Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent and the beginning of the next 40 Days for Life campaign. Watching the folks from NARAL flip out over the Doritos commercial during the Super Bowl is a sure sign that the pro-life message is being heard and that the scientific proof offered by an ultrasound machine is indisputable. Who could have known that a commercial for a snack would evoke such a visceral response?
In preparing for a talk that I will be giving entitled, “My Vocation Is Love,” I have once again read and studied the Encyclical Letter Humane Vitae from July 25, 1968. While this letter from Pope Paul VI has been rejected and ridiculed from many prominent theologians through the years, one can hardly deny the accuracy of the content. After more than 47 years since the letter was promulgated we have seen many of the concerns expressed by the pope come to fruition.
Section 17 states that artificial birth control “could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.”
One doesn't have to look too far to see evidence of this statement. Divorce statistics reveal the immense heartache experienced by many in the last five decades. Addiction to pornography has skyrocketed. Websites exist to help you have an extra-marital affair without getting caught. I would say that qualifies for a general lowering of moral standards.
“Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”
Do you think this has happened to many men in the last 50 years? What has been the emotional toll taken on women who have been subjected to this type of treatment?
Section 17 continues, “Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective?”
As we look at the abortion industry, funded by our tax dollars, is it not true that this one question posed by the pope has come fully into fruition. The government in 1973 through the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court became the public authorities to dictate to us that abortion was an acceptable contraceptive method.
How about the HHS Mandate requiring religious organizations to provide contraceptives despite their moral objections? It is an agency of the government dictating to us what is acceptable through a regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Section 18 says, “It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction.’”
Please keep in mind that this was written long before the internet. Think of how the outcry has been intensified in recent years with the internet and a great deal of anonymity when posting outrageous comments. There is definitely a clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church. How frequently has the Church been told to get with the times?
Section 18 continues, “The Church has the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.”
The teaching of the Church has been a beacon of light guiding us toward a culture of life. Unfortunately, much of society has shown a preference for darkness and death. Will you stand up for life during these 40 Days for Life?