… its desire to be forever.
Margaret McCarthy provides a refreshing perspective to the ongoing HHS infringement on conscience freedoms …
… it is not merely a question about religious institutions themselves being complicit in these things, but in anyone being complicit in them (especially insofar as they be required to be so). As far as the Catholic idea of religious freedom is concerned, freedom to act in public under “religious inspiration” is for the sake of “the whole of human activity” (Digniatis Humanae), including the activity of healing. We might well remember that the hospital system itself has Christian origins! And we might well consider the possibility that what the Catholic Church and its friends are now doing is calling medicine back to itself for the sake of everyone.
But it is not only health that this religious freedom to act in public brings into its own. There is also the question about the value of the human person we take so for granted. We might remember what originally inspired such an exalted and positive idea of the human person, who from the very beginnings of Christianity was no longer left “exposed at the city gates,” so to speak, when found to be handicapped or otherwise “defective” (such as being a girl, for example!).
And then too there is the question of human love. There is no shortage today of unfulfilled desire in the many tormented attempts at love. Might it be that that “idiosyncratic” teaching of the Catholic Church on contraception be a safeguard of the very heart of human love: its desire to be forever?
If so, then we will have to put into question our prevailing idea of the self-defining and open-ended individual whose rights and freedom consist precisely in this self-definition (and protection from impediments to it, i.e. everyone else, especially children!). We will have to go down another path. In its recent skirmish with the White House, the Catholic Church is now proposing this path to the world. But it does so with the claim that that path will offer greater happiness, a greater freedom, and a greater love. It’s a kind of “Happy Valentine’s Day” from the Catholic Church!