Most Popular Girl in School… Not the Catholic Church!
Abortion, for many Christians, is clearly morally wrong. But the issue of contraception is not so clear. When the Department of Health and Human Services recently came out with a mandate that organizations, regardless of religious affiliation, would have to cover health care practices such as sterilization, contraception and emergency contraception, the Catholic Church aggressively came out against it. Some Christian denominations and other religious faiths came out in support of the Church. But many others, including many Catholics, did not.
This is shocking primarily because this issue is not really about contraception but something much more fundamental – religious freedom. Many secular, objective people are saying just that. Clearly, many of them do not agree with the Church’s stance on contraception, but they do agree that access to contraception does not trump religious freedom in this country, at least not yet.
So, why wouldn’t all Christians be up in arms about this?
Way back in 1968 when Pius VI came out with his controversial encyclical, Humanae Vitae, condemning contraception, he prophetically predicted that contraception would begin a slippery slope toward lowered morality and government coercion in regards to reproduction. And this is exactly what we have seen. Christian denominations were generally opposed to contraception before the 20th century. Now, most Christian denominations approve of contraception and some have even begun to water down their stance on abortion, if not come right out and approve the practice.
What has caused this monumental backpedaling? It began with one little pill, which created a contraceptive mentality, cutting off the real meaning of sex and making it just an action. We now have abortion because it is the logical consequence of this mentality. And the truth is that contraception is not a far cry from abortion, not just in the mentality behind it but also in the hard science.
It is rarely talked about among Christians that many forms of birth control are abortifacients, a fancy word that means they actually cause abortions. Many forms of the pill cause the lining of a woman’s womb to be inhospitable to a fertilized egg. In other words, after a human being has been conceived, the fertilized egg cannot implant itself in a woman’s womb due to the effects of birth control. Or, in some cases, the pill causes a woman’s womb to shed its lining before a fertilized egg is able to implant itself. All of these cases involve real human beings. The egg has already been fertilized, conception has taken place. The genetic make-up of the person has already been determined. God has envisioned this person in his mind, before the beginning of time. Birth control causes quiet abortions that no one will ever know about, except the person whose life has been extinguished and God.
Why don’t Christians talk about this?
Because it would mean that pro-life women would have to stop using the pill. And that is just too inconvenient and unpopular.
That’s where the Catholic Church comes in. Thankfully, the Church does not determine its moral stances based on a popularity contest or a democratic vote. Whether it is inconvenient or not, the Church tells its members, and the world, the truth. Why does the Church do this? Because the Church, like a good mother, is not motivated by outside pressure or societal values. She knows what is good for her children and she tells them. The Church is often portrayed as a domineering, narcissistic mother who likes to control. But those who know her know that She is not like this at all, (although some of her members are). Rather, the Church does not speak to control. Instead, she boldly stands up for what is right and good out of love for her children. How can we trust that She knows what is good? Because Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would speak in her and through her. Jesus gave the keys of his Church to Peter and the successor of Peter and the apostles is the pope and the bishops.
Now, you may or may not believe this, but deep down inside, I think most people have a feeling that determining morality based on a democratic vote is just not kosher. The authority to determine what is right and wrong does not originate in the minds of humans beings. It originates in the mind of God. Whether that is expressed through the Catholic Church or not is another issue but surely we can all agree that we do not want our secular, out of touch government making moral determinations based on what they think is right, whether you agree with them in one case or not.
The Catholic Church is that nerdy girl everyone hates who is never going to win any popularity contests. But, I would also hope that our other Christian brothers and sisters can give her credit where credit is due. This nerdy girl isn’t afraid to say what she thinks, even if it is unpopular. She is not afraid of losing admirers or even her own members if it comes as a cost of speaking the truth. Every class needs a girl like this. The United States needs a voice like this. Christians should be proud to call this nerdy girl one of their own.
The Catholic Church may not win Most Popular Girl in School any time soon, (even among her own members). But in the end, I vote her Most Likely to Succeed. As much as people hate the Church for the things She stands for, I truly believe that deep below that hatred lurks the sneaking suspicion that the Church may be on to something.
We hate to hear what we don’t want to hear.
That doesn’t mean it’s not right.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/tnoble2.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Theresa Noble is a postulant, aka nun in training, with a religious congregation of sisters in the US. She left her job in California with eBay to follow God two years ago. She currently lives in a convent in St. Louis where she prays, evangelizes, bakes bread and blogs at pursuedbytruth.blogspot.com.[/author_info] [/author]