Friday, July 26, 2013

HHS Mandate: A Dangerous Trend Against Everyone

        THE LAMB CATHOLIC WORKER, Columbus - On July 3, our beloved U.S. Catholic Bishops bravely spoke out yet again in a USCCB statement against the Constitution-breaking HHS Mandate as it is currently written, which blatantly violates religious liberty.  This came near the end of the “Fortnight for Freedom – 40 Days for Life,” a country-wide inter-denominational praying and fasting time ending on our country's founding birthday, the Fourth of July, to move the hearts of our president and lawmakers to protect our former religious liberties cast aside.
       This "HHS Mandate" portion of the Affordable Care Act forces most employers to provide contraception coverage to employees (colleges for students as well) at no cost, and eventually, may include the “morning after pill,” an abortifacient.  The controversy has fueled 60 lawsuits, many from religious colleges that do not want to offer staff or students contraception coverage.  What many do not know is that not only is artificial contraception against the Catholic faith (one may use Natural Family Planning if needed), but when taking "the pill," within a given year, there are on average two or three “break-through” ovulations, which, when fertilized, become human beings who are then fully aborted. 
        The “pill” is also a Level One carcinogen (up there with cigarettes and asbestos), according to the World Health Organization, due to its connection to breast and ovarian cancers and other serious diseases. This is in addition to its proven connection to infertility.  Think of how powerful this type of drug is that can alter and dictate a woman or teenage girl's very ovulation cycle.  Young teenagers and women who have never been pregnant before starting the pill are exponentially susceptible later to cancers and other life-threatening health issues.  For this danger alone, Catholic or other religious organizations should not be forced to pay for these, as we would not buy cigarettes for all teenage girls and women, let alone for the strong moral objections of our Catholic faith. 
        What should alarm all of us though - people of all faiths - is this trend-setting and to where it will lead.  The outcry by people of numerous faiths has been continuously observed, and yet leaders and lawmakers press onward.  Many protesters are in favor of the Affordable Care Act, but not this mandate forcing Catholic and other religious groups to pay for something they strongly believe is immoral.  It is an extension though of all taxpayers, including people of many faiths, paying for actual abortions through government-sponsored Planned Parenthood facilities, another violation of religious liberty to an even higher degree.  These baby mills, paid for out of our pockets, should be halted even more than the HHS mandate - the straight-up killing of our most vulnerable yet-to-be-born Americans.  This newer turn with the HHS Mandate is even more widespread though, where faith-filled law-abiding citizens, who are the majority and backbone of this country, are further forced to go against our consciences in a manner that affects far, far more teenage girls and women.  What then is next?  What will be in the future if our religious liberty on these life and death issues continues to be disregarded so completely?  This is how Hitler began - the disregard for humans starting with the mentally ill, elderly, and frail.  These changes continued without  protest, early and on, and  it snowballed bigger and bigger. 
       The same mentality has trumped with the outcry against torture on humans done at places like Guatanamo, that are taught at our "School of Assassins,"  as it has been called, the "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation," formerly known as the "School of the Americas," an entity of the U.S. Army (at Ft. Benning, Georgia).  Besides learning multiple torture and assassination techniques, North, Central and South American graduates have actually assassinated clergy and others such as  Archbishop Oscar Romero, the four sisters/workers  and  the six Jesuits, among others. If this cruelty  was performed on animals one can imagine the outrage and condemnation.  Not so for human beings who, without trial, are tortured for information, or, without trial, are hunted down and assassinated.  Especially troublesome is the breaking of the promise, years ago, to shut down Guatanamo, which has not happened.
        When will our government leaders and lawmakers decide to listen? Will their consciences, or basic humanity, triumph for the sake of the mistreated or killed?  This blatant disregard for human life continues daily in both the torture and murder of grown people, and in the killing of the soon-to-be-born people who, while having basic freedoms of various kinds prepared for them in the U.S. Constitution, do not have the most basic freedom of all - the right to stay alive.  It is also poignantly shown in forcing those law-abiding faithful citizens in the private sector who have a strong religious belief in the sacredness of all human life to destroy that human life in chosen and inadvertant abortions and put numerous teenage girls and others at a much higher risk of life-threatening diseases.  Our Constitution was designed to protect all U.S. citizens in the practicing of their religious faiths, particularly in matters of life and death.  We are spiraling downwards and this trend needs to change right now.
        We at the Lamb Catholic Worker give our heartfelt gratitude to the leadership of Cardinal Timothy Dolan and of Archbishop William Lori who have lead this massive protest for protection of religious liberty and the unborn.  Hopefully, it will not fall on deaf ears before the January 1, 2014 implementation.  Our prayers also go for the ending, once and for all, of torture and assassinations done to humans at places like Guatanamo and throughout the world in the name of the United States or from the hands of United States trained people.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, inspire our leaders.  Mary, mother of Jesus, pray for their change of heart.  Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, lovers of the unborn and of all people, pray for protection in practicing our Catholic faith, and pray for our leaders to change their minds.  Help them to see this and all violation of religious liberty - particularly in matters of life and death - and to no longer demand it.