Time to Reboot Melinda Gates
the principle that lives have equal value give rise to any possible conclusion on the liciety of contraception?
"We're not going to agree about everything, but that's OK," she tells Dr. Sanjay Gupta in her CNN interview. Oh such marvelous tolerance exhibited by Ms. Gates to the teaching of the Church and specifically the Pope! (The prior sentence, of course, is meant to be read with dripping sarcasm.) In all actuality, such insouciance to Church teaching when an intrinsic evil is involved is nothing short of demonic. One thinks of the rich young ruler who turned away from Christ. Had Dr. Gupta been there our rich young ruler might have said something equally self-justifying like, "We're not going to agree about everything, but that's OK."
No it's not OK. Methinks that Melinda Gates may have lost her soul.
Melinda Gates does not get it. She thinks that the contraception is but a neutral "tool," the vice to be avoided is promiscuity, and the end to be achieved is relief of poverty. In her view, contraception does not lead to promiscuity and relieves physical poverty. While all that is quite debatable, it should be pointed out that Ms. Gates seems only to care about material things. Not once does Ms. Gates seem concerned about her supposed beneficiaries' moral poverty. Not once does she talk about improving their virtue. Not once does she talk about their spiritual souls.
It all makes consummate sense to her. After all she and Bill used artificial contraception and apparently still use it (she's proud to say that she and Bill will have sex this year in her talk on TEDxChange eliciting guffaws from the crowd), and they are anything but promiscuous and they are exceedingly rich! It follows that the same good things can be expected from those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia! They should all live like Melinda and Bill Gates, at least as it pertains to their sexual mores.
(By the way, Melinda, having sex while using artificial contraception even within marriage is a mortal sin against chastity, just like promiscuity.)
What Ms. Gates seems completely oblivious to is that the use of artificial contraception is itself a vice. And so her entire life is apparently dedicated to promoting a vice. And this is a tragedy.
The problem with Melinda Gates is that she is infected by a virus, a Trojan horse. That Trojan horse is utilitarianism. At heart, she does not have a Catholic moral view. The end of her project is vaguely to help those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia "bring every good thing" to their children. "Where is the controversy in that?" she rhetorically asks. Of course, there is no controversy in the end if the end is defined that way.
The problem with Melinda Gates is not in her end in desiring to improve 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.
Of course, Melinda Gates does not call it vice. Like a good technocrat, she calls the vice she's promoting by rather innocuous euphemisms: "tools," "technologies," "interventions," "method."
She can call it what she wants in a transparent effort to suppress her wounded conscience which knows better, but a "practicing Catholic" would know that there are some acts that are intrinsic evils (intrinsece malum). A "practicing Catholic"--at least one with Melinda Gates's acumen and resources--would know or should know that John Paul II in his encyclical on moral questions Veritatis splendor, ¶ 80, reiterated the existence of such intrinsic evils.
Intrinsic evils are things which we must never do, regardless of the benefit we believe we may get for ourselves or for others by doing them. The intentional taking of an innocent human life, for example, is an intrinsic evil. A "practicing Catholic" would know that one may not kill an innocent human being even if it were to save the whole world. Such a prohibition is exceptionless. To borrow an example from Honoré de Balzac's story Le Père Goriot, the prohibition against murder applies to protect even an old mandarin in China whom we could kill to our advantage and no one's knowledge simply by exerting our will without ever leaving Paris.
A "practicing Catholic" would know that the use of artificial contraception--including the injectable ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Melinda Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Contraception, Intrinsic Evil, Andrew Greenwell, Gospel of life, Culture of life, Culture of death
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