The HHS Contraceptive Mandate Vs. The Catholic Church (The Battle Continues)

We are living in interesting times.  It began recently with the Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood situation and now onto the Health and Human Services Contraception Mandate.  It is truly amazing to simply sit on the sidelines as a Catholic Canadian and watch while the Americans fight over this basic Church teaching on the Sanctity of Life and Sexuality.  Obviously, if it wasn’t clearly stated before by me, the whole Contraceptive Mandate is a great evil and is the quintessential attack of the secular world on the Church today.  The world’s most powerful government has targeted not only the conservatives but also the entire Catholic Church.  I follow on a daily basis what New Advent likes to report, and as of late, it is primarily reporting on news about the HHS Contraceptive Mandate.  One story really stuck out to me yesterday and with the recent “accommodation” made by Obama today, I would like to discuss it in depth.  I realize this has already been discussed by some other Catholic Bloggers, but I feel it needs to be spoken of again from a Team Orthodoxy perspective.

The Links for the main News stories are here:

ARTICLE 1:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/senate-democrats-say-obama-reinforced-his-stance-on-contraception-mandate-at-democratic-retreat/

ARTICLE 2:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/us-usa-contraceptives-idUSTRE8181MX20120210

ARTICLE 3:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/feb/7/survey-catholics-back-contraception-mandate-higher/

To preface my thoughts on these articles, I would like to say that we are fighting two battles – coming back to my previous post on “Divide and Conquer”.  The battles we are currently facing are The Battle for Credibility and The Battle for the Conscience.  I would also like to say, though I am critical of the lack of action of certain Bishops, this is in no way an attack on the office of Bishop, the hierarchy of the church, the USCCB or CCCB, or any particular Bishop or priest.  This is a general critique on the State of the Church.

In a world bombarded by stories of the Sexual Abuse Scandal in the Church, the Church is trying very hard to restore some credibility.  The Fr. Robert Barron’s of this world cannot make enough DVDs on Catholicism to fix this; the world is not listening to him, nor the Catholic Church in general (and most certainly not if it’s coming from PBS).  Why is the world refusing to listen?  Because the majority of voices that should be speaking, and should have been speaking all along i.e. the Bishops, have been and continue to be silent, and the ones who should be silent, namely the mass media, are yelling from the rooftops that the Catholic Church is the enemy. It is a propaganda war, because the world has the bigger vehicle to promote their message, the Church has become the black spot on the immaculate page of human history (insert sarcasm). With their anti-life President Obama as their poster boy, that wolf in sheep’s clothing, who wins the hearts of the American people only to will their very destruction, the warhorse of anti-Catholicism continues to gallop, leaving many dead and wounded in it’s path – most especially women and children.

One of the most intriguing parts of the divide and conquer military tactic is that it can be used to turn the very people it states it supports against themselves.  This is what the Obama Administration, and those who are fighting for the Contraceptive Mandate are peddling:

Article 1 states:

“It is our clear understanding from the administration that the president believes as we do, and the vast majority of the American women should have access to birth control,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said pointing out that 15 percent of women use birth control for medical issues. “It’s medicine, and women deserve their medicine.”

Medicine is intended to heal and cure sickness and disease.  Though this 15% would require Birth Control for Medical Issues, she does say that the “Vast majority” of American women should have access to this “medicine”.  What is it curing for the majority, if only 15% are truly in need of it for medicinal purposes?  What disease is this “medicine” healing, or even, dare I say, preventing?

LIFE

I’d be kind of scared to be in a dark alley alone with that Senator. She’s a real piece of work!  She’s not alone though.  These Anti-Life leaders are having an all-out metaphorical Gang Bang on the Consciences of American Catholics.

In Article 2, the US Government officially stated today in their supposed “Accommodation” that:

“If a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge,”

Take note of the word, “care”.

“It’s time to tell Republicans ‘mind your own business,’” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. ”Ideology should never be used to block women from getting the care they need to lead healthier lives.”

