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Do most Americans want GOD to BUTT OUT?
As Christians (myself as a Catholic), what is important in the upcoming elections? What are the priorities involved? Both candidates say they are Christian. Both candidates say they promote a “Culture of Life”! Obviously no candidate has ever been perfect. The only perfect man who ever walked the face of the earth was crucified by all of us sinners 2000 years ago. So how can we discern properly in this complicated, confusing and critical point, in the history of our country?
One of the presidential candidates and his followers say they promote a culture of life by helping the poor which will help, as they say, to diminish abortions. At the same time their presidential candidate says that before all other problems to tackle: "The first thing I’d do as president is sign the “Freedom of Choice Act”. That’s the first thing that I’d do." — Senator Barack Obama, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007 (http://www.nrlc.org/foca/index.html).
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council explains: "If FOCA were to become law it would overturn hundreds of state laws that have put limits on abortion.". Perkins points to a new research paper written by FRC Vice President of Government Affairs, Tom McClusky, and he said Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other pro-abortion groups agree with this assessment. The ACLU has said, "This [FOCA] bill prohibits such restrictions as parental notification and consent, as well as the requirement that all abortions be performed in a hospital, spousal consent, waiting periods, etc" (http://www.lifenews.com/nat4070.html).
What is really going on here? They say that by allowing abortion, without any restrictions, we will help the poor so that the number of abortions will decrease!?*!? I do not quite understand the logic here! Is this the way to help the poorest of the poor who do not have any way to defend themselves? Does not Sacred Scripture tell us that the strong should use their strength to help the weak? Does the taking of innocent lives justify helping other people to overcome poverty? Is this the way God would do it or want it? “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40)!
The Catholic Church has always taught that the “ends” do not justify the “means”. In other words, one cannot justify or rationalize committing a sin in order to arrive at a “good end” or a “greater good”. This would be the same as telling God to BUTT OUT while we commit a horrendous crime so that we can achieve a greater good, according to our “wise” human criteria and judgment, as if God is not able to bring about good without our sin! “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25).
The other candidate is certainly not perfect. I too am very saddened and appalled at the greater and greater apathy and disregard by the better-off citizens of the richer countries of the world toward the poor and those most in need of our help and assistance. I too am against the war in Iraq with all of its consequences. I too was in total agreement with Pope John Paul II when he urged and pleaded with President Bush to not begin the war in Iraq several years ago. But now that the war is already going on, would it be prudent to pull out the US troops before the Iraqi people can defend themselves considering the volatile state of the region with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda in the neighborhood? Pope Benedict XVI as a Cardinal was a staunch critic of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. On one occasion before the war, he was asked whether it would be just. "Certainly not," he said, and explained that the situation led him to conclude that "the damage would be greater than the values one hopes to save." (http://www.cjd.org/paper/benedict.html; see also: http://catholicism.about.com/od/thechurchintheworld/f/popes_on_iraq.htm). At the present time, with the invasion already decided (since March 18, 2003), the soldiers in Iraq are trying to protect and defend innocent lives; abortion is directly taking the lives of innocent, defenseless, helpless unborn human beings!
“The Church has always taught that a "hierarchy of values" exists, which means not all political issues are of equal value”, said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn. His remarks drew on the U.S. bishops’ 2007 document, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility." (http://www.americancatholic.org/news/newsreport.aspx?id=62).
Before the 2004 US elections, then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote to the US bishops to remind them that "While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." (See Exodus 20:23, 21:14, Luke 3:14, 7:1-10, 23:39-43, and Romans 13:4, and Catechism of The Catholic Church 2265 and 2267.)
Someone wrote to me and told me that “the effects of the church’s narrow anti-abortion efforts” are hurting the pro-life cause and that “I happen to believe we need to come to people in love not with threats.” This person referred me to an article by the National Catholic Reporter: “Bishops narrow anti-abortion effort hurts pro-life cause”!!! But the 40 to 50 million babies that we have slaughtered in the USA since 1973, do we come to them “IN LOVE”??? Do the ends justify the means as the above article indicates??? Are there no "hierarchy of values"??? Has “ABORTION” become only something “political” or something without any reference to what abortion actually is? Have we become so callused and cold in spirit and estranged from reality and LIFE that it is OK to kill millions of babies for the “pro-life cause”!?*!? What kind of “strong delusion” is this so that they “believe what is false” (2Thess 2:11)?
