Fr. Michael Giesler

Contracepting America: the real war on women

Fr. Michael Giesler
By Fr. Michael Giesler
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June 18, 2012 (Mercatornet.com) - Last month dozens of Catholic institutions in the United States filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, challenging the constitutionality of its contraception mandate. There can be little doubt that requiring employers to provide a drug that violates their conscience is against the First Amendment. It violates one of the main reasons for the founding of our country: religious freedom.

But the underlying problem is far deeper than a constitutional or historical issue. The fact is that the federal government has absolutely no right to mandate a drug that is really not a health benefit for anyone, but a health danger—for the woman, and certainly for the little human life inside of her.

The truth is that the contraceptive pill actually alters a human organ and destroys its natural function within the reproductive system of a woman. It is completely different from cancer treatment, or medicines for bodily diseases. It is not medicinal, or health-giving. Other drugs exist to restore or strengthen the organs of the body, or eliminate a toxic element. Not so the contraceptive pill.

Though in the past contraceptives were prescribed for regularizing women’s cycles or other purposes, there are now other medicines available which are just as effective. Certainly some women, for good reasons, may wish to avoid pregnancy. But there are natural and far safer ways to do this today than using contraceptives.

It’s a medical reality that many contraceptives carry serious health risks for women, including hormonal imbalance, future sterility, high blood pressure, depression, and cancer. Even worse: if the pill does not prevent conception, it aborts any developing human life by hardening the uterine wall.

That makes it a killer as well.

The real problem occurs when people (both women and men) consider pregnancy itself to be a disease, particularly if it is unwanted. Though health issues may be involved, pregnancy is not a disease, and to consider it as such is a very deformed and frightening way of thinking.

In light of the above, how can it possibly be construed that contraception is a “preventive service for women” or a health benefit to be guaranteed by insurance policies? The real answer is that contraceptives should not be included in any insurance policy; they only harm women.

But the issue goes still deeper. The pill has been undermining our families and society since its widespread introduction in the 1960’s, and even earlier.  By separating the use of sex from its natural purpose—the union of male and female within marriage, open to love and open to life—our country has been poisoned, and continues to be so. When sex is pursued only for pleasure, separating it from its unitive and procreative nature—men and women are deeply hurt, both psychologically and often physically.

As Pope John Paul II stated in his document on the family, writing for everyone, Catholics or not, contraception is really a falsification of love between a man and a woman. It is not a complete gift of oneself to the other, the union in one flesh. It is really a kind of holding back (see no. 32 of his Apostolic Exhortation on the Family, 1981). Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) prophetically stated that contraception would have disastrous effects for all of society. His words have come true in our country and in much of the world.

By seeking only the pleasure of sex without its natural consequence, a deadly mentality has permeated American life. And the victims have mostly been women: their dignity and their freedom have been manipulated, now that sex is meant only for pleasure. It’s a win-win situation for the selfish male. It’s a no-win situation for the female, since she is left with the serious health risks that the pill gives, and if she does get pregnant, she is left with the awful temptation to abort her baby.

I doubt that any woman, deep in her heart, believes that the pill is somehow “liberating” her.

It is true that the male contraceptive—so far, only the condom (no large doses of synthetic hormones for men, despite much talk)—usually does not have any harmful health consequences for the man. Its worst consequence is the negative effect it has upon his character and manhood. In a great many cases condoms only increase a man’s lust and irresponsibility.

With the 1960s sexual revolt (a more accurate word than revolution), fornication became rampant among young people, and continues to be so on many college campuses today. It has produced a mentality of “me first” among young people, a lot of sexual manipulation, and many diseases. Statistics also show that cohabitating couples have a reduced chance of entering and maintaining a stable marital relationship.

And within marriage itself, it’s hard to imagine how the pill or the condom can really help couples in their relationship. Besides preventing them from sharing marital love in a complete and natural way, contraceptives set up psychological barriers of selfishness and withdrawal between husband and wife. The huge increase of divorces and marital alienation in the U.S. over the past fifty years is in direct proportion to the use of contraceptives in marriage. This is perfectly logical, since contraceptive sex is really a form of mutual masturbation, and does not produce true unity between the spouses.

But the widespread use of contraceptives has done even more damage. It has gotten to the point of legitimizing sexual relations between persons of the same sex. Since sex is considered something for pleasure only, eliminating any possibility of having children, why shouldn’t gay men and lesbians be allowed to have a pleasure similar to that which contracepting couples experience? Logically, you could argue—as the gay lobby has successfully done and convinced many people—that gay sex and gay marriage are human rights, and that it is discrimination to deny them the same rights as heterosexual couples have.

Even in economic terms, the price of contraception has been devastating to this country: diseases that have cost billions of dollars, millions of divorces and broken homes with very traumatic effects on children, millions of lives destroyed through legalized abortion—which underwrites the anti-child nature of contraception. In strictly financial terms, the effect of so many children being eliminated has deeply crippled the U.S. economy, as well as the economy of Europe where contraception is also widely used.

One need not be a brilliant economist to realize that without young people there are neither consumers, nor a growing work force. The economy becomes stagnant, or must rely on foreign workers instead. We are left with an aging population that has fewer and fewer young people to support it, or to pay for its own social security.

A little known fact, rarely reported in the media, is the negative effect that contraceptive waste is having on the environment. The earth’s water is being continually contaminated by the huge amount of pill-produced estrogen through the excretions of millions of women. It has affected the life of marine animals, and of course, the life and health of human beings who drink water that has been contaminated.

All of this has amounted to one fact, and the title of this brief article: Contracepting America. You can see why the Catholic Church is opposed to contraception. Every right-thinking person with a conscience, Catholics or not, should know that it is a poison, both physical and spiritual.

The real freedom is to be rid of it.

Father Mike Giesler is a priest in Saint Louis, Missouri. This article reprinted with permission from Mercatornet.com.

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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