Okay, that’s a heckuva long title for a blog post, but it also happens to be almost perfect for the subject of this particular entry at The American Catholic.
On Tuesday, the voters of the state of Maine — surprisingly — rejected same sex marriage (SSM) and reaffirmed that marriage in Maine is between a man and a woman. Naturally, SSM supporters were shocked and outraged (the Catholic Church appears to be the early target), while supporters of traditional marriage were overjoyed with the results; Maine, after all, isn’t exactly in the Bible Belt.
Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), was typical of the latter: “Every time Americans vote on marriage, traditional marriage wins.” And she’s right: when it comes to ballot initiatives, SSM is 0-31.
[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 8:31pm CDT AD 9-30-2009 shows alternatives --other than Komen-- for fundraising activities related to Breast Cancer research that are Pro-Life in their outlook]
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) is an organization that funds breast cancer research. This noble effort by Komen to save the lives of both women and men who are afflicted with breast cancer is tainted by their funding of abortion via Planned Parenthood.
Each year Catholics and most other Christians raise their concerns about supporting Komen specifically because Komen donates money to Planned Parenthood. Catholics and most other Christians unknowingly assist Komen in their fundraising efforts which goes against the teachings of Jesus as stated in the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”.
Due to this criticism attributed to Komen in funding abortion, Komen released an open letter in March 2009 concerning their relationship with Planned Parenthood. In this open letter they defended their donations to Planned Parenthood raising three (3) reasons why it is acceptable to continue to donate money to Komen even though they provide funding to abort innocent unborn children.
I will address their open letter with their three (3) reasons here:
I saw the movie with Liam Neeson entitled “Taken”, the other night. It is the ultimate ‘Dads protecting daughters’ fantasy. It plays on a whole lot of primal emotions- particularly the temptation to give oneself over to extreme violence to protect the lives and sanctity of one’s children. Every father wants to imagine himself capable of defending his beloved children from any and all threats- and the father in “Taken” was that ultimate fatherly force. He represented more of a divine Angelic father who slays spiritually evil forces, than a realistic earthly dad- and as such I was able to excuse the incredible violence as something of a parable of ultimate accountability for those humans who perpetrate the evils of human trafficking and slavery.
One of the richest gifts we have received by the graces of the Holy Spirit as we embark into the third Christian millennium is what Pope John Paul II coined the “theology of the body.” Pope John Paul II in his Theology of the Body and Apostolic Exhortation on the Family articulated how the use of contraception is against the sacrament of marriage and more fundamentally contra-human nature. This reiterates what Pope Paul VI expressed in Humanae Vitae in the 1960s in the wake of the sexual revolution that was followed by shock and dismay that the Catholic Church had no intention of embracing the forward-moving sexual “liberation.”
The issue of contraception is one of the most difficult to argue with non-Catholic Christians and those of other faiths, or even no faith at all. However, it seems that it is an issue that we’re called to debate with other Catholics unsure of the Church’s teaching. In reading Peter Kreeft, I have found a way of talking about this issue – for Catholics – that is both helpful and very insightful. I have seen it change the mind of three people in my life. Therefore, I feel compelled by my conscience to share it, so that it may help any poor sinner that may need it.
Here’s a question. If, when you were a teenager, your parents had taken you aside and explained that sex before marriage is wrong, sinful, against the Catholic faith, carries the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and might end in a pregnancy, but if you intend to do so, please protect yourself, what would your interpretation of that lecture be? Let’s keep in mind that the intent behind this discussion is not to focus on the contraceptive aspect, but the (limited) protection that some contraceptives (namely condoms) afford against sexually transmitted diseases.
My wife had the fortune of having this lecture and, being the obedient child she was, she understood that to mean, “Okay, no sex before marriage. No problem.” Listening to her explain this, though, I realized that as a teenager, I would have interpreted the lecture much differently. Maybe because I’m male, or because I was already fascinated by sex, I would have translated the lecture into saying, “We disapprove, but it’s okay to have sex as long as you use a condom.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, renowned (by herself) as an “ardent, practicing Catholic” will be meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican tomorrow. Given her latest blunder during a press conference, stating that “500 million Americans lose their job every month” (talking about why the economic stimulus plan had to pass) despite the fact that there are only 300 Americans living in this country and less than 150 million of them working, if that, one might suspect that she’ll inform the Holy Father that “500 million clergyman will lose their jobs if abortion is not promoted worldwide.”
I have no doubt in my mind that the Holy Father is going to bring up abortion, embryonic stem cell research, contraception, gay marriage and attempt to correct her.
Thoughts? Will the Speaker of the House be formally excommunicated?
Frequently in discourse with non-Catholics, or some Catholics even, when the issue of contraception and the AIDS epidemic arises, there is uneasiness about the Church’s teaching on dealing with this deeply troubling matter. One might argue that by maintaining opposition to the use of condoms, the Catholic Church contributes rather to the spread of AIDS in Africa, for if the “Vatican hierarchy” cared more about people’s lives than rigid doctrines that even most Catholics reject, they would change their view to prevent the spread of AIDS. Why? It is the more “pro-life” thing to do given that it would save millions from dying from unprotected sex.