Monday, July 29, 2013


On the Vice of Impurity
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

First Point
Delusion of those who say that
sins against purity are not a great evil

The unchaste, then, say that sins contrary to purity are but a small evil. Like "the sow . . . wallowing in the mire" (2Peter 2:22), they are immersed in their own filth, so that they do not see the malice of their actions; and therefore they neither feel nor abhor the stench of their impurities, which excite disgust and horror in all others. Can you, who say that the vice of impurity is but a small evil - can you, I ask, deny that it is a mortal sin? If you deny it, you are a heretic; for as Saint Paul says, "Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God" - 1Corinthians 9-10. It is a mortal sin; it cannot be a small evil. It is more sinful than theft, or detraction, or the violation of the fast. How then can you say that it is not a great evil? Perhaps mortal sin appears to you to be a small evil? Is it a small evil to despise the grace of God, to turn your back on Him, and to lose His friendship, for a transitory, beastly pleasure?
Saint Thomas teaches that mortal sin, because it is an insult offered to an infinite God, contains a certain infinitude of malice. "A sin committed against God, has a certain infinitude, on account of the infinitude of Divine Majesty" - Saint Thomas. Is mortal sin a small evil? It is so great an evil, that if all the angels and all the saints, the apostles, martyrs, and even the Mother of God, offered all their merits to atone for a single mortal sin, the oblation would not be sufficient. No, for that atonement or satisfaction would be finite; but the debt contracted by mortal sin is infinite, on account of the infinite majesty of God, which has been offended. The hatred which God bears to sins against purity is great beyond measure. If a lady find her plate soiled, she is disgusted, and cannot eat. Now with what disgust and indignation must God, Who is purity itself, behold the filthy impurities by which His law is violated? He loves purity with an infinite love; and consequently He has has an infinite hatred for the sensuality which the lewd, voluptuous man calls a small evil. Even the devils who held a high rank in Heaven before their fall, disdain to tempt men to sins of the flesh.
Saint Thomas says, that Lucifer, who is supposed to have been the Devil that tempted Jesus Christ in the desert, tempted Him to commit other sins, but scorned to tempt Him to offend against chastity. Is this sin a small evil? Is it then a small evil to see a man endowed with a rational soul, and enriched with so many divine graces, bring himself, by the sin of impurity, to the level of a brute? "Fornication and pleasure", says Saint Jerome, "pervert the understanding, and change men into beasts". In the voluptuous and unchaste, are literally verified the words of David: "And man when he was in honor did not understand; he is compared to senseless beasts, and is become like to them" - Psalm 48:13. Saint Jerome says, that there is nothing more vile or degrading, than to allow oneself to be conquered by the flesh. "Nihil vilius quam vinci a carne". Is it a small evil to forget God, and to banish Him from the soul, for the sake of giving the body a vile satisfaction, of which, when it is over, you feel ashamed? Of this the Lord complains by the Prophet Ezekiel, "Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because thou hast forgotten Me, and hast cast Me off behind thy back, bear thou also thy wickedness, and thy fornications" - Ezekiel 23:35. Saint Thomas says, that by every vice, but particularly by the vice of impurity, men are removed far from God. "Per luxuriam maxime recedit a Deo".
Moreover, sins of impurity, on account of their great number, are an immense evil. A blasphemer does not always blaspheme, but only when he is drunk, or provoked to anger. The assassin, whose trade is to murder others, does not, at the most commit more than eight or ten homicides. But the unchaste are guilty of an unceasing torrent of sins, by thoughts, by words, by looks, by complacencies, and by touches; so that, when they go to confession, they find it impossible to tell the number of the sins they have committed against purity. Even in their sleep, the Devil represents to them obscene objects, that on waking, they may take delight in them; and because they are made the slaves of the enemy, they obey and consent to his suggestions; for it is easy to contract a habit of this sin. To other sins, such as blasphemy, detraction, and murder, men are not prone; but to this vice, nature inclines them. Hence Saint Thomas says, that there is no sinner so ready to offend God, as the votary of lust is, on every occasion that occurs to him. "Nullus ad Dei contemptum promptior". The sin of impurity brings in its train the sins of defamation, of theft, hatred, and of boasting of its filthy abominations. Besides, it ordinarily involves the malice of scandal. Other sins, such as blasphemy, perjury, and murder, excite horror in those who witness them; but this sin excites others, who are flesh, to commit it, or at least, to commit it with less horror.
"Totum hominem", says Saint Cyprian, "agit in triumphum libidinis". By lust the Devil triumphs over the entire man, over his body and over his soul; over his memory, filling it with the remembrance of unchaste delights, in order to make him take complacency in them; over his intellect, to make him desire occasions of committing sin; over the will, by making it love its impurities as his last end, and as if there were no God. "I made a covenant with my eyes, that I would not so much as think upon a virgin. For what part should God from above have in me" - Job 31:1-2. Job was afraid to look at a virgin; because he knew that if he consented to a bad thought, God should have no part in him. According to Saint Gregory, from impurity arises blindness of understanding, destruction, hatred of God, and despair of eternal life.  Saint Augustine says that though the unchaste may grow old, the vice of impurity does not grow old in him. Hence Saint Thomas says that there is no sin in which the Devil delights so much as in this sin; because there is no other sin to which nature clings with so much tenacity. To the vice of impurity it adheres so firmly, that the appetite for carnal pleasures becomes insatiable. Go now, and say that the sin of impurity is but a small evil. At the hour of death you shall not say so; every sin of that kind shall then appear to you a monster of Hell. Much less, shall you say so before the Judgement-Seat of Jesus Christ, Who will tell you what the Apostle has already told you, "No fornicator, or unclean . . . hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" - Ephesians 5:5. The man who has lived like a brute, does not deserve to sit with the angels.
Most beloved brethren, let us continue to pray to God to deliver us from this vice; if we do not, we shall lose our souls. The sin of impurity brings with it blindness and obstinacy. Every vice produces darkness of understanding; but impurity produces it in a greater degree than all other sins. "Fornication, and wine, and drunkenness, take away the understanding" -  Hosea 4:11. Wine deprives us of understanding and reason; so does impurity. Hence Saint Thomas says that the man who indulges in unchaste pleasures, does not live according to reason. "In nullo procedit secundum judicium rationis". Now if the unchaste are deprived of light, and no longer see the evil which they do, how can they abhor it, and amend their lives? The Prophet Hosea says, that being blinded by their own mire, they do not even think of returning to God; because their impurities take away from them all knowledge of God. "They will not set their thoughts to return to their God: for the spirit of fornication is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord" - Hosea 5:4. Hence Saint Lawrence Justinian writes, that this sin makes men forget God. "Delights of the flesh induce forgetfulness of God". And Saint John Damascene teaches, that "the carnal man cannot look at the light of truth". Thus, the lewd and voluptuous no longer understand what is meant by the grace of God, by judgement, Hell, and eternity. "Fire hath fallen on them, and they shall not see the sun" - Psalm 57:9. Some of these blind miscreants go so far as to say, that fornication is not in itself sinful. They say, that it was notforbidden in the Old Law; and in support of this execrable doctrine, they adduce the words of the Lord to Hosea, "Go, take thee a wife of fornications, and have of her children of fornications" - Hosea 1:2. In answer I say, that God did not permit Hosea to commit fornication; but wished him to take for his wife a woman who had had been guilty of fornication; and the children of this marriage were called children of fornication, because the mother had been guilty of that crime. This is, according to Saint Jerome, the meaning of the words of the Lord to Hosea. "Idcirco", says the holy doctor, "fornicationis appellandi sunt filii, quod sunt de meretrice generati". But fornication was always forbidden, under pain of mortal sin, in the Old, as well as the New Law. Saint Paul says, "No fornicator, or unclean . . . hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" - Ephesians 5:5. Behold the impiety to which the blindness of such sinners carries them! From this blindness it arises, that, though they go to the sacraments, their confessions are null for want of true contrition; for how is it possible for them to have true sorrow, when they neither know nor abhor their sins?
The vice of impurity also brings with it obstinacy. To conquer temptations, particularly against chastity, continual prayer is necessary. "Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" - Mark 14:38. But how will the unchaste, who are always seeking to be tempted, pray to God to deliver them from temptation? They sometimes, as Saint Augustine confessed of himself, even abstain from prayer, through fear of being heard and cured of the disease, which they wish to continue. "I feared", said the saint, "that you would soon hear and heal the sin of concupiscence, which I wished to be satiated, rather than extinguished". Saint Peter calls this vice an unceasing sin. "Having eyes full of adultery and of sin that ceaseth not" - 2Peter 2:14. Impurity is called an unceasing sin on account of the obstinacy which it induces. Some persons addicted to this vice say: I always confess the sin. So much the worse; for, since you always relapse into the sin, these confessions serve to make you persevere in the sin. The fear of punishment is diminished by saying: I always confess the sin. If you felt that this sin certainly merits Hell, you would scarcely say: I will not give it up; I do not care if I am damnedBut the Devil deceives you. Commit this sin, he says; for you afterwards confess it. But to make a good confession of your sins, youmust have true sorrow of the heart, and a firm purpose to sin no more. Where are this sorrow and this firm purpose of amendment, when you always return to the vomit? If you had had these dispositions, and had received sanctifying grace at your confessions, you should not have relapsed, or at least you should have abstained for a considerable time from relapsing. You have always fallen back into sin in eight or ten days, and perhaps in a shorter time, after confession. What sign is this? It is a sign that you were always in enmity with God. If a sick man instantly vomits the medicine which he takes, it is a sign that his disease is incurable.
Saint Jerome says, that the vice of impurity, when habitual, will cease when the unhappy man who indulges in it, is cast into the fire of Hell. "O infernal fire, lust, whose fuel is gluttony, whose sparks are brief conversations, whose end is Hell". The unchaste become like the vulture that waits to be killed by the fowler, rather than abandon the rottenness of the dead bodies on which it feeds. This is what happened to a young female, who, after having lived in the habit of sin with a young man, fell sick, and appeared to be converted. At the hour of death, she asked leave of her confessor to send for the young man, in order to exhort him to change his life at the sight of her death. The confessor very imprudently gave the permission, and taught her what she should say to her accomplice in sin. But listen to what happened. As soon as she saw him, she forgot her promise to the confessor and the exhortation she was to give to the young man. And what did she do? She raised herself up, sat in the bed, stretched her arms to him, and said: Friend, I have always loved you, and even now, at the end of my life, I love you; I see that on your account I shall go to Hell, but I do not care; I am willing, for the love of you, to be damned. After these words, she fell back on the bed and expired. These facts are related by Father Segneri. Oh! how difficult is it for a person who has contracted a habit of this vice, to amend his life and return sincerely to God! how difficult is it for him not to terminate this habit in Hell, like the unfortunate young woman of whom I have just spoken.

