Man can never obey a law which is in itself immoral, and such is the case of a law which would admit in principle the liceity of abortion. Nor can he take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it. Moreover, he may not collaborate in its application.”
— Declaration on Procured Abortion, § 22
Introduction to Pro Life
God made us his image and likeness Gen 1:26–27. God is sacred, therefore his image and likeness are sacred. God has insisted that we hold human life sacred since he reproached Cain, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground” Gen 4:10. Jewish law calls this principle pikuakh nefesh, “save a life.” It holds the preservation of human life sacred above nearly every other mitzvah.
Rabbi Yeshua elevated pikuakh nefesh from earthly life to eternal life, and taught it to his own shlikhim. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” Jn 10:10. Today the Catholic Church’s whole pro-life outreach is based on this principle. So is the Church’s maxim, § 1789 “One may never do evil so that good may result from it.”
One Body in Christ
God told our first parents, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” Gen 1:28. He wanted the earth to teem with life! So his Fifth Commandment for us was, “You shall not kill” Deut 5:17. And he set before us the true choice:
See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them Deut 30:15–20.
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment Mt 5:21–22.
§ 2258 Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.
The Witness of Sacred History
§ 2259 In the account of Abel’s murder by his brother Cain, Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his fellow man. God declares the wickedness of this fratricide: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
§ 2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of God’s gift of human life and man’s murderous violence:
For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning … Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.
The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life. This teaching remains necessary for all time.
§ 2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: “Do not slay the innocent and the righteous.” The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. the law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.
§ 2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, “You shall not kill,” and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.
Adam and Eve fell for Satan’s temptation, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5. They were cast out of paradise (Gen 3:24), and the spiritual war continued on the earth. As we read the Hebrew Scriptures we see over and over where God’s people Israel struggled but again and again imagined that they were like God and became disobedient.
St. Michael, reflecting God’s glory, was always obedient. Rabbi Yehuda ben Yaakov tells us that, “when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you.’” (Jude 1:9).
Even after Rabbi Yeshua came to open an even greater paradise with His sanctifying grace, Rabbi Marcus‘ Gospel records a great many instances in which He had to exorcise demons from men. Even many Catholics, who have God’s magnificent gift of baptism, (§ 1213–1284), cast it aside and became sinful.
Our Father told us:
“See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it” Deut 30:15–16.
“But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess” Deut 30:17–18.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” Deut 30:19–20.
Satan’s Attack on Life
Rabbi Yeshua told us
“With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” Mt 7:2.
All pornography, not just Internet pornography, is covered here. But the Internet has become by far the most convenient, and therefore the most popular, delivery channel, so it has become the place where we need to avoid even near occasions of sin.
Pornography worldwide is at epidemic levels, so much that huge numbers of men imagine that it’s okay. Its principle effect is to cut us off from God’s influence by suppressing our recognition that we are God’s image Gen 1:27. Without that channel of dignity § 2354 men can see themselves as animals subject to animal passions. C.S. Lewis called it a prison that we come to love. It’s toxic for marriages, damages the human brain, and so much more. Second Exodus wonders whether increased pornography use accounts for the increased use of Viagra among young men because they lose their ability to respond normally.
To see how important this is, recall that Rabbi Yeshua told us that love is the central criterion for entry into heaven. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” Mt 22:37–40.
§ 2354 “Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.”
§ 2352 “By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action. The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose. For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved. To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” Mt 5:27–30.
In this Rabbi Yeshua was clearly reflecting Jewish law from the Oral Torah. The Jewish Virtual Library article on “Kosher” Sex says of masturbation, “In fact, the prohibition is so strict that one passage in the Talmud states, ‘in the case of a man, the hand that reaches below the navel should be chopped off’” (Niddah 13a).
What’s Going On
Why does Rabbi Yeshua so emphasize chastity? Look at the big picture. Our Father wanted us to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” Gen 1:28. He created men to react instantly to an attractive and available woman. Impregnating a woman doesn’t take very long, so he could take care of all the women in his immediate area. He had at the same time given Woman a great love for children so they would welcome their visitors, but also created Woman as ezer kenegdo to help their husbands stay focused on God as their Father.
