Behind our choices
The election on Nov. 6, and subsequent news coverage “County Votes Left of State,” bring up some important trends for considerate people.
We have a changing situation in America, where people who once had freedom of religion and association must now pay for contraception for everyone as if it were a right, even when consciences are violated. Priests and Religious Brothers and Sisters must now use their financial means to fund something condemned by the 2,000-year-old Catholic faith. This is a state of oppression worthy of a socialist dictator.
At the other end of life, we have barely avoided the life-rejecting Question 2, which would have allowed some unfortunate people to petition a doctor for a 100 pain pills to go home and kill themselves. Medicine is a profession — it professes something. In the words of the ancient Hippocratic oath, “I will not counsel death; similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to induce abortion.” This would have been an unprofessional violation of the healing art.
Where is this place where we now live and where we are now going, this “Left of State.”
It seems we are tying ourselves together on a certain basis of imperfectly shared beliefs. This tying together was termed in ancient philosophy, “religion.” As the vociferous commentator Ann Coulter has noted, liberalism is a religion. What she finds in this religion are two sacraments: sex and death. She notes an over-arching belief system: evolution. I would note that evolution is a theory, not a fact. Yet many ravenously hunger to have it declared a fact prematurely.
This belief system has consequences. They are: that the most intimate moment of a man and a woman becomes, as a norm, a place for two people to use each other as things; that deep in a woman is a womb, a chamber where death may be dealt; that the best sport for most is sex; that the heart is wasted sentiment worthy of no attention; where the full openness to the sex act closes off human friendships; that all pain can be avoided by substances and higher volume stimulation; and last, but not least, when the existence sport sacrament is exhausted, the answer is gift of a hundred pills from a government-imposed affordable “health care” plan — the final sacrament and solution.
Ah, but there is another way of binding together. It is called “off to the side”; in Greek, ekklesia. It is the gathering of anyone and everyone who wants to live life fully and rightly, and so, for its complete openness, it is described as “according to the whole,” in Greek, “kata holos,” “katholos.”
In this body of people, beliefs have consequences. That 400-year-old invented monster called “sex” dies, and the word “lust,” appears on its tombstone. Then, the design of creation from the very beginning re-appears as “marital relations.” This is love. That deep in a woman is a sacred temple reserved for life. Where classrooms get bigger and the sports page gets slimmer. Where hearts are open to each other in that space of complete generosity called marriage, and where no part of the heart is too small or painful for the all-gracious Lover of Mankind. Where friendships flourish in sensitive tenderness. Where, when people are dying, Mother Teresa shows us how they are to be embraced; they are the tabernacle of Divine, awaiting a close at hand, just completion. Where a “who” is a who no matter how small, no matter how wounded.
You are worth more than a hundred pills.
You have a choice in this changing world as to how you will bind yourself to others. One choice is unchanging.
So the next time we go to vote, we would do well to stop snapping our gum long enough to listen to wisdom in order to understand what lies beneath our choices.
Is it any wonder that the late, great Blessed John Paul II called the place we live and roll toward a “culture of death?” Come out of this way of binding to others, this “culture” — she is vile.
Bind yourself to others in the light of the wisdom of reason and revelation. In this light, we find life — life to the fullest. And the darkness cannot overcome it.
Fr. Robert E. Markovitch, MD, is with Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit in South Deerfield.