Raise your hand if you fully understand why faithful Catholics (readers, please note I italicized, bolded and underscored a word there purposely, willfully and some would say, intolerantly) oppose the Health and Human Services mandating all health plans cover contraception.
If I could see beyond the ethernet, I suspect I would see few hands raised, some puzzled looks and probably lots of consternation.
Well, I'd like to do a public service (at least to those who stop by here) and bring you what I believe to be the best explanation and defense of the faithful Catholic's position on this crucial issue I've seen via Marc Barnes, aka BadCatholic:
Since scientism and porn are gentler practices than faith, we have scooped out our religious natures like the last slop of ice cream, and it is currently difficult, if not impossible, to have a clear conception of what — precisely — constitutes an injustice to the religious man.
Burning down his church? Killing his priest? Funding art that pisses on his God? Yes, but these offenses are entirely expected by the man who has decided to live against the world. To really offend the religious man, he must be prevented from loving his neighbor. To understand this, we must understand the basic claim of Judeo-Christian religion:
This is why we exist: We were made by a God who loves us. This is the meaning of life: It is an invitation to love God in return. This is sin: The failure to love, and thus the failure to be who we are — creatures made to give and receive love.
Now I’ll admit that this all sounds crazy, give that the meaning of life is clearly to eat Cheetos in the desperate hope that the next season of How I Met Your Mother will bring lasting peace, joy and the fulfillment of the human person. Nevertheless, there exist actual human beings who believe this to be the case, and this belief, expressed in various forms, constitutes the vast majority of religion in America.
It is vital for the non-religious to understand this ridiculousness, for it follows that the real crime of a government against the religious man is not violence, but the attempt make it impossible for him to love God and neighbor. This is the ultimate prohibition of the free exercise of religion. This is the injustice that hammers the heart of the religious man and raises him to fury.
I am a Catholic. I belong to a Church that claims to contain within its teachings the revealed truth about how best to love. One of its teachings is that the use of contraception represents a failure of love, in that it treats sex as an act with no purpose, marriage as a covenant separate from the total self-gift of creation, woman as an object to be altered, man as an animal who cannot master his actions (and thus needs the eradication of responsibility), and the child as an unintended consequence. I ask none to believe it. I merely ask one to consider the positively medieval possibility that there are people who do believe the act of contraception is a sin, and thus want no part in it.
It is a failure on the Catholic’s part to willingly practice contraception, knowing it wrong. But far worse than personal sin is for a man to lead others to sin. Jesus Christ is a fountain of mercy, but when he speaks of a man leading little ones astray he says, and I quote, “it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck.”
Marc's not done. Finish with him. Finish and learn something. Then pass it on. There's so much at stake.
And to think that Mr. Barnes is not yet 20 years old... is amazing.
Lord, raise up more people like Mr. Barnes and lacking that, give us each more zeal, more passion, more wisdom to pursue You, Your ways and the Truth. And to defend these things (and Him) powerfully and effectively.