Satan saw that this arrangement was working well, and arranged the first recorded distraction. “When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose” Gen 6:1–2. The “sons of God” were Seth’s line Gen 4:26. The “daughters of men” were the women of Cain’s evil line Gen 4:23.
Why did the good men of Seth’s line not continue to marry within their own tribe? We may speculate that, while healthy women adorn themselves to attract only their own husbands, damaged women adorn themselves to attract any man who might happen along. Seth’s line, the nephilim, were mighty men. We may speculate that the women of Cain’s line, perhaps goaded by Satan, found them attractive and made themselves available. Immediately after that, God resolved to send the great flood.
Pornography follows the same satanic principle, distracting men’s attention from the women who love them and long to be ezer kenegdo for them, to fantasy women who satisfy their every wish any time of the day or night and ask nothing in return. Some practical help for men trapped in this satanic spiderweb, and for their wives, appears in Why Porn and Marriage Don’t Mix.
Second Exodus reminds only that the Internet is filled with pictures of attractive women dressed for elegant modesty, attractive women attractively dressed, attractive women provocatively dressed, attractive women scantily dressed, and, other women. Every man naturally enjoys seeing attractive women, but gentlemen, be careful not to cross the line into near occasions of sin. Across that line lies spiritual death.
§ 2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
Rabbi Yeshua holds all forms of non-marital sexual activity sinful, and extends his prohibition to the Ninth Commandment. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Mt 5:27–28.
St. Paul told us the consequences of unrepented fornication. “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” Gal 5:19–21.
Fornication has become a very frequent sin in our time, so much that some priests are reluctant to mention it in their homilies. Priests who do this usually explain that if they do they will drive out of the Church some parishioners who very much need her constant exhortations. Rabbi Yeshua, a priest in the line of Melchizedek Heb 5:10, preached a much harder saying: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” Jn 6:53–54. “After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” Jn 6:66.
Rabbi Yeshua is the model for all priests. Father Don Calloway, in Under the Mantle, explains (p. 160): “Priests are soldiers, knights, and warriors. They share in the manly mission of Jesus Christ the bridegroom. Jesus is the bridegroom of the Church. Souls are spiritually espoused to him, and those souls are under attack. The role of a priest of Jesus Christ is to man-up. In the proverbial sense, it means to take up the weapons of war, put on armor, and go face-to-face with the enemy. Jesus will provide for all that the priest needs to fulfill his mission: the weapons, the armor, and the unconquerable battle Queen. Jesus himself is the warrior-King, and he knows what is needed to conquer the enemy.”
The spiritual war in our time is blazing hot, and only a priest who shares in the manly mission of Rabbi Yeshua will “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” Eph 6:11.
Priests share in our fallen nature, so sometimes we hear them say that sexual relations are okay in a “relationship of love.” Church authority always supersedes the authority of a particular priest who is not in full union with her teaching. The Catholic Church directly refutes this argument in Persona Humana § 7, “Today there are many who vindicate the right to sexual union before marriage, at least in those cases where a firm intention to marry and an affection which is already in some way conjugal in the psychology of the subjects require this completion, which they judge to be connatural. This is especially the case when the celebration of the marriage is impeded by circumstances or when this intimate relationship seems necessary in order for love to be preserved. This opinion is contrary to Christian doctrine, which states that every genital act must be within the framework of marriage.”
God’s law of premarital unchastity was much more focused on the woman than the man. God made women ezer kenegdo, stronger against sin than men to help protect us men from our fallen propensity to sin. We may speculate that he did this because Rabbi Yeshua willed to enter into the world through an entirely pure vessel full of grace whom he calls woman, Gen 3:15; Is 7:14; Jn 2:4; Jn 19:26; Rev 12:1.
