Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Steven W. Mosher

3/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I have spent the last 30 years fighting for a Culture of Life around the world. (In fact, I helped to set up C-FAM back in the late nineties, hired Austin to direct it, helped to fund it, and served on its board for many years.)

A Northern Virginia candidate for Congress boasts of having asked the Federal government to allow women to buy oral contraceptives over the counter.  She also says she is a pro-life Catholic.  Can she have it both ways?

Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute located in Front Royal, Virginia.

Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute located in Front Royal, Virginia.

Highlights

By Steven W. Mosher

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/1/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Steven W. Mosher, Barbara Comstock, Faith and Citizenship, contraception, Population Research Institute, moral coherence, politics, policy, Deal W. Hudson, Steven W. Mosher


FRONT ROYAL, VA (Catholic Online) - Author's note: I am not stranger to controversy, having been fired by Stanford University for my reporting on forced abortions in China's one-child policy, but the reaction to my article below, first published in Crisis, has surprised even me. It seems to me a straight-forward enough principle, namely, that Catholic politicians should not run from their faith in running for public office. But it turns out that, just as most of Our Lord's disciples abandoned him at key points in his ministry, so do many of his latter day followers, especially in matters concerning the political realm. I would like to thank Deal Hudson for first drawing public attention to one particular politician, Barbara Comstock, and the compromises that, in my opinion, she has made. He has done us all a service.

*****

Sometimes pro-life leaders must disagree, as when I read in these pages an expiatory article about Barbara Comstock by Austin Ruse, followed by an endorsement of her candidacy for the U.S. Congress.

My difficulty with Comstock, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Virginia's 10th congressional district, is that she has, in her own words, "spearheaded a request and a letter from House of Delegates members to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to ... make birth control pills available over the counter without a prescription for adult women."

Reading this hit me where I live, since I have spent the last 30 years fighting for a Culture of Life around the world. (In fact, I helped to set up C-FAM back in the late nineties, hired Austin to direct it, helped to fund it, and served on its board for many years.) Comstock's letter seemed to me a betrayal of Catholic teaching.  Why would faithful Catholics not question whether it is right to support her, given that there are other credible Catholic candidates in the race, such as Rob Wasinger, who haven't made such compromises?

We all understand that many Catholic politicians, starting with the sitting Vice President, are more than willing to compromise on Catholic teaching to win elections. And I have some Catholic friends who are apparently ready to do the same--in private. One of them, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote me the other day that the purpose of her letter was not to spread contraception, but was instead an effort to take the 'war on women' away from the pro-abortion left. Besides, he continued, making birth control pills available over the counter would reduce the incidence of contraceptive use.

This is a curious defense, since Comstock herself asserted that her goal was to "provid[e] easier access to birth control" and "enhance women's access" to "oral contraceptives." If this doesn't mean that her goal is to "spread contraception," I am not a native speaker of English.  And since when do we violate the consistent teaching of the Church through 20 centuries in order to score political points?  (Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, don't answer that.) 

And, finally, how exactly does making a drug available over the counter reduce its use?  (I'm fairly certain that marijuana sales in Colorado are skyrocketing now that almost anyone can walk in off the street and buy it, aren't you?)

When I raised these objections with my friend he switched gears and went on the attack. He didn't agree with Comstock's letter, he now told me, but it was no worse than what we did in 2000 when we supported George Bush who believed that it was OK to kill some babies.

Well, that's not quite accurate, at least as far as I am concerned.  I did not endorse Bush in the primaries because there were pro-life alternatives available.  I did support him in the general election, as my friend correctly recalled, because Gore (and later Kerry), were both apparently untroubled by the wholesale slaughter of innocent unborn children up to the point of childbirth. 
Besides, it is glaringly obvious to me that there is a world of difference between attempting to change the policy of a U.S. government agency in an anti-life direction, as Barbara Comstock openly declares she has done, and George Bush's promise to try and move the country in a pro-life direction, by limiting abortion-on-demand, even if he didn't go as far as I would like.

Then there is this:  It may be just me, but I find it easier to accept an evangelical candidate who compromises on the Life issues than a Catholic candidate who does the same thing.  After all, an evangelical does not have the fullness of the Truth as taught by the Catholic Church.  A Catholic should know better. If such a candidate still chooses to stray--as in this case--well, I am more inclined to hold them accountable.

To this riposte, my friend shifted ground a third time, and began arguing that contraception is less serious than abortion. He wanted me to agree with him that there is nothing worse than abortion, because abortion kills and contraception doesn't.

Wrong again.

In its own way, contraception is an even greater tragedy than abortion.  Why? Because it involves the deliberate rejection of God's creative power, a spurning of His gift of life.  Remember that the only creating that God has done since Genesis is the creation of each individual, spiritual soul.  And He requires our cooperation.

Those couples who contracept, according to the soon-to-be Saint John Paul in his Discourse of Sept. 17, 1983, "claim a power which belongs solely to God, the power to decide, in a final analysis, the coming into existence of a human person."

