I stand with the Catholic Church

Freedom of religion refers to more than worship. It refers to the faithful being able to live their faith through education, ministries for charity and social justice, various genres of publishing, and yes, health care. It all goes back to that wisdom attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “always preach the Gospel and if necessary use words.” When restrictions are put upon people of faith in carrying out the mission of their church we are at the edge of the abyss. The HHS mandate is an attempt to get us to the precipice.  

I stand with the Catholic Church. Always. I am proud of the cardinals and bishops and their unwavering commitment to life, to our freedom and to our souls. I am proud of the Catholic colleges and universities who have refused to accept this legislative idiocy and have filed lawsuits and organized petitions. I am proud of my own parish and the men and women who stood outside each Mass collecting signatures for a petition and speaking with great passion and knowledge to people and responding with kindness and charity to questions.

I am making sure my older children witness all of this. I want them to be politically aware, to be able to defend their faith and to be passionate about defending their rights, because I want them to love their country. I don’t want them to be afraid to love God and their Church publicly and if you think this isn’t a first step in that direction, you are being naïve.

I am a woman. I am the mother of four daughters. I am well educated and well informed about topics of the day and the various health problems that women face. I am also fairly well read about my faith and try to keep up with how the issues of the day are viewed by my Church. I am not at all represented by a government that panders to special interest groups at the expense of my Church’s freedom to practice its faith. I am not going to fold because the government tells me I should. I am not intimidated. I do not believe CNN’s or The New York Time’s version of my faith. I do not believe birth control is health care nor do I accept the feminist gospel that it is a civil right that my tax dollars and my Church’s money should provide.

We hear the hue and cry of separating Church and state beginning every December first, heaven forbid some teacher teach their class to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (which, by the way, has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, making it a secular song) and the entire wrath of the ACLU will come down upon her silly head making her wish she became a plumber. Where is all the civil rights indignation from the ACLU now? Crazy how silent they are.

Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, made the extraordinary statement that 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control which makes this infringement of religious freedom a health issue. The statistic has since been refuted by some very reputable organizations. It is thought that Speaker Pelosi was quoting an April 2011 study written by Rachel K. Jones and Joerg Dreweke of the Guttmacher Institute, which is a non-profit organization that promotes reproductive health and started as an arm of Planned Parenthood. The study is titled “Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use.” This is not an organization that can be considered nonpartisan but leaving that aside there are serious issues with the data they collected.

Leaving that aside, such a remark coming from a public figure who professes to be a practicing Catholic, is scandalous. The simple fact is that behavior does not determine morality. If most people cheat on their taxes or kick their dogs it does not make right that behavior. If a majority of people disagree with the infallible teachings of the Church it does not nullify those teachings, it merely highlights that as humans sometimes our faith is inadequate. Thank God for confession. I have never heard or read that any cleric has claimed to speak for every baptized Catholic, rather as descendants of the apostles, their mission is to guide us to eternal salvation. I am grateful for their courage and I pray for their success and I stand with the Catholic Church. I hope you will as well.