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By Keith A. Fournier

2/2/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We insist upon the primacy of moral values at the foundation of our life together

Catholics in the United States are rising up in a Tide of Resistance to the unjust actions and edicts of the Obama Administration. They might determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in the United States. That is if they act in a manner which, in the words of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is "morally coherent." This President and his administration espouse a rapidly expanding Secularist State which fails to respect fundamental human rights including the Right to life and the Right to Religious Freedom.

A rising Catholic tide of resistance may determine the outcome of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election.

A rising Catholic tide of resistance may determine the outcome of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election.

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/2/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Catholic Vote, Sebellius, Obama, Catholic Action, Pro-Life, Religious freedom, abortion, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul, Romney, Campaign 2012, faithful citizenship, Keith A. Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Catholics in the United States are rising up in a Tide of Resistance to the unjust actions and edicts of the Obama Administration. They might determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in the United States.

That is if they act in a manner which, in the words of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is "morally coherent." 

That poignant phrase, "morally coherent", was used in an instruction released in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life". It was directed to "the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to Catholic politicians and all lay members of the faithful called to participate in the political life of democratic societies."

The phrase also undergirds the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" sections pertaining to the political participation of Catholics. (See, e.g. #565-574): "The social doctrine of the Church is not an intrusion into the government of individual countries. It is a question of the lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent, found within one's conscience, which is one and indivisible."

"There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture. The branch, engrafted to the vine which is Christ, bears its fruit in every sphere of existence and activity."

"In fact, every area of the lay faithful's lives, as different as they are, enters into the plan of God, who desires that these very areas be the 'places in time' where the love of Christ is revealed and realized for both the glory of the Father and service of others". 

"Living and acting in conformity with one's own conscience on questions of politics is not slavish acceptance of positions alien to politics or some kind of 'confessionalism', but rather the way in which Christians offer their concrete contribution so that, through political life, society will become more just and more consistent with the dignity of the human person."

The Catholic Church as an institution does not endorse specific political candidates. However, the Church does call her members to inform their conscience and then exercise their faithful citizenship in a morally coherent manner.

President Barack Obama chose Catholics for his administration who defy the teaching of their own Church. If that wasn't bad enough, all of the subterfuge and sophistry which surrounded his promise to honor religious liberty and respect freedom of conscience in the implementation of his "Affordable Care Act" was unmasked this week.

An Unjust Edict was issued by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It demanded that Catholic hospitals and institutions dispense contraceptives (some of which are abortifacients) and offer sterilization under the so called "Affordable care Act". This amounts to government trying to force the Catholic Church to violate conscience. Failure to do so will bring punitive measures.

This unjust Edict came one day after Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of US Bishops during their ad limina visit. He warned them of the growth of radical secularism in the United States and the accompanying threats to the fundamental Right to Religious Freedom.

This past weekend I joined hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans in Washington DC to mourn the 39th anniversary of the decisions of the US Supreme Court in Roe and Doe. With the stroke of a judicial pen, seven Justices of the United States Supreme Court consigned an entire class of persons, children in the first home of the whole human race (their mother's womb), to the status of property.

As soon as I arrived President Barack Obama issued his statement: "As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters."

"I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right."While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue -- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption."

"And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams."

With hundreds of thousands of Americans marching across this Nation in solidarity with over 50 million of our neighbors killed by legal abortion, President Obama released that horrid statement! What about our daughters and sons killed by legal abortion Mr. President? They did not get to fulfill their dreams!

I will not remain silent as the Nation I love continues down the wrong path. I believe that the American founders got it right in that Declaration and there are Truths which can be held and rights which are inalienable.

Our insistence as Catholic citizens of a recognition in the positive law of the fundamental Human Right to Life is about the future of authentic freedom. Human rights - such as the Natural Law Right to Life - and human freedoms such as the freedom to be born - are goods of human persons. When there is no human person to exercise them all the rhetoric extolling them is nothing but empty air and sloganeering.

That statement from the White House should remove any doubt. This President and this administration oppose the fundamental Human Right to Life. The champions of abortion on demand as "health care" have a President who is using their language and leading their effort. 

This administration has also failed to defend Religious Freedom as a fundamental human right. It has proven its disregard in its denial of conscience exceptions to Catholic institutions under the so called "Affordable care Act".