Healthier Lives?  Caring for women? Really?  Minus the destruction of an innocent human life in the womb, contraception has been known to have disastrous effects on women, such as causing permanent sterility, breast cancer, etc.  Again, if human life is a disease, then yes, technically you’re a healthier human being.  But LIFE IS NOT A DISEASE!

So the Democrats state they will “fight strongly” to keep the mandate in place.  The main way they will fight this war will be to use their anti-life rhetoric to propagate the idea that Contraception actually aids in women’s health.  Pray tell, what are the downsides to Artificial Contraception?

From Medical News Today:

“In the January issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers have published a new investigation measuring sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) before and after discontinuation of the oral contraceptive pill. The research concluded that women who used the oral contraceptive pill may be exposed to long-term problems from low values of “unbound” testosterone potentially leading to continuing sexual, metabolic, and mental health consequences.” (source:http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/35663.php)

According to Ditchthepill.org here are a list of proven side effects:

  • Migraine headaches
  • PMS
  • Breast Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Blood Clots
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Post-Partum Depression
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Unnecessary Hysterectomies
  • Anxiety Disorders

The sad story is, those who are thinking objectively about the issue at hand (which is the mandating of the Catholic Church to pay for abortifacient and contraceptive drugs) see that it is directly in violation of their consciences, and goes against their fundamental rights to practice their religion.  If the issue were simply based on this alone, they would still have a leg to stand on. From a health perspective, the Church is still protecting their employees from health problems.  From a sociological perspective, I think Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry from the Business Insider put it quite aptly.  (Source:http://www.businessinsider.com/time-to-admit-it-the-church-has-always-been-right-on-birth-control-2012-2).

They state:

“The Church teaches that love, marriage, sex, and procreation are all things that belong together. That’s it. But it’s pretty important. And though the Church has been teaching this for 2,000 years, it’s probably never been as salient as today.  Today’s injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae.  He warned of four results

If the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:

1.General lowering of moral standards

2.A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy

3.The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.

4.Government coercion in reproductive matters.

Does that sound familiar?

Because it sure sounds like what’s been happening for the past 40 years.”

They go on to say that:

“Is this all due to the Pill? Of course not. But the idea that widely-available contraception hasn’t led to dramatic societal change, or that this change has been exclusively to the good, is a much sillier notion than anything the Catholic Church teaches.”

Though nothing the Church teaches has been silly, in the last 50 years, we’ve seen the opposite of correct moral teaching given by clergy vis. The Winnipeg statement by Bishops in Canada in 1968 against Humanae Vitae. The Pope and the Magisterium have not been silent on this matter at all, quite the opposite.  Unfortunately, to get a message from the Pope’s desk to the local congregation’s ears seem to be a harder task than flying to the moon.  It seems to stop on Bishops’ desks.

The American and Canadian Catholic clergy since Roe V. Wade have stood relatively silent in comparison to the 53 Million children that have been slaughtered at the hands of Abortionists.  But now the fight has come to the American Bishops’ front lawn, aiming right at the pocket books of these Institutions, and their consciences.  It must be stated however that the Bishops of the USCCB are much better now than their hippy predecessors in terms of living conscientiously.  In fairness, those Flower-Power Clergy of the 70’s allowed for the mess and left our current day Bishops to clean it up. But now, the battle for the conscience has come to the front door of these Bishops and, thanks be to God, our Bishops are now starting to act in accordance with their calling and call out evil where they see it.

Sadly, in a poll released on Tuesday (ARTICLE 3), we learn that:

“When asked by Public Policy Polling (PPP) if employers should be required to provide workers with health-care plans covering contraception at no cost, 58 percent of Catholic respondents agreed, compared with 55 percent of all respondents. And when the question was narrowed to whether colleges and hospitals with religious affiliations should be included in the requirement, Catholics continued to express more support than the general public. Fifty-two percent of Catholics said they should be held to the mandate, compared with 49 percent overall.”

