Tuesday 24th May 2016

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

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges

At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian,…Continue Reading

Serving LGBT Students in Catholic Schools

April 28, 2016, at 9:03 AM  |  By Dan Guernsey  |  Opinion How do Catholic schools best serve students who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (popularly called “transgendered”)? What should a school’s policies prescribe in order to prevent…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 su
bscribe 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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Christians live God’s love with joy, astonishment

(Vatican Radio) No Christian can exist without joy: that’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse. The Pope stressed that even through life’s difficulties, the Christian knows he can trust in Jesus and find hope. The Pope also reminded the faithful they should not allow riches to dominate their lives because they ultimately lead to sadness. Christians live in joy and amazement because…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: The Holy Trinity, where there is love there is God

(Vatican Radio) “The feast of the Holy Trinity invites us to engage in the daily events to be the leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy.” Those were Pope Francis’ words during his Angelus address on a sunny Trinity Sunday from his studio above St Peter’s Square. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of St. John, the Pope said that Jesus knew how to be close to the realization of the Father’s plan, which will…Continue Reading

Pope emeritus: Third Secret of Fatima was released in full

popeben

(Vatican Radio) Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said he never told anyone the publication of the “Third Secret of Fatima” in the year 2000 was incomplete, and confirmed the document was published in its totality. A Communiqué was published Saturday by the Holy See Press Office on various articles regarding the “Third Secret of Fatima.” “ Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Professor Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the…Continue Reading

Pope: Understanding for sinners, no negotiating the truth

(Vatican Radio) Announcing the word of God should never be dissociated from the understanding of human weakness. That was Pope Francis’ message during the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. Commenting on the Gospel passage in which Christ speaks with the Pharisees about adultery, he said the Lord overcomes the human vision which would reduce the vision of God to a casuistic equation. The Gospel, the Pope said, is full of examples of the…Continue Reading

Pope: the rich who exploit the poor are bloodsuckers

(Vatican Radio) Exploiting the working people to enrich oneself is like sucking blood; it’s a mortal sin. That was the message of Pope Francis during the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The rich who suck the blood of the poor The day’s first reading, taken from the Letter of Saint James, is a forceful warning to the rich who accumulate wealth by exploiting the people. “Riches in themselves are good,” the Pope explained,…Continue Reading

Eastern Orthodoxy And The Particular Judgment

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In previous articles (The Wanderer, July 3, 2014; June 25, 2015), it was observed that: “Perhaps to the surprise of some Catholic ecumenists, Catholic doctrine regarding the Particular Judgment remains obscure, confused, or even denied among the Eastern Orthodox. They have no clear official teaching that the just go to Heaven immediately…Continue Reading

Obama To Visit The Land Of State-Owned Enterprises

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam, which his own State Department last month certified is still controlled — four decades after the fall of Saigon — by the Communist Party.…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Why Should Pro-Lifers Be Concerned About Dissent?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +…Continue Reading

Sharpening The Mind With Words

By DONALD DeMARCO My biology teacher of many moons ago took perverse delight in terrorizing his students while they were taking an exam. “Plagiarism,” he would bellow, “is arousing the suspicion of the proctor.” He enjoyed the sound of his own voice and repeated this warning many times. He intended it to be more intimidating…Continue Reading

Jesuit Higher Education

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Jesuit universities have been the topic of criticism several times in this column over the years. We don’t apologize for that. Odds are that when you hear about a performance of The Vagina Monologues, an honorary degree being awarded to a pro-abortion politician, or campus activities led by LGBTQ groups, it…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Exercises

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The way the human body physically works can teach us something about virtue and the way God’s grace works spiritually for each of us: We must use it to grow it. As I reminded our Life Teens and their families at Mass recently, if they slack off on physical exercise during the summer, come fall…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 After investigating the Inquisition, now we take a good look at the greatest marvel on this side of eternity: the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. To rule a country is not an easy job. That is why no head of state these days can…Continue Reading

The Seven Sacraments — Categories And Effects

By DON FIER Each of the seven sacraments, according to the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, was personally instituted by Christ during His visible stay on Earth. As we saw last week, the details of institution for some — even the precise words for administration — are taken directly from Scripture. However, as Christoph Cardinal Schönborn states in Living…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What is the official standing of Fr. Nicholas Gruner, who believed that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary had not been done properly? He was known as “the Fatima priest,” but I always thought that title belonged to Fr. Robert Fox. — M.S., Kentucky. A. Fr. Gruner died at the age of 72 on April…Continue Reading

Brought Together In The One Sacrifice

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Corpus Christi (YR C) Readings: Gen. 14:18-20 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Luke 9:11b-17 In the first reading today we hear about Melchizedek who is the Priest of God Most High and the King of Salem. The town of Salem became known as Jerusalem after Abraham brought Isaac to that place in obedience to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Crispin Of Viterbo

By CAROLE BRESLIN In March 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vine (Oak) located in Tuscany, Italy, to proclaim our Lady patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo. The tradition of visiting the image of Our Lady of the Oak began 600 years ago in 1417 when Mastro Baptist Magnano Iuzzante commissioned an image…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading