Tuesday, March 6, 2012

HHS Mandate: 'Kill, or Pay the Assassins;' Catholic Bishops Say 'No'


More posts about forcing Catholics to violate our conscience:
The Department of Health and Human Services vs. Conscience
I'm a practicing Catholic, and sometimes my faith won't let me 'go with the flow' of my native culture.

Take the case of a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, for example. Catholic bishops in America have said that I can't be a nice little American and play along. And neither can any other Catholic who takes his or her faith seriously.

Health is Important: So is Life

The problem is that the HHS mandate will force virtually all hospitals, insurance providers, and employers, to pay for 'women's health care services.' Today, given the values and customs of America's dominant culture, that includes abortion.

The Catholic Church teaches that health care is important. But we're also told that killing a baby isn't right. Even if the kid hasn't been born yet. The Church even says we can't kill people because they're sick, and that's almost another topic.1

Kill a Kid? What's the Big Deal?

The Catholic Church's position on killing innocent people makes sense, in the context of our beliefs:
Putting it simply, it isn't very 'loving' to kill my neighbor's baby: or help pay someone else to do the job. That may seem like a rigid attitude: but as a practicing Catholic, I'm stuck with it.

Not Hopeless, Not Helpless

Prayer is a good idea. So is letting America's leadership know what we believe.

Catholic bishops in America want us to write our representatives in the national Congress. There is still a chance that Congress may decide to do the right thing.

The bishops explain what's going on, why the HHS mandate is bad idea, and what we can do. In English and en Español:
I've prayed, done the 'write your congressman/person/whatever' thing, and have more to say - in another post.

Your Life, Your Soul, Your Choice

Even if I could, I wouldn't 'force' you to act against your conscience. It's against the rules:
  • Religious freedom is important (Catechism, 2104-2109)
    • For everybody
      (Catechism, 2106)
Freedom comes with responsibility, and that's another topic.2

Decisions

I'd probably be more comfortable, living in a period when I could at least pretend that my native land's dominant culture was on the same page as the Lord of Hosts. But I've yet to run into something in Holy Scripture, or in what the Church has said over the last couple of millennia, that says 'thou shalt not make waves.'

Today is an era when folks have fairly well-defined choices to make. The trick will be making the right choice. This sort of situation is nothing new:
" 'Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely. Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

"3 If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.' "
(Joshua 24:14-15)

Jesus Approached and Said - - -

A bit over a dozen centuries later, my Lord was tortured to death. Then Jesus stopped being dead.

That got the attention of eleven men who had followed him:
"10 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

"11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

"Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

"teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.' "
(Matthew 28:17-20)

The Winning Side

It's been about three millennia since Joshua told folks to make up their minds; two millennia since Jesus gave those marching orders. My Lord's outfit is still around.

On the whole, I think deciding to serve God, and act as if what He says matters, is prudent. Eventually, God's way wins. But what you decide is up to you.

Conscience Protection: What the Bishops Say

I found these links useful. Maybe you will, too:

Bishops: "TAKE ACTION"

Related posts:

1 Very briefly, the Catholic Church says:
  • Health care is important
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2288-2291
  • Killing innocent people is wrong, even if the person is
2 About freedom:
" Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

"As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach."
(Catechism, 1731-1732)
More: (Catechism, 1733-1738)

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Wrong word: "I wouldn't 'force' you do act against"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Oops. Sounds like my fingers had a cold. ;)

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.