On a side note, I can almost guarantee these “Catholics” they surveyed are not regular Mass attendees and do not appeal to any sort of fidelity to the Church on any moral matters.  Frankly, I’d like to see a survey done on those who participated.  I highly doubt the PPP would survey daily mass attendants, but most likely perused the campuses of the likes of Catholic University of America or Notre Dame to produce the results they themselves wanted.  That aside, it still shows a fundamental truth that Catholics in the West are generally uncatechized.  Poorly formed Catholics will equate to poor politics.

This is the Battle for the Conscience, since the majority of “Catholics” in the West are walking around with poorly formed consciences in general. How does the USCCB appeal to the laity for support when they haven’t been formed?  Truth be told, MTV has formed them where the local church dropped the ball.  The good Catholics who are living the faith in and out of season, who dare I say, the majority have taken care of their own personal catechesis, are the ones stepping up and causing a ruckus over this.  The Catholics who regularly receive our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion and enter into the Sacrament of Reconciliation are the ones who are going to fight this to the shedding of their blood.  Why?  Because they love God and desire that He be honored and loved in return.

Even some of our Protestant friends are behind us in this. Lifesite news tells us that:

“Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told LifeSiteNews.com “we will not comply” with the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious institutions to cover abortifacient products such as Plan B, Ella, and the IUD.”(http://www.lifesitenews.com/southern-baptist-leader-we-will-not-comply-with-hhs-mandate.html)

The problem is the Battle for Credibility has worked in favour of the Mandate.  Due to that fact, the battle for conscience on the national scale takes a back seat to the battle for credibility, because people will not listen to you unless you are a legitimate source.  And how can a Church who “hides pedophilia and rapes little boys” as the mass media likes to push, stand to tell us that we cannot use “contraception” because its “evil”?  Though the Church has way more to bring to the table, including 2000 years of beautiful history, what has occurred within the last 50 years on the part of clergy will stain the pages of Church history for years to come, similarly to things like the Inquisitions and the Bad Crusades. Nevertheless, even if some of Her members have fallen, the Church can and will proclaim the truth in the face of unspeakable evil.  Like the great martyrs, the Church stands like Daniel in the Lion’s Den to guard the truth no matter how much the world tries to distort it or tell us She is wrong.  This is truly the greatest battle of our time.

The Bride of Christ must become a warrior in these latter times in order to crush the head of the serpent and the anti-christs of this age.  I am proud of people like Mother Angelica and EWTN, The Catholic Register, Priests for Life, and Stand-True Ministries, who have sued Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services and the Obama Administration because of this Mandate.  “The gates of Hell shall not prevail”, but how those gates will try to, and with all their might.  Like at the Battle of Lepanto, let us arm ourselves with the Rosary, and faithfully assist at Mass, and pray, whether we’re American or not, that the Church will rise from this low state, as the glorified Bride of Christ, and show who She really is, and may she, in being authentically who She is, which means we ourselves are authentically who we are, transform the culture and be in word and deed as our Blessed Lord says “the light of the world, and salt of the earth”.

In the Immaculata,

Chris

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About catholichris

I am an orthodox Roman Catholic twenty-something husband with a passion for spreading the Faith, especially within the social media sphere. I work with Team Orthodoxy (orthodoxcatholicism.com), a Catholic social media team, dedicated to the work of the New Evangelization, in full fidelity to the Holy Father, Pope Francis and the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted on February 10, 2012, in abortion, Apologetics, Cardinals, Catholic, Catholic Clergy, chastity, Church Corruption and Renewal, contraception, Current Events, Love, marriage, Orthodoxy, pro-life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Well written my friend. If my pen wasn’t as quick as yours, I would likely be on the path to conversion as we speak.

    A few comments in your article stood out to me, so I have to beg your indulgence.

    What is your/the churches opinion on women using birth control for the positive side effects (http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/features/other-reasons-to-take-the-pill) and remaining abstinent? Since they have chosen not to participate in sexual intercourse, it can hardly be argued that there is a loss of life here. Would this violate God’s law? In this case, how would using birth control to alleviate the symptoms of menstruation / providing protection against cancer be any different than taking aspirin to relieve a headache or a metamucil to maintain regularity and reduce cholesterol? I’m not trying to be argumentative – I would really be interested in your perspective.