Second Point
Illusion of those who say,
that God takes pity on this sin

The votaries of lust say that God takes pity on this sin; but such is not the language of Saint Thomas of Villanova. He says that in the sacred Scriptures we do not read of any sin so severely chastised as the sin of impurity. "Luxuriae facinus prae aliis punitum legimus" - Sermon 4. We find in the Scriptures, that in punishment of this sin, a deluge of fire descended from Heaven on four cities, and in an instant, consumed not only the inhabitants, but even the very stones. "And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven. And He destroyed these cities, and all the country about, all the inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from the earth" - Genesis 19:24-25. Saint Peter Damian relates that a man and woman who had sinned against purity, were found burnt and black as a cinder.
Salvian writes that it was in punishment of the sin of impurity that God sent on the Earth the universal deluge, which was caused by continued rain for forty days and forty nights. In this deluge, the waters rose fifteen cubits above the tops of the highest mountains; and only eight persons along with Noah were saved in the ark. The rest of the inhabitants of the Earth, who were more numerous then than at present, were punished with death in chastisement of the vice of impurity. Mark the words of the Lord in speaking of this chastisement which He inflicted on that sin. "My Spirit shall not remain in man forever, because he is flesh" - Genesis 6:3. "That is", says Liranus, "too deeply involved in carnal sins". The Lord added, "For it repenteth Me that I have made them" - Genesis 6:7. The indignation of God is not like ours, which clouds the mind, and drives us into excesses; His wrath is a judgment perfectly just and tranquil, by which God punishes and repairs the disorders of sin. But to make us understand the intensity of His hatred for the sin of impurity, He represents Himself as if sorry for having created man, who offended Him so grievously by this vice. We, at the present day, see more severe temporal punishment inflicted on this, than on any other sin. Go into the hospitals, and listen to the shrieks of so many young men, who, in punishment of their impurities, are obliged to submit to the severest treatment and to the most painful operations, and who, if they escape death, are, according to the divine threat, feeble, and subject to the most excruciating pain for the remainder of their lives. "Because thou hast forgotten Me, and hast cast Me off behind thy back, bear thou also thy wickedness, and thy fornications" - Ezekiel 23:35.
Saint Remigius writes, that if children be excepted, the number of adults that are saved, is few, on account of the sins of the flesh. "Exceptis parvulis ex adultis propter vitiam carnis pauci salvantur". In conformity with this doctrine, it was revealed to a holy soul, that as pride has filled Hell with devils, so impurity fills it with men. Saint Isidore assigns this reason. He says that there is no vice which so much enslaves men to the Devil as impurity. "Magis per luxuriam, humanum genus subditur diabolo, quam per aliquod aliud" - Saint Isidore. Hence Saint Augustine says, that with regard to this sin,the combat is common, and the victory rare. Hence it is that on account of this sin, Hell is filled with souls.
All that I have said on this subject, has been said, not that anyone present, who has been addicted to the vice of impurity, may be driven to despair, but that such persons may be cured. Let us then come to the remedies. There are two great remedies; prayer and the flight of dangerous occasions. Prayer, says Saint Gregory of Nyssa, is the safeguard of Chastity. "Oratio pudicitiae praesidium et tutamen est". And before him, Solomon, speaking of himself, said the same. "And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, . . . I went to the Lord, and besought Him" - Wisdom 8:21. Thus it is impossible for us to conquer this vice without God's assistance. Hence, as soon as a temptation against chastity presents itself, the remedy is to turn instantly to God for help, and to repeat several times the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, which have a special virtue to banish bad thoughts of that kind. I have said immediately, without listening to, or beginning to argue with the temptation. When a bad thought occurs in the mind, it is necessary to shake it off instantly, as you would a spark that flies from the fire, and instantly to invoke aid from Jesus and Mary.
As to the flight of dangerous occasions, Saint Philip Neri used to say, that cowards - that is, they who fly from the occasions - gain the victory. Hence, you must, in the first place, keep a restraint on the eyes, and must abstain from looking at young females. Otherwise, says Saint Thomas, you can scarcely avoid this sin.  Hence Job said: "I made a covenant with my eyes, that I would not so much as think upon a virgin" - Job 31:1. He was afraid to look at a virgin; because from looks it is easy to pass to desires, and from desires to acts. Saint Francis de Sales used to say, that to look at a woman does not do so much evil, as to look at her a second time. If the Devil has not gained a victory the first, he will gain it the second time. And if it be necessary to abstain from looking at females, it is much more necessary to avoid conversation with them. "Tarry not among women" - Ecclesiasticus 42:12. We should be persuaded that, in avoiding occasions of this sin, no caution can be too great. Hence we must be always fearful, and fly from them. "A wise man feareth, and declineth from evil: the fool leapeth over, and is confident" - Proverbs 14:16. A wise man is timid, and flies away; a fool is confident, and falls.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

