Warning: In this article I will be talking about abortion and homosexuality. I
have tried to be as delicate with the subject as possible but there are things
that have to be addressed when speaking of such subjects. You have been warned,
some things are bordering on PG-13 material.
This month the Supreme Court ends the year with rulings on a number of cases. Of these, two are of particular interest as they will have an effect on our futures and our religious freedom.
The Defense of Marriage Act and the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate are two cases that have been largely debated by Catholics and non-Catholics. As most of you probably know, the Defense of Marriage Act is an act that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, that is, it
defines marriage in the same way as the Catholic Church. The HHS Mandate is a part of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, that forces employers to provide contraceptive and female sterilization in their healthcare plans, both of which are condemned by the Catholic Church. Before I jump into what each of these bills do I want to start by answering a question many teenagers will probably ask themselves: “Why should we care?” Most people today don’t. They believe that politics happens in Washington
and in the end nothing will really come of it, so why bother. As teenagers we should care, as politicians in Washington are deciding what type of world WE are going to live and work in within the next 5-15 years! More important, however, as Catholics we should care because those politicians in Washington are building a future for our children that could be highly objectionable.
The HHS Mandate is a part of the Affordable Care Act that forces employers to provide contraceptive, abortion inducing drugs, and sterilization of women for all their employees despite the fact that as Christians those things go against our faith. Notice I said Christians, not Catholics. This isn’t exclusively a Catholic problem, Christians in general believe the same things we do about this subject (especially regarding abortion). The larger our ranks the more impact we will have. We must unite to make that happen.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.” (2270) According to that simple statement that begins a whole section on abortion in the CCC, we know that any type of abortion inducing drugs, Plan B, and certain other contraceptives that, as a last resort, abort the embryo, are wrong. Those are now covered in the HHS mandate. I don’t want to pay for my co-worker’s or fellow college classmates’ abortions or contraceptives so that they can have ‘fun’ on the weekend doing very immoral things and not have to
live up to the consequences.
The constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act hinges on the
Supreme Court’s decision after a strong and long effort by various groups around the country to legalize same-sex marriage. The CCC says: “This [homosexual] inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” (2358) It also tells those who feel homosexual inclinations to lead a life of chastity, which, I will remind you, does is not limited to physical actions but also dwelling on them mentally. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
A homosexual does not commit a sin by having feelings for someone of the same gender, the sin happens when he acts upon those feelings or when he allows this mind to wonder. But that’s not exclusively a homosexual problem: heterosexuals (guy + girl) are confronted with the same problems. Chastity
(i.e., purity of body, mind, and soul) is a requirement for everyone. As I’m sure we have all been taught as good Catholic children: marriage was instituted with the intention of producing children to continue in the circle of life. It’s the ultimate sign of love between two people. It’s saying to the other ‘I trust and love you completely and I want to give you everything I can possibly give you.’ That wonderful gift is having the possibility of being open to having children. That’s one thing homosexuals will never be able to experience with someone of the same gender. Our bodies as sons and daughters of God are made to compliment each other.
Pretty much what I’m trying to say here is that marriage is an amazing gift from God to his children that gives them the ability to show a love that can’t be imitated by two people of the same gender. It’s just impossible. And it’s what the Catechism as well as a document by the United States Conference
for Catholic Bishops states. If the Supreme Court declares Section 3 (definition of marriage) of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, in the mind of many people the definition of marriage as a Catholic sacrament will be in danger. Marriage as a gift from God will be abused. Marriage is a procreative and unitive reality, a homosexual “marriage” can never be procreative; thus it can
never be a Christian marriage.
As I was looking for information about the HHS mandate I stumbled across this beautiful prayer from Priests for Life for an end to abortion. Please join me in praying it, and take action, however you can. I also ask all of you to pray for our leaders and for the men and women in charge of the decisions to be made this month.
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,Yet I rejoice that you have conquered deathby the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice, Not just for some, but for all. Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
There is a lot of information on both these subjects that I’m discussing. Below I am not only listing the sources I used but also more information for anyone who wants to dig deeper in either subject.
The United States Conference for Catholic Bishops has a ton of really interesting and good information:
-HHS Mandate: Here’s the main page for the HHS Mandate by the
*and here is a fact sheet, also by the bishops, on 12 things you need to know about the HHS Mandate: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/hhs-mandate/
The CCC has some amazing information addressing both aspects above mentioned. If you want more information I recommend reading paragraphs 2270- 2275 on abortion. I know I didn’t really talk much about contraceptives that aren’t drugs, but in paragraph 2370 it does talk about it. As we should all
know, sex outside of marriage is against the laws of God and the Church so I don’t think there is any need to tell you about it. The Sacrament of Marriage can be found in Article 7 (paragraphs 1601-1658).
You can find more information on homosexuality in paragraphs 2357-2359 and Chastity can also be found right before it starting in paragraph 2337 and continuing through the homosexuality section. Also found in the Catechism are the means of being chaste in marriage.
Unlisted here but also in the CCC are questions about infertility, adoption and pretty much any other question you might have. If you do not own a Catechism it can be found in the Vatican Archives at http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
If, for some reason, someone wants to read the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) it’s here, http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/law/index.html I will warn you though, it is the official website so it’s not going to give any Catholic perspective (From what I’ve seen of it, though, it seems to just
address different aspects of the Act and how to get it).
The Defense of Marriage Act can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-104hr3396enr/pdf/BILLS-104hr3396enr.pdf it’s short and sweet if anyone wishes to see it. There is no real information there that hasn’t been covered in the article but by all means, look at it
yourself. Maybe you can glean more information from it than I could.
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