    My major concern, and why I have been vocal about this particular subject, is that this argument comes down to one fundamental principle for me. Religious freedom versus civil liberty: which rule trumps the other?

    I tend to land on the side which promotes freedom of choice. Where Catholics may cry foul because the government is forcing contraception on them via the HHS mandate, it still provides the freedom of choice to Catholics. No Catholic is required to take or use any form of contraception under this rule, only to make it accessible under their insurance programs. God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit, yet he put it there in the first place. Does this change the moral obligation of Adam and Eve to obey? Of course not. And while Eve may have been tempted by Satan, she still had the freedom to choose her path, and that is my big point.

    On the flip side, I perceive that the Catholic church would seek to outright abolish contraception, and prevent people from ever having access to it, let alone making an informed choice. The ethical arguments are irrelevant to me in this case, because this would seek to undermine Man’s freedom of choice.

    One of my favourite authors, John Milton, argues greatly for the freedom of choice in man:

    “Man shall not quite be lost, but sav’d who will, / Yet not of will in him, but grace in me.” – God (Paradise Lost, book III).

    He also states in his famous work “Areopagitica”:

    “Many there be that complain of divine Providence for suffering Adam to transgress. Foolish tongues! When God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing; he had been else a mere artificial Adam, such an Adam as he is in the motions. We ourselves esteem not of that obedience, or love, or gift, which is of force; God therefore left him free.”

    Milton’s idea of grace is not irresistible, but entirely conditional upon Man’s choice to accept or refuse it. For Milton, Man does not have the will to save himself, but instead can choose to be saved by a will that can save him .

    The bottom line: You can’t force your beliefs on someone else, no matter how much you believe that it’s right. You must give the freedom of choice to the people, and allow them to choose the right path. To do otherwise would circumvent reason and the entire purpose of salvation – for “Reason is but choosing.”

    -Zach

    • Dear Zachary,

      Thank you for your response and your questions. I’ll be upping my words per minute to help expedite your conversion, rest assured. We Catholics are known to be master scribes. Just a little humour, besides it won’t be us who converts you, it’ll be Mary. I will section my responses for ease of read.

      1. In response to your first question about the positive side effects of birth control, I turn to Pope Paul VI’s fantastic encyclical, which I really encourage you to read (it’s quite a short) called Humanae Vitae. This Encyclical letter drew the proverbial line in the sand between orthodox and heterodox catholics in 1968. I think section 15 answers your question in part, however I will state, it is somewhat vague:

      “On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever. (19)”

      I am quite familiar with Catholic women living in a state of celibacy, who take a low dosage of birth control in order to “regulate the plumbing”. I also know of women who take hormonal birth control to aid in diminishing bad cases of acne. All of this being said, I am not a doctor, therefore I do not propose to know everything in the medical field. However, what I do know is that certain doctors do treat oral birth control as a sort of magic fix-all that instead of searching for the root of the problem, throw the band-aid of oral contraception on it to mask the problem. There have been great steps taken in the medical field since the legalization of birth control, and many things that birth control could aid, simply do not require it, as other medicines have been created, that do not impede conception. I believe it would be immoral to not do the research before going on the Pill, if something else could solve the problem-most especially if I were in the married state and participating in the conjugal act. So from Paul VI’s viewpoint, it seems permissible to use oral contraception only in the extreme case that nothing else can fix the problem. The question comes down to this: what is your intent?

      2. I begin with a quote from the great GK Chesterton who said, “Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.” The freedom to choose is one the Church is absolutely in favor of. However, to understand the freedom of choice, one has to examine the idea of freedom. Is true freedom the ability to do whatever we like? Bl. John Paul II answers this question quite famously when he said, “Freedom is not the ability to do whatever we like but to have the right to do what we ought”. Should a person be free to choose to blow up a hospital, or shoot-up a high school? Your definition of freedom seems to lean in this direction. Whereas the Church says, “No – this is not true freedom”. Man has choice, and he can and do what he wills, whether there be consequences or not. However, just because he can make the choice, should not make him free to make choices that may endanger others. This is why we have a justice system, and laws in place (though not all laws are just). Adam and Eve had the choice to love God or not through obedience. They chose to not love Him. I choose not to love Him too. Simply because the fruit was there or because nuclear arms are available or because the morning after pill can be given to me at no cost, does not mean that I should choose it. And, it also does not mean, it should be readily given to whoever feels they want to use it.

      The problem of the HHS Mandate is not simply what it’s making the insurance companies include (many of these Institutions are self-insured), but what it is forcing the Church to do, which is to cooperate with something She knows is evil. It does not matter if the employees are taking advantage of this option. The list of services will still include from a Catholic institution that they will pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization in the event that an employee requests it. Now, in a perfect “Catholic” world, the argument “If they are Catholic they won’t use it anyway, and so it’ll just remain there as an unused policy” sort of stands. However, we are not in that perfect Catholic world. Though there are many who are orthodox within the Catholic faith, there are a far greater number of those who work in these institutions and organizations that are not- who take contraception, in direct disobedience to what Christ and the Church ask of them. This Mandate ensures that only the insurance company needs to know, but the Church/School/Hospital etc. will still foot the bill. This is scandalous in nature, and is considered cooperation with evil. The worst part is, it is not even necessary.

      The question of access is a great one. I didn’t know about this tasty morsel until I did some more research on how easily one can access contraceptive services. I refer to the situation of EWTN, the Catholic TV Network, who has filed a Lawsuit against Kathleen Sebellius and the Obama Administration concerning this mandate. At any point, any of EWTN’s employees could pick up and drive less than five minutes to a number of clinics and receive these contraceptive services at little to no cost to them without any involvement of the employer. If this mandate were not to be repealed, people in the church would still have access – easy access. Obama is forcing these Catholic institutions to include in their health insurance policies something that they can easily get outside of the insurance company. To top it off, if EWTN were to cancel Health Insurance for their employees altogether to ensure their policies did not include this, the Government will fine EWTN upwards of $650,000 per year to opt-out. If you want to talk about the freedom to choose and the Church being against it, let’s weigh that one in the scales.

      You state:

      “The bottom line: You can’t force your beliefs on someone else, no matter how much you believe that it’s right. You must give the freedom of choice to the people, and allow them to choose the right path. To do otherwise would circumvent reason and the entire purpose of salvation – for “Reason is but choosing.”

      We are in full agreement that people need to be able to choose. What Obama is doing is not giving that freedom to Catholics but instead is forcing his anti-conscience beliefs on them. The Church has not imposed anything, but simply given the facts to people like God did in Eden. God did not put the tree in the garden for Adam and Eve to sin with, but to give them that ability to love him freely. Sadly, they abused that freedom and the only-begotten Son of God CHOSE to restore what happened there by allowing Himself to be nailed to that very same tree. Salvation is not simply about making the right choice, like a check mark on an election ballot, but about living out that choice with your life. This demands seeking the truth and responding accordingly. I conclude with the words of Bl. John Paul II, before he was Pope as Karol Wojtlya who said ““For freedom on the one hand is for the sake of truth and on the other hand it cannot be perfected except by means of truth. Hence the words of our Lord, which speak so clearly to everyone: ‘The truth will make you free’ (John 8:32). There is no freedom without truth.”

      PS:
      I encourage you to read Humanae Vitae http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html and also to read this wonderfully written article of Avery Cardinal Dulles about Truth and Freedom – http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/09/004-john-paul-ii-and-the-truth-about-freedom-26

      • Nice response.

        I have a concern, which I have brought up previously in similar discussions.

        I don’t mean to generalize, but I find that Catholics tend to leap to the extreme in every situation to defend their stance, which only radicalizes issues

        Example 1: The many comments I see by Catholics on discussion boards comparing Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. People can believe what they want, but anyone who would equate the genocide that occurred during World War II, and the abortion “pandemic” in the USA doesn’t live in reality. There is a difference between a government forcing death on people, and a woman’s individual decision to abort a child. If you cannot see this, then there really is no rational basis on which to continue this argument.

