The controversy embroiling the Catholic Church in the United States and the federal government really is about contraception. Of course in a pluralistic society, the first line of defense is the protection afforded to all citizens: the free exercise of religion. The federal government is barred by the Constitution from burdening the free exercise of religion as it proposes to do in the HHS mandate requiring insurance coverage for morally offensive and medically unnecessary contraceptive practices. This freedom is one that all Americans can rally around. So as a political matter, fight the battle on the grounds of religious freedom; but as a matter of proclaiming the Gospel, stand up for the civilization of love, which is undermined by the use of contraception.
The real issue is contraception itself. The federal government, for example, is happy for us to abstain from meat all we like on the Fridays of Lent. The problem is not our religion but our religion's teaching about this particular topic. The federal government has an agenda to undermine all limits on contraception, and that is why the Catholic Church is a problem. Contraception is the linch pin of a whole array of social experimentation meant to exalt the radical autonomy of the individual at the expense of marriage, family, and society. Contraception is a necessary weapon for a culture of death to disconnect sex from love and responsibility.
Let's not be embarrassed by the beauty and integrity of our Church's teaching on contraception. This is the moment to proclaim it and to defend it. It is a matter of the natural law which we have a duty in charity to share with all -- and now is the chance! When will we have so much of the attention of our county on this issue? This is THE teachable moment! Whether we win or lose the political fight, let's win the fight for souls! Empires come and go, but souls are forever.
Let's claim and propose the beauty of natural love as God created it.
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