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Time to Reboot Melinda Gates Comments

The problem with the "practicing Catholic" Melinda Gates is not in her end of desiring to improve the life for everyone.  This is a goal with which we of the household of faith will not be heard to quibble.  The problem is in the means she has selected to achieve that end.  She wants to teach parents in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that, to "bring every good thing" to their children, they must practice vice. Continue Reading

31 - 40 of 56 Comments

  1. Suzette
    2 years ago

    Andrew,

    Also Depo Provera is going to introuduce new health risks that they do not have the funds and facilities to deal with.


    http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2001/06/44562?currentPage=all
    http://women.webmd.com/news/20020904/depo-provera-linked-to-heart-problemshttp://www.naturodoc.com/library/hormones/depo-provera.htm
    http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1985/02/index.html

  2. Andrew M Greenwell
    2 years ago

    @KarlDVH. The words "practicing Catholic" are words by which Melinda Gates describes herself. I have taken those words in their ordinary meaning. I should think a "practicing Catholic" would be a Catholic who: (i) believes in the Church and her teachings as they are proposed; (ii) accepts the Church laws and disciplines (e.g., the commandments of the Church); (iii) strives to incorporate the teachings and disciplines into his or her personal life in an active relationship with God through Christ and the Church through the Sacraments, prayer, and good works, and (iv) therefore lives in some sort of communion with the Church. A "practicing Catholic" need not be a saint, and most of us "practicing Catholics" are not saints, but there has to be some honest effort to be a saint and live a life set apart for God. You can do everyone of those things I identified without having reached perfection. I have not judged Ms. Gates's soul, but I have judged: (i) her own words; (ii) her expressed desires; (iii) her intended actions. These are external things that are properly part of the external forum and can be judged. She is a public figure and she has set herself to be judged by these. She is a scandal because she suggests that you can spend $4 billion to promote something against the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church and still call yourself a "practicing Catholic." This does no one any good.

  3. Rob
    2 years ago

    Given that the Gates are titan's of business world, why can't they throw their weight and money helping build an economy. That might actually allow this country to overcome the problems they are dealing with. How can anyone look at our ever sinking society and thing that birth control is the answer to anything? Starving children need food. Poverty stricken parents need jobs. They don't need folks telling them to jump on the immoral band wagon because it's worked out so great for us. Sounds like another boom for business for planned parenthood. Margaret Sanger would be proud.

  4. ManassasGrandma
    2 years ago

    Why do rich people hate black and brown people? She's rich and all she has to offer is that poor women in Africa should be used as pharmacuetical dumping grounds, and that SHE knows better than they do how many children they need to have. Man, the "Ugly Ameican" stereotype is true, it's just that it's being perpetrated by the left, that's all.

  5. KarlVDH
    2 years ago

    Another thing ththing that's bothering me about this (and other personal attack-type articles I've read here before,) the author puts "practicing catholic" in quotes.
    Really? Is the author's walk with Christ without stumble or error? Which among us here is leading a life of such spiritual and moral perfection that Christ's pronouncements about sitting in judgdment of each other doesn't have to apply to us? I'd like to meet a person so perfect, because I know for myself that I am a sinner, and in no place to judge anyone's faith or spiritual standing. Perhaps the author is a better Christian than me, but I know I'd never want to put myself in such a position of spiritual or moral superiority. Jesus' command certainly still applies to me and mine.

  6. TC Kimmel
    2 years ago

    "If we're not going to do the hard work of raising the money to raise the kids who'll be born ourselves, if we're not willing to say, 'I personally will adopt one of these children,' and if we've got nothing better to offer than our condemnation, we need to SHUT UP."

    I guess it's okay to throw newborns to alligators then.

    I guess we could leave babies out to die of exposure then.

    I guess we could cut off their heads and throw the bodies into a landfill.

    I suppose it's okay to cut out their tongues and slit their vocal cords so we won't hear them crying from the barrels behind the hospitals.

    Whether we adopt them is not the point. That's a a tired, old bait-and-switch commonly used by proponents of contraception. The Church teaches and has *always* taught prudence in judging whether to have another child. Again, FAMILY SIZE IS NOT THE POINT HERE.

    The point is that we cannot morally use a method which assaults the human dignity of everyone involved in order the treat another human indignity, poverty. GK Chesterton said that rather than objecting to the tyranny of mistreating women, feminism attacks the woman. The same fallacy is at work in the efforts of Ms. Gates. Instead of recognizing, protecting and nurturing the human dignity of impoverished people, Ms. Gates seeks to eliminate the people themselves. It's ludicrous and it's explicitly anti-Catholic. (That's another important point, by the way, that Ms. Gates misrepresents and profanes Catholic teaching in the process of committing her misdeeds.)

    As for the person who asks if it's reasonable to expect men and women to practice chastity...that's a very important point. The truth is we have no other moral alternatives. Yes, such methods are wholly dependent on the virtue of individuals. It requires that we have faith in the goodness of others, something that is flawed and ever in flux. That makes it complicated, but the other alternatives throw the baby out with the bath water (double entendre intended). They assault human dignity rather than protect it. There's no justification adequate for an assault on human dignity, regardless of the intended outcome.

    “In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.” Flannery O'Connor

  7. texasCatholic
    2 years ago

    gfgrosek, KarlVDH, and No Way must follow the same misguided "faith" that Melinda Gates uses. Why else would they too be espousing praises for the intrinsic evil of contraception?
    Apparently there are many "practicing catholics". I for one wish to remain an obedient Catholic.

  8. Adamantius
    2 years ago

    To those Catholics defending Gates, I sympathize with you, for I once thought that way too. "Surely, people come before rules, and the suffering of countless women and children in Africa outweigh some rigid moral principles that the Church developed centuries ago." But I was thinking as a utilitarian--i.e. one who believes that the end justifies the means. Once a person begins thinking that way, however, there is nothing he or she won't do to accomplish an end. Every tyrant and dictator in history has been a utilitarian. They convince themselves that a little unpleasant business is necessary to accomplish a greater good that will benefit more people in the long term. Imagine this simple thought experiment (It's a bit cheesy, I know, but it serves to illustrate the point.): Suppose a powerful alien race offers us a proposition. They will solve all our world's energy problems and cure all our diseases. They can also extend our lifespan by hundreds of years. There is only once catch, however: we must offer them ten child sacrifices each year. Now, there are a lot of people in the world who would accept the offer in a heartbeat. Surely, the alleviation of suffering of BILLIONS of people outweighs the lives of only TEN children. But I hope no Catholics could accept the offer. The end never justifies the means--ever. If contraception is morally licit, then Gates can receive our nod of approval. If, however, contraception is intrinsically evil, as the Church teaches infallibly that it is, it can never be approved, no matter what good comes from it, no matter how many women and children are released from poverty. Remember, for Catholics the end never justifies the means.

  9. Andrew M. Greenwell
    2 years ago

    @gfgrosek. I am not sure that my letter was angry, though as I described it in submitting it to our editor-in-chief, it was written "mit brennender sorge," with burning concern. Zeal for the Church's teaching on human sexuality drives me, not anger.
    I do not discredit Ms. Gates. She has discredited herself. I take her at her word when she made statements in her speeches and interviews. I do not misrepresent her position, but criticize it based upon the Church's teaching, which I have a right to do considering that she holds herself out as a "practicing Catholic."
    I do love my neighbor, and it is my neighbor in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa that gives me concern. Ms. Gates is not my enemy, though she may be an unwitting enemy to herself and to the people she thinks she is helping. I bear her absolutely no ill-will or wrongful animus. I actually feel grief for Ms. Gates because she seems not to be in the least repentant of her personal use of artificial contraception during her married life, and so the furies of her suppressed conscience are making her justify her sin and, what is worse, bring others to participate in it in a sort of anti-communion of mortal sin.
    Finally, I do wish to spread the "Good News of God's Kingdom," and that includes the "good news" of the Church's understanding of authentic human sexuality, which is news of great beauty and great joy. It is not a negative rule, but a positive vision that's involved. The reason that artificial contraception is so evil is that it attacks so great a good. Indeed, the relationship between a man and woman in marriage may be one of the greatest human goods that exist. That is why God has chosen it as a sacrament and a symbol of his deep love for mankind, a love that comprehends both Ms. Gates and the 120 million in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa she is getting ready to introduce into her unrepentant sin. She is getting ready to promote 120 million people to mortal sin. I would not want that on my soul. And frankly I would not want that blot on anybody's soul.

  10. Andrew M. Greenwell
    2 years ago

    @KarlVDH. I do not think that I have to be in a position of having $4 billion to give to philanthropic activities to be able to criticize. That would mean only those with money or power could criticize those with money and power, which I believe to be an untenable position. I am not advocating that 120 million women in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa remain "celibate," which is something rather different than being chaste. I do believe, however, that a "practicing Catholic," especially one as intellectually and materially endowed as Ms. Gates, should undertake her philanthropic activities in conformity with the teachings of her Church. While "Ms. Gates is doing something . . . substantial," the problem is that the "substantial" that she is doing is misguided, misdirected, and downright evil. Finally, I might observe the irony of your closing statements. You quote Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore into all the world," but you forget the latter part which is "and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Ms. Gates is not trying to make disciples among the 120 million in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In fact, she is doing exactly the opposite by indoctrinating them in a way of life which is contrary to Christian discipleship and which offends against the life of grace which is given in baptism.


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