We are living under what Pope Benedict XVI called a "Dictatorship of Relativism". When there is a wholesale effort to deny the existence of anything objectively true which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life, then there is no real freedom. Instead, we teeter on the brink of anarchy.

The effort to paint all our moral positions as "religious" and thereby force us to stay behind our Church doors is virulently anti-Christian and unconstitutional.  Our insistence that the Right to Life and the Right to Religious Freedom are rooted in the Natural Law -which should inform truly just positive laws - is at the heart of our deeply held convictions as Catholic Citizens.   

The Natural Law is a participation in God's Law. At its foundation is the recognition of the Right to Life which affirms the dignity of every human person from conception though the entire continuum of life and until natural death. All men and women are created in the Image of God and have an inherent dignity which must be recognized, respected and received.

Any Nation which allows the intentional killing of its young in the first home of the womb and calls that intrinsically evil action a "right" has lost its soul and jeopardizes its future. Medical science confirms what our conscience has long confirmed, the child in the womb is one of us, our neighbor, and it is always wrong to kill our neighbor.

In addition, our insistence that marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman open to the bearing and rearing of children is accepted across cultures. It is also objectively true. Our insistence upon defending the institution of marriage is also NOT simply because of our religious faith. Yes, for those of us who have faith, faith informs our position.

However, this truth about the nature of marriage is also confirmed in the Natural Law which is written on every human heart and knowable through the exercise of reason. The administration's effort to force us to call what can never be a marriage to be a marriage under threat of punitive sanctions is another example of a growing tyranny and intolerance. 

We are living under what Pope Benedict XVI called a "Dictatorship of Relativism" in the West. The culture stumbles, drunken on the false notion of freedom as giving some people a "right" to kill the innocent, divorced from norms to guide the exercise of human choice and govern our behavior. In addition, it blurs the beauty of marital love and turns people into objects of use in the name of "sexual freedom".

I do not consider myself first a "conservative". I am certainly not a "liberal" or "progressive", within the current meaning of those terms. I am a Catholic. I simply affirm the classical Christian assertion that there is a law written on every human heart which can be known by the exercise of reason and should inform our positive or civil law. It is the foundation upon which a truly free society must be built. 

Then there is the ever expanding role of the federal government and its intrusion into every area of life. It is a threat to good governance. The principle of subsidiarity insists upon bottom up governance beginning with the family. The family should be helped (subsiduum in latin) by other governing units and mediating institutions. It must not be replaced or usurped by them.

This is the ground upon which morally coherent Catholics support "limited" government. Not because we think government is "evil" but because we value self government and insist that the family is the first government.Good governance beyond the family must be closest to those being governed and defer to an objective morality which helps to ensure it remains good.

We affirm another existential and objective truth; human persons are by nature social. We cannot be truly happy, pursue happiness, or even be fully free without one another. We were made for relationships. This has implications in every area of life, including economics and the market. 

In the economic arena, we insist that economics is not in the first instance, about capital, it is about human persons. A truly free economic system recognizes that freedom is a good of the person. Only human persons can be free because we are capable of making free choices.

We insist upon the primacy of moral values at the foundation of our life together. For example, government should support the family, foster ingenuity, provide incentive, promote and reward creativity and innovation, expand participation, provide for private ownership, and foster human flourishing and advancement.

That is the reason the recent social teachings of the Church have extolled the potential of the market economy and the free market system; it has the better chance to promote human flourishing and open the door to human advancement.That is if we recognize that the market was made for man and now man for the market.

Finally, we truly are our brother and sisters keeper. We have an obligation to one another. That is what is meant by solidarity. How that truth works its way into public policy requires the recognition of what was discussed earlier. It also leaves room for the application of prudential judgment in many areas of application.

However, this is where so many Catholics were deluded by Barack Obama. In his rhetoric he uses language which sounds as though he agrees with Catholics on this issue. However, his administration has acted in a manner which proves the opposite. The most egregious example is his failure to hear the cry of the children in the womb, but there are many more, including his denial of religious freedom and his failure to defend marriage and the family and spociety founded upon it.

This President and his administration espouse a rapidly expanding Secularist State which fails to respect fundamental human rights including the Right to life and the Right to Religious Freedom. A rising Catholic tide of resistance may determine the outcome of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Election.

---


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