Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

3/6/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Liberal secularism is crassly materialistic

The Church has an entire different vision of contraception.  Based upon the natural law and the teachings of the Gospel, the Church insists that the use of artificial contraception, whether as an end in itself or a means as an end, is an intrinsic evil, a moral wrong admitting no exceptions. It is a wrong based upon natural law, which means it morally obliges the entire world no less than does the injunction "Thou shalt not kill."


By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (

3/6/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: chastity, condoms, contraception, Georgetown Law Student, virtue, Freedom, secualrism, secularist, materialism, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Rush Limbaugh has created quite a stir in calling Georgetown's third-year law student Sandra Fluke some rather ungentlemanly names following her testimony to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.  I will not repeat them here. 

I suppose had he been more circumspect and Shakespearean, he could have, with an added delightful double entendre, called her a Winchester's goose, and then the modern media would not have known what he was talking about. 

(Though it is possible that a Professor of Elizabethan English would have known exactly what he meant. Google it, I will not do the work for you!)

As for me, I would not stoop to call Ms. Fluke such vulgar and plebeian names.  For me, Ms. Fluke is a Knight. 

Ahhh, but she is not a knight like the woman knight Britomart in Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene, for Britomart was a Knight of Chastity.  For me, Ms. Fluke is a Knight, but a Knight of Unchastity. 

As the commentator on Spenser's Faerie Queene Elizabeth Heale observes, the virtue of which knight Britomart is a symbol-chastity-is not simply abstention from sex.  For Spenser chastity-before marriage and in marriage-was "a binding force central to social, national, and indeed universal concord." 

As it turns out, Ms. Fluke has turned out to be a symbol of unchastity, an unchastity which is more than mere profligacy, sex upon sex upon sex.  No, the unchastity of which Ms. Fluke is a knight is unchastity as "a binding force central to social, national, and indeed universal concord." 

We have heard it bantered around that more than 98% of all women have, at least at some period of their life, used artificial contraception.  Whether this sad fact is true or not is hard to tell, but it is certainly perceived as true.  And, what is more, it is perceived as a good thing, one that is worthy of public promotion so that the 98% can have their way paid for by everyone else and so that the last 2% holding out may eventually be captured.

That is why this unchastity needs to be subsidized, the experts say.  That is why unchastity as a social institution needs a Knight.  And that is why Ms. Fluke-ahem, Sir Fluke of the Law Students for Reproductive Justice-has received her many accolades from the Knights of the Round Table of the liberal press, and even a call from the King of the kingdom of which she is a knight, President Obama.

Sir Fluke has been offered the Siege Perilous of Liberalism, that vacant seat of the Round Table reserved for that one great knight who would successfully attain the Holy Grail: 100% subsidized contraception.

I've read Sir Fluke's testimony, and it is downright depressing in its crass materialism.  There is mention only of "financial, emotional, and medical burdens."  There is a lot of what lawyers call inadmissible anecdotal evidence and hearsay about such burdens by "real people" (as distinguished, I suppose from "unreal people," who, I gather under our current law and Sir Fluke's way of looking at things, are fetuses in the womb.).  There's the de rigueur "hard cases"-a woman with "polycystic ovarian syndrome," a woman that has been raped-which-in liberal ways of thinking-makes good law.  And all this is peppered with plenty of inconsistencies and non sequiturs.  But all of it is based upon the supposed calculus of weighing financial, emotional, and medical grounds.  Utilitarianism, all of it.

Sir Fluke never, ever considers the issue of whether artificial contraception is moral, whether it is virtuous, whether it is, from a moral standpoint, right.  I repeat.  The testimony is depressing in its crass materialism and utilitarianism.  There is no spirit, much less Nature or Nature's God, in the thing.  It is all conventional.  Never does she try to get to the heart of moral reality, of what is.

The Church, of course, has an entire different vision of things.  Based upon the natural law and the teachings of the Gospel, the Church insists that the use of artificial contraception, whether as an end in itself or a means for an end, is an intrinsic evil, a moral wrong admitting no exceptions.

It is a wrong based upon natural law, which means it morally obliges the entire world no less than does the injunction "Thou shalt not kill." 

It is, of course, this very moral law that the Obama administration acting through the Department of Health and Human Services wants the Catholic Church and all its organs to violate, and which the Church insists-as a matter of religious freedom, and indeed in obedience to Nature and Nature's God-the Federal government cannot compel.

Flannery O'Connor stated perceptively in one of her letters: "The Church's stand on birth control is the most absolutely spiritual of all her stands and with all of us being materialists at heart, there is little wonder that it causes unease."

Liberal secularism is crassly materialistic.  And so it follows that any talk of God, or natural law, or objective morality outside of mere utilitarian concerns of "financial, emotional, and medical burdens" puts it in a great unease.  That's why Sir Fluke did not mention it.

Don't expect Sir Fluke to be sensitive to the things of the spirit.  She is-alas-not unlike a man known as Aurelius Augustinus who in his famous book Confessions wrote about how he was enslaved by lust and how the law of such sin can hold one's mind against even its will, the soul being so weighed down by custom and convention that it cannot rise even with the support of truth.

Sir Fluke is weighed down by custom that artificial contraception is a good, and she cannot rise even with the support of truth as she testifies-under oath-that a falsehood is true, that a wrong is a good.

The Lord had mercy on the restless Aurelius Augustinus.  He tells us of a time when he was under a fig tree, in tears for being unable to relieve himself from the chains of lust which bound him to untruth, when he heard the voice of a young child-a boy, or girl, he could not tell-chant, "Tolle, lege!  Tolle, lege!" Take up and read!  Take up and read!