LifeSiteNews interviews the papal theologian on the issue of homosexuality

Papal theologian: Treating homosexuals with dignity means telling them the truth

VATICAN CITY, July 2, 2013 ( - In an interview with, Papal Theologian Rev. Wojciech Giertych, spoke of the need to treat persons with homosexual inclination with dignity, adding that dignity means telling them the truth.  What truth? “Homosexuality is against human nature.”  And what is needed is to “pastorally help such people to return to an emotional and moral integrity.” (see video of the interview)
Appointed in 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI, it is Fr. Giertych’s job - Theologian of the Papal Household - to review the texts given to the Pope for his speeches for theological accuracy.  LifeSiteNews was granted access into the papal palace wherein Fr. Giertych has his apartment for the interview.
Asked about the problem of homosexuality, gay ‘marriage’ and their incursion on relgious freedom, Fr. Giertych noted “this is not an issue which is reacting against the Church’s teaching – this is a fundamental anthropological change.” It is, he said, “a distortion of humanity which is being proposed as an ideology, which is being supported, financed, promoted by those who are powerful in the world in many, many, countries simultaneously.”
“The Church,” he added, “is the only institution in the world which has the courage to stand up to this ideology.”
He continued, noting that the increasing role of the state in society has resulted in a substantial lowering of ethical standards:
“Now, what we are observing in many countries world-wide, certainly in the 20th and the 21st century, there is an enormous extension of the responsibility of States. Now, the more the State is encroaching on the economy, on family life, on education – the State is saying that only the State has the monopoly to decide about these things. The more the State is omnipotent, the more the ethical standards are lowered, because it’s impossible to promote high ethical standards by the State."
The 61-year-old of Polish background said, “I’ve seen the Communist ideology, which seemed to be so powerful, and it’s gone! Ideologies come and go, and they have the idea of changing humanity, of changing human nature. Human nature cannot be changed; it can be distorted. But the elevation of perversion to the level of a fundamental value that has to be nurtured and nourished and promoted – this is absolutely sick.”
“The Church, standing up to this ideology which we are seeing now in the Western world, the Church is saying something very normal and humane, which corresponds to the understanding of humanity, which humanity has had for millennia, long before Christ, long before the appearance of Christianity,” he said. “So it’s not a question of the Church fighting the ideology, it’s a question of the distortion of humanity, and the Church standing up in defence of human dignity.”
Fr. Giertych and John-Henry Westen on a balcony within the papal palace.
Speaking of practicing homosexuals Fr. Giertych said, “of course they have to be treated with dignity, everybody has to be treated with dignity, even sinners have to be treated with dignity, but the best way of treating people with dignity is to tell them the truth.”
“And if we escape from the truth we’re not treating them with dignity,” he added.
The papal theologian drew an analogy to smoking saying that helping people stop smoking is not denying their dignity.
 He said:
"Homosexuality is against human nature. Now, there are many things that people do that are unnatural – smoking cigarettes is also unnatural. You can live with the addiction to tobacco, you can die of it, but there are people who are addicted to tobacco, yet they live and we meet with them and we deal with them and we don’t deny their dignity. So certainly people with the homosexual difficulty have to be respected … And so the important thing is how to pastorally help such people to return to an emotional and moral integrity."
Fr. Geirtych noted that for many there is a lessened culpability for falling into a homosexual lifestyle due to hardships endured. 
Homosexual activity is also tied to the contraceptive culture, Geirtych explained:
"...we began talking about contraception, and homosexuality is tied with it because since contraception destroys the quality of relationships amongst the spouses, and it generates sexual license outside marriage, and it reduces sexuality to an easy source of pleasure with no responsibility, that pleasure without responsibility is never satisfying, and it generates like a drug. It generates a hunger for even more pleasure, which is even more not truly satisfying, not giving ultimate happiness, and so there is a search for more perverted types of sexual pleasure, which can never fulfill the human person."
The Pope’s theologian also explained the distinction between the words “homosexual” and “gay” and the danger to someone who identifies themselves as being “gay”.
 "…in the American language you have a distinction between the word ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’. A homosexual is a person who has, to some extent, this homosexual condition. Somebody may have this difficulty, and his friends, his neighbors will not know about this. He’s dealing with this in cooperation with the grace of God and may come out of this difficulty and come back to normal human relationships. Sometimes adolescents, at the moment when their sexual sensibility is appearing, if they have been distorted by others they go through a phase of difficulty in this field. But as they mature they will grow out of it. Whereas a ‘gay’ is somebody who says, ‘I am like this, I will be like this, I want to be treated like this, and I want special privileges because I am like this.’ Now if somebody is not only homosexual, but a gay, declaring, ‘This is how I am, and I want this to be respected legally, socially and so on’ – such a person will never come out of the difficulty."
He also spoke of the danger of identifying with the homosexual condition as if it was the “supreme expression of the identity of the individual” which would deprive the individual of healing and happiness.
The papal theologian concluded noting that Christ is both the model for a healthy humanity and the source of healing for distortions of humanity. “Christ shows us a humanity which is supremely transformed from within by the divinity, “ he said. “Now, we have access to the grace of God through our faith, through the sacraments, and, by living out the grace of God, that grace of God heals whatever distortions we may have, whatever difficulties we may have, on the condition that we initiate, we commence the pilgrimage, we start the journey of living out our lives with the grace of God.”
See the video with all of Fr. Giertych's comments on this issue.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two Brothers, One Catholic and One Protestant, File Lawsuit Against HHS Mandate

Catholic Bandita Mobile

Michael and Shaun Willis. Photo:   July 24, 2013
ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, today filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of two brothers, one a Catholic and the other a Protestant, and their family-owned law firm, Willis & Willis, PLC.
Michael and Shaun Willis began their family law practice in their hometown of Kalamazoo, MI. They dedicate their practice to God and to the memory of their brother, Marine Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis who, while still in the service, was tragically killed in a car accident after returning home from his combat tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Michael and Shaun believe that their brother Christopher dedicated his short life to protecting those freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and that those freedoms are now under attack here at home by the HHS Mandate.
This is the seventh challenge to the HHS mandate filed by TMLC.
Erin Mersino, TMLC’s lead attorney on the case, commented, “That our own government is knowingly displaying such a lack of tolerance for faithful Christians is outrageous. The HHS mandate must be ruled unconstitutional or there will be no end to the federal government’s intrusion on the religious liberties of Christians.”
The Willis brothers have always conducted their legal practice with integrity and in compliance with the teachings and values of their Christian faith. They founded and fund the Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis Foundation to fulfill the Foundation’s mission to provide Great Rewards for Great Warriors via its campaign to provide college scholarships to children whose military parent has been killed or permanently disabled in a combat zone. The Foundation reminds children that their parents, who gave their lives in battle defending our freedoms, are American heroes who did not die in vain.
Both Michael and Shaun are devout, pro-life Christians. They share a deep religious conviction that abortion, abortifacients, and life-ending contraceptives are a grave sin.
In all aspects of their personal and professional lives, they live out their Christian faith. They formed the organization, Christian Legal Aid of Southeast Michigan, a nonprofit firm providing pro bono legal services to local homeless persons. Additionally, attorneys at Willis & Willis are encouraged to ‘tithe’ at least 10% of their time each year to pro bono, civic or community services. The firm also supports multiple faith based organizations such as Kalamazoo Right to LifeAlternatives Pregnancy Care Center, and Young Life Kalamazoo to name a few.
Based on their deeply held religious beliefs, the Willis brothers were able to exclude insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, abortion, and abortifacients.
However, the HHS Mandate now requires them to pay for health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization or pay enormous fines. The Complaint states,
“The Mandate not only forces Plaintiffs to finance abortion, and related education and counseling as health care, but also subverts the expression of Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs, and the beliefs of millions of other Americans, by forcing Plaintiffs to fund, promote, and assist others to acquire services which Plaintiffs believe involve gravely immoral practices, including the destruction of innocent life.”
Because of the HHS Mandate, the Willis brothers must choose between violating their faith and violating the law—an unconstitutional choice.
The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek a court ruling that declares the HHS Mandate violates Constitution and Federal statutes and to permanently block its enforcement.
Should the Willis law firm refuse to abide by the requirements of the HHS Mandate, they would face tax penalties equivalent to $100 per day per employee for 15 full-time employees or approximately $547,500 each tax year. The Mandate also exposes them to substantial competitive disadvantages, in that they will no longer be permitted to offer health insurance.
The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the HHS Mandate under the First Amendment rights to the Free Exercise of Religion, Free Speech and the Establishment Clause. It also claims that the HHS Mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Named as Defendants in the lawsuit are Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Seth D. Harris, Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor; Jack Lew, Secretary of the Department of Treasury; and their respective departments.
The first paragraph of the lawsuit succinctly sets forth its basis: “This is a case about religious freedom. Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father of our country, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and our third president, when describing the construct of our Constitution proclaimed, “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.’”

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at

Homosexuality | Catholic Answers

Homosexuality | Catholic Answers
Suffrage church - Rome


Every human being is called to receive a gift of divine sonship, to become a child of God by grace. However, to receive this gift, we must reject sin, including homosexual behavior—that is, acts intended to arouse or stimulate a sexual response regarding a person of the same sex. The Catholic Church teaches that such acts are always violations of divine and natural law. 
Homosexual desires, however, are not in themselves sinful. People are subject to a wide variety of sinful desires over which they have little direct control, but these do not become sinful until a person acts upon them, either by acting out the desire or by encouraging the desire and deliberately engaging in fantasies about acting it out. People tempted by homosexual desires, like people tempted by improper heterosexual desires, are not sinning until they act upon those desires in some manner. 

Divine Law
The rejection of homosexual behavior that is found in the Old Testament is well known. In Genesis 19, two angels in disguise visit the city of Sodom and are offered hospitality and shelter by Lot. During the night, the men of Sodom demand that Lot hand over his guests for homosexual intercourse. Lot refuses, and the angels blind the men of Sodom. Lot and his household escape, and the town is destroyed by fire "because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord" (Gen. 19:13). 
Throughout history, Jewish and Christian scholars have recognized that one of the chief sins involved in God’s destruction of Sodom was its people’s homosexual behavior. But today, certain homosexual activists promote the idea that the sin of Sodom was merely a lack of hospitality. Although inhospitality is a sin, it is clearly the homosexual behavior of the Sodomites that is singled out for special criticism in the account of their city’s destruction. We must look to Scripture’s own interpretation of the sin of Sodom. 
Jude 7 records that Sodom and Gomorrah "acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust." Ezekiel says that Sodom committed "abominable things" (Ezek. 16:50), which could refer to homosexual and heterosexual acts of sin. Lot even offered his two virgin daughters in place of his guests, but the men of Sodom rejected the offer, preferring homosexual sex over heterosexual sex (Gen. 19:8–9). Ezekiel does allude to a lack of hospitality in saying that Sodom "did not aid the poor and needy" (Ezek. 16:49). So homosexual acts and a lack of hospitality both contributed to the destruction of Sodom, with the former being the far greater sin, the "abominable thing" that set off God’s wrath. 
But the Sodom incident is not the only time the Old Testament deals with homosexuality. An explicit condemnation is found in the book of Leviticus: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. . . . If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them" (Lev. 18:22, 20:13). 

Reinterpreting Scripture
To discount this, some homosexual activists have argued that moral imperatives from the Old Testament can be dismissed since there were certain ceremonial requirements at the time—such as not eating pork, or circumcising male babies—that are no longer binding. 
While the Old Testament’s ceremonial requirements are no longer binding, its moral requirements are. God may issue different ceremonies for use in different times and cultures, but his moral requirements are eternal and are binding on all cultures. 
Confirming this fact is the New Testament’s forceful rejection of homosexual behavior as well. In Romans 1, Paul attributes the homosexual desires of some to a refusal to acknowledge and worship God. He says, "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. . . . Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them" (Rom. 1:26–28, 32). 
Elsewhere Paul again warns that homosexual behavior is one of the sins that will deprive one of heaven: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9–10, NIV). 
All of Scripture teaches the unacceptability of homosexual behavior. But the rejection of this behavior is not an arbitrary prohibition. It, like other moral imperatives, is rooted in natural law—the design that God has built into human nature. 

Natural Law
People have a basic, ethical intuition that certain behaviors are wrong because they are unnatural. We perceive intuitively that the natural sex partner of a human is another human, not an animal. 
The same reasoning applies to the case of homosexual behavior. The natural sex partner for a man is a woman, and the natural sex partner for a woman is a man. Thus, people have the corresponding intuition concerning homosexuality that they do about bestiality—that it is wrong because it is unnatural. 
Natural law reasoning is the basis for almost all standard moral intuitions. For example, it is the dignity and value that each human being naturally possesses that makes the needless destruction of human life or infliction of physical and emotional pain immoral. This gives rise to a host of specific moral principles, such as the unacceptability of murder, kidnapping, mutilation, physical and emotional abuse, and so forth. 

"I Was Born This Way"
Many homosexuals argue that they have not chosen their condition, but that they were born that way, making homosexual behavior natural for them. 
But because something was not chosen does not mean it was inborn. Some desires are acquired or strengthened by habituation and conditioning instead of by conscious choice. For example, no one chooses to be an alcoholic, but one can become habituated to alcohol. Just as one can acquire alcoholic desires (by repeatedly becoming intoxicated) without consciously choosing them, so one may acquire homosexual desires (by engaging in homosexual fantasies or behavior) without consciously choosing them. 
Since sexual desire is subject to a high degree of cognitive conditioning in humans (there is no biological reason why we find certain scents, forms of dress, or forms of underwear sexually stimulating), it would be most unusual if homosexual desires were not subject to a similar degree of cognitive conditioning. 
Even if there is a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality (and studies on this point are inconclusive), the behavior remains unnatural because homosexuality is still not part of the natural design of humanity. It does not make homosexual behavior acceptable; other behaviors are not rendered acceptable simply because there may be a genetic predisposition toward them. 
For example, scientific studies suggest some people are born with a hereditary disposition to alcoholism, but no one would argue someone ought to fulfill these inborn urges by becoming an alcoholic. Alcoholism is not an acceptable "lifestyle" any more than homosexuality is. 

