Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Religious Liberty, Blood Transfusions, Cigarettes and Contraception" (National Catholic Register, 3/16/2012)

Just a few more excerpts....

  • "The bishops have framed their objection to the Obama contraception mandate largely as a religious-liberty issue. There is great justice and wisdom to this formulation. On the other hand, it is simply not possible and perhaps unwise to avoid discussing contraception per se....

    "Contraception is bad for women's health, for relationships and for society. The mandate is insisting that Catholic institutions fund baby-killing 'drugs' that prevent no disease, are Group 1 carcinogens and are demonstrably connected to an increase in babies being aborted, babies being born to unwed mothers, and children and mothers living in poverty....

    "Americans are so fixated on sexual license and health care that pleas for the importance of respecting religious liberty (again, now understood as toleration of antiquated, irrational practices) fall on ears not able to understand what is at stake.

    "Americans would object to policies that prevent religious individuals to worship, but we are having a hard time seeing how funding contraception violates religious liberty....

    "I think we must expand the ground of objections to the mandate and make the case against baby-killing contraception, indeed all contraception. We need to explain how it is not only a religious issue, but a health-care issue and a social issue as well....

    "Explaining why contraception is so bad may not be the job of the bishops at this time, but priests and laypeople can certainly use this opportunity.

    "Jews do not argue that eating pork is something no one should do, but Catholics do argue that using contraception is something no one should do; among other reasons, the Church condemns it as against the natural law; it is against the health of women, the health of relationships and the health of society....

    "And is it true that we should force Jehovah's Witness institutions to fund blood transfusions?

    "If we did so, it would be because natural-law arguments demonstrate that blood transfusions are not against objective morality. Jehovah's Witnesses don't argue that they are; rather, they oppose blood transfusions because of an idiosyncratic interpretation of Scripture....

    "Rick Santorum is doing an amazing and courageous job of explaining the social consequences of contraception, and others, especially on the Internet, are trying to get the word out about the health consequences. All of us need to do our part with our families, friends and co-workers"(National Catholic Register, 3/16/2012).

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