Tuesday 27th January 2015

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:

Notre Dame theologian known for books, liberal stands, dies

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Richard McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theologian known for his unabashed liberal stands on various church teachings and his popular books on Catholicism, died Sunday in his native Connecticut, according to the…Continue Reading

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

As president of an inner-city Catholic grade school that depends critically on donations, Helen Dahlman admits to an unconventional fundraising strategy. “We believe in miracles, so we pray a lot,” said Dahlman, who leads Risen Christ School in south Minneapolis,…Continue Reading

Cardinal: No pro-life victory without reaching the marginalized

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston…Continue Reading

70 Churches Destroyed in ‘Anti-Charlie Hebdo’ Protests

The Christian community in Niger says it is in shock in the wake of weekend violence that has claimed the lives of 10 people and led to the destruction of dozens of places of worship and Christian homes. The protest,…Continue Reading

ITALY: Muslims smash, urinate on statue of Mary

A man was kneeling in prayer before the statue of the revered Madonna, with the photograph of a loved one in hand, in the small chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia (Italy), when he was attacked by five “immigrants.” The…Continue Reading

At new in-flight press conference Francis says good Catholics are not required ‘to be like rabbits’

Catholics fail to practise “responsible parenthood” when they have too many children, Pope Francis has said during an in-flight press conference on the way home from Manila. He also denounced the teaching of “gender theory” in schools, likening it to…Continue Reading

CRUX’s “spirituality columnist” is “devastated” the Pope upholds Catholic teaching

Margery Eagan appears to be angling for a job as editor of National “Catholic” Reporter. Or perhaps spokesman for the LCWR: The news that Pope Francis has strongly defended the Church’s ban on artificial birth control left me, in a word, devastated. Goodness. Even…Continue Reading

St. Paul-Mpls. archdiocese declares bankruptcy in response to abuse lawsuits

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, saying it cannot meet its financial obligations from an unprecedented wave of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese…Continue Reading

Pope Francis strongly defends church teaching against contraception

Pope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.” Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued…Continue Reading

Bella Dodd, who rejected Communism in favour of faith, is a lesson for young jihadis

Her story shows how easily the best human impulses can be twisted to evil Having blogged last week about John Beaumont’s book, The Mississippi Flows Into The Tiber, with all the extraordinary, uplifting and grace-filled stories of conversion that it…Continue Reading

Fox News’ Bret Baier, actor Gary Sinise cancel on Catholic group after gay gripes

FOX News Channel’s chief political anchor, Bret Baier, has shown himself to have a thinner skin than might be guessed from his on-air persona.  Baier has caved in to pressure from the homosexual activist group ‘Good as You’ to back…Continue Reading

Federal judge strikes down South Dakota’s gay marriage ban

SIOUX FALLS – A federal judge has declared South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but has stayed the decision pending appeal. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier on Monday issued a summary judgment in favor of the six couples who filed…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

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

Today . . .

Pope’s Morning Homily: Obeying God’s Will is the Path to Holiness

Rome, January 27, 2015 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves Obedience to the will of God is the path of holiness. This was the main theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Today’s first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews explained that the sacrifices of old were not enough “for it is impossible that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Women First And Foremost In Transmitting Faith

pope714

(Vatican Radio) The primary and indispensable role of women in transmitting the faith to new generations: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. On the day when the Church celebrates the memory of Saints…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: Jesus Wanted United Christians

(Vatican Radio) On Sunday and before the Angelus, the Pope recalled the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and its theme, “Give me a drink”, the sentence uttered by Jesus to the Samaritan woman. He told the faithful gathered that the “desire for unity” of the disciples of Jesus is part of our “thirst not only material for water, but…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Religious who pray for Christian unity an “invisible monastery”

(Vatican Radio) The vital role that men and women religious of different Christian Churches play in the ecumenical journey was at the heart of Pope Francis’s meeting on Saturday with participants in a conference on consecrated life and the search for Christian Unity. The three day meeting, which concludes on Sunday, comes in the context of both this Week of…Continue Reading

Obama’s Tax On Stay-At-Home Moms

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Obama’s disrespect for motherhood has manifested itself in policies ranging from support for same-sex marriage to defense of a form of abortion that involves forcing a baby into a drug-induced premature delivery and then leaving that little one to die. When it comes to the most vulnerable and innocent human…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s Heroic Witness In Perilous Times

By STEPHANIE BLOCK My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich by Dietrich von Hildebrand. Translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby, Image Books (2014); $28.00; 335 pages. My Battle Against Hitler, a posthumously published memoir and collection of essays by “20th century Doctor…Continue Reading

“I Can’t Breathe”… The Plight Of The Preborn

By REY FLORES (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from www.all.org, the website of American Life League. All rights reserved.) + + + This past year has seen race relations decline as a result of a well-orchestrated attempt by a corrupt government that wants to divide us at all costs. And the propaganda peddlers known…Continue Reading

“Flee Immorality,” Church Unity, & Right To Life March

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 January 18 blog…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Christianity’s Gift To The World

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Siedentop, Larry. Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2014. Pp. viii + 434. Does it still make sense to still talk about the West in what some call a “post-Christian world”? Larry Siedentop, emeritus fellow of Keble College, Oxford, asks, “Can the West still be…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World.. Papal Bloopers And Catholic Teaching

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis continues to grab headlines, not only by setting a new record for drawing the largest crowd in history, but also by his question and answer sessions on the planes to and from his pastoral visits. On the plane to the Philippines, the Pope responded to questions about free speech and violent responses to…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 What did the Early Christians believe about the Catholic doctrine on the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Jesus? Those men, women, and children who sacrificed everything for the true faith — even their very own lives? They were imprisoned, tortured, murdered. Some were burned alive, racked, beheaded. Others were crucified, flayed alive,…Continue Reading

I Believe — We Believe

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we have been reflectively examining the characteristics of the indescribably wonderful gift of faith that Almighty God has so generously availed mankind. As so adeptly summarized in the Compendium of the CCC, we know that faith is “the supernatural virtue which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I remember a nun telling us back in Catholic school that after God ejected Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, He promised that He would eventually send them a Messiah. Where is that in the Bible? — M.R., Indiana. A. In chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis. Actually, the promise was made before God expelled our…Continue Reading

Joy And Fulfillment

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Deut. 18:15-20 1 Cor. 7:32-35 Mark 1:21-28 In the first reading today God makes a promise and a command. He promises that He will raise up for the people a Prophet like Moses. At the same time, He requires that the people will listen to that Prophet because…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Mutien Marie Wiaux

By CAROLE BRESLIN A few decades ago, when Catholic schools taught religion from the Baltimore Catechism, one of the first questions children learned was, “Why did God make you?” The answer was, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” The Catechism…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds our finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading