Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekly update from CCM

Dear Students,

Please take a look at this week's schedule for some great opportunities!

You don't want to miss supper with us at the Center tomorrow at 6:30.  Our resident dual-citizen, Sarah, will be preparing traditional British style fish n' chips for us to enjoy.  And after dinner, we will be joined by a special guest.  Dr. David Dorondo is known to many of you as a professor of history here at WCU.  What some of you may not know is that he is also a Benedictine Oblate (a lay person attached to the monastic order of St. Benedict).  He will be speaking with us about St. Benedict and the order he founded back in the early 6th century, which is still going strong today.  Come join us!

Please come join us for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at our chapel from 4 to 5pm on Friday.  We can pray in solidarity with our bishop, who will be leading the annual Lenten Pilgrimage at Belmont Abbey this Friday evening.  Eucharistic Adoration is a wonderful form of prayer, especially appropriate to help prepare us for the great celebration of our Lord's Resurrection at Easter.

This Sunday is the 5th Sunday of Lent, and the last Sunday we will have Mass here on campus before Spring Break and Easter.  So please don't miss it.  Mass is at 7:30pm, and you are most welcome to come early and join us in praying the Rosary together at 7:00pm.

Is contraception "health care?"  No, it's not, according to Jacqueline Harvey, a bioethics and public policy scholar from Texas, who recently blogged about the subject.  Ms. Harvey suffers from endometriosis, one of the diseases that is typically "treated" by hormonal birth control pills.  Her's is an interesting story to read.  She is one of the very people that the recent HHS mandate is supposed to be helping - and her answer is a clear, "No, thank you!"  She writes, "It baffles me that it is self-proclaimed feminists who are indignant about not getting free contraception somehow fail to see that women with real health problems are being woefully neglected."  

I had the misfortune of hearing some of these "self proclaimed feminists" on the radio yesterday afternoon on my drive back from Charlotte.  It was a call-in show and the topic was "women's health."  But instead of health issues, the only subjects I heard discussed were contraception and abortion.  And the women who called in were indignant.  They expressed great fear and anxiety that their "right to birth control" was being taken away.  And they spent quite some time pondering why in the world "conservatives" would choose to make birth control an issue in this election season.  

Of course, the ones making this an issue are those in the current administration who decided to require all employers who provide insurance benefits to cover contraception (including those which cause abortions) and sterilization, and make no exception for religious organizations who believe such things are immoral.  Those standing up for the rights of Catholic (and non-Catholic) employers to have the freedom not to pay for something their Church teaches is sinful are not denying anyone's "right" to anything - they are standing up for the rights of conscience and religious freedom.

But the people calling in to this show clearly felt under attack, and were rather mystified as to the reasons.  As I listened, the topic turned to abortion "rights."  One caller complained, with great anger in her voice, that her state had recently enacted a law that required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound.  Listen to her words.  "The child... the mother, will be forced to sign a paper saying she has seen... what the ultrasound shows...  before she can have an abortion."  

The ellipses above are not where I edited any comments out.  They are there to show her pauses.  Note that she began, quite accidentally, by letting slip what this issue is really all about - "the child."  Then she stopped short and corrected herself, and instead said, "the mother," referring to the woman seeking an abortion.  But even that term speaks to the truth of the matter, for one cannot be a mother without a child.  It is implicit in the word itself.  And notice her pause before she said what, exactly, the woman is "being forced" to see.  She says only, "what the ultrasound shows."  But everyone knows exactly what that ultrasound will show.  It will show the child whose life the mother is deciding whether to terminate.  

When a mother-to-be comes home from the doctor with ultrasound pictures, no one asks her, "Do you have any pictures of what the ultrasound shows?"  No, they say, "Do you have pictures of the baby?"  The only way that supporters of abortion can make it sound at all reasonable is to remove all mention of the baby.  But people, thankfully, are seeing past this facade.  

One of the women on this radio show said she was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Feminism: the radical idea that women are people."  She expressed confusion at the number of women she meets who do not like that t-shirt.  No doubt these are women who are tired of being accused of not being in solidarity with their gender because they cannot support abortion, and think that contraception is not only sinful, but actually harmful to women.  Suggesting that these women (and the men who agree with them) somehow see women as less than people is frankly insulting.

I'm thinking of getting a t-shirt printed up that says, "Pro-Life: the radical idea that babies are people."  Half of these babies, of course, are female.  Do these women not have a voice?

If you are a young woman and don't think that pro-abortion and pro-contraception women speak for you, I encourage you to click the link below:

Read the short article, written by two women lawyers, and if you agree, add your signature to the more than 20,000 already there.  It is interesting scanning through the signatures to read how many are nurses, doctors, or other health care providers, all of whom think this HHS mandate is an affront to their moral and ethical values.  These are strong, educated, professional women who are fully capable of speaking for themselves.  God bless them!

And God bless all of you!  

WCU Catholic Campus Ministry
Matthew Newsome, MTh, campus minister
(828)293-9374  |   POB 2766, Cullowhee NC 28723

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