Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

7/10/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This requires repentance, metanoia. A turning around. A new start.

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.

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/10/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Melinda Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Contraception, Intrinsic Evil, Andrew Greenwell, Gospel of life, Culture of life, Culture of death


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "To whom much is given, much will be required." (Luke 12:48)  If there is anyone to whom much has been given--at least in wealth, though apparently not in fidelity to Christ and his Church--it is the self-proclaimed "practicing Catholic" Melinda Gates who with her husband Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sadly, she disappoints.  Instead of using her vast wealth to promote virtue--the real means to human happiness, human development, and social justice--she is using her wealth to promote vice.  To quote St. Augustine: Quanta bona de auro quod habet bonus? quanta mala de auro quod habet malus?  How good is gold in the hands of the good?  How bad is gold in the hands of the bad?

Melinda Gates has recently announced that contraception promotion will be the primary goal of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, in terms of its financial resources of $34 billion, is the world's largest philanthropic organization.  The supposed "beneficiaries" of her largesse: families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia who, in her view, need more access and more reliable access to artificial contraception.  The goal: to raise $4 billion to assure that 120 million more women get access to artificial contraception.  "This will be my lifetime's work at the foundation," she claims.

The secular promotion machine, well-oiled by its anti-Catholic animus and big pharma dollars, is churning its wheels and opposing all critics like a juggernaut.  From a well-crafted speech posted on TEDxChange, to an article in Newsweek, to appearances with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN and Stephen Colbert in the Colbert Report, the propaganda machine is working overtime.  We can expect to hear more from the propaganda machine as everyone gears up to the London Summit on Family Planning on July 11, 2012, where Ms. Gates's vision will be discussed.

Ms. Gates proclaims herself to be a "practicing Catholic," and parades out her Catholic credentials as if they were family heirlooms instead of a living, breathing tradition.  She makes a point of letting people know that her mom's great uncle was a Jesuit priest, and her great aunt a Dominican nun, and that she was educated by a gaggle of apparently "progressive" Ursuline nuns at the Urusline Academy in Dallas.  But where is her devotion to the teaching Church?  Where is her devotion to Peter? Did she ever learn the maxim ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia, ibi Christi est,  where Peter is, there is the Church, there is Christ?

Melinda Gates, our contracepting and contraceptive-embracing "practicing Catholic," shrugs off any criticism from the teaching Church.  She, of course, knows the Church's teaching and knows that what she is promoting goes against the Church's express teaching, so she's not one that can plead invincible ignorance.  We cannot say in the spirit of Christ, "Forgive her, for she knows not what she's doing."  (Cf. Luke 23:34)  She knows exactly what she's doing, how she's doing it, and she has the money to do it.  That is what makes her choice so tragic.  It's what makes it a scandal.

According to Newsweek, Ms. Gates stated that denying the Church's teachings on contraception "was difficult," but in time such rejection "came to seem morally necessary."  It seems that Ms. Gates views the Church's social and moral teachings to be something like a smorgasbord where we can choose food to our liking since she has to "wrestle with which pieces of religion do I use and believe in my life."  Whatever this is, this is not what a "practicing Catholic" does.  The Catholic thing is the whole kit and caboodle.  You don't get to pick and choose what you like. If you do so, you invariably gravitate to the sweets and forget your vegetables.

Apparently, Ms. Gates further finds that the Church's social teachings are inconsistent or at odds.  So she feels she has to reject the contraception "piece" so that she could serve the "other piece of the Catholic mission, which is social justice."  What her concept of "social justice," is rather unclear.

In fact, her social justice doctrine seems spiritually obtuse.  She insists that her contraceptive program is good because she believes "that all lives have equal value."  But this is a massive non-sequitur.  How does 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 "contraceptive" Depo-Provera which seems to be Ms. Gates's contraception of choice to impose upon those victims of her misguided largesse--is such an intrinsic evil.  Not only is artificial contraception against the natural moral law, it is against the express, unalterable, infallibly-proclaimed, and irreformable teachings of the Church precisely because it is against such natural law, which is to say against the eternal law of God.

(Aside from its medical side effects, which include osteoporosis and cancer and a host of other problems, the "contraceptive" injection Depo-Provera has both contraceptive and abortifacient effects.  Melinda Gates's support for Depo-Provera gives a lie to her claims that she and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation--which has notoriously supported Planned Parenthood and the International Planned Parenthood Federation in the past--is against abortions.)

Surely a "practicing Catholic" with the intellectual and financial resources that Melinda Gates has at her disposal can afford a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (¶ 2370) and understand its teaching which is announced in no uncertain terms: "Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.  These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.  In contrast, 'every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible' is intrinsically evil."

