Thursday 30th October 2014

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

From Acquiescence To Support Of Immorality

January 15, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON

In the past 50 years, the Supreme Court has systematically and consistently ruled to disestablish the legal basis for a moral society. (See my article in The Wanderer dated January 16, 2014, p. 4A.) The court legalized the use of contraception for married couples in 1965, for unmarried persons in 1972, and then made abortion a right in Roe v. Wade in January 1973. The judicial instrument for this statutory disassembly was a created “right to privacy,” an amorphous concept that has been continually expanded to legalize more and more formerly illicit acts.
The enlargement did not end with Roe. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1992, the court, addressing a woman’s right to an abortion, stated: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and the mystery of human life.” This statement is so all-encompassing and open to interpretation that Judge Robert Bork believed that, if followed, the courts could invalidate all laws regulating individual behavior.
And so it was. The judicial logic was taken to the next step in Compassion in Dying v. Washington, in 1996. If a woman has the right to kill her unborn child, does she not have the right to take her own life? In its majority opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, “every man has the liberty to determine the time and manner of his death,” a statement without limitations, such as a person being terminally ill. Assisted suicide and euthanasia were given legitimacy.
Then, sodomy laws were challenged. These primarily were state statutes understood by the courts to outlaw any sexual act, typically between persons of the same sex, deemed to be “unnatural” or immoral. In 1962, every state had laws making sodomy illegal, although soon after individual states began to repeal those bans. If sex is viewed strictly for pleasure with no procreative aspect, there is no reason why it should be limited to persons of the opposite gender. The Supreme Court in 2003, ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, followed the trend and invalidated all sodomy laws.
With homosexual acts legalized and the marital act’s focus on pleasure, it was natural to redefine the meaning of marriage. In the 1990s, virtually all states statutorily banned same-sex “marriages” — although some were moving in the direction of recognition. To limit the movement, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, which defined marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman for federal purposes. This was to prove a temporary hindrance.
Massachusetts, by a ruling of its Supreme Judicial Court in 2004, legalized same-sex “marriage,” making it the first state to do so. DOMA was then assailed. In June 2013, in United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional as it restricted the interpretation of the terms “marriage” and “spouse” to heterosexual couples. The same day, the court allowed a lower court decision to stand, which had overturned an amendment to the California constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
Today, 17 states allow same-sex “marriage,” with Illinois to become the 18th on June 1, 2014; ten others recognize same-sex unions. These changes have been accomplished through court rulings, legislative changes, or direct popular vote.
The definition of marriage was now open to further dilution. Kody Brown and his four wives, members of a fundamentalist Mormon sect who star in the reality TV show, Sister Wives, contended that Utah’s law banning polygamy violated their right to privacy and religious freedom.
In December 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the prohibition was unconstitutional. In his ruling, he cited Lawrence, in which Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that the Constitution guarantees people “an autonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain intimate conduct.”
A new phase of cleansing the culture of traditional behavioral values has now begun. For 50 years, as the courts have increasingly legitimized immorality, the public has acquiesced. Now the courts are forcing people to be not only accepting, but supportive, of acts that oppose their religious beliefs. Small businesses, such as bakeries and photographers, are being sued for not providing their services to celebrate same-sex “marriages” — even when those “marriages” violate the consciences of the business owners.
The American Civil Liberties Union has brought suit against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, claiming that the bishops’ pro-life health directives prevented a Catholic hospital in Michigan from providing a woman with adequate health care, that is, an abortion. Catholic social agencies have been forced to close for not providing adoption services to homosexual couples.
The string of rulings legitimizing immoral behavior is endless. Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting in Lawrence, said that morals legislation is now constitutionally impermissible. With an end to virtually all legislative constraints on immorality, can the courts continue to rule against incest, pedophilia, bestiality, group “marriages,” and other erotic fantasies?
Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, published in 1968, described the consequences that would follow the widespread acceptance of contraception. He warned:
“Consider also the dangerous weapon that would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who have no concern for the requirements of morality. . . . Who will stop rulers from favoring and even imposing upon their peoples, if they should consider it necessary, the method of contraception that they judge to be most efficacious?”
How perceptive Pope Paul VI was. Now four-and-a-half decades after he expressed his concern, we have a president who is mandating that virtually all employers — including religious groups such as Little Sisters of the Poor — provide their employees with insurance for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.
If this country and its people are to halt the rush into national licentiousness and return to a morals-based culture, there must be a recognition throughout society that God exists, that He set forth Commandments on how we should live our lives, that marriage has a procreative purpose, that human life must be respected and protected from conception to natural death, and that we will be judged by Him to account for how we live our lives. This re-evangelization must begin with Catholics through the Church, from the pulpit. It can be accomplished, but only with God’s help through prayer.
Let it begin with us — and now.

+    +    +

(The author is a visiting scholar in The School of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Angola: Catholic Priest Refutes Criticism of Church Practices

Lubango — The Southern Huila province?s Lubango city emeritus archbishop, Zacarias Kamwenho, rejected as false the claim that Catholic Christians worship images. Speaking on Sunday in the Muxima Diocese, in Lubango, the archbishop explained that Catholic Christians worship God instead,…Continue Reading

Ave Maria School of Law Wins Its HHS Mandate Case in Federal Court

The Obama Administration has suffered another defeat in its quest to force Catholics and people of faith to pay for abortion-causing drugs, as required by the HHS Mandate. Today the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came down…Continue Reading

Catholic Educators Appeal to Obama Administration for Relief from HHS Mandate

Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule mandating insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing…Continue Reading

Toronto schools hosting ‘LGBTQ’ conference for students as young as 11

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is hosting three student conferences within the span of eight days for the purpose of LGBTQ activism.  The conferences, which have been organized in collaboration with Jer’s Vision, will take place on October 28,…Continue Reading

The Synod and the Media: Culpable Naïveté or Shrewd Calculation?