And Benedict XVI added, at the Mass for the inauguration of his pontificate, that "We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.  Each of us is the result of a thought of God.  Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary." 

As Prof Charles Rice has pointed out in his new book, Contraception and Persecution, God has chosen to depend on human cooperation for the creation of new citizens for the kingdom of heaven.  The contracepting couple reject that gift by altering the conjugal act to prevent that creation.  What they say to God is something like this:  "For all we know, God, it may be your will that from this act of ours a new person will come into existence who will live forever.  For all we know, that may be your will.  And we won't let you do it."

That is a non serviam with eternal consequences.  The souls of aborted babies are with the Father, the Blessed John Paul taught us. The souls contracepted out of existence are -- nowhere.

That is why the Blessed John Paul, in the same discourse I mentioned above, went on to say: "Contraception is so profoundly unlawful as never to be, for any reason, justified.  To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in human life situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God."

I am not a theologian, but would this not make contraception a violation of the First Commandment as abortion is a violation of the Fifth?

My friend backed and filled a fourth time, and began arguing that opposing contraception is political suicide.

He's probably right. We all know how hopelessly addicted our society is to sterile sex, after all.

Then again, no one is asking Catholic candidates for public office to make opposition to contraception the centerpiece of their political campaigns.

But is it too much to ask them, as a matter of personal honor and integrity, not to openly promote it?

I don't know why Barbara Comstock is advocating easier access to abortion-causing birth control pills. Someone should ask her.  But, in general, I have had more than enough of Catholic candidates who compromise Church teaching for political gain.

Besides, it is our duty to remind them that, while election cycles are short, eternity is long.  While global warming is not a problem in the here and now, it might be a problem for some of them in the hereafter.

*****
Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute located in Front Royal, Virginia. Steven W. Mosher has endorsed Rob Wasinger in the Republican primary in Virginia's 10th Congressional District. This article first appeared in Crisis magazine and is used with permission.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Rick Santorum Announces His Candidacy saying - It is Time to Take Back America Watch

Image of Rick and Karen Santorum

By Keith A Fournier

There is something which many in the main stream U.S. media do not know, here it is - not many people are listening to them anymore. However, they will listen to this song. And, they will understand it. The sentiment it captures will encourage the heart of a ... continue reading


Baltimore bloodshed continues with unbelievable violence over the holiday weekend Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

May has proved to be the most dangerous and deadliest month Baltimore has witnessed in more than 50 years. There were more than two dozen shootings over the Memorial Day weekend alone; city police have never been busier. Community leaders hope the members will come ... continue reading


BACKWASH: California water officials consider repurposing sewage into drinking water Watch

Image of Unlike non-potable reuse, where treated sewage is used to irrigate crops, parks or golf courses - direct potable reuse takes treated sewage effluent and purifies it so it can be used as drinking water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it's "doable," few people in California are actually voicing any enthusiasm. Stricken by a crippling drought, water officials are going through some highly popular alternatives - and repurposing sewage water into drinking water is one of them. LOS ... continue reading


Gallup poll shows that one in four Americans not gay Watch

Image of Only 3.8 percent of Americans self-identify as gay, lesbian or transsexual.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Gay rights movements continue to disrupt society and political life, poll reveals that gay and lesbians are not as common in the United States as previously perceived. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new Gallup poll conducted in early May has revealed that ... continue reading


World's oldest woman reaches 116-years-old! Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World's oldest woman, Jeralean Talley has added another year to her life - the world declared she turned 116 last weekend. Talley and her family, friends, the Inkster mayor and Congressman Conyers, delivered a message from President Barack Obama, celebrating her ... continue reading


The mystery behind brains discovered in the streets of St. Lawrence County Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How would you react if you unexpectedly and inexplicably found nine brains on the side of the road while on your early morning run? Like most people, you may find yourself shocked and completely clueless on the origins of the brains. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Died in Service. Thank Those who Serve. Pray For the Nation Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am always drawn to these words of Jesus on Memorial Day weekend, - No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13) Military service which leads to laying one's life down is certainly an expression of this kind of heroic ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Chaplains - A Reminder that We Are One Nation Under God Watch

Image of

By Fr. Randy Sly

The work of our chaplains extends much farther than the post chapel. They labor on land, at sea and in the air. There are 1.4 million Catholics in the military; wherever they are stationed, the chaplain is there. These chaplains can be found bringing Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Honor Our Nation with Heroic Sacrifice Watch

Image of Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you and your families.  Godspeed, and come home soon.

By Jennifer Hartline

Thank you, to every man and woman who has fought and is currently fighting for our homeland.  Thank you for doing everything within your power to make sure I and my children can sleep safely tonight.  I love and appreciate you and I pray God's blessing on you ... continue reading


MASSIVE OIL SPILL: Santa Barbara declares state of emergency over massive oil spill in Pacific Ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 9 miles of the Pacific ocean, across a popular spot on the California coast, was damaged after a pipeline leaked massive amounts of oil in the water earlier this week.     MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to officials, up to ... 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, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... 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