Does Melinda Gates disrespect the bodies of the folks in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia?  Does she wish to discourage tenderness between the spouses in these regions?  Does she wish to deny them authentic freedom?  Or does she simply wish to spend $4 billion to indoctrinate 120 million people against the teaching of the Church?  Either option seems rather heinous for a "practicing Catholic."

Melinda Gates is infected by a virus, the virus of utilitarianism--the legal ethic that measures everything by cost and benefits and has known of an intrinsic evil, since anything can be justified by the supposed good ends.  Whatever the virus, it has consumed her and her Catholicism.  She is not a "practicing Catholic," regardless of her insistence. 

She could be.  It would be good if she would really be a "practicing Catholic."  It would be better for her own soul if she would be a "practicing Catholic."  It would be better for the souls of the 120 million women in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that are about to get morally assaulted if she would be a "practicing Catholic."  But to be a "practicing Catholic" means to believe that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil and that no good--however great--justifies its use.  It also means to try--with God's grace--to abide by that teaching.  It also means that if we have sinned by our use of artificial contraception, we should confess our sins, and God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (cf.  1 John 1:9)

But that requires repentance, metanoia.  A turning around.  A new start.

In words Melinda Gates would understand, it would require her to reboot.

-----

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 agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More U.S.

Disaffected Colorado teenager who tried to join ISIS gets four years in prison Watch

Image of After serving four years in prison, 19-year-old Shannon Conley must spend three years of supervised release and serve community service.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Poor choices made in youthful hast have consequences. Nineteen-year-old Shannon Conley, from Colorado has been sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State. At the heart of this disturbing story is an Internet romance that went ... continue reading


Coin collectors of the world eagerly line up to see 1822 Half Eagle at convention Watch

Image of Historically, nearly 18,000 of the $5 pieces were minted in 1822. As the concentration of gold was lowered in coins after 1834, most of the earlier coins were melted down for gold.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

One of the rarest coins in the U.S., the 1822 Half Eagle, originally worth only $5, will make its first public appearance in more than three decades in Long Beach this weekend. There are only three of the coins known still in existence. The coin will go on ... continue reading


California's Kern County declares state of FISCAL EMERGENCY with plunging gas prices Watch

Image of Supervisors adopted a plan to immediately begin scaling back county spending rather than making deep reductions all at once in July.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kern County, in central California, relies heavily on its petroleum industry for tax revenues. While motorists nationwide are currently enjoying lower gas prices, this spells certain disaster for the County of Kern - officials there have declared a fiscal ... continue reading


Could terrorists attempt to attack the White House with a drone? Crash sparks debate over future use of drones in war Watch

Image of A small, four propeller drone, crashed on the White House lawn, spurring a discussion on whether drones may be used by terrorist groups in the future.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A two-foot-long, four propeller drone crashed onto the White House grounds yesterday, raising troubling questions that drones could be utilized by terrorists or other potential murderers to attack the White House or other U.S. government institutions that have ... continue reading


The Thrill of the Chaste: Matt C. Abbott Interviews Dawn Eden Watch

Image of Dawn Eden, author of the highly-acclaimed My Peace I Give You and the Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste

By Matt C. Abbott

Being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and receiving Jesus' own Body and Blood in the Eucharist, has given me a deeper understanding of the meaning of being embodied. I see more clearly how chastity enables one to love fully in each relationship, in the ... continue reading


GOP teams up with Israeli prime minister to forcefully override Obama's Iran policy Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to enlist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a congressional plan to override President Obama's Iran policy on March 3. Boehner hopes to bring Netanyahu to a joint session of the House and Senate. Boehner ... continue reading


The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... continue reading


Caught in the act: Telephone scammers get comeuppance from plucky woman Watch

Image of Becoming pro-active, Rachel Fitzsimmons decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others do not fall for the swindle.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Telephone solicitors threatening phony legal action are the bane of many people's existence. They typically prey upon "old-timers" who still have landlines in their homes and are home in the evenings. Rachel Fitzsimmons, of Denver, Colorado received such a call ... continue reading


Is Israel beholden to Obama? Should the president be able to hold the American people hostage via threat of veto? Republicans and Israeli prime minister say no! Watch

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu is set to speak before a joint session of Congress on March 3 about keeping nuclear capabilities out of the hands of Iran.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On March 3, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before the a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a move which is as much a show of support for Israel from the Republican dominated legislature as it is a rebuff of President Obama. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:19-25
19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:21-25
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 29th, 2015 Image

Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
January 29: Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter