I was in need of some spiritual guidance today in mass. Somewhere along the way these past few months I've let grow within me some apparent childish mid-life crisis, and in recent weeks have been a public ass to people at work, friends I've known for more than a decade, members of my family, and people who visit my other blog.
I prayed for peace and guidance and, most importantly, forgiveness, acknowledging to God that I need to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking. Imagine my shock when, listening, I heard the lector ask me, along with the rest of the Parish, "to pray that Congress passes much needed health care reform legislation ..."
Needless to say, having protested against health care deform since spring, I walked out, shaking with anger. Guidance like that will get you tied to the government yoke quicker than you can say hope and change and be coaxed into electing a narcissist. Read Atlas Shrugged, if you think I'm being over-the-top. You might recognize quite a few things that have already happened in the world, and will continue to happen, like this.
The Church has been all over the map on health deform, with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops first having issued a declaration of support for the House bill in August 2009 and then declaring they did not support the Senate bill in November. The issue the Church is most concerned with, obviously, is abortion, as the House bill provides an amendment that will prohibit federal funding for abortions (but there's no guarantee it will survive the final version of whatever legislation the House and Senate eventually agree on, if they ever do), while the Senate bill does not prohibit such funding.
But, as the American Thinker pointed out near summer's end, the bishops have failed to address one of the largest issues, alive in both bills, that clearly has been a driving force of fervent opposition among millions of Americans: the rationing, and in essence, denial, of care, the singling out of the elderly and the infirm as groups of people who will receive less care under government health deform for the greater good of the young and healthy. So, therefore, the Church is okay with denying care, and we all know what denial of care leads to, death. What's a word for government sanctioned death? Euthanasia. You know, like this.
Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.
Today I found a letter Catholic bishops sent to Congresscriminals and Obama last week (which explains why I was asked today "to pray" for health deform to get through Congress), in which they specifically request that health deform (still NOT addressing the issue of rationing):
- Ensures access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all
- Retains longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protects conscience rights
- Protects the access to health care that immigrants currently have and removes current barriers to access
I can completely agree with the second bullet point, having held each of my newborns in my hands and knowing I could never sanction their abortion, but that's as far as I can go. I can no longer support a faith that would:
- Have my government tax me to provide coverage for others (how the hell else are we going to pay for it?), effectively telling me that it is no longer my spiritual requirement to be charitable to others but instead my duty to the state to share my wealth on behalf of those who do not have what I may have (or, to put it more precisely, via Karl Marx,"from each according to his ability, to each according to his need")
- Have "health care for all" but not specifically address rationing for the elderly and infirm
- Have access to health coverage for illegal immigrants who do not belong here and should not have any access whatsoever to government programs that Congresscriminals can't even effectively fund for legal American citizens. Naturally it's quite interesting which is the fastest growing group of people in the U.S. Catholic Church: Hispanics.
Clearly the Roman Catholic Church is much more concerned with surviving by playing politics than through caring for souls; its hospitals do, after all, account for 15.5% of U.S. hospital admissions.
I spared my poor wife the embarrassment of me officially writing the letter I wanted to put in the correspondence box, hanging outside the Parish Office, so apparently I'm learning to be charitable to others, so that I don't ruin their standing in the social community of the Church.
But that's as charitable as I'm going to be to the Catholic Church for the rest of my life, and I'll now apparently have to seek peace and salvation elsewhere. I certainly don't want to get my politics there.