The Hebrew word for womb is rekhem, a place of mercy. Rabbi Yeshua, completing the Ordinance Forever for us in the New and Eternal Covenant, is the image of divine mercy. Although our first parents incurred our Father’s wrath in which he closed paradise to us Gen 3:23–24, Rabbi Yeshua, following the Father’s will, re-opened paradise for us Lev 23:43.
The Law of Seduction
The Torah does not directly regulate the laws of marriage, but they were long established and transmitted orally. A case in point is the Law of Seduction. “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall give the marriage present for her, and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equivalent to the marriage present for virgins” Ex 22:16–17. The Law of Seduction extrapolates from the laws of stolen property to form laws of stolen hearts. Say a man has seduced an unattached virgin. Her father would in ordinary circumstances pay the mohar, bride-price, customarily paid by the prospective husband to compensate the father for the loss of his daughter’s services and potential value to the family.
The mohar was based on the woman’s virgin status on the wedding night. If she had already been deflowered, the husband would lose social status, and therefore the father would forfeit the mohar. This also assumes that the deflowered woman had consented to her premarital seduction.
The Law of Vows and Oaths
The Law of Vows and Oaths appears in Num 30:3–16. This is more complicated, and the Jewish authorities are not in full agreement on it. Second Exodus will therefore simply observe that it might be helpful in cases where the Blessed Virgin Mary’s oath of purity comes under discussion.
Accusations of Premarital Unchastity
“If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and then spurns her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings an evil name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her the tokens of virginity,’ then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the tokens of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate; and the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he spurns her; and lo, he has made shameful charges against her, saying, “I did not find in your daughter the tokens of virginity.” And yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him; and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought an evil name upon a virgin of Israel; and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if the thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has wrought folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you” Deut 22:13–21.
There was a widespread custom, until recent times, that when the bride’s hymen was perforated on her wedding night, the bride’s parents would save the garment or cloth that was spotted with her blood as evidence of her prior virginity. In some cases the cloth was even displayed by the girl’s parents. Their daughter’s reputation, their own reputation, and the mohar all depended on it.
A Practical Response
Sometimes we see young boys tempt their girlfriends to “prove you love me.” Our Lord’s response to temptation gives these young girls their answer: “I love God more than any man. That’s who I am. If you love me, you’ll share my love for God and wait patiently for marriage. If you don’t love the person I really am, we need not see one another again.”
In Shakespeare’s day English was a minor language spoken by a few people on a small island. From that time until very recently, the words fertilization and conception were identical in their meaning and differed only in educated usage. Fertilization was associated with sexuality while conception was associated with the creation of a new immortal soul, but they were essentially interchangeable.
Both fertilization and conception describe the process by which the sperm enters the egg. Sperm deposited in a woman’s vagina swim through the cervix (mouth of the womb), through the uterus and out through her fallopian tubes. At the end of each tube is an ovary. If an ovum (egg) is present, the sperm penetrates the egg, sheds its tail, and moves slowly to the egg’s center as the egg closes, where its 23 chromosomes line up next to the egg’s 23 chromosomes, thus becoming a new cell.
The new cell is a fertilized egg of 46 chromosomes, an entirely new human body! At that moment it is still a single cell, but it is the most complicated cell in the universe! This single cell contains within itself a completely new genetic code, all of the information needed for him or her to develop into a mature adult!
The Catholic Church continues to recognize that human life begins at the moment of fertilization, when God places a human soul in the fertilized egg which is now a tiny child with its own 46-chromosome genetic code, its own identity. The Church has traditionally used the more discreet word conception to describe the act of fertilization. “From the time that an ovum is fertilized a new life begins that is that of neither the father nor the mother. It is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never become human if it were not human already (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, December 5, 1974, § 12).”
Alice von Hildebrand adds:
I’ll tell you my secret. It is incredibly important for parents to make their daughters realize what a great privilege it is to be a woman. There is a sacredness of the female body, for in it, God creates human life.