The Ten Percent Argument
Homosexual activists often justify homosexuality by claiming that ten percent of the population is homosexual, meaning that it is a common and thus acceptable behavior. 
But not all common behaviors are acceptable, and even if ten percent of the population were born homosexual, this would prove nothing. One hundred percent of the population is born with original sin and the desires flowing from it. If those desires manifest themselves in a homosexual fashion in ten percent of the population, all that does is give us information about the demographics of original sin. 
But the fact is that the ten percent figure is false. It stems from the 1948 report by Alfred Kinsey, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. The study was profoundly flawed, as later psychologists studying sexual behavior have agreed. Kinsey’s subjects were drawn heavily from convicted criminals; 1,400 of his 5,300 final subjects (twenty-six percent) were convicted sex offenders—a group that by definition is not representative of normal sexual practices. 
Furthermore, the ten percent figure includes people who are not exclusively homosexual but who only engaged in some homosexual behavior for a period of time and then stopped—people who had gone through a fully or partially homosexual "phase" but who were not long-term homosexuals. (For a critique of Kinsey’s research methods, see Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud, by Dr. Judith Reisman and Edward Eichel [Lafayette, Louisiana: Lochinvar & Huntington House, 1990].) 
Recent and more scientifically accurate studies have shown that only around one to two percent of the population is homosexual. 

"You’re Just a Homophobe"
Those opposed to homosexual behavior are often charged with "homophobia"—that they hold the position they do because they are "afraid" of homosexuals. Sometimes the charge is even made that these same people are perhaps homosexuals themselves and are overcompensating to hide this fact, even from themselves, by condemning other homosexuals. 
Both of these arguments attempt to stop rational discussion of an issue by shifting the focus to one of the participants. In doing so, they dismiss another person’s arguments based on some real or supposed attribute of the person. In this case, the supposed attribute is a fear of homosexuals. 
Like similar attempts to avoid rational discussion of an issue, the homophobia argument completely misses the point. Even if a person were afraid of homosexuals, that would not diminish his arguments against their behavior. The fact that a person is afraid of handguns would not nullify arguments against handguns, nor would the fact that a person might be afraid of handgun control diminish arguments against handgun control. 
Furthermore, the homophobia charge rings false. The vast majority of those who oppose homosexual behavior are in no way "afraid" of homosexuals. A disagreement is not the same as a fear. One can disagree with something without fearing it, and the attempt to shut down rational discussion by crying "homophobe!" falls flat. It is an attempt to divert attention from the arguments against one’s position by focusing attention on the one who made the arguments, while trying to claim the moral high ground against him. 

The Call to Chastity
The modern arguments in favor of homosexuality have thus been insufficient to overcome the evidence that homosexual behavior is against divine and natural law, as the Bible and the Church, as well as the wider circle of Jewish and Christian (not to mention Muslim) writers, have always held. 
The Catholic Church thus teaches: "Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2357). 
However, the Church also acknowledges that "[homosexuality’s] psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. . . . The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties that they may encounter from their condition. 
"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection" (CCC 2357– 2359). 
Paul comfortingly reminds us, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13). 
Homosexuals who want to live chastely can contact Courage, a national, Church-approved support group for help in deliverance from the homosexual lifestyle. 
Church of St. John the Baptist
210 W. 31st St., New York, NY 10001 
(212) 268–1010
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mental Illness: The Only Time Homosexual Inclination Is Not Internal Sin

Catholic Bandita Mobile


Please note that my post is directed toward those who consider themselves to be faithful Catholics. If you are not a faithful Catholic, there is probably a 100% chance that you will disagree with this post. I am not trying to convince you that I am right. Rather, I want to have a discussion with the faithful on this topic. By faithful, I refer to those who know what the term “Loyal to the Magisterium” means and would describe themselves as such.
After my post yesterday “How To Become a Saint Among Sodomites” someone emailed the link to another post on my blog to someone else who then visited that emailed link. The link that was emailed was my post “Mental Illness: The Only Time Homosexual Inclination Is Not Internal Sin,” which was written over a year ago on December 6, 2011. My recollection is that on that date, I was returning to blogging after a trip to the crisis unit for being suicidal. (I have a dual diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and Asperger Syndrome.) That post was way too long and not well written as it should have been, so I want to cover the topic here again. Same-sex attraction is either mental illness or it is internal sin.
Catholics are to treat mental illness completely differently from sin. A mentally ill person is the image of Christ in the world, whereas a person in sin is in need of repentance. Further, we are not allowed to judge hearts. No wonder, then, that Satan is using this issue to attack the freedom of the Church to be herself in America. Satan is very sneaky, but he can be lazy with this issue, because it is so easy for people to be confused about it and for them to accuse those who speak the truth on this to be “judging” people who are often, in reality, just very sick in the sense of deserving our compassion.
For the Catholic.
1. Same-sex attraction is an objective disorder.
In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.)
2. Disorder is never intrinsic. This is why we cannot accept that anyone is “gay.” No one is intrinsically inclined to homosexuality. Same-sex attraction is always something that can be healed.
3. People can experience unwanted same-sex attraction. Because same-sex attraction is objectively disordered, unwanted same-sex attraction is a mental disorder. Because of this, people with unwanted same-sex attraction who are seeking healing are the image of Christ in the world.
4. Demanding to be identified as “gay” is a rejection of the teaching that same-sex attraction is objectively disordered. It is a claim that same-sex attraction is intrinsic to the person experiencing it. Demanding to be identified as “gay” is equivalent to embracing the heresy of total depravity. (Council of Trent, Session 6, Canon 5.) Those who are teaching that it is okay to identify as “gay” are teaching heresy.

