So I was sitting in Mass on Saturday night when the Priest where I work got up and told us to fast and pray that a relgious exemption will be upheld and that the Catholic Church will not have to provide access to sterilizations, abortions, and contraception as part of their federally mandated employee insurance package. Wow. Look how far it has come. And how fast.
I am fasting and praying on this. I can't believe how blatant the Obama administration is in pressing 1/4 of the American population into compliance to a federal mandate, and against their Catholic conscience. This is brutal totalitarianism that we sought to avoid when our forefathers made their way to America in the first place. It was religious liberty that was the reason why this country began in the first place. Escape from a nasty monarchy that was limiting the religious lives of every man, woman, and child who sought out and paid with their lives the very soil we stand upon today. If Obama realizes what a crime against the Constitution he is making, he is showing that he simply doesn't care.
But you know, there's another layer to this too. If I were sitting in any pew this past weekend as my Bishop's letter were read, and I were an average American Catholic, I would be beyond confused at what I was hearing. I'd be downright dismayed. It would sound to me like the Catholic Church is fine with any procedure that will, by worldly standards, enhance your marital life by artificially limiting the size of your family, but as a whole the Church will not be responsible for the bill. I wonder if any of the liberal priests or the bishop himself got yelled at by the 98% of contracepting couples in our national diocese? The same priests who either remained silent or spoke in support of every couple who struggled with the idea of being open to life and choosing to contracept, sterlize, or abort, rather than follow God's law or the Church's teaching. The same Bishops seem chagrined to speak out against the President, I would be too if I were in their shoes, as it has been estimated that 80% of the Bishops voted that man into office in the first place. And where was the Bishop, or at the very least, the Pastor of Kathleen Sibelius, she who claims to be Catholic on the teachings of the Church long before she penned a law blatantly against same said teaching? Where are the men of the Church? And if they are here now, where in the Hell were they UP TO NOW?!?
I'm looking back at those statistics. 98% of all Catholic women have at one time contracepted. One in 4 Catholic women have had an abortion. One in 2 Catholic men are sterilized. Those numbers alone are scandalizing. And yes, I choose my words carefully. You bet I do. The "great scandal" was not nearly of this proportion. Less than 4% of Priests are accused of pedophilia, and that great plague has traumatized the Catholic Church across this nation. It has single-handedly shut down Churches, ruined Dioceses, ruptured the relationship between a Bishop and his Priests, while withholding and manipulation the organic relationship between a pastor and his people. Everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Volunteers in the Church are no more, unless they want to give ALL of their personal information to some bureaucrat behind a desk. 4% of men ruined the Church by hurting children. 98% of laypeople contracept children out of existence and no one bats an eye. That is a great scandal my friend. And now, we must either turn into the biggest hypocrites of our time, and admit that we are no less than money changers in the Temple, or we must change. We must regard human life as precious and relegated only in the Sacrament of Marriage, or we must admit that we no longer hold the Truths of Catholic Church, and stop hiding in the shadows. Why proclaim in the light what we do not practice in the dark? President Obama, and more directly Kathleen Sibelius, are only trying to get the Catholic Church to make a choice. Either live the Faith that we profess or abandon it and embrace this law.
I fast and pray that we make the right decision. Our religious freedom is now in danger. And yet, what was being preached outside the field of view of the tabernacle has endangered the souls of almost every Catholic in America up until this point.