Upon becoming director of media relations for the American bishops in late 1969, I quickly made a crucial discovery about my new employers. With just a handful of exceptions, the bishops were painfully naïve about the news business, yet convinced…Continue Reading

Chaldean Catholic patriarch suspends 10 priests, including 1 from El Cajon

SAN DIEGO – The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has suspended 10 priests, including one from El Cajon. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako issued a decree a month ago, demanding the priests return to Iraq or be suspended. Wednesday…Continue Reading

Retired Pope Says Interreligious Dialogue No Substitute For Mission

VATICAN CITY – Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the true motivation…Continue Reading

California Forces Churches to Directly Fund Abortions, Churches Refuse to Comply

To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical…Continue Reading

Relax. God’s Still In Charge.

It’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families. Behind every arcane discussion of gradualism and natural law there are parents and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” Is “A Significant Improvement Over The Text Of The ‘Relatio Post Disceptationem'”

In a third short interview with CWR, conducted by e-mail late yesterday, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, offers his impression of the Relatio Synodi, comments on reports that the Synod has…Continue Reading

Synod Final Document Reaffirms Church Teaching

The final document of the Extraordinary Synod was released Saturday as the Synod Fathers voted to approve all 62 paragraphs, but with three paragraphs not receiving the normally required two-thirds majority vote. The three paragraphs, which in the past would…Continue Reading

Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Writes Personal Ordinariate Of Our Lady Of Walsingham

ben1

(Vatican Radio) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has sent a message to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established for former Anglicans in England in 2011.  The message was on the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which was released on November 4th 2009. The Pope Emeritus was responding to a letter he received…Continue Reading

Pope At Audience: The Church Visible And Spiritual

pope650

(Vatican Radio)  “Often, we hear people say: the Church doesn’t do this …the Church doesn’t do that!’ ‘Tell me who is the Church? – ‘Well the Church is the priests, the bishops, the Pope …’ We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’”. This was the message at…Continue Reading

Pope At Angelus: Love Of God And Neighbour Are Inseparable

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father offered some reflections on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from Gospel…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Called To Be Children Of Light

(Vatican Radio) At morning Mass on Monday Pope Francis said that a conscientious examination of our words will help us understand whether we are Christians of light, Christians of darkness or Christians of grey areas. Reflecting on the First Reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Pope said men are recognizable by their words. By inviting Christians to…Continue Reading

Pass-Fail Grading: For The Professors’ Benefit?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK S.M. writes to offer some observations about the proposal to introduce a “pass-fail” grading system for freshmen at Princeton University. The possibility of doing that was discussed in the October 9 edition of First Teachers. He sees the idea as a “form of grade inflation that is solely intended to accomplish…Continue Reading

Contemporary Culture Encapsulated In A Single Sentence

By DONALD DeMARCO It is remarkable how much a single sentence can reveal about the temper of a culture, even when its author is trying to be withholding. Jacalyn Duffin, a historian and practicing hematologist, is the author of History of Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2000). It is a 243-page tome that was produced…Continue Reading

Synod Document Of October 13, 2014

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of…Continue Reading

Elite Judges Think The Highest Judge Never Will End Their Misrule

By DEXTER DUGGAN Today people worry about globe-trotting terrorists, the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, and the way contagions can cross borders when the government insists borders must be open for everyone’s alleged benefit. Meanwhile, unaccountable U.S. judges continue their contagion of immorality, as if God’s judgment never will come, maybe in little germs,…Continue Reading

Chilling Free Speech

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Temples Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Dedication Of St. John Lateran In Rome Readings: Ezek. 47:1-2, 8-9, 12 1 Cor. 3:9c-11, 16-17 John 2:13-22 Today we celebrate the feast of the dedication of a church building that many people have never heard of and also have no idea of its significance. In Rome, there are four major basilicas; the…Continue Reading

Message Of The Extraordinary Synod Of Bishops . . . We Ask You To Walk With Us Toward The Next Synod

(Editor’s Note: Below is the text of the concluding message of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, held October 5-19. This message was released on October 18. (See Fr. Kevin M. Cusick’s column in this issue, p. 2B, and the front page for reporting and commentary on the separate final document of the Extraordinary Synod.) + + +…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Redefining Marriage: Not About The Kids And The Picket Fence

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Following the Extraordinary Synod and the rollback on confusing language about same-sex attraction and the divorced and remarried in the final version of the Relatio Synodi document, the predictable reactions are coming in. Those who continue to hold Church teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman are labeled as “bigots,” while…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… True Tradition And False “Tradition”

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 A classical objection: What Catholics call the “Apostolic Tradition” is just a human tradition, which Jesus clearly condemned in the Gospel, when He said to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?…So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the…Continue Reading

Public Revelation Vs. Private Revelation

By DON FIER Our previous installment ended by citing a pair of remarkable verses from the Letter to the Hebrews, verses that concisely summarize God’s divine pedagogy, His master plan of divine Revelation: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by a…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Wolfgang

By CAROLE BRESLIN October 31 has come to be yet another Christian holy day corrupted by our secular society. All Hallows Eve, Halloween, is now celebrated with emphasis on evil and horror. Corn mazes with frightening objects around the corner, haunted houses to terrify even the bravest of persons, glorification of vampires, and decorations of death and witches — these…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Mary Claret

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anthony Mary Claret has something in common with at least three other saints. Like St. Peter Claver, he was born in northeastern Spain — over 200 years later. Like St. Pio of Pietrelcina, when he heard Confessions, he frequently could read the souls of the penitents, asking them about a sin that they had not confessed.…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading