Obama, HHS, and Catholics Oh My!

I don’t know about you but over the past month I have heard plenty about President Obama, the HHS Mandate, and the Catholic Church. An opinion article from the Wall Street Journal even addresses how President Obama is Offending the Catholic Left. Only Catholic Liberals, but it’s a start.

Articles such as

Obama admin: birth control mandate is final; bishops vow to fight

Evangelical, Jewish leaders unite against Obama birth control mandate

U.S. Bishops Vow To Fight HHS Edict

have been flooding my Facebook Feed and keeping me well informed from the Pro – Life perspective.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

First Amendment, United States Constitution

A paraphrase from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also says this, “Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion (Emphasis Mine)

Then what’s the problem?

As Pope Paul VI states in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, “But the Church, calling men back to the observance of the norms of the natural law, interpreted by her constant teaching, teaches that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life.” Pope Paul VI is being very clear and continues in his teachings that all forms of artificial birth control, intentional sterilization, and abortion are against Catholic teaching.  (If you would like to read the whole document, please see here http://www.scborromeo.org/docs/humanae_vitae.pdf)

Looking at the First Amendment and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it should be clear, forcing religious institutions to fund or promulgate anything that is against their teachings is in violation of these documents. Catholics have a fundamental human right to believe and practice their religious beliefs.  Pope Paul VI even says this

“Consider also the dangerous weapon that would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who have no concern for the requirements of morality. Who could blame a government for applying, as a soulution to the problems of the community, those means acknowledged to be permissible for a married couple in solving a family problem?  Who will prevent rulers from favoring, and even imposing upon their people, the method of contraception they judge to be the most effective, if they consider this to be necessary?”

If the Health and Human Service mandate goes through as currently stated the above has become the American reality.

What about Natural Family Planning, isn’t that just Catholic Birth Control?

No. Natural Family Planning is designed to take into account the natural rhythms of a woman’s body. Believe it or not, a woman cannot get pregnant every time she has sex. Scientifically there are only four to seven days each cycle that a woman is able to become impregnated. This method places the responsibility back upon the couple and and truly gives them the right to choose.

In the first case (NFP), the husband and wife legitimately avail themselves of a natural condition; in the second case (ABC), they impede the working of natural processes.

Humanae Vitae 16

By making use of a woman’s natural infertility life cannot be created and the fidelity of marriage is kept intact. A couples sexual act is truly human, total, faithful, and fruitful.

A question I then have to our representatives is this, why isn’t Natural Family Planning not covered?

I believe the answer is this. If all forms of Natural Family Planning were also covered, it would be admitted that NFP actually works and is scientifically based.  Oh wait…

http://www.naturalfamilyplanning.ie/nfp-effectiveness/nfp-comparison/

http://www.un.org/esa/population/techcoop/FamPlan/manual9-addendum/chapter4.pdf

http://www.creightonmodel.com/references.htm

There is much that we as Catholics need to find and hold on as truth. The truth of this matter is that the HHS mandates are trying to bully religious organizations who do not follow suit into abandoning or conforming their beliefs. We may not be able to stop this legislature, but we can fight it and contact our representatives. You can help here: http://www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=292

Enough voices stopped SOPA and PIPA for now, enough voices can do it again.

SOPA/PIPA

Many of you have probably seen on your favorite websites people protesting something called SOPA/PIPA. SOPA/PIPA aims to take away the ability for those seeking pirated movies or other downloads by putting the ability to end this in the hands of the entertainment industry. Websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Google, WordPress, and Pintrest can be held liable for any copyrighted material that is illegally on any of their sites. Sites such as these would be faced with either shutting down (which I wouldn’t blame them) or be sued in court.

These sites allow people to speak out about their beliefs in a world wide arena. Although I don’t have a vast readership here, I do enjoy the freedom I currently have to share my beliefs, faith and other random musings among those who may or may not agree with me. It is my right under the 1st Amendment under the Freedom of Speech.  However, SOPA and PIPA would give the entertainment industry as well as the government the ability to essentially bully people who do not conform to popular beliefs.

As a Catholic I feel very frightened at this prospect. Catholic’s do hold to some pretty “outlandish” truths and I would rather feel safe with my 1st Amendment rights than be worried that one bill can strip them away so the entertainment business can make a few more honest dollars. I also don’t want to see those rights also taken away from those I don’t agree with. Being biased is not cool.

There are two web addresses I want to share with you. http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa has a great video which gives you the short version of what SOPA/PIPA is. https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/ is Google’s link and explanation of what SOPA/PIPA is and if you click Community on the top you can see the 67 major internet companies who have jumped on board calling for an end to SOPA/PIPA.

I admire the many people and companies stepping up and being silent in strike this day. I as a blogger am pretty poor at it and usually don’t blog as often as I should, that’s why I am writing to you all today. These bills will be voted on on January 24, 2012. Please contact your Congressperson or Representatives and give them a chance to know why these bills should be stopped or go through. Please become educated and share what you know. If you don’t stand for anything how can we stand up for ourselves.