The denial of the ethical principle, the denial of a capacity for insight that is antecedent to every specialization – that capacity for insight which we call ‘conscience’ – is a denial of man.
Values in a Time of Upheaval, 46
Reflection – The Obama administration in the States has declared war on the Catholic Church. Yeah, yeah—strong words, I know. I usually go to great lengths to avoid mucking into current controversies, mostly because I only have a small amount of time each day to blog, and I don’t want/am not able to be one of those blogs that engenders mucho dialogue and debate and fierce arguments.
Nonetheless, there are times and issues where to be silent is irresponsible, even if you are Canadian! The Obama administration has declared war on the Catholic Church. And
is such a key nation, a linchpin of freedom and democracy in the world, that this effects everyone. America
By forcing all health care providers to pay for contraception, the Obama administration is forcing all Catholic institutions to either pay for what we believe to be gravely evil products, or pay heavy fines, or be driven out of the vast fields of education, health care, and social services that the Catholic Church has always done with great skill and generosity.
This is religious persecution. This is war. And it is Barack Obama and his administration (key figures of which are ‘Catholic’, so they tell us) who have done this.
The (feeble) justification for doing it is fascinating, though. In the official communiqué coming from the department of Health and Human Services, it said that birth control is universally known to be ‘medically beneficial.’ In other words, science has spoken, and science looks upon what it has made and says ‘It is very good.’
Leaving aside the fact that the birth control pill is associated with all sorts of heavy side effects, and leaving aside the fact the it can work as an abortifacient, and therefore is somewhat less than medically beneficial to the nascent human being who is killed by its use, this claim by HHS sheds a fascinating light on the modern mindset.
It’s the whole business of ‘leave it to the experts!’ Doctors say birth control is good, and so it is good. Researchers say embryonic stem cell research is good, and so it is good. AIDS activists say condom distribution in
Africa is good, and so it is good.
The whole ‘cult of the expert’ is strong today, and has been for quite a while. And it is, as Ratzinger says above, a denial of man. A denial that every human being has an ethical sense, an ability to not just accept the assurances of the ‘experts’, but to discern whether or not this ‘thing’ is good.
A scientist, a doctor, can tell us exactly what a birth control pill does, how it works, and can understand the chemical and biological processes of that far better than you or I.
They have absolutely no superior insight into whether or not using birth control pills is a good thing. None whatsoever—and we have to be clear about that.
We have to be clear about it because these waters are muddied all over the place. Steven Hawking knows all about physics; Richard Dawkins knows all about biology; neither one of them knows anything at all about philosophy and metaphysics, which provide the rational tools to discuss God and the human soul and the meaning of life. But they are considered qualified experts to opine on these matters. Why? Because they are scientists. Nonsense.
Back to contraception. When ‘science’ is used as a pretext to violate conscience, to force people to do things that they know are evil, it is not simply a Catholic issue or a Jewish issue or a Buddhist issue or a secular humanist issue. The very human project is being denied, the very nature of humanity and our dignity, our sovereign right to determine good and evil, right and wrong, and shape our lives accordingly. And this is what is at stake in the current controversy inThe Obama administration has not declared war on the Catholic Church. It has declared war on the human race. May God have mercy on them, and may God grant wisdom and discernment and courage to the American bishops, clergy, and all the American people to address this crisis in a suitable, peaceful, and loving fashion.