Do we want to hear only what we want to hear, and what we decide to hear and believe, without any reference to the whole of Scripture and to our guide to interpret Scripture properly, the Church that Christ left us with the “Rock” as the head? The words of Jesus in the Gospels are very strong if we read them as they are written without picking and choosing only the verses that we like and that are comfortable to us! Do we want only a God who is all loving and merciful without considering His Infinite Justice? Do we want love for ourselves and our loved ones while forgetting the weakest in our society that are more than ever, in our modern affluent society, considered a “burden” to avoid or to eliminate, instead of considering them as a GIFT, a REAL PRESENCE of Jesus Himself? We say God is merciful but do we even go to confession to ask for His mercy? “Ask and you shall receive”, but if we do not ask…? God is totally, and eternally, respectful of our fundamental God-given gift of our free will; we were created in His image (Gen 1:26)! If we do not ask for mercy, we will not receive mercy! And without mercy, there is no way to arrive to heaven for all eternity! Have we forgotten that all that we have, including our very existence, friends, family, intelligence, capability to have relationships, a beautiful day, even a good thought … all come from a God who loves each of us immensely to the point of sending His only Son to die on the cross for our manifold and blind and presumptuous egoism? Imagine how much pain and sorrow there would be if a person that you loved deeply and to whom you did everything possible for, and then this person decided to totally ignore and disregard you and even despise you! Do we think that we are able to fathom how much Jesus suffered on the cross, crucified and forsakened and infinitely sensitive, due to the indifference of innumerable men and women, in all times and places, who do (and did) not want anything to do with their Creator who loves each of them immensely! The great majority of Americans do not take even one hour, among the 168 hours each week, to go to church and thank God for His innumerable benefits! In Italy, less than 10% of the baptized Catholics go to the Holy Mass each Sunday to thank Him in the Holy Eucharist. Hopefully our own pain and grief caused by the insensitivity of others toward ourselves helps us a very tiny bit to grasp what sin is, which we do not seem to understand at all any more. Modern man is auto sufficient and does not need God, a superfluous Being who pretends to tell US to follow ALL of His inconvenient commandments! The meaning of “Michael”, in the great battle with “the dragon and his angels” in heaven, is “Who is like God?” (Rev 12:7; Dan 12:1)! Without humility there is NO VIRTUE! God is totally irrelevant in the lives of the great majority of modern men today who no longer want to “deny [themselves] and take up [their] cross daily” and follow Christ crucified (Lk 9:23).
As a Catholic, I hold to the words of Jesus Christ referring to all the living Popes of the Church that He founded, the Catholic Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). If any supposedly “Catholic” publication (or “Catholic” University) does not submit to the Pope and the magisterium of the Catholic Church, what is the real reason they wish to continue to use the title of “Catholic”? At least twenty five percent of the voters in the USA are Catholic. Have some of the so-called “Catholic” publishers and writers (and Universities) put themselves above the Church that Christ left us with the Pope as the head? Do they feel that they are above everyone and are more “wise” than anyone else on the face of the earth and do not need to submit to anyone or to any Church, even to the Church that they proclaim to represent? Christ knew how much confusion there would be in the world even in regards to interpreting Sacred Scripture; is this not why He left us the “ROCK”? (See also “Catholics Keeping Catholics in the Dark” (http://catholicexchange.com/2008/10/04/114056/).)
Another important issue for the elections of 2008, which would take up too much space for this article to go into detail, is that of helping and supporting the most precious and fundamental cells of every human society, THE FAMILIES! Which candidate recognizes marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman as God intended? Which candidate is in favor (or against) Proposition 8 in California? Or which candidate has been trying to skirt the issue and hide his real convictions and intentions so as not to loose votes? (see http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/01/BA8J11I4S1.DTL&tsp=1). Does not every baby have a right to a father and to a mother as God the Creator intended? What will be the overall and lasting effects and results of abandoning the definition of the family as God intended from all eternity? What does the Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church tell us about the family and about homosexuality?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “America will not reject racism until America sees racism.” Today we say, “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion”, Fr. Frank A. Pavone. National Director, Priests for Life and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life. (http://www.get2know.info/6901.html?*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*; http://wordpress.com/tag/images-of-abortion/). It is interesting that every time I try to access the website “http://www.priestsforlife.org”, I get the message: “Internet Explorer: impossible to visualize the page”. Do you get the same message that I do when trying to access this website?
Pope John Paul II pleaded with European leaders to not discard and abandon Europe’s Christian heritage as they refused to even put the word “GOD” or religion in the preamble of the constitution of the European Union.
I am afraid that God will give America what America has been asking for for the last 40 years…for GOD to BUTT OUT of our lives and out of our country as the European Union has already done. But I do not think that Americans have any idea of what it means for God to remove His hand which has kept major disasters from befalling us until now!
God has been patient. He gave us a bloodless fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Did Russia and Eastern Europe repent after its freedom? No, mostly they remained in atheism and agnosticism as they head more and more toward materialism. Did the West repent of its relativistic hedonistic materialism which has led to not only a Godless society but also to a disregard for the poor and the needy? No. Has either the East or the West cleaned up its near total religious indifference or denial, its revelling in immorality, disrespect of parents and authority, widespread acceptance of fornication, artificial birth control, abortion, divorce and remarriage? Filth on TV and films? No. There is only so much God can do before we WHIP OUR OWN BUTTS!
Regarding America’s acceptance of abortion, the late Catholic apologist Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said, "If we don’t stop the destruction of life, we’ll come to midnight. That is nuclear war, in which there will be a total disregard for life."
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17). “Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high” (CCC 1989).
May God help America, and the world!
Rev. Joseph Dwight
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P.s. See “Election 2008 Pro-Life Voter’s Guide From LifeNews.com” at http://www.lifenews.com/2008prolifevotersguide.html.