The Church has always favored responsible parenthood and has taught natural family planning as the moral means to achieve this goal. Based on the objective nature of human sexuality, the Church teaches that artificial contraception contradicts an authentic expression of marital love between a husband and a wife and, therefore, is morally unacceptable. For this reason, Catholic institutions do not include contraception in their health insurance for their employees. Up until recently, the laws included exemptions for conscientious objections clauses and protected the freedom of Catholics to live according to Catholic teaching in this area.
Today, however, secular liberals are experiencing great success in removing this freedom. At least eighteen states have enacted "contraceptive mandate" laws. The laws bear names such as The Women's Health and Wellness Act or The Women's Contraceptive Equity Act. These laws mandate health insurance plans to cover the costs of contraceptives. Any failure to do is punishable as discrimination.
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Without the freedom to express one’s views and not be punished for them, without the freedom to hold to one’s moral and religious beliefs and live according, the dignity of the human person is denied and the common good of society itself is diminished.
Government does not have the right to treat believers as a "divisive minority whose rights must always yield to the minority secular agenda, especially when religious people are overwhelmingly in the majority" (Cardinal Pell, "Varieties of Intolerance: Religious and Secular," Divinity School of Oxford University, March 6, 2009).
Both Homer in the Odyssey and Virgil in the Aeneid relate the story of the Trojan horse. After a long, unresolved 10-year siege of Troy, the Greeks built a huge figure of a horse. Inside the horse, they left their warriors and sailed away. The Trojans took the horse into their city as a trophy for winning the war. During the night, the Greek warriors stealthily crept out of their hiding place, opened the city gates for the rest of the Greek army that had returned under the cover of dark and destroyed the city. What, at first, was seen as the sign of victory actually became the cause of defeat.
Today, our society has happily overcome many prejudices that divide us. We have managed to live in peace with people whose views and religions differ from one another. Secular liberals, however, market a truncated tolerance that leaves no room for those who oppose their secular agenda. If society welcomes such tolerance within its city gates, will it not be the Trojan Horse that brings the demise of a free society?
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Printed with permission from the Diocese of Paterson, N.J.