Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My letter to Kay Hagan

I felt the letter I just spent my lunch hour writing to Kay Hagan, Democrat who represents me in NC, was worth sharing with more than just her office staff.  (I added the hyperlinks as references which were not included in the original note). Thanks for reading... and please send a note to your Senators in support of S 1467 and Congressional rep in support of HR 1179. See www.usccb.org/conscience for more info.

***

Dear Ms. Hagan,

I wrote you a short note when I missed you on Monday, January 24 during the annual March for Life. I returned home saddened from the sight of so many pro-life activists who come in defense of women and the unborn, yet this message we brought on behalf of the voiceless unborn was left unheard by many in our government and media.

Today, I am writing to tell you of my grave concern regarding the HHS mandate for contraceptive coverage. Indeed it is not just religious employers who are affected, but all employers whose personal and/or religious convictions likewise prevent them from providing contraceptive services and abortifacients in their health coverage.

Please support S 1467.

As a public servant, your duty is primarily to the "poorest of the poor" (as Mother Teresa was known to say), the most defenseless among us, and these are quite literally those yet to be born. Whether these unborn are zygotes, embryos, or fetuses, they deserve the protection allotted to them in our Country's Founding Document: "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

It may seem a far stretch to say that contraception is somehow connected to the abortion problem; after all, contraceptives are meant to prevent pregnancies and therefore the need for abortion.

However, in reality, that is not the case. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1994, the US Supreme Court stated, "[F]or two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail" [505 U.S. 833, 835].

Indeed, the latest numbers from the Guttmacher Institute state that, "Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant."  That means that 54% of women are getting abortions because they WERE using contraceptives.

You see, contraceptives provide an often times false-hope that pregnancy will not occur. When it does, however, the child is not wanted and is aborted. This is why the Catholic Church and other individuals are opposed to contraceptive use: because its mentality leads to instances of abortion.

Motherhood does not strip a woman of her rights to participate in the fabric of our culture and society. (as Planned Parenthood v. Casey so brazenly goes on to state.) Indeed, this is part of the very fiber of our femininity. And on the contrary, the unborn boys and girls who will never see daylight do not get the opportunity to participate in our society, and women themselves who abort often experience unexpected emotional and physical side effects.

Ms. Hagan, please know of my prayers for you that you will use your strong leadership abilities in defense of religious freedom, rights of conscience, and the rights of the unborn.

Thank you for your time and your service to our Country.

Sincerely,
Mary Worthington

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Susan, tell the truth!

The woman who "spent months pushing the plan to shift the organization's grant strategy, leading the board to decide to cut off funding for 17 of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates in December," according to recent Reuters article stepped down as Komen's VP.

What is Karen Handel's departure seen as for abortion advocates?
Handel's departure is "a step in the right direction. But it's not clear to me that they've really changed their policy," said Jodi Jacobson, whose blog RHRealityCheck.org is widely followed by women's reproductive rights advocates.
With so much scientific evidence showing correlations between abortion instance and contraception use and the instance of breast cancer, why doesn't Komen withstand the political pressure from abortion lobbyists to truly work to "find a cure?"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why a mother and a father? Children.

I quoted Diocese of Charlotte communictions director David Hains in a recent article:
Hains urged men to vote for the May 8 state constitutional amendment to protect marriage. "Why does marriage matter so much? Children. Children need a mother and a father," he said as the men burst into thunderous applause.
Here is a movie made by the Catholic bishops of North Carolina that explains more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yes, Catholic women DO rely on prohibited contraceptives

While the technical number may be 87% not 98%, posts like this from Lydia McGrew are what make Catholics look stupid.  It is indeed very true that way too many Catholics are relying on prohibited contraceptive methods in order to avoid pregnancy.

Rather than try to debunk their study by saying that they are only considering those women who can get pregnant and don't want to, let's educate and encourage Catholic women to consider the Church's teachings why contraception is wrong (taken from Business Insider article) :

  1. General lowering of moral standards
  2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
  3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men. 
  4. Government coercion in reproductive matters. 
These are four very good reasons for women to choose to embrace the possibility of having a large family and to reject contraception.

'You don't just feel better, you are better'

CHARLOTTE — "Do you think that blood makes the doctor sick?" said Father Glenn Sudano, CFR. "No, it is the blood that turns him on; he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

"There is no condemnation because of the wound – though he may give Bob some advice about cutting the watermelon next time," he added with a laugh.

Continue reading story on Catholic News Herald - click here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Pastor who is shepherding his flock

After Communion, Father Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte (my parish) read a letter from Bishop Peter J. Jugis which explained that Obama's compromise wasn't a compromise and that if this goes through, it will become a lot harder to be a Catholic in America in the years to come. 

We must call our senators and congressional reps and encourage them to pass an law that will overturn the HHS mandate

Father Reid then said that this has been controversial because so many Catholics are using birth control. "It's high time we started practicing what we preach," Father said. "Get off the Pill. Throw out your condoms." 

Follow: thunderous applause that made my heart surge!

Think Obama has backed down? Think again

On Friday, the Obama administration issued its legal reply to the first complaint against the HHS mandate to cover contraceptives. 

Cardinal Newman Society has a great post on their blog:
“You might have expected them to argue that we don’t have a constitutional claim,” Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund told The Cardinal Newman Society. “But instead they said ‘hey didn’t you hear we may fix it someday?’”
Rienzi called it “really cynical” to have a law on the books but then argue that the court shouldn’t look at the law, because the administration said they’d fix it some day in the future.
He said he suspected that the administration knew they were on shaky legal ground when the lawyers kept asking for extensions while the politicians kept holding press conferences. He said that the administration’s promise to change the law in the future doesn’t stand up to constitutional scrutiny.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New order of women religious in Diocese of Charlotte

MOUNT HOLLY — In a simple little home in Mount Holly – with the looks of the typical American dream: two stories and a two-car garage – something more than the American dream is being realized for a budding community of sisters following the Rule of St. Benedict.On Feb. 9, they were acknowledged by Bishop Peter J. Jugis as a "Private Association of the Faithful" within the Diocese of Charlotte.

It is the first step for the two Benedictine women religious – now known as the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Peace – who moved to Mount Holly last fall.

Continue reading in the Catholic News Herald.


Women Deserve Better than Chemical Contraceptives

In looking for a means to refute Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro who during her questioning of Bishop Lori and others before the House Oversight Committee, angrily demanded access to chemical contraceptives for the sake of women's health, I found my  new favorite website entitled, Ditch the Pill: Empowerment for Women. This website reminds me of my initiative in 2005 called No Room for Contraception.

Think there is a medical necessity for contraceptives? Think again.

Watch Now! Religious Freedom testimonies from the House Oversight Committee Hearing

Church leaders including Dr. Bill Thierfelder live testimony right now on the webcast provided by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform website.  Click here to watch live right now-- Testimonies will air until 11:30am. 

http://oversight.house.gov/

Monday, February 13, 2012

I had a dream...

After attending The Order of Malta's superb Forum on Religious Liberty at Belmont Abbey College on Saturday, I had a strange dream in which I was at a gas station and filling up my huge white pickup truck.

It wasn't the pump's punch to my pocketbook that took my dream by surprise, but a comment from a handsome man one pump over: "So, what can you do if you can't use contraception?" he inquired.

Clever, sub-conscious me replied:
1. You can abstain at certain times of the month to prevent pregnancy; or,
2. You can fall in love with the idea of having a large family!


With that in mind, enjoy this article just recommended to me by Generation Life.  Its punch line?
So, just to sum up: 
  • It's a good idea for people to be fruitful and multiply; and
  • Regardless of how you feel about the Church's stance on birth control, it's proven pretty prophetic.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Conscience vs. women's health

Or, are they on the same team? Conscience rights and women's health OR Conscience rights vs. women's health?

A concerned woman opined in the New York Times yesterday that
the ability to prevent or space pregnancy being an essential part of women’s health care
However, Ms. Greenhouse has overlooked this:
Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant.
If contraception is so reliable, putting the moral question aside, why are they pregnant? Why are over half of abortions happening precisely because contraception was used? 

Given these abysmal failure rates for contraceptive methods, I would have to say that the conscience objections are a step in the right direction for women's health: clearly these methods are failing women and leading them to the desperate solution of abortion, further harming their mental and physical health. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More in the print edition!

View more March for Life coverage plus features on the threats to our religious freedom in the print edition of the Catholic News Herald, Feb 3, 2011.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Yoga: just a workout?

Last Sunday, Father Roux condemned yoga as a practice for Catholics. From the pulpit. During the busiest Sunday Mass.

Immediately, grumbling began and some congregants began to distract themselves from the remainder of the homily by playing Angry Birds on their cell phones.  

It is generally not known that the practice of yoga is practicing for the observation of Hinduism. This is a completely different theological and spiritual understanding of God than provided through the Holy Catholic Church.

Father John Hardon-- who died over ten years ago-- explained in well in a 1998 article:
Yoga is incompatible with Catholicism because the best known practice of Hindu spirituality is Yoga. “Inner” Hinduism professes pantheism, which denies that there is only one infinite Being who created the world out of nothing. This pantheistic Hinduism says to the multitude of uncultured believers who follow the ways of the gods that they will receive the reward of the gods.