The husband plays a crucial, yet modest role. He gives the semen to the body of his wife. When the egg is fecundated, something amazing happens. God touches the body of the woman, and gives the life within her a soul. It is a personal connection between God and the woman. She must be conscious of this mystery, and understand its sacredness. And, possessing this sacredness, she should be properly veiled. This is something that has been destroyed in our society: look at how many women are dressed today!
I would also remind girls that the most perfect creature God ever created is a woman, the Blessed Virgin. But this is not something that should make us proud, but humble.
The tiny one-cell child then floats freely through the mother’s fallopian tube toward her womb (uterus is the medical term, womb the more common word). About twelve hours after the sperm entered the egg the first cell division (mitosis) occurs. During the living child’s first week rapid cell division occurs until he or she has millions of cells.
The tiny one-week-old child plants within the lining of his mother’s uterus and burrows into the spongy, nutritive womb wall. Once implanted, the tiny child contacts his mother’s bloodstream and sends a chemical hormonal message to a gland at the base of his mother’s brain to tell his mother’s body that it has a new occupant. This gland sends hormones into the mother’s body prevent her from menstruating.
The Catholic Church often uses the word implant to mean that God implants a new immortal soul in the new child at the very first moment his new genetic code comes into being. So this word implant has two different uses: God implants the new immortal soul at the moment of fertilization, but the medical community uses implant to describe the tiny child’s attachment to his mother’s womb a week later.
The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception … was preserved free from all stain of original sin.” At the moment her mother’s egg had its new genetic code and its own immortal soul, the Blessed Virgin was preserved from all stain of original sin.
The Serpent in the Garden
When the first “birth control pill” appeared during the early 1960s, Catholics warned that it was murder because it prevented the fertilized egg from implanting, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) was eager to help open a new revenue stream for its physicians. In ACOG Terminology Bulletin #1, Sept 1965, it defined conception as occurring at the moment of implantation, ostensibly “because union of sperm and ovum cannot be detected clinically unless implantation occurs.”
The drug companies, also eager to help, began to sell pills that abort the new child’s life by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus lining. The tiny child reaches out for nourishment by trying to attach to the uterus lining, but is unable to attach and soon dies of starvation. The drug facilitates the abortion. These pills are called abortion facilitators, which the drug companies shorten to abortifacient. Because their intended and actual result is an abortion, they are among the most grave sins we can commit.
Since the abortifacient drugs attack the tiny child before uterine implantation, detaching conception from fertilization and attaching it instead to implantation confuses the unwary into imagining that the drug acts before conception, thereby making it look like a contraceptive, not an abortifacient.
The scorching sin objectively remains: God blesses the child with a new immortal soul and new earthly life in preparation for eternal life Jn 10:10, and the woman says to God, non serviam, “No, I will not serve.” Lucifer’s first non serviam started the War in Heaven.
Rabbi Yeshua knows that he implants a new soul in the first moment of fertilization, and he knows whether the mother intended to murder her child. He wills that she go to Confession and seek mercy while there is still time.
Contraception and Sterilization have become so widely used that some priests are unwilling to teach on it in their homilies. Catholics need to know that that the Church has prohibited contraception for 2,000 years and still does today. Yet the Catholic Church Alone still teaches that Contraception is Fatal to the Faith and to Eternal Life.
The Apostolic Tradition
The Sacred Tradition of Apostolic Teaching shows an unbroken line of Catholic Church teaching against contraception:
St. Barnabas Moreover, [Moses] has rightly detested the weasel. For he means, “Thou shalt not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the mouth, on account of their uncleanness; nor shall thou be joined to those impure women who commit iniquity with the mouth” [Letter of Barnabas 10 (c. A.D. 75)].1
St. Clement of Alexandria Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted [Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2 (c. A.D. 197)].2
St. Hippolytus of Rome [W]omen, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs to produce sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by committing adultery and murder at the same time! [Refutation of All Heresies 9:7 (c. A.D. 227)].2
Lactantius But truly parricides complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children; as though, in truth, their means were in the power of those who possess them, or that God did not daily make the rich poor, and the poor rich. If anyone shall be unable to bring up children on account of poverty, it is better to abstain from marriage than with wicked hands to mar the work of God [Divine Institutes 6:20 (c. A.D. 307)].
