Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Am a Catholic. I Fear for My Civil Rights!

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York in a television interview (EWTN, 8/7/11) spoke of the frightening, chilling and unpublicized dimensions of the recently passed Same Sex Marriage law in New York State. He and other New York state Bishops had been calmly assured by State officials (some Catholic) that the new Law would have no real impact on the Catholic community in the State. It was just about the private needs of the Gay community, nothing more. They were told not to “worry about it.”

It would have no impact, they said, on forcing priests and deacons to perform such ceremonies nor on anything else the Church does officially. Even some Catholic lobbyists, whether innocently or not, seemed quite sure that 1) the bill would not pass and 2) even if it did there was nothing for the Church to fear.

Yet, barely three weeks after its passage, said the Archbishop, the rumblings are audible. There are noises indicating that pressure will be brought to force Catholic institutions, for example, to cave to the requests for adoption from Homosexual couples. This would be making the Catholic Church, in her own mind, complicit in sin. Patently, such a coupling (active homosexual and active Catholic) is oxymoronic. Such a phrasing is blunt yet completely consistent with the Official Catholic position that “…under no circumstances can they {homosexual behaviors} be approved…” (#2333 Catechism of the Catholic Church). Same Sex “marriage” and Catholicism are contradictories. Hence, the so-called “innocuous” law could attempt to force the Catholic Church to deny itself.

Yet, it is now becoming possible that if the Church fails to comply, lawsuits very probably can follow. There looms the unbelievable possibility that, in effect, the Government can restrict or take away the freedom of Catholics to follow their consciences. We have already seen the pressure on Catholic physicians and nurses to engage in procedures which clearly violate their personal consciences. There is apparently little room in modern medicine for the young doctor who will not perform abortions, tubal ligations, assisted suicide and the like. The Catholic nurse who wishes to follow her own conscience is told to seek employment elsewhere. Such advice was given by a politician in Massachusetts to young medical people who wish to be authentic Catholics and as well as caring health workers. The Archbishop cited the judge who recused himself from a case involving practices which are unacceptable to Catholics and who was given his walking papers soon afterwards. How far can this inroad go?

The very first point of the First Amendment is not freedom of speech nor of the Press, but freedom of Religion. This surfaces a smoldering outbreak which has been tightly controlled by a kind of mutual agreement. There has been a conspiracy of silence on all sides to avoid the inevitable conflict between Americans about what religious freedom really means.

What happens when the Church refuses to submit to the demands of what we consider evil? Are we shut down? Our charity projects, our institutions even our churches? Does the New York Times chastise us in a lead editorial while Bill Keller chuckles away? O tempora! O mores! How dreadful that would be! Are we terrified lest we “lose” tax exempt status—even though such status has been granted by statute and cannot be withdrawn by the IRS? Does the Catholic plight go to the Supreme Court? Does occasional Catholic impertinence cause some Catholics to whimper and whisper that perhaps we should “give in” and have some Peace at any Price or just settle for whatever we can get from the “Massa’”? What is happening to us? Are Catholics becoming wimpy? Have we forgotten the courage of our Forefathers who sang and meant “Faith of our Fathers—we will true to thee unto death”?

We have heard the endless cautions and analgesic nostrums that “ at least we have Catholic politicians-----“ I have been told that “don’t make waves…” is the politically wise route for aspiring Catholics to follow. As some wit has pointed out we would do better with Mormons representing us in Government. Many of these so-called Catholics whip out their Rosaries and Ash Wednesday smudge only when convenient and helpful for their careers. Otherwise they are indistinguishable from outright secularists in their contribution to the Nation. Serious Constitutional scholars are pointing out more and more that religion has a legitimate and historic place in the Public Square but the trend is to make the Square truly Naked of religious thought. This is a thorough misreading of the Constitution. But more frighteningly, there is arising a trend to forbid us from speaking within our own Churches themselves on matters such as homosexual behavior and coupling. We are challenged thusly: What has that got to do with religion?”

What happens if I preach, write or argue that homosexual behavior is sinful, unnatural, self destructive and toxic? What if I protest the manipulation of young minds when the Government will insist on teaching children in the 6th grade the correct techniques of using condoms? And using bananas or cucumbers as teaching props? Or that having two mommies or two daddies is just as good or the same as having one of each? Will I be arrested for breaking the “law” when I protest such brutal mental seduction on children? It has happened in Canada where a Catholic Bishop was threatened with Government censure if he continued teaching in the Media what his Church holds about homosexual lifestyle. Is there a budding American style Gestapo? What do I do when I am instructed by the Government to pay the benefits for the “partner” of my homosexual employee? Are we to be reduced to puppets? To quaint museum pieces of an ‘earlier and less enlightened era”? Or just to obey our neo-Fascist leaders. Our modern “with it” criterion sounds alarmingly like “Do what you want in the privacy of your home. Don’t make it public because it might offend some one.”

When I am told that other religions have no problems with such trends, I have to say that my conscience cannot agree with what I see. So does my Church which teaches that some current teaching and behavior mock and irreverence God Himself. I must say that, in my eyes, these trends are poison for my countrymen and the ideals of America. I cannot uphold them. Should I, consequent to my preserving my principles, fear for my religious and civil and constitutional rights? It looks like I, at a heavy price, shall have to defend my values and hopes, I and all others who see what I see. Am I to be forced to repeat the principle of St. Thomas More with his “ I love my King, but I love my God more”?

Let me be on guard and defend my Country, my God given rights of worship and speech and what we really[1] stand for.
1. The Constitution, the Declaration of 1776 and the historic beliefs of the Founders like G. Washington, John Adams and J. Madison.

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