The Pill

When I was younger in the height of the women’s liberation movement, abortion and contraception were the hinge points for success.  Getting pregnant became the choice of the woman, and her’s alone, well besides the obvious.  Now we have all hell breaking lose over mandated coverages for abortions and contraception.  This loud and vigorous debate serendipitously follows the Susan Komen Foundation spat with Planned Parenthood.  PP unleashed unhinged women whipped into a fury and forced the Komen foundation to back down.  I saw serendipitous timing in that all this is bound together in our culture.

Breast cancer is an epidemic anymore.  I know that Missy and I have lost friends to breast cancer, have many friends who have survived it, and who know who will be struck next.  I know the scientific community tells us there is no danger in using birth control pills.  But after the global warming hoax and GMO’s in our food, I think the credibility of the scientific community is approaching that of a crack whore so I remain dubious of the claims.  Call me crazy but I wonder out loud if there might be a correlation between the extensive use of birth control pills and the spread of breast cancer.  Anyway, as usual, the frenzy ignored the basic facts that only a handful of PP clinics actually offer mammograms and PP is under investigation which violates the Susan Komen Foundation articles of incorporation.  But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good screed? 

So when the Obama admistration HHS department issued an order that all employers must pay for abortions and conraception for their employees, the mob was already wound up and ready for a fight.  The Catholic Church pushed back and said this violates our beliefs and betrays the separation of church and state.  Now we have a political and legal controversy erupting, on the heels of the Komen vs PP spat.

But on another level, this hullabaloo has prompted other thoughts, namely religious ones since the Catholic church is in the middle of the controversy.  I read an article, “American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil” and it prompted some serious thinking about me.  Let me illustrate the essence of the article.

“In the 1930s, the majority of the  bishops, priests, and nuns sold their souls to the devil, and they did so with the best of intentions. In their concern for the suffering of those out of work and destitute, they wholeheartedly embraced the New Deal.”

Which leads us to the point that struck me through the heart.

“And they welcomed Social Security – which was her handiwork. They did not stop to ponder whether public provision in this regard would subvert the moral principle that children are responsible for the well-being of their parents. They did not stop to consider whether this measure would reduce the incentives for procreation and nourish the temptation to think of sexual intercourse as an indoor sport. They did not stop to think.”

The commandment from God to honor your mother and father, including taking care of them in their old age.  One had children as a hedge for the future if you will.  Now, it was up to the government to do that job.  It seemed easy enough, pay in and not worry.  As we ponder the implications a little further, this quote jumped off the page and struck me like a ton of bricks:

“In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.”

Whoa!! It is an individual responsibility to carry out acts of charity.  We just write checks and help the poor whenever we see Sally Struthers on TV at night.  No, this statement has challenged me to see my individual relationships with the poor in spirit, the hungry, the naked, the widows and orphans in a sticky messy personal relationship.  How many times have I fed somebody, with food or encouragement?  How many times have I clothed somebody with sweaters or the breastplate of the Gospel?  It isn’t fun to look at this this way.

As the culture wars rage, I have to reflect upon my own actions.  Whether we want to acknowledge it, we die alone and we face judgement alone, without an outraged crowd bombarding the social networks with all kinds of misinformation.  Do I take the Pill of group action, leaving it to the government to care for aging parents and outcasts by taxing me and redistributing it or do I take the Pill of individual acts of charity, fearlessly engaging those I wouldn’t want to strike up a relationship?  I honesty don’t know.

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