God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital [“generating”] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring [Divine Institutes 6:23:19].2
Council of Nicaea I If anyone in sickness has been subjected by physicians to a surgical operation, or if he has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy; but, if anyone in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such a one, if [already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and henceforth should not be promoted. But, as this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men the canon admits to the clergy [Canon 1 (A.D. 325)].3
St. John Chrysostom [I]n truth all men know that they who are under the power of this disease are wearied even of their father’s old age; and what is sweet, and universally desirable, the having children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have maimed their nature, not only by slaying their children after birth, but by not suffering them to be born at all [Homilies on Matthew28:5 (c. A.D. 370)].
Since the man who has mutilated himself, in fact, is subject to a curse, as Paul says, “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” And very reasonably. For such a one is venturing on the deeds of murderers, and giving occasion to those who slander God’s creation, and opens the mouths of the Manicheans, and is guilty of the same unlawful acts as those Greeks who mutilate themselves. For to cut off our members is a work of demoniacal agency, and satanic device, that they may bring up a bad report on the work of God, that they may mar this living creature, that imputing all not to the choice but to the nature of our members, the more part of them may sin in security, as being irresponsible; and doubly harm this living creature, both by mutilating the members, and by impeding the free choice on behalf of good deeds [Homilies on Matthew, 62:3].3
St. Augustine of Hippo This proves that you [Manicheans] approve of having a wife, not for the procreation of children, but for the gratification of passion. In marriage, as the marriage law declares, the man and woman come together for the procreation of children. Therefore, whoever makes the procreation of children a greater sin than copulation forbids marriage and makes the woman not a wife but a mistress, who for some gifts presented to her is joined to the man to gratify his passion [Morals of the Manicheans 18:65 (A.D. 388)].4
St. John Chrysostom I beseech you, flee fornication.… Why sow where the ground makes it its job to destroy the fruit? Where there are many efforts at abortion? Where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder, or rather to something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take away the thing born, but prevent its being born. Why then do you abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if it were a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing into slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she will do, heaping upon your head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the cause of it is yours. Hence too come idolatries, since many, with a view to become acceptable, devise incantations, and libations, and love potions, and countless other plans. Yet still after such great unseemliness, after slaughters, after idolatries, the thing seems to belong to things indifferent, and to many who have wives too. The mingle of mischief is the greater, for sorceries are applied not to the womb that is prostituted, but to the injured wife, and there are plottings without number, and invocations of devils, and necromancies, and daily wars, and truce-less fightings, and home-cherished jealousies [Homilies on Romans 24(c. A.D. 391)].
Observe how bitterly [Paul] speaks against their deceivers: … “I would that they that unsettle you would even cut themselves off” [Gal 5:12].… On this account he curses them; and his meaning is as follows—for them I have no concern, “A man that is heretical after the first and second admonition refuse”[Ti 3:10]. If they will, let them not only be circumcised, but mutilated. Where are those who dare to mutilate themselves, seeing that they draw down the apostolic curse, and accuse the workmanship of God, and take part with the Manicheans? [Commentary on Galatians 5:12 (c. A.D. 395)].5
You may see a number of women who are widows before they are wives. Others, indeed, will drink sterility and murder a man not yet born, [and some commit abortion] [Letters22:13 (A.D. 384)].
But I wonder why [Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perhaps even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed [Gn 38:9]. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children? [Against Jovinianus 1:20 (c. A.D. 393)].6
St. Augustine of Hippo
You [Manicheans] make your hearers adulterers of their wives when they take care that the women with whom they copulate do not conceive. They take wives according to the laws of matrimony, by tablets announcing that the marriage is contracted to procreate children; and then, fearing your law [against childbearing] … they copulate in a shameful union only to satisfy lust for their wives. They are unwilling to have children, on whose account alone marriages are made. Why, then, that you do not prohibit marriage, as the apostle predicted of you so long ago [1 Tm 4:1–4], when you try to take from marriage what marriage is? When this is taken away, husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots, bridal chambers are brothels, fathers-in-law are pimps [Reply to Faustus the Manichean 15:7-10 (c. A.D. 400)].
For thus the eternal law, that is, the will of God, Creator of all creatures, taking counsel for the conservation of natural order, permits the delight of mortal flesh to be released from the control of reason in copulation only to propagate progeny, not to serve lust, but to see to the preservation of the race [ibid., 22:30].
For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [children] is alone worthy of marriage. But what goes beyond this necessity no longer follows reason but lust. And yet it pertains to the character of marriage … to yield to the partner unless by fornication the other spouse sins damnably [through adultery].… [T]hey [must] not turn away from them the mercy of God … by changing the natural use into what is against nature, which is more damnable when it is done in the case of husband or wife. For, while that natural use, when it pass beyond the compact of marriage, that is, beyond the necessity of begetting [children], is pardonable in the case of a wife, damnable in the case of a harlot; what is against nature is execrable when done in the case of a harlot, but more execrable in the case of a wife. Of so great power is the ordinance of the Creator, and the order of creation, that … when the man wishes to use a body part of the wife not allowed for this purpose [orally or anally consummated sex], the wife is more shameful, if she suffer it to take place in her own case, than in the case of another woman [Good of Marriage 11-12 (A.D. 401)].
I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility.… Assuredly if both husband and wife are like this, they are not married, and if they were like this from the beginning, they come together [are] not joined in matrimony but in seduction. If both are not like this, either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife [Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17 (c. A.D. 419)].7
The Magisterium has always that Christian faith, as natural law also recognizes, that sexual activity belongs in marriage. Marital relations produces babies which have always been considered blessings. Read your Bible from Genesis to Revelation, every baby is a joyful event! We respect God’s design, and therefore we are not to interfere with the marital act. Therefore, Christianity has always condemned contraception to block what God has designed for us.
However, in our time the spiritual war is rampant. We either immerse ourselves deeply in Rabbi Yeshua‘s law or we pretend. The Catholic Church Alone still holds fast to its two thousand year old view of contraception as against God’s law. The Magisterium speaks to us today through Humanae Vitae (HV), published by Pope Paul VI in 1968. HV § 17 foretold the consequences of widespread use of contraceptives:
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Our dignity as men and women rests on our being God’s image and likeness Gen 1:26–27, and on Rabbi Yeshua‘s having redeemed us on the Cross Lk 23:43 in his New and Eternal Covenant. Through it he commands us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” Mt 22:37–40. At the end of our earthly lives, in our Particular Judgment, we shall be judged on our love.
Exactly as Pope Paul VI anticipated, many a man today has lost respect for women. He has forgotten the loving reverence due every woman as God’s image, and reduced her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his concupiscent desires. If God judges him on his love, he may be found not prepared for heaven where no sin whatever is allowed, and sent to a lower place for all eternity.
§ 2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil:
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.
But Everybody Does It
Actually, no. Deeply faithful Catholic couples do not contracept. The men and women who embrace contraception today are focused on earthly pleasures. They have forgotten God. But God has not forgotten them. He continues to reach out to sinners, and hopes they will come home to him. But he has given us free will. We can obey, or not. The decision, and its consequences, are ours.
Abortion is the anti-Christ’s demonic parody of the Holy Eucharist. That’s why it uses the same holy words, “This is my body,” with the blasphemous opposite meaning.
Canon 1398 “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”
Slaughter of the Innocents
The original slaughter of the innocents was Herod’s attempt to kill Rabbi Yeshua. In our time, Father Hardon tells us, “The reason why we have such massive slaughter of the innocents is because in the super-developed nations, like our own, we have become a fornicating society, an adulterous society, a masturbating society, a homosexual society, and a contraceptive society. Unchaste people are selfish people. They will not stop at murder if an unborn child would be a burden to their indulgence and sexual pleasure.”
