Sunday, July 8, 2012

Freedom of Religion

Last week we learned that destroying a growing and living human being is truly against the Will of God.  Therefore all followers of God are obliged NOT to do those things.  Our Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes St. Augustine when defining ‘sin’.  Augustine says: “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor cause by a perverse attachment to certain goods.  It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity.  It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” (CCC 1849)

The Catechism also defines sin thusly:  Sin is an offense against God.  It is a revolt against God through the will to become ‘like gods,’ knowing and determining good and evil.  Sin is therefore “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”” (CCC 1850)

We know there are two levels of gravity of sin, venial and mortal, Scripture is very clear on that point (1 john 5:16).  A venial sin is an act that does not completely cut himself off from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ.  A mortal sin does indeed cut him off from God.  The Catechism defines these terms this way: “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a great violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God”… “Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.” (CCC 1855)

For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” (CCC 1857)  Therefore since we know that contraception  and abortion are of a grave matter (very serious subject) then for one to deliberately (freely) and knowingly perform these or help others in performing these acts is morally evil (ie mortal sin).

It has been a tenant of our Catholic faith since the very beginning that abortion and the use of contraception is always and everywhere gravely wrong.  Whether anyone else believes this to be right or wrong is irrelevant for our purposes today.   If our conscience dictates that it is a great moral evil to use contraception or abortafacient drugs then by virtue of loving our fellow man we are also obliged not to directly help them acquire such products and services.  For example, if it is morally wrong for me to intentionally kill an innocent bystander then it is also morally wrong for me to knowingly supply the gun so that someone else can kill him.  Since 1973, ever since abortion has been legalized, federal law does not protect all of its citizens.  It currently discriminates against a class of persons not yet born and with the Healthcare services being proposed by Obama (ie, Obamacare) the government will force its citizens to pay for these deadly services whether we have religious objections to them or not.  We must make our voices heard.  The voice of reason needs to overcome or our great country will no longer be a country where freedom or religion prevails.  We must prevent our government from trampling on our right to freely exercise our religion in the public square.

Even though “unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense” as well as “the promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders…” we as a society are obliged to defend our constitutional right to freedom of religion.  PLEASE, let us rise up and be heard.

Prepared by a St Denis parishoner

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