        Example 2: Posting late term fetus pictures and stating that “abortion is murder”, as if the majority of abortions are performed late term. It’s obvious that these pictures try to impress upon the audience that even while a fetus, it still resembles a human being. But is that really the case?

        In 2003, from data collected in those areas that sufficiently reported gestational age, it was found that 6.2% of abortions were conducted from 13 to 15 weeks, 4.2% from 16 to 20 weeks, and 1.4% at or after 21 weeks. Less than 12 percent of abortions were performed after the 13th week of pregnancy. It’s fair if you to say that “all abortion is murder”, but to try and sway your audience by posting pictures with shock value that misrepresent true facts wouldn’t be my choice. I’m sure the audience would be less impacted by pictures of 6 week old zygotes – but then, that wouldn’t make for a very powerful argument, would it?

        Example 3: ” Is true freedom the ability to do whatever we like? Bl. John Paul II answers this question quite famously when he said, “Freedom is not the ability to do whatever we like but to have the right to do what we ought”. Should a person be free to choose to blow up a hospital, or shoot-up a high school? Your definition of freedom seems to lean in this direction.”

        I mention man’s will to choose, and you leap to people blowing up hospitals and shooting up schools. I am specifically referring to person’s right to influence their own body, not to inflict harm on others. Before you argue that an embryo or fetus is another person, I must digress that I disagree on this point. It would be like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, they’re both fruit, but otherwise they really aren’t that much alike. In this case, you believe that a human life is created at the moment of conception, and while I don’t necessarily disagree all the time, I do believe that the living take precedence over the not-yet-living at all times. Perhaps this doesn’t fit with your ethical view, but I stand by this statement wholeheartedly. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this particular point.

        “We are in full agreement that people need to be able to choose. What Obama is doing is not giving that freedom to Catholics but instead is forcing his anti-conscience beliefs on them.”

        Wouldn’t it also be fair to say that by trying to refuse this mandate to provide guaranteed access to birth control options to women, Catholics are trying to force their anti-choice beliefs on the public?

        I’m glad to hear the church doesn’t oppose women who use birth control responsibly. I was worried that this would be another extreme case.

        -Zach

      • Hey Zach,

        I think a lot of this disagreement can boil down to a couple of points.

        Firstly, the disagreement on when human life begins. I’m sure you would agree, *IF* you take as true the premise that a human embryo from conception is a human being no different in rights and value from any other, then the ‘extreme’ reaction of Catholics is quite valid. If there really were about 60 million people killed by abortion, rather than 60 million ‘clumps of cells’, then what we have is by definition genocide. So this question is pretty important; when does human life begin?

        Secondly, there is the question of whether Catholics are forcing their views on others, or removing their rights by resisting this mandate. I’ll tackle this issue first since it’s much easier to prove.

        In the U.S. constitution, Catholics have a right not to be forced to violate their religious beliefs by law. Significant exceptions can be made to ensure this, for example, as you saw yesterday religious leaders can be hired without being subject to most hiring laws. Therefore, it is obvious that Catholics’ rights are violated by this mandate – this is a matter of what Catholics believe. It doesn’t even matter if Catholic beliefs are reasonable; they still have a right to have them protected.

        Now consider the rights of employees. What are they losing if the mandate does not come into force? Well, their employer will not begin to pay for their contraception or sterilizations. The question is, do they have a right to have this paid for? Absolutely not! Their rights would not be infringed any more than they are currently being infringed or have been infringed for all time.

        So, Catholics are not violating anyone’s rights, only protecting their own. This is the end of comments that are directly relevant to the HHS mandate.

        The other point is related to abortion, which has to do with the reasonableness of the Catholic beliefs which are being infringed. Again, this has no direct relevance to the application of the HHS mandate, but I’m more than happy to defend them because they make perfect sense and are far more scientifically solid than any other.

        It’s interesting how you phrase your opposition to the idea of life beginning at conception. You say “I don’t necessarily disagree all the time”. You can’t deny that this is a very vague statement, and it’s one I’ve heard before. This is because denying that human life begins at conception leads to confusion. Why? Because, scientifically speaking, there is no other reasonable time that it could be.

        Brain activities, heartbeat, physical resemblance to adult humans, none of these are criteria for what is human. The development of any of these doesn’t turn a clump of cells into a human being with human rights. That would be completely arbitrary. It would be just as senseless to say an organism is only human when it reaches the intelligence level of an adult, or when they reach their adult height. Again, it’s arbitrary, and the only reason someone would accept any of these is because it’s convenient.

        On the other hand, in a sperm and egg you have two living organisms which are clearly not human, but combined form an organism which has a complete human DNA and immediately begins growing into an adult human. Adult humans don’t grow from rocks, trees, or clumps of cells. They grow from younger humans.

        God love you,
        Mike

  2. I have to say that I enjoy reading this blog but that I was disappointed with this particular posting. Usually Team Orthodoxy researches both sides of an argument, but I truly felt as though this particular posting only looked at one side – the (obvious) detrimental uses of the birth control pill.
    I would have liked for you to examine the positive aspects of women using the birth control pill – and yes, there are several.
    I have to begin by telling you that I agree whole-heartedly with your view on the oral contraceptive pill, but I have to inform you that there ARE – in that 15% of women who use it for medicinal purposes – reasons OTHER than contraception – for using the pill.
    One reason is to restore a menstrual cycle. This is commonly seen in individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa. When the absence of a menstrual cycle exists, individuals are at risk for developing osteoporosis – and in particular, women with anorexia are twice as likely as non-eating disordered women to develop osteoporosis. The levels of hormones in the birth control pill help to keep calcium from exiting the bones.
    Another use for birth control pill is to help treat acne. Again this is done with the levels of hormones in the oral contraceptive pill.
    The oral contraceptive pill also decreases the chance of developing ovarian cancer by preventing ovulation – the main cause of ovarian cancer. This would be particularly important in women with a familial history of ovarian cancer.

    I would like to say again that I do not disagree with the arguments you made in your posting – I wish only that you had properly represented BOTH sides of the argument.

    – Fierce

    • Thank you Fierce for your comment. In regards to the post, it was not meant to be a discussion on birth control, but a expose on the HHS Manadate and the infringement of the US Government on Catholics’ consciences. I do not deny there may be some positive effects from BC which I acknowledge in my post to Zach below. However I am still in the camp that believe the negative effects FAR outweigh the positives in this case. Perhaps contraception as a whole can be discussed as a team, and I will bring this forward in our next meeting with them. All in all, I hope that in the end this can spark more discussion about the topic so that we as people can grow in our understanding of the truth.

      God love you

      In the Immaculata,

      Chris

  3. Kelly Lilienthal

    My point is very simple, although admittedly not as eloquently put as the two of you. Being Catholic, in itself, is a choice. Noone is forced to follow church teachings, it’s a choice you make when you Choose to become a catholic. Choosing to work in a Catholic hosptial or university or service organization is also a personal choice. Not offering birth control to employees isn’t taking away their right to use them, it’s just saying that as a Catholic institution, we can not give you the means by which to do it, since it directly goes against our teachings. If the Catholic Church just let this slide, how many would rise and call them hippocrites for providing or paying for services which directly contradict their own teachings? Instead they are ridiculed and chastised for upholding their beliefs. The church isn’t saying that contraception should not be avaibable to women, only that they should not be forced to endorse it.
    As a catholic woman, I am saddened by the Obama administration’s stance on this mandate. I am shocked that more people, of every faith, do not see this for the attack on religious freedom that it is. I am reminded of the poem by Martin Neimoller which said
    “When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out

    Attacks on religious freedom, any freedom, eventually affect us all. Just because you may not be catholic, doesn’t mean that mandates such as this won’t eventually take away your rights as well. To think that this is where it will end, is naive and dangerous. We cannot let this stand.

  1. Pingback: Doctor Dilemma | Team Orthodoxy

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