By Fr. George Welzbacher
March 11, 2012
It's not as if today there were an urgent need for government intervention to make contraceptives more accessible. You can find them almost everywhere, and some are cheaper than a pack of cigarettes. Why, then, does President Obama insist, in his now notorious mandate, that religious institutions serving a public beyond the churchyard must include in their employees' health insurance plans contraceptives and abortifacients, as "benefits", even when doing so constitutes a repudiation of the institution's creed? Why for that matter should an insurance program concern itself at all with covering the costs of medical procedures and medications that are required by no medical necessity but simply enhance pursuit of a freely chosen lifestyle? The purpose of insurance after all is to provide financial back -up in the event of unforeseen misfortune, misfortune beyond our control, such as slipping on an icy sidewalk or finding oneself the victim of a house fire, a heart attack, a major traffic accident or even a tornado or a flood. An elective procedure, like changing the oil in your automobile or taking a vitamin pill, does not fall within the appropriate scope of an insurance plan. And even were one to concede, briefly, for the sake of argument, that in the interests of public health an insurance program ought to pay for elective medications, how can HORMONAL contraceptives be honestly described as contributing to a woman's HEALTH When in fact- see the attached report below - such contraceptives will appear on any comprehensive list of CARCINOGENS. Their frequent use carries with it a multiplied risk of CANCER.
What then must President Obama and Madame Sebelius have had in mind in imposing on religious institutions so capricious a command, one that so clearly violates the First Amendment, and one moreover that affects by and large a woman's health adversely? The only motive that can plausibly survive a rigorous scrutiny, so at least it seems to me, WOULD BE SIMPLY AND NAKEDLY THIS: MR. OBAMA'S INTENT IS TO SUPPRESS OR TO SECULARIZE (IN EFFECT TO CONFISCATE) THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'S NETWORK OF HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS AND SOCIAL AGENCIES and thus to REMOVE an important layer in the intermediate barrier of private institutions protecting the citizen from an overly intrusive government. It is a major step towards totalitarian control. It is also an arrogant attempt to humiliate and to discredit the Church by constraining the Church to become an accomplice in what the Church defines as evil. With this imperious decree, the Church is confronted with an arbitrary range of options, none of them acceptable, namely, either 1) to compromise the Church's core beliefs by compliance with the dictate (thus to betray Christ and in the process to destroy the Church's own credibility); or 2) to refuse to comply with this dictate and to be subjected to fines ($2,000.00 per employee each and every year), fines so ruinous in their cumulative effect as eventually or even imminently to bankrupt the Church in America; or 3) to go out of business altogether so far as maintaining hospitals, schools and charitable agencies is concerned ( in other words to be reduced to the status once "enjoyed" by the Russian Orthodox Church under the boot of the Soviet Union ).
Whichever of these options the Church might choose would constitute a triumph for the virulent strain of secularism embodied with particular force in this administration - a radical secularism exemplified by Anita Dunn, Mr. Obarna's former Director of Communications, who in addressing a high school graduating class revealed that one of her principal sources of enduring inspiration was the philosophy of Mao Tse-Tung. This is the aggressive secularism against which Pope Benedict warned as recently as January of this year: "It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threat to the Church's public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres... [and which displays] a troubling tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience." And of course whichever of these options the Church might choose will receive the derisive applause of a major sector of this administration's "base," a sector openly hostile to religious faith.
All of which leaves the Church with no alternative except to fight-to fight with the weapons of the Spirit (prayer and penance) and, while appealing to America's courts, to pay the fines, if necessary, in the hope of eventual restitution.
Peggy Noonan's comment says it all: WHOEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT IN AMERICA FAITH WOULD HAVE TO PAY A FINE.
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In last week's Pastors Page, in Matt Labash's cited account of his attendance at a sort of "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" hosted by former domestic terrorists Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn, mentioned as a fellow guest was independent radio and television commentator Andrew Breitbart. This is the same Andrew Breitbart who for years in the independent media was a passionate and provocative crusader for the Pro-Life Cause (who, you may recall, also exposed ACORN'S complicity in human trafficking. ) Mr. Beitbart at the age of forty-three collapsed and died while walking near his home in the early morning hours of March first, the day on which he was scheduled to air a controversial film. Here is a sample of his eloquence in defending freedom taken from his 2011 book, "Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!"
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Make no mistake: America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took on a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.
Schools. Newspapers. Network news. Art. Music. Film. Television....
