Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DEFENDING THE CHURCH

So did you see Nicki Menaj perform at the Grammys? The buzz on Twitter says she laid an egg.

From her appearance on the red carpet escorted by an elderly man dressed as the Pope to her sacrilegious machinations on the stage, Menaj expected to wow the audience and the nation with her contempt for the Catholic Church.

Can’t blame her for trying. After all, being a star in the music business is all about being a celebrity. And being a celebrity is all about getting noticed.

Of course she could have gotten more attention if she had come wearing a burka and escorted by an Ayatollah, then performed a dance in which she was stoned to death for adultery, but that would have made a lot of Muslims mad at her.

Which would not be politically correct.

But it’s OK to mock the Catholic Church. They do it on Saturday Night Live. Jay Leno does it. So do lots of other folks on television. Especially those who started out as Catholics and left the Church.

Most of them left because they didn’t want anyone telling them that they had to obey the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.

And they joined the American Church of Secularism. In the ACS there is no sin, no virtue, no vice. Neither right nor wrong. There is only popular and unpopular, politically correct and incorrect.

The prophet of the ACS is Alfred Kinsey who published books in 1948 and 1953 describing the sexual conduct of male and females. All very scientific. Statistics based on interviews.

Statistical morality. That’s what Kathleen Sebelius relies on. The Catholic Church can’t oppose birth control because most women use it. And anyway, the Church’s opposition to birth control is just the prudish opinion of an elderly celibate in the Vatican who wants his followers to have big families so he can get more money.

I have been a Roman Catholic all my life, as was my father and his father before him. I’m not a theologian, but I am convinced that the teaching of the Church reflects the inspiration of its founder, Jesus Christ.

Much of the misunderstanding of Catholic doctrine comes from superficial, short-cut thinking.

For example, the Church does not oppose birth control. It only opposes artificial means of contraception. It does so for the same reason that it opposes pornography; because the Church teaches that the act of procreation is sacramental, that it belongs in the committed relationship of a man and woman.

What the Catholic Church opposes is selfish, recreational, casual sex. Promiscuity. Adultery. And who can deny that artificial means of contraception are the sine qua non of hedonism?

When the modern mother has her sixteen year old daughter fitted for a diaphragm, the message is clear: do whatever you want, but don’t get pregnant.

Do women have a constitutional right to use birth control devices and medications? Certainly. And no American priest or bishop has ever denied it. But the constitutional right to do something is not same as a constitutional right to get it for nothing. Men have a constitutional right to use Viagra, but, so far at least, no one has suggested that treating erectile dysfunction is the duty of the federal government.

Frankly, I am proud to know that the Catholic Church in America is standing up against the Obama administration’s demand for birth control coverage in every employee insurance benefit.

When the Church opposes mandatory coverage because it violates the first amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom she also speaks for those who oppose such mandates because they infringe on personal and economic freedom.

Barack Obama is not our king and we are not his subjects. Neither he nor any member of his administration has the constitutional authority to decide what contracts Americans shall make with each other for health care or any other purpose.

Perhaps in November he will discover that statistical morality is a moving target, that a wet finger in the wind is no guarantee of infallibility, and that popularity is no substitute for principle.

2 comments:

  1. Great article! Thank God for the First Amendment which allows you to express such thoughts without the Thought Police banging on your door at 2:00a.m. to haul you off for interrogation. So far you are not being seditious.

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  2. The Catholic Church spends an inordinate amount of time trying to prevent abortion and birth control at all costs. That is not a totally out of the line stance to take. But given the repeated sexual offenses committed by the Catholic Church priests, the same amount of attention to prevent this real harm is nowhere to be found. If the Catholic Church spent even half as much time trying to keep their own members under control as they do trying to regulate every woman's body, them perhaps they would accomplish a true christian embodiment.

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