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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

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