Catholic, Pro-Contraception, Rational (pick two)

17 02 2012

I just read Karalen Morthole’s “Why I’m a Catholic for Contraception” on CNN’s faith blog and I facepalmed so hard I actually hurt myself.  Oh, wow, I even made my nose bleed!

Oh, wait – wait…False alarm.  That stuff coming out of my nose is just a steady stream of dead brain cells who committed suicide after being unable to process her immense ignorance of her own Church’s teaching.

What manner of Orwellian DoubleThink allows a person to call herself “Catholic” but deny the 2,000 year-old universal teaching of the Catholic Church? If you consistently protest against the unanimous voice of your bishops and the Pope that makes you – a Protestant!  In fact, not following the Pope and Bishops is the only thing that unites all Protestants together.

I know, I was one for 30 years. Looking back, I remained Protestant in no small part due to the opinions and witness of those like Karen who treated her Faith like it was Civics class.

“I have been a Catholic my whole life. Baptized as a baby and confirmed in the seventh grade, I attended weekly catechism classes and received a Jesuit education. Never once did the opinion of the church on a person’s use of contraceptives surface.”

It’s the appeal to innocence via ignorance found so commonly in lazy schoolchildren and employees. The common cry: “No one ever showed me that!” I have heard throughout my life in school and beyond.  As a manager, I had one employee who insisted her lack of culpability, even after I showed her her own initials on the training check-list.  There is a very difficult phrase for some people to utter.  It is only three words, but it is a magical key to learning:

“I was wrong.” 

It’s reminiscent of Dave Ramsey’s “Just Say No” rant.  Like the word, “no” it’s something our culture has forgotten how to say.  “No” is something we have forgotten how to say when it comes to spending, and it’s something we have forgotten we ever could say to sex.  I grew up not knowing I could, and apparently so did Karen.

“Birth control, condoms and emergency contraception have all served their purpose in my life, because each work in different preventative ways.”  Condoms are the only real preventative measure there, as hormonal birth control and emergency contraception are both actually abortifacients.  One of those other inconvenient Church teachings is the recognition of the scientific fact that a new human life begins at Conception, but maybe her “Jesuit education” was lacking in basic Biology as well.

After pleading ignorance of Church teaching and then extolling all the virtues of having ignored it, she then proceeds to recognize that the Bishops do, in fact, prohibit contraception.  However, instead of asking why the teachers of her faith would prohibit contraceptives and then answering that simple question, she instead settles on, “I do not feel immoral using it.”

At this point I’m going to have to assume that Karen stopped taking her birth control just before writing this piece, because she swore earlier that, “I am able to think more rationally because of [it].”

Your momma had to use that ancient magic word “no” when you were about to hit your brother because you felt he had it coming.  She used it when you were about to touch the stove, because you didn’t see the problem.  Part of being rational is realizing that there are many things in this world that you may not immediately intuit.  If you are going to stand in judgement over your Pope and all your Bishops, do yourself a favour: don’t base it on a feeling.  While many Catholics have used or still use contraception, don’t think that you’re part of “the 98%”.  As Twain said, There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Besides, last I checked, 100% of Catholics were sinners.  Taking your favourite sin and calling it good, however, is called a Scandal.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains the instructions that all “official Catholics” are called to follow.  The section on the Sixth Commandment starts in 2331, but I’m going to break it down a little smaller:

The virtue of Chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason…

Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is “an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society.”

Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.

The outcry against the HHS mandate is not one that fails to respect “the rights of women to take care of our bodies”.  It’s not even primarily about “conscience”.  It is truly about the right for Catholics (Catholics who behave and believe…well, Catholic) to be able to believe, live, and teach that the Human Person is a moral and spiritual being.  Other faiths who do not have any problem with contraception recognize how this mandate fundamentally undermines the ability of any person of faith to be able to take his or her views into the marketplace of ideas and rationally argue for them.

This mandate communicates a fundamental principal of Relativism that is offensive to any person of Faith.

“You may believe as you wish, as long as you do not allow that belief to enter the public square in any way.  Just agree that your Faith is completely irrelevant in day-to-day life, and we can all get along.”

This is why we cannot and will not comply.



3 responses

17 02 2012

Well done James! However, the amazing thing is not just how ignorant so many “Catholics” are about artificial birth control, but moreover how far from the more important truth about human sexuality and the openness to life they are. The sexual act is not just intended to be free from artificial contraception but is rather required to be “ordered towards the procreation of children”. That means that periodic continence (NFP) is intended not to prevent conception, but rather simply intended as a tool, if NEEDED, to space the children we have a “mission” and a “duty” to be open to. We have fallen so very far from the mark of truth, and we have been given so many resources (libraries can be dedicated to JPII and his very fruitful work on this subject), to no avail, that I wonder if we will ever find our way back to health. I see it very clearly, perhaps because my wife and I have 11 children, but it is an enormous problem and one that will end our civilization if we do not correct it.

18 02 2012
White House claim that 98% of Catholic women use contraception a ‘damned l ie’: Lutheran author « Trutherator's Weblog

[…] Catholic, Pro-Contraception, Rational (pick two) ( Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

19 02 2012
Papist Ph.D.

I also think people who use artificial contraceptives are just really missing out on the amazing gift of NFP! It promotes the best aspects of marriage: sharing knowledge as well as promoting intimacy, dialogue, self-control, respect, and an appreciation for the gift of fertility. I love that my husband knows my cycles better than I do. I love that we are not able to use each other as mere sex objects whenever we want; we never take each other for granted and it’s largely because periodic abstinence makes us appreciate the times we can be together even more. We also recognize that every sexual act is infinitely more important than mere physical gratification: it’s a potentially life-creating act that is divinely ordered. Truly, it is an amazing gift. People refuse to give NFP a chance because they are dominated by fear, so it’s easier to accept the “one-step” solutions that society has offered — regardless of the damage these “solutions” can cause to one’s marriage, physical health, and unborn children. It’s sad.


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