Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fear, Anger, and Hormones

I am a Catholic woman.

That fact is well known amongst my "real life" friends, and I think, also with those of you out in the internet world.  I make no efforts to hide it, but instead, I make every effort to live out my life as authentically Catholic as possible, as I am called to do by the Catholic Church.

I recognize that this means that occasionally, we may disagree.  That's fine with me - and I presume, with you, too, seeing as we're still friends.    It's one of the beautiful things about our nation - we are not forced to agree with another religion's theology in order to live in this great country.

Today, however, that is no longer the case.  

Friends, I need your help.  ALL of you, Catholic or non-Catholic.    My Church needs your help.

On Friday, January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services released a final ruling on a mandate that will require Catholic institutions to provide (aka pay for) birth control, abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations to all employees, some of which must be provided for no copays (read: free).

This is a direct attack on my Constitutional rights as a Catholic.  Our Constitution (the "how to" manual for our government) reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  (emphasis mine)

Mandating my Church, of which I am a member and monetary supporter, to violate Her conscience and provide what is seen - and taught - to be an intrinsically evil act is a direct attempt to violate the Constitutional right that all Catholics have to practice their religion freely.

By forcing Catholics to provide these pharmaceuticals and procedures (by this, I am talking about financially providing), the government is forcing Catholics to participate in them.  This is forcing Catholics to go against their religious beliefs and participate in an intrinsic evil. 

This is no different than a situation that we see in our secular court of law quite frequently.  If I purchase a gun, knowing that you intend to kill someone with it, and I give you that gun, when you shoot and kill someone, I can be held legally responsible for that murder, even though I didn't pull the trigger.

This is not about Catholic birth control doctrine.

This is about the American government forcing me to buy the gun, even though I know that you are going to kill someone with it.  This is about our government - who should be protecting my religious freedoms - forcing Catholics to pay for what they believe will lead to mortal sin.  They are forcing us, as Catholics, to facilitate an action that we believe will cause a soul to spend all eternity in the fires of Hell.

This is not about whether or not you share those beliefs with me, even though that is what the media and those in support of this mandate want you to believe.

It doesn't matter whether or not you believe that birth control, abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations are intrinsically evil.....all that matters is that I, as a Catholic, believe it.   Our Church has taught that these are evils for 2000 years, and faithful Catholics for thousands of years have believed and freely exercised that belief.

It does not matter whether or not you use, currently use, or plan to use birth control.  The Catholic Church is not trying to impose theology on you, even though that is what the media would like you to believe.  Access to birth control and these procedures will still be in place, as it is today.   I - and my Church - am not forcing you to stop using these pharmaceuticals and procedures, if you have no moral objection to them.

Instead, what is happening here is that the government is forcing the Catholic Church to repress or disregard a teaching that has stayed constant for over 2000 years.  The government is forcing the Catholic Church to abandon Her teachings...or face penalties from the American government.  In essence, the American government is deciding what the Catholic Church is allowed to believe in.

This, my Catholic and non-Catholic friends, is simply the American government trying to dictate how the Catholic Church can and will exercise Her religious beliefs......and is a direct affront to the rights granted to all Catholics in the Constitution.

Please, even if you do not agree with my Church's stance on birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs, please recognize that my Church should be allowed to freely exercise these beliefs.

If this is allowed to continue, the precedent will have been set:  our government will be able to dictate our religious freedoms, from this point on.  

I ask that you join me in signing the following petition, asking for the mandate to be rescinded:

Write your representatives and ask them to put an end to this attack on the religious liberty of your fellow American citizens.  Here is a link to do that:

Thank you in advance for helping to support my liberties, as an American citizen, and the liberties of my fellow Catholics throughout the country.   Together, we can force the administration to continue to uphold the very rights of ALL American citizens.



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