Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Wake of the HHS Mandate

We're coming upon about a month since the HHS Mandate announcement that has rocked the Catholic world. Lawsuits from across the country have been filed and our Bishops have spoken. See what they have to say here.

Over the last few weeks, and on more than one occasion, I've heard a number of people around my diocese in discussions regarding the HHS Mandate and the subsequent insult compromise by the White House make a rather disturbing statement. It goes something like this: "I understand the Bishops' position, and I applaud their defense of the 1st amendment; but isn't this really an issue about religion. The decision has been made, the government should deal with matters pertaining to health care, and we're free to agree or disagree."

First let's tackle the obvious. If a person says "I am Catholic" but disagrees with Catholic teaching, are they really Catholic? The answer is simply, NO. To claim the Catholic faith as your own means you believe and accept ALL of her doctrines. It's not a smorgasbord, and the pertinant commandment is "Thou shall not kill." There's no black and white here. Abortion and birth control are both immoral. We are not, therefore, free to disagree.

Next we'll tackle the not-so-obvious. To institute a nationwide program that provides Americans with taxpayer- and insurance-funded resources premiums that allow them to kill is simply a violation of our faith. I believe everyone understands this point, yet still claims that there is freedom to disagree.

Not so.

A disagreement on a moral issue for which I have no tangible recourse is not "freedom to disagree". In other words, if I disagree with this issue, I can't just simply "opt out" and not pay. I MUST PAY ANYWAY, or suffer the consequences. That's right, if I disagree, I can't do diddly about it. I can say it over and over, I can write my congressmen, I can shout it from the mountaintop. It won't matter, though, because in the end, the money that I earn and for which I should have the freedom to spend wherever I choose will be taken from me and used to pay for something to which I am morally opposed.

Consider this excerpt from our Bishop's letter to our diocese on the mandate dated January 31, 2012:

"...the mandate will allow a Catholic institution one of three options: 1) violate its beliefs by
providing coverage for medications and procedures we believe are immoral; 2) cease providing health care
insurance for all of their employees and face ongoing and ultimately ruinous fines; or 3) attempt to qualify for
the exemption by hiring and serving only Catholics."

Is this your idea of freedom? Pay or suffer consequences regardless your beliefs?

What's next, armbands and ghettos?

Think about it. This is a critical juncture for faithful Catholics, and this issue--this PROBLEM--is not going to just go away easily.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Know Your Enemy

The HHS mandate should have given all of us some things to ponder. I think these days we often want to always see the best in everyone, to assume that no one really wants to bring harm to others. We think that deep down everyone is good at heart, tries to keep their word, are basically working toward the same thing that we are.

Over the years, I've learned that this is a fantasy.

There are, in fact, people who aren't good at heart, who sell their word to the highest bidder and work only toward their own agendas regardless the price the rest of us have to pay. Worst of all, we can't distinguish them from the crowd by simply looking at them.

Doesn't St. Paul warn us of this?

And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Cor 11:12-15

We living here on earth are called the Church Militant for a reason, and that reason is that we are at war with Hell. Yes, the war has been won, but every war has casualties. Time has not played out, and the casualty list is growing larger and larger. How many have already been lost because we have been living in a feel-good age we don't want to be reminded of such unpleasentries? We've not done ourselves any favors with all the nicey-nice hand holding. Too many of us Catholics don't know our faith, which means that too many of us don't understand our enemy.

Consider this a reminder.

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Skipped already?!

Posting every day. I should have worked the bugs out of using my new iPad before making that promise.

I owe y'all two.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Tenth Leper

I don't know why my brothers
did not return with me.
Werent they rescued from their misery
like me?
His voice echoed through me,
washing away the stains that cursed me
and ignited in my soul
something that will take a lifetime to explain,
all with just a wo
This is no ordinary man.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dust and Ashes

It's been far too long since I posted something. Months! What kind of Catholic writer/blogger am I? Pictures, videos and linked articles are simply not the kind of work that I should be doing. Honestly.

So I've decided that for Lent I will post something original every day. (Does this count? No? Drat.) It may not be pretty, but it will be original. So here goes...

* * * * *

Yesterday afternoon I asked my husband which Mass he wanted to attend today.

"After work. Who has a 7:00?"

"That late?" I asked. "Why not first thing in the morning?"