See why Satan loves this? If you experience unwanted same-sex attraction and are seeking healing, you are the image of Christ. If you experience unwanted same-sex attraction but demand to be identified as “gay” you are embracing heresy. Satan loves that. He loves when Catholic bloggers say people are “gay.”
The disorder of same-sex attraction is, in an important way, comparable to my Bipolar Disorder in that sometimes I experience delusion. Delusion is an inability to understand reality, and delusion sometimes involves thinking I should kill myself. My brain and my heart contradict each other completely during these times. On committing suicide, my heart says “No, no, no” and my brain says “Yes, yes, yes.” That is why, during those times, the only thing that keeps me from suicide is to force myself to think (in my brain) that God’s will, which I can be intellectually assured of through the teaching of the Church, and which is that I should notkill myself, trumps what I “think” in my head. Because of my journey in Christ prior to these delusions, my heart is with Christ. Provided that the people that I love and trust are telling me that my identity is in Him, not in what my brain is telling me to do, I will not commit suicide. If someone I love and trust tells me that my identity is in what my brain is telling me, I will commit suicide.
Delusion – being out of touch with reality – is mental disorder. It is a lack of free will because consent to the truth is not something that one can intellectually grasp. People with same-sex attraction, I presume because they have told me so, can experience that delusion, which is a lack of free will. That is not sin, because there is no free will involved. It is mental disorder. When the attraction is claimed as an identity, however, that is accepting a sexual disorder as “intrinsic.” It is saying that lust is intrinsic. It is the heresy of total depravity.
I hope this post makes more sense than the previous one on this topic. If it does not, I will try again…and again…and again…until you understand it.
By the way, medication helps people with Bipolar Disorder…especially Lithium which is a natural element and non-narcotic.
UPDATE: This post has been endorsed by Pope Francis. Okay, not specifically, but…


By Lisa Graas (I have Asperger a neurobiological syndrome which affects social and communication skills)

How To Become a Saint Among Sodomites
For many today, as homosexuality is being promoted so clearly as a “dogma” of those who sit on proverbial “golden thrones” in entertainment and media, it is becoming more clear that it is harder to say “yes” to God than it was just a few years ago. Persecution is already occurring and we are being called to white martyrdom which is to suffer as a Christian for being Christian, but not to the point of bloodshed. (YET) The good news is that Jesus is with us in all of this, and it is through Him that we may become the saints God calls us to be.
Did you know that God wants everyone to be a saint? Only a few among all people who have lived are known by the Church to be saints, but it is God’s will that each and every one of us will become a saint. If you are not seeking to become a saint, you need to begin now, particularly given this time of trial for the Church.
I have entitled this article “How to Become a Saint Among Sodomites” not because I am a saint (not yet), but because I know that I can eventually become one because that is God’s will for me. I want everyone else to know that they not only can become saints, with the help of God and with the (bonus) help of His holy saints, that it is God’s will for you.
The Holy Spirit will teach us howthrough the Church. Though there are those who would disagree, I have found that our priests are quite well equipped to instruct us. An example dropped in my lap today as I was listening to a homily at Audio Sancto about fixing our intentions at the offertory. In it, Father spoke at length about something that is of utmost importance for one to become a saint. That is to not be absorbed spiritually in the things of the world. He mentioned the Precautions of St. John of the Cross, who was a Doctor of the Church. More specifically, he mentioned what St. John of the Cross wrote about Lot’s wife.
Take Lot’s wife as an example: Because she was troubled at the destruction of the Sodomites and turned her head to watch what was happening, God punished her by converting her into a pillar of salt [Gn. 19:26]. You are thus to understand God’s will: that even were you to live among devils you should not turn the head of your thoughts to their affairs, but forget these things entirely and strive to keep your soul occupied purely and entirely in God, and not let the thought of this thing or that hinder you from so doing.
If we fret too much over other people and what they may think of us if we do not accept their “dogma” on homosexuality, we will lose sight of God’s will. Not only that, if we are afraid to hurt people’s feelings, then it means that we are afraid to be used by God to pierce people’s hearts. It is through the pierced heart that we become saints, so to avoid hurting feelings is to avoid becoming a saint and also to avoid helping others to find God. Without pierced hearts, there would be no saints.
What St. John of the Cross said about Lot’s wife reminds me very much of St. Perpetua’s ladder.
From the Passion of St. Perpetua:
I saw a golden ladder of marvelous height, reaching up even to heaven, and very narrow, so that persons could only ascend it one by one; and on the sides of the ladder was fixed every kind of iron weapon. There were there swords, lances, hooks, daggers; so that if any one went up carelessly, or not looking upwards, he would be torn to pieces and his flesh would cleave to the iron weapons. And under the ladder itself was crouching a dragon of wonderful size, who lay in wait for those who ascended, and frightened them from the ascent.

I sometimes think that people without Asperger, which I have, are the ones with an impediment to sainthood, for with Asperger  I have very little capability of “seeing” the feelings of others, and so I have very little sense of hurting people’s feelings. I often think about our duty to meet people where they are, and one way that we do this is to accept things within a culture that are okay and reject the things that are not okay because they are not of God. It occurs to me that sometimes people confuse the teaching on culture with the idea that we’re not ever supposed to hurt anyone’s feelings. That is a mistake. If their hearts are not broken, their hearts cannot be healed with His love. If we are not piercing hearts by speaking the truth, then we are not allowing them to come to know God. If we don’t show God to them, they will never know Him, and that would be a tragedy. They need to know that God’s will exists, and what His will is, because otherwise, they will not be able to see that there is a “ladder” — and the ladder is simply keeping our eyes fixed on God and His will for us. If we fail in this, then they will never become saints…and neither will we.
One final note. I hesitated to use the word “Sodomites” but I figure if it’s good enough for St. John of the Cross, it’s good enough for you and me. If your feelings are hurt, then think of our Blessed Mother and consider her Sorrows.
Read here about the Seven Swords…and listen to this homily from her Feast Day. It will help…I hope…because I love you.

Our Lady of Sorrows,
Pray for us.

"Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic." - Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sky View: God and the Mortality of Nations

Sky View: God and the Mortality of Nations

God and the Mortality of Nations

"For he who finds me finds life and wins favors from the
 LORD;but he who misses me harms himself; all who  hate
 me love death."  -Proverbs 8:35-36

Originally posted as “The Two Cultures of Death,” this post, renamed as “God and the Mortality of Nations” has been revised and is currently published this week in the column section of the Catholic News Agency website. 

Next week, the week of July 14th, I will be attending a talk by a local medical guild concerning POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment). 

End of life issues are becoming just as pressing as beginning of life issues.  Indeed, in a few short years it is anticipated that euthanasia will pose a similar threat to our culture as the widespread practice of abortion has. 


Foretelling a Nation’s Future: 

History shows us that the life of a nation can be summed up, and even illustrated, in the life of its citizens. The fate of the Roman Empire, for instance, was told through the lives of two of its highest ranking members in the first century: Seneca and Petronius. These men were not only confidants of the notorious Emperor Nero, but they were products of their own culture. ------It just so happen that Roman society in their day had sanctioned the taking of innocent life for the purposes of entertainment and convenience. To varying degrees, Seneca and Petronius bought into the culture of death. Yet, the same reckless abandon they had for human life would claim their own lives. 

To be sure, the lives of Seneca and Petronius are highly symbolic, not only for an empire that was destined to fall, but for America whose destiny has yet to be determined. Indeed, their lives tell a story…a story about the mortality of nations. 

First Century Rome: 

Take for instance Seneca the Roman philosopher. In the year was 60 A.D. he decided to go to the show; not a play in the theatre but a show of a real life and death drama. He didn’t know what he was getting into. He had heard about the gladiator shows at the Coliseum, but he wanted to see for himself what the hype was all about. Thinking that he was going to be entertained and distracted from the burdens of everyday life, he instead witnessed something he would never forget. He discovered that his beloved Rome – the home of the most “civilized” empire yet to date – gave no thought to human dignity during its state-sponsored entertainment. In his own words: 

“I come home more greedy, more cruel and inhuman, because I have been among human beings. By chance I attended a midday exhibition, expecting some fun, wit, and relaxation…But it was quite the contrary…These noon fighters are sent out with no armor of any kind; they are exposed to blows at all points, and no one ever strikes in vain…In the morning they throw men to the lions; at noon they throw them to the spectators.” 

Another prominent figure during that time was Petronius, a contemporary of Seneca, and a fellow advisor of the Emperor Nero, who had a different opinion of these shows. With a feverish anticipation, he wrote to a friend reminding him not to forget about the gladiator show; after all, there was a new shipment of fresh blood. He could barely contain his joy as he writes: “Don't forget, there's a big gladiator show coming up the day after tomorrow. Not the same old fighters either. They've got a fresh shipment in. There's not a slave in that batch. Just wait. There'll be cold steel for the crowd, no quarter and the amphitheater will end up looking like a slaughterhouse. There's even a girl who fights from a chariot.” 

Petronius was a product of his culture. But Seneca was too. Although he was horrified at the sight of gladiators killing each other to entertain the mob, he nevertheless bought into the culture of death. In fact, Seneca endorsed infanticide without the slightest hesitation. He once said, “We drown even children who at birth are weakly and abnormal. Yet it is not anger, but reason that separates the harmful from the sound.” As for Petronius, he was an unabashed sponsor of human cruelty through and through. He had no scruples about the moral decadence that surrounded him. 

These two men failed to realize, as did most at the time, that when even one person’s human dignity is violated or ignored – whether it be a gladiator or an infant – then it is a loss for humanity…a loss for them. It should not be surprising, therefore, that the culture of death caught up with both of these men. Indeed, Seneca and Petronius were forced to commit suicide by their boss, Emperor Nero; an emperor whom they faithfully served. 

Twenty-first Century America: 

Seneca and Petronius are illustrations of how a people can endorse the killing of human life when it suits their purposes. But when the moral evil of taking innocent life is let out of the cage, it inevitably consumes those who set it loose. 

Germany learned this painful lesson in 1945 when it was virtually destroyed by Allied Forces at the end of World War II. In the 1930s, the medical community in Germany endorsed the widespread practice of euthanasia. Soon thereafter, the government ordered the killing and deportation of the Jews. Indeed, the culture of death was alive and well in Germany in the 1930s and the early part of the 1940s. Yet, it eventually consumed the German people through the brutality of war. Their country was reduced to ruble. 

What happened in pagan Rome and Nazi Germany is happening to America. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal in all fifty states. The pre-born child was no longer considered a person vested with human dignity. But the erosion of human rights was hastened when the U.S. Supreme Court expelled God from our schools with the banning of prayer and reading the bible in 1962-63. 

What the American people – including Christians – failed to appreciate at the time is that the suppression of Christian religion is but the prelude to human rights violations. The greatest guarantor of human dignity that the world has ever known is a well established belief that every human person is created by God, for God and in the likeness of God. As such, the person is – for all intents and purposes – the property of God with inalienable rights. And when this divine principle is enshrined into law, even the State is bound to respect it. 

This is why leaving God out of public debate on abortion, as some Catholics propose, is a big mistake. Denying one group of people the right to live is tantamount to denying God his rights. God has his rights and they should be defended as such. Indeed, the State that legalizes abortion, the doctor who performs the abortion and the parent who opts for aborting his or her own child, all play the part of God. And when people play God in deciding who lives and who dies, the act of taking innocent life becomes a Pandora’s Box. 
The culture of death, like the brutality of war, will not make the distinction between the guilty and the innocent or between the powerful and the weak. Like Seneca and Petronius who supported the culture of death when it suited their purposes, the mercilessness of that same culture will consume even its most zealous advocates. Under this dark shadow, no one individual or nation is safe; not even America. 

But if America is to be spared from the fate of pagan Rome and Nazi Germany, the rights of God will have to be reintroduced into public discourse on life issues. Without him at the center of it, the protection of human rights doesn’t stand a chance. Indeed, no abstract natural law argument – by itself – will save us from the culture of death.