"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obama Versus the Catechism

The story about how Obama's HHS Department has issued a fiat requiring Catholic schools and hospitals to buy insurance policies that include abortion, contraception and sterilization services, is starting to ripple like a wildfire through the Internet.   Here's Ace of Spades on the topic:

I don't know what to say except the arrogance is breath-taking. Obama doesn't understand the point of government.
The point of government is to run an orderly house in which a great many people may live together in relative harmony despite sharply disagreeing with each other on many things.
A hotelier, if his goal is to just run a successful hotel, should not care very much if some rooms are rented by Jews, and some by Catholics, and some by atheists; and some by families, and some by pairs of cheatin' spouses.
Only if the hotelier puts his own moralism over the business would he attempt to force his guests to live by his specific rules of life.
Obama is a moralist, and an arrogant one. For all the talk of Christians being rigid moralists, the dirty little secret is that the left is far more rigidly, arrogantly moralistic, and it is cheerleaded by our cultural institutions (media, academia) rather than pushed back against, so its arrogance is encouraged.
Obama is pushing, very hard, a rigid moral system, and attempting to "shove it down the throats" of people who do not seek nor need his moral instruction.
It just happens to be that his code of morality is an unconventional one, borne not in the first century but in the twentieth, and which, when taken to extremes, has included conceptions of sexuality which are essentially Satanic in their license.
Can he make a little space for those who do not rush to embrace his Madonna Moralism?

Meanwhile, when what Catholics believe is being caricatured on a wholesale basis, it's always good to go back to the actual catechism (which is online and available to anyone who really cares... such as newspaper reporters... ha, ha):

Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.  These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. ... The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle ... involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.

The point is, Mr. Obama, that this isn't just some knee-jerk, conservative, weird, fascistic attitude that the Catholic Church adopted just out of meanness. It comes from deep consideration by some very intelligent, thoughtful people over thousands of years about what it means to be married and what the purpose of human sexuality is. You might disagree. But it's the unthinking dismissal of the legitimacy of Catholic beliefs that has the bishops (and, soon, regular Catholics all over America) enraged. This will really cost Obama in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc., i.e., where there is a heavy concentration of old-school Catholics.

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