"Because I'd rather go in the evening."

"But no one will see your ashes."

"I don't get them for everyone to see. I get them for me."

Well said, Eddie Ray. Thanks for the reminder.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Staying the Hand of Socialism/Communism

What are you doing today to reverse the HHS mandate? Regardless of your creed, the HHS mandate seriously jeopardizes the freedoms our country's founding fathers built it upon. If you practice Lent in your faith, please offer up sacrifices to end this freedom killing Mandate.

Monday, February 6, 2012

HHS Mandate

Today, I sat at my computer and composed emails to my representative and senators. Every person of good will that loves freedom should do the same. The HHS (Health and Human Services) mandate attacks the very core of the freedoms which our ancestors fought time and time again to protect. The mandate requires women's "preventative" services including, all FDA approved birth control, sterilization, and education and counseling to promote these for all women of reproductive age. In the following paragraph I will attempt a translation of what this means.

All FDA contraceptive drugs include the abortion inducing drug Ella, the morning after pill, and birth control pills. All of the listed drugs can cause abortions. In addition, it would also include the IUD. The IUD works by guiding a fertilized egg, in other words a tiny human, out of a mother's uterus before it can implant into the wall. The IUD, when used effectively as birth control, works in an abortifacient manner 100% of the time. As if this all falls short of stepping on the toes of freedom, we now add that women of reproductive age, aka around 11-13 for girls, receive counseling on the use of such products.

Now that we have a clear picture let's discuss the "outs" given for religious reasons. An institution/employer can opt out of providing this coverage only if they serve soley those whose beliefs follow suit. For example, Catholic charities, schools, or hospitals can opt out only if they serve solely other Catholics, or those holding to the same belief system. This flies in the face of Catholics long history of helping everyone, regardless of creed. It will only hurt and restrict the health care system: instead of making it accessible to more people, in fact institutions will close, restricting more people from receiving proper care.

Frankly, any person who understands freedom must exhibit a healthy amount of outrage as such an atrocious attempt to limit freedom, regardless of creed. As United States citizens every one of us needs to make our voices heard. On this argument, pro choice and pro life persons should stand together. After all, the mandate removes all choice. For years, the pro choice movement claimed if you do not like abortion, do not have one. Well, the government now sees fit to say, if you do not believe in abortion, too bad, you must pay for it anyway. No sir. I still believe in my freedom and God given right to say NO WAY. No way will you trample on my faith and all that stands dear to me. No Way will I take part in a child dying. No way will you teach my daughter how to use contraception.

For if the mandate stands, freedom must fall. If I must pay for a product that violates my conscience and my faith, my country greatly fails in its duty to safeguard my freedom. For truly freedom carries a price. This mandate renders every war ever fought to guarantee our freedom impotent. If the mandate stands, freedoms fought and won on foreign shores no longer possess meaning in this country to these citizens. The current administration seemingly laughs and mocks the American public. It mocks our intelligence when it tries to sell religious exemptions so narrow that no religious institution that I know could claim the freedom to opt out. All persons, regardless of religious belief, stand up, get outraged at this affront to our freedom, and start doing your part to reverse it.

Will you sit back because these particular set of impositions do not disagree with your conscience? Or will you instead see that this mandate, forced on the people, only opens the door to the next mandate which can/will offend your conscience? It can be summed up quite nicely in the infamous quote about the Nazi party...."First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Will you sit back and take this or will you fight it? Ultimate power rests in the hands of the people. Pick up the phone, type a letter, let the representatives know that freedom remains precious. In the past history of our country, the burden to safeguard freedom largely fell to the soldiers and military. Today I tell you we have an attack as serious as any terrorist attack or as serious as any war.

How can the government do this? The answer? The government can still only accomplish what we, as citizens allow it to do. We possess the strings. We vote, we can exert the pressure on our ELECTED congress. We must act on this. If we do not, we leave to our children a legacy of bondage, not a legacy of freedom. As a Catholic, a mother, a woman, and a human being I am incensed by this attack. Everyone of us should be, regardless of our religous beliefs. Make no mistake, if this mandate doesn't attack your freedom, the next one will. Thus instead of a government for the people and by the people, we become a government for the few and by the few imposed upon the people. Will you stand by and do nothing? Or will you raise up in defense of the freedoms of all people?

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