He picked up St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and opened up the text where his eyes settled randomly on the following: "Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."  (Rom. 13:14-15)

"No further would I read," Aurelius Augustinus whom we know today as St. Augustine of Hippo tells us, "nor needed I." 

Why not?  He tells us that also.  "For instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away."

Sir Fluke appears not to be struggling with the issue of lust and unchastity like St. Augustine did.  After all, as the Knight of Unchastity she seeks to encourage it with the public purse or enforce it with the public law, which, of course, means she wants all of us to pay for it.  It is for her, she thinks, the Holy Grail, an absolute good.

It is, in fact, the chalice of a Beast, a "Giantess Argante," a monster of lust and licentiousness in Spenser's Faerie Queene, "which did make war against Heaven" and who lives "'gainst Nature Law and good behavior."

What kind of knight need we to overcome this lascivious Beast?  Certainly not one like Sir Fluke. 

We must, to quote Spenser, invoke

But a fair Virgin, that in martial Law,
And Deeds of Arms above all Dames is deem'd,
And above many Knights is eke esteem'd,
For her great Worth; she Palladine is hight:
She you from Death, you me from Dread redeem'd.
Ne any may that Monster match in right,
But she, or such as she, that is so chaste a Wight.

We might invoke our heavenly Britomart, the "real" Virgin Mother, who, as St. Sophronius says, was chosen "that she might be an example of chastity to everybody."   "Christus matrem virginem elegit," St. Sophronius says, "ut ipsa omnibus esset exemplum castitatis."

She was, we may also recall, Our Lady of Victory at the Battle of Lepanto.

Mary, pray for us.


Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on' Watch

Image of While the video is pumping up Islamist State, the fact of the matter is is the group is suffering heavy losses on the ground form allied bombardment, especially since Russia began bombing the group


A new video from the Islamic State is highlighting the high number of U.S. soldiers who commit suicide, in effect to tell the world's last remaining superpower to "bring it on." U.S. President Barack Obama has since dismissed ISIS as "a bunch of killers with ... continue reading

BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big and so powerful,you won't believe this MASSIVE SHOCKING fact about it! Watch

Image of Obama is the titular head of the world's most nefarious terrorist organization, a title he may have inherited from his predecessor, and that will be passed to his successor.


If you were asked, what is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated in human history, how would you answer? Global warming? Vaccines? The Moon Landing? Entire religions?  (Not that we agree with these). But what would you say? In a moment, we're going to offer an answer ... continue reading

Horrific outrage erupts over proposed mosque in Virginia after Paris attacks Watch

Image of The Muslim community in Fredericksburg, Virginia has received support from the local Christian and Jewish clergy.


"Nobody wants your evil cult," declared a man at a zoning meeting in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was lobbing his invective at several American Muslims there over a proposed mosque to be built there. "Every one of you are terrorists. I don't care what you say. ... continue reading

The revealing truth behind the traditional presidential Thanksgiving turkey pardon Watch

Image of President Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to use the word


President Obama will pardon two turkeys - named Tom One and Tom Two - from a turkey farm in Modesto California on Thanksgiving Eve as part of an annual presidential tradition. Obama will make a few jokes with his family and then pardon the turkeys to live out ... continue reading

'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis Watch

Image of Despite a shooting at a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest, the group plans to return to the precinct to continue their protests.


Protesters were standing outside the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis for Black Lives Matter in the case of 24-year-old Jamar Clark when gunshots rang out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -Five protesters were shot outside the police station Tuesday afternoon as one ... continue reading

Planned Parenthood sues the State of Texas: Find out why NOW Watch

Image of The complainants maintain that planned intervention of the government is a violation of the federal statute and the 14th Amendment, which ensures equal protection.


Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit this week against the State of Texas for blocking its Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood says that the decision was motivated by politics - and not because of health care concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Terror threats spark shocking WORLD WIDE TRAVEL ALERTS Watch

Image of In either case, travelers can expect beefed-up security at airports in the coming weeks - and longer lines.


It is the start of the holiday season in the United States - and with the world still thoroughly rattled after the attacks in Paris this past November 13, travel alerts are in high effect. Even worse, those who decide to stay home through Thanksgiving and ... continue reading

Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, Catholics nurtured in the Anglican tradition, receives its First Bishop Watch

Image of Fr Randy Sly, a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition. The Ordinariate was created by the Vatican on Jan. 1, 2012.On November 24, 2015. Pope Francis announced the appointment of ... continue reading

EVIL AGAINST EVIL: Mafia boss says his group will protect New York City against Islamist State Watch

Image of Now pursuing a screenwriting career, Giovanni Gambino says that following the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, protection is more important than ever.


It is highly ironic, an example of the kettle calling the pot black as it were . Son of New York mob boss Giovanni Gambino is warning the Islamic State that if they decide to take New York City on, they will have the mafia to contend with.  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Suicide bomber and K-9 units in New York subway station - but it's not what you think (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of NYC emergency responders held a 3-hour drill at the Bowery subway station in Manhattan days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.


Following the Paris terror attacks, New York City teamed up with the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday to stage a three-hour active-shooter and suicide bomber drill. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Only days before the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, emergency ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • New ISIS video taunts United States to 'bring it on'
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • The unexpected thing one Syrian refugee did for Germany that will ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for his noblemen, a thousand of ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67
62 Bless the Lord, sun and moon, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 25th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine of Alexandria
November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr ... Read More