If the political left weren't so joyless, humorless, intrusive, taxing, overtaxing, anarchistic, controlling, -rudderless, chaos-prone, pedantic,unrealistic, hypocritical, clueless, politically correct, angry, cruel, sanctimonious, retributive, redistributive, intolerant- and if the political left weren't hell-bent on expansion of said unpleasantness into all aspects of my family's life-the truth is, I would not be in your life.
If the Democratic Party were run by Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, if it had the slightest vestige of JFK and Henry "Scoop" Jackson, I wouldn't be on the political map.
If the American media were run by biased but not evil Tim Russerts and David Brinkleys, I wouldn't have joined the fight....
If America's pop-cultural ambassadors like Alec Baldwin and Janeanne Garofalo didn't come back from their foreign trips to tell us how much they hate us, if my pay cable didn't highlight a comedy show every week that called me a racist for embracing constitutional principles and limited government, I wouldn't be at Tea Parties screaming my love for this great, charitable, and benevolent country.
I am a reluctant cultural warrior.
Requiescat in pace.
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And here is a sobering report from The Washington Times on the impact of the frequent use of hormonal contraceptives on a woman's health.
* * * * *How about the truth?
Birth control puts women at risk.
Washington Times, February 20, 2012
Ominous silence has ruled America for too long on arguably the most controversial and devastating issue of the day, but as is so often seen in history, oppression gives rise to courage .... abortion supporters may have just opened a Pandora's box through the institution of the birth control mandate, forcing the issue of contraception to center stage. For years, pro-life organizations refused to discuss this topic, despite the fact that free access to birth control increases the number of chemical abortions and PREDISPOSES women to serious long-term and permanent health problems.
Supporters of contraception repeatedly claim that "women are healthier on birth control," but that could not be further from the truth. Providing free hormonal birth control to women under the guise of "preventive services" and "women's health" is a lie.
Hormonal birth control methods can enter the body in various ways - through the pill, an intrauterine device (IUD), implants or shots. Whichever way they enter the body, these birth control methods dispense TOXIN into a woman's system.
Perhaps Mrs. Sebelius should inform her president of the following before he makes additional statements such as: "It is a lot cheaper to prevent than to treat." Consider these facts:
SINCE 1975 THERE HAS BEEN A 400 PERCENT INCREASE IN BREAST CANCER AMONG PRE-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN. This mirrors the increased use of birth control over these same years.
A MAYO CLINIC STUDY CONFIRMS THAT ANY GIRL OR WOMAN WHO IS ON HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL FOR FOUR YEARS PRIOR TO HER FIRST FULL-TERM PREGNANCY INCREASES HER BREAST CANCER RISK BY 52 PERCENT.
WOMEN WHO USE HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS ARE FOUR TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP CERVICAL CANCER
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classifies ALL FORMS OF HORMONAL CONTRACEPTION as Group I CARCINOGENS. This group of cancer-causing agents also includes cigarettes and asbestos. How is it that the Food and Drug Administration can require cigarette manufacturers to place warning labels and photos of corpses on cigarette packages to warn consumers of the health dangers while they take the equally harmful substance of hormonal birth control and force companies to give it away free to women of all ages?
In October 2010, the New York Times ran an article about HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY drugs. It quoted the American Medical Association WARNING women that these POST-menopausal drugs, which originally were marketed as keeping women "young and sexy," were discovered instead to be CAUSING deadly breast cancer. It stopped short of revealing that the ONLY DIFFERENCE between the hormone replacement THERAPY drugs and the hormonal BIRTH CONTROL drugs now MANDATED by the Obama administration is that the BIRTH CONTROL DRUGS given to younger women have SIX TIMES THE CONCENTRATION OF THE VERY SAME [THERAPY] DRUG.
The Obama administration wants to give ALL women ACCESS TO THESE CARCINOGENS FREE OF CHARGE.
Women deserve to be told the truth. According to the American Cancer Society, out of 100 women with cancer, 31 have breast cancer, six have uterine cancer and three have ovarian cancer. Any individual or organization unwilling to sound the warning trumpet on these medical FACTS is not in FAVOR of women's health, but AGAINST it.
Perhaps Mrs. Sebelius and a representative from Susan G. Komen for the Cure should plan a study group together to review the medical evidence. BIRTH CONTROL DOES NOT HELP women at risk - it PLACES women at risk.
Jenn Giroux is a registered nurse and executive director of the Speaking of Motherhood Project.
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