What's a Catholic to do if he or she likes the "workout" provided in yoga? Try Pilates. Try running. Try stretch training. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why Rick Santorum gets my vote

I was challenged today on why I am voting for Rick Santorum over Ron Paul based on questions about the death penalty, abortion, incest, war and the economy.  O, yeah, and that whole Specter thing.  I thought my response was too much to share with just two people...

The '73 case removed abortion from the states, and made a national issue from what was once a state issue. Before Roe, women were trafficked from state to state, and unless abortion is outlawed nationally, women will be trafficked again state to state. This does a great service to women, especially the under-served such as minors, poor women, and non-English-speaking women.

Further, abortion is a national issue because our country is united under a Constitution that guarantees the right to life. That must be upheld, not undermined by very active, very wealthy lobbyist abortion providers, such as the Planned Parenthood and NARAL, who I assure you will be much easier to fight at one time for the benefit of the whole US rather than state-by-state-by-state as some states have already attempted (such as SD).

Please don't confuse war with being a pro-life issue because it downplays the War on the Unborn that takes more American lives in two days than the entire Middle East mission has in the past ten years. Millions more women are suffering PTSD after abortion than soldiers returning from the Mid East. Indeed, we must bring about a culture of life in all areas, but the two issues are hardly equivocal. It was essential for the USA to be there (and indeed bombing Iran too), and the fruit has been worth it: two dictators out of power and much good work in Iraq and Afghanistan to improve the lives of the citizens. I say that from personal experience of having a brother in Afghanistan for year.  I am immensely proud of all of our troops, and we must support them in their mission just as we must support pro-life activists and political candidates in their mission.

The civil rights of our most defenseless American citizens and indeed the moral fabric of our nation is at risk. Our religious rights are being stripped, and they are being replaced with penalties for having religious observance. Do you know that as of August 1, 2012, ALL health insurance in America must not only cover contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients, but must pay for them entirely with no copay? Religious institutions such as colleges, social service agencies and owners of Catholic businesses are not granted an exception because they serve people who are not Catholic (They are only granted an additional year to comply... as if we need an extra year to decide we aren't going to follow our consciences). These, indeed, our own religious liberties, are worth much more of a fight than we realize. We will be martyrs. Maybe not you and me personally, but our friends, our peers, our fellow parishioners, our priests, our nuns. Yes, we will be asked to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Maybe that is the only hope for the salvation of souls: the blood of the martyrs is the seedbed of the Christian life.

With that in mind, I believe that the man we want in office is a man of virtue and character. A steady man who is passionately concerned with protecting the unborn and women, especially those women who are the victims of the horrors of incest, while all other politicians step back and throw their hands up. Many times, it is only by pregnancy that incest is revealed. A girl is in fact relieved by the pregnancy because it gives her the opportunity to expose the abuse. It is a tremendous disservice to girls and women to suggest that they take a morning-after pill or have a surgical abortion. And if the statistic you say is indeed true, we could catch about 30 incestuous men per day when the pregnancy of their daughter/ granddaughter/ niece/ cousin/ sister/ etc is revealed. Here are some outdated stats, but they help paint the picture: About 1,000 cases of sexual assault per day are reported and only 6% of the perpetrators ever spend a day in jail. With a pregnancy and a DNA test, there is PROOF that the man committed the crime. That makes the stats jump nearly double from 60 men per day spending time in jail for rape to 100 men spending time in jail. Good way to up the prosecution of rapists and perhaps lower the rates of abuse once men see they can't get away with it any longer with the "simple" solution of abortion.

Further, Ron Paul's solution that victims of rape and incest take the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy totally IGNORES the problem. First of all, victims of incest don't come forward the next day or within the next 72 hours that the abortifacient must be taken to admit the abuse. Further, that only helps the man to continue to get away with his abuse. Third, a child's life is destroyed by that just as much as by surgical abortion... the baby just doesn't feel it because they are not developed enough to.

And, To answer your question about the death penalty. Santorum has stated the following:
“I felt very troubled about cases where someone may have been convicted wrongly. DNA evidence definitely should be used when possible. I agree with the pope that in the civilized world ... the application of the death penalty should be limited. I would definitely agree with that. I would certainly suggest there probably should be some further limits on what we use it for.”
March 22, 2005, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Indeed, I am opposed, and our Church urges that it not be used (though the Church is not blanket-opposed). But, that is not a pro-life issue. With abortion, we are talking about the killing of an innocent person, but the death penalty, we are talking about the killing of a convicted guilty person. Still not good, but not the same issue either.

As for Specter.. mistakes can haunt, huh? I'm sure he learned his lesson well, and I can now be confident that he will not be making such an error when he is leading our country out of the mess it is in.

And, that's why I'm voting for Rick Santorum.