Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Decisions: Ethical, and Political

The rules are quite simple:

God, Love, and Weaseling

Things get complicated when folks try weaseling out of those simple rules. I think that's why the Catholic Church has been pointing out that 'love God, love your neighbor, everyone's your neighbor' implies:
  • Murder is wrong (Catechism, 2259-2262, 2268-2270)
  • Religious freedom is vital
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2104-2109)
    • For everybody
      (Catechism, 2106)

Freedom Means Freedom: For Everybody

I'm a practicing Catholic, so I have to follow 'all of the above.' That includes supporting religious freedom: for everybody.

Even if I could, somehow, 'make people' believe what I do: I couldn't because the Church says I must not force by beliefs on other people.

I do, however, hope that Catholics living in America will be allowed to continue acting as if God matters.

Praying for Freedom

That's why I went to the Marian garden between the parish church and rectory, and prayed with about 1/80 of the folks who live here in Sauk Centre. I stopped counting when 54 folks had gathered: and more came after that.

Violins and song at the Freedom Rosary, Marian garden, Our Lady of Angels, Sauk Centre, Minnesota. June 25, 2012.

Another really nice evening. June 25, 2012.

We plan to keep praying for the rest of Fortnight For Freedom because if something isn't done, Catholics in America will have to decide whether to practice their faith, or follow orders from the national government.

Life, Death, and Rules

The feds have decided that nearly every employer and every taxpayer must pay for what's euphemistically called 'women's health services.' Catholics who are in medical professions will be required to kill innocent people: or face the wrath of Washington.

I've posted about this before:
"...To qualify for the privilege of not killing people, or paying assassins, organizations must:
  • "Be non-profit
  • "Exist to inculcate religious values
  • "Primarily serve and employ
    members of their own faiths
"Think about it. If a hospital exists to cure the sick, it doesn't qualify. If a business makes a profit, it doesn't qualify. If a church hires people without discriminating on the basis of religion, it doesn't qualify...."
(June 23, 2012)

"I was Only Following Orders?"

Around the middle of the 20th century, A German chancellor's efforts to enact some forward-looking principles of eugenics got Western civilization's attention. When the dust settled, 'I was only following orders' stopped being a nifty excuse for going along with a rogue ruler.1

As a practicing Catholic, I'm expected to obey legitimate authorities. I'm also expected to not obey orders issued by "a public authority which oversteps its competence" that demand actions "contrary to those of an upright conscience." (Catechism, 2242) (March 5, 2011)

"Decide Today Whom You Will Serve"

Hard choices are nothing new. A couple dozen centuries back, Joshua delivered this 'take it or leave it' set of options:
" '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 24:15-15)
More recently, folks in England got opportunities I sincerely hope Americans won't face.

John Fisher was killed 477 years ago last Friday, for not cooperating with Henry VIII's decision to be a sort of mini-pope. Thomas More lived a little longer, but was executed July 6, 1535, for the same reason.

They're recognized as Saints. Henry VIII went through several wives before dying: but didn't produce a viable male heir to the throne. And that's another topic.

Decide This November, How You Will Vote

Something 21st century America has that 16th century England lacked is opportunities to swap out the country's top leadership. We have an election coming this November:
"Supreme Knight urges Catholics to put faith first while voting"
Benjamin Mann, CNA/EWTN News (June 22, 2012)

"Catholic voters must demand respect for their moral convictions and the Church's freedom in 2012 and beyond, the head of the Knights of Columbus said in a June 22 speech.

"The faithful 'must have the courage to act boldly,' by insisting that candidates 'respect the integrity and mission of the Catholic Church and its institutions,' Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson told journalists gathered for the 2012 Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis.

"As they cast their votes, Catholics 'must have the courage to tell candidates that if they want Catholic votes they will have to respect the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching,' the head of the Catholic fraternal order said.

"Anderson said the faithful should seek to 'debate and vote on the full range of Catholic social teaching – including prudential issues that raise serious moral questions.'

"But this can only be accomplished if Church members stop supporting 'candidates who advocate policies that are intrinsically evil.'..."
Candidates who don't support evil? I think America is ready:
Related posts:

1 Some results of our last reminder that evil is not nice:

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

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.