this perspective should also compel women to behave accordingly!  It should make us ever mindful of the miraculous ability we possess, which was given to us by our Creator with intention and generosity.  God chose us to be co-creators of life with Him!  It ought to give us a holy pause regarding our bodies and how we treat them; while every man is a temple of the Holy Spirit, only women are “temples” of new souls.  Yes, it is an awesome weight, and in difficult times can feel like a “burden.”  But has an awesome gift ever come without an awesome obligation?  To whom much is given, much will be required.

I’d say that’s the real treasure NFP offers and this is why I love it.  Like a pair of eyeglasses, NFP helps correct our vision of each other and our physical love.   NFP is worth the “cost” because some things are sacred – like sex.  And people are sacred – like my spouse.

Love is never sterile or “preventative.”  Love is self-giving and sacrificial.  By definition, that means it is not easy or always convenient.  NFP requires selfless love that honors the other and reveres life because marital lovemaking is life-generating.

While our contracepting counterparts are swallowing pills, snipping body parts and aborting babies in order to “free” themselves of the worry of an unplanned pregnancy, we are implored to treat our bodies and each other differently.  While the world separates love from sex, we are called to love that brings life.  If more of us lived that way, then maybe those contracepting counterparts would see the blessing of living a holy sexuality.

So after careful reflection, I think I’ll keep my chart and thermometer, thank you.  It’s worth the trouble after all.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: