Saturday, February 18, 2012

Contraception Scam

Comment:  If 98% of Catholics ignore this issue-how is it a matter of Religious Freedom?  I say it is an exercise of hierarchical clericalism......Clerics need to understand they are being ignored.....or better yet-excommunicated by proclaiming this issue.....Yes, I do believe laity maintain their Catholic Faith and Traditions, and excommunicate certain clerics...this is one example of many.

A reformatted by John Chuchman,  and excerpted version of Gary Wills article in New York Review of Books
Pass it on!

The Phony Religious Freedom Argument

The bishops’ opposition to contraception
is not an argument for a “conscience exemption.”
 It is a way of imposing Catholic requirements on non-Catholics.
 This is religious dictatorship, not religious freedom.

Contraception is not even a religious matter.
Nowhere in Scripture or the Creed is it forbidden.
Catholic authorities themselves say it is a matter of “natural law,”
over which natural reason is the arbiter
and natural reason, even for Catholics, has long rejected the idea
that contraception is evil.

Contraception is legal, ordinary, and accepted even by most Catholics.
To say that others must accept what Catholics themselves do not
 is bad enough.
To say that President Obama is “trying to destroy the Catholic Church”
if he does not accept it is much, much worse.

To disagree with Catholic bishops is called “disrespectful,”
an offense against religious freedom.

The Phony Contraception Argument

The opposition to contraception has no scriptural basis.
The Bishops maintain that the natural purpose of sex is procreation,
and any use of it for other purposes is “unnatural.”
But a primary natural purpose
does not of necessity exclude ancillary advantages.
The purpose of eating is to sustain life,
but that does not make all eating that is not necessary to subsistence “unnatural.”
One can eat, beyond the bare minimum to exist,
to express fellowship, as one can have sex,
beyond the begetting of a child with each act,
to express love.

The Roman authorities would not have fallen for such a silly argument
but for a deep historical disrelish for sex itself.
Early Fathers and medieval theologians considered sex unworthy
when not actually sinful.
That is why virgin saints and celibate priests were prized above married couples.

Thomas Aquinas said that priests must not be married,
since “those in holy orders handle the sacred vessels and the sacrament itself, and therefore it is proper that they preserve, by abstinences,
a body undefiled.
Marriage, you see, makes for defilement.
 The ban on contraception is a hangover
from the period when the body itself was considered unclean.

The Phony “Church Teaches” Argument

Catholics who do not accept the phony argument over contraception
are said to be “going against the teachings of their church.”
That is nonsense.
They are their church.
The Second Vatican Council defines the church as “the people of God.”

Thinking that the pope is the church
is a relic of the days when a monarch was said to be his realm.
Catholics have long realized that their own grasp of certain things,
especially sex, has a validity that is lost on the celibate male hierarchy.
This is particularly true where celibacy is concerned.

There was broad disagreement with Pius XI’s 1930 encyclical on the matter. Pope Paul VI set up a study group of loyal and devout Catholics,
lay and clerical, to make recommendations.
The group overwhelmingly voted to change the teaching of Pius XI.
But cardinals in the Roman Curia convinced Paul
that any change would suggest that the church’s teachings are not eternal .

When Paul reaffirmed the ban on birth control in Humanae Vitae (1968)
there was massive rejection of it.
Some left the church.
Some just ignored it.
Paradoxically, the document formed to convey the idea
that papal teaching is inerrant just convinced most people
that it can be loony.

The Phony “Undying Principle” Argument

Rick Santorum is a nice smiley fanatic.
He does not believe in evolution or global warming or women in the workplace.
He equates gay sex with bestiality.
He equates contraception with the guillotine.
Only a brain-dead party could think him a worthy presidential candidate.
Yet he is praised by television pundits, night and day, for being “sincere”
and “standing by what he believes.”
He is the principled alternative to the evil Moderation of Mitt Romney
and the evil Evil of Newt Gingrich.
He is presented as a model Catholic.
A young priest I saw on television, modeling himself on his hero Santorum, said,
 “I would rather die than give up my church’s principles.”
What we are seeing is not a defense of undying principle
but a stampede toward a temporarily exploitable lunacy.


Anonymous said...

I found this article was very informative as it presented some valid criticisms for the allowance of contraception within the catholic community. As a modern day practising Catholic I feel there is an ever-growing gap between clergy and lay people of the church. I also feel there is a miscommunication between what God would want and what centuries of religious teaching would tell us God wants. Contraception ought to be a couples choice without any judgement from clergy. I think your opinions and points made here are brave and honest. As a feminist I appreciate your efforts (and success) in relation to equality and female ordination into the priesthood. If there were more people like you practising I would perhaps feel more appreciated by the church and less like I'm 'just a girl'. The church is constantly crying out for more men to join the priesthood, rarely does it ever ask for females(not that it would appoint them an equal role)for this reason I feel the church is lost on people of my age group and here the catholic church loses us to more liberal and inclusive denominations. As a 21 year-old I feel repelled by the Religion's stance on (gender and sexuality) equality, contraception, homosexuality and marital rights of priests and clergy members. Darwin said "adapt or die". Perhaps he had a point, if the church does not adapt to the way men and women live today it will die and they will be lost. Like a celebrity is nothing without their fans the church is nothing without its congregation. I have rambled on a bit here but I just wanted to let you know I find you truly inspirational, and isn't that what lead people to Jesus in the first place. With leaders who inspire perhaps the catholic church will stand a chance but just as the human race has changed dramatically in the last 200 years so too does the church or else the religion will be lost (at least on people like me). It was an excellent read, and really made me think:)

Anonymous said...

Your acts of defiance and disobedience are frighteningly divisive and hurtful to the Church. This Church has endured for 2000 years, and we will not conform to this culture of death. I assure you lady, there are many young people who have risen to defend the Church; there's been an increase in priests, sisters, and brothers, younger in age, obedient to the Church and the Magisterium, who have recognized the voice of truth. Your disobedient generation will pass away, and I hope you will pass our way. Just so you can get the context of where this is coming from, I'm a nineteen year old sophomore studying business management at UT Austin, who along with the Catholic community, have been praying for you. I can try to tackle individual issues of abortion, homosexuality, celibacy, etc, but this stems from a root of disobedience, of pride, that somehow you and a few others know better. The virtue of obedience is something dismissed in this American culture, but that is one of the cornerstones of unity in continuity within the Church. The humanity of the Church is one thing, but it's also paired with divine guidance of the Holy Spirit, one that has maintained the life of the Church to this day. Pope Paul VI did indeed come out with Humanae Vitae, and quite contrary to what this particular post says, a majority of priests and bishops were against his decision. But this was something the Spirit would not allow to go unchecked. Pope Paul predicted infidelity, immorality, loss of respect for women, political abuse (such as we're seeing right now), and human pride in the world and how true they've come to be! And I assure you, most theologians, bishops, and priests now know how important the defense of life has become. Vatican II was mentioned in this post, right? It also mentions the necessity for the faithful to have a degree of assent of "religious submission of will and intellect", something that moves beyond instinctive "rationality". For too often does this instinctive rationality prove faulty in relying on relativism that we must cling to that which we know won't change: the Church and the Spirit guiding her. Ma'am, I assure you, we won't submit. Everyone keeps mentioning that the majority of the Church are in opposition to what she teaches. Find me a sizable number of the majority that really knows what they're talking about, and you'll see that most don't really know the theology, doctrine, or practices of the Church. I separate you from this majority because I imagine you know plenty about what the Church teaches and that requires a responsibility to retort to your obstinacy; you're not ignorant.