Rabbi Yeshua’s shlikhim summarized the teachings they heard from Rabbi Yeshuahimself in the Didache, certainly written before the Temple Destruction in AD 70. Rabbis Matityahu, Marcus, Lucas and Yokhanan also wrote their Gospels before AD 70. The Gospels were Rabbi Yeshua’s life and teachings, while the Didache concentrated entirely on teaching. In the Didache, Chapter II, paragraph 2, the shlikhim wrote clearly: “Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten.”
Twenty centuries later, in the development of doctrine, the teaching has acquired more depth, but all of it is directly linked to Rabbi Yeshua himself through the Sacred Tradition and the Apostolic Succession:
§ 2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.
From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves.
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
“A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” by the very commission of the offense, and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.
The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
§ 2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.
These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin.
Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.
The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law.
When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined.
As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.
§ 2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual.
It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.
§ 2275 One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.
It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.
Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities.
Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity which are unique and unrepeatable.
“[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning” Jn 8:44. St. Paul told the Ephesians, “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” Eph 6:12. John Paul II gave us the phrase, culture of death, in Evangelium Vitae § 12, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 50, 64, 87, 95, 100. The culture of death strongly supports contraception, sterilization, abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual behavior. What ties these policies together? They all prevent life or bring death.
Second Exodus believes it is imperative that we vote a straight pro-life ticket even when the candidate is running for a job that doesn’t involve contraception or abortion or euthanasia at all. Say the job is running a county roads department. If we know that the candidate is pro-abortion we should not vote for him because once he has been in that office a few years he may move on to run for county executive where he might emphasize either adoption or abortion.
Then we need to find out more about Development of the Unborn Baby 4:32
We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.
The Church thereby teaches us that God animates each human body with an immortal soul in the first instance of its conception, the moment of fertilization, when the sperm enters the egg and the egg closes. The child’s soul enters his new one-celled body as soon as his new genetic code is complete, the genetic code that will be imprinted on every cell of his body during all his earthly life to define who he is.
Abortion is the only business in the world that doesn’t show you a picture of the product they’re selling.
Abortionists go to great effort to prevent the patient from seeing the ultrasound display before the abortion. Do you suppose they’re not proud of what they’re doing?
Abortionists resist being called abortionists. Specialists in internal medicine are happy to be called internists. Specialists in optometry are happy to be called optometrists. Specialists in proctology are happy to be called proctologists.
But abortionists would prefer to be called women’s health specialists or something else that conceals what they actually do. That confuses women who think they’re ob-gyns who try to keep babies alive. Do you suppose they’re not proud to be abortionists?
My favorite pro life web site is the National American Holocaust Memorial. Rabbi Yeshua is the #1 pro-lifer, but Rich Mahoney, who runs it, is one of his pro-life superstars, together with Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Alveda King, and a few others. Rich and his wife Pam teach us what Whoever Enters Into Married Life comes to understand, that pro-life is so very much more than simply anti-abortion.
See Father Nix’ blog, Abortion and the Most Precious Blood.
Pro Life and the Death Penalty
Pro-abortion advocates often accuse pro-lifers of inconsistency because we say that abortions are intrinsically evil, but we do not say the same for the death penalty.
In fact, Catholics accept the death penalty only under very limited circumstances:
§ 2266 The State’s effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.
§ 2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’ [John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae § 56.]
Satan was obviously enraged by Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” 17:28 speech and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He immediately found a suitable instrument to revive his false claim against man’s inherent dignity. In the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965, to find a right to contracept, Justice Douglas had to assert a constitutional right to privacy. His problem was that the Constitution together with its Bill of Rights contained no such right, so he invented an argument: “The foregoing cases suggest that specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” Decision Heritage Analysis
Imagine trying this one on your friendly local Internal Revenue Service agent: “Sir, I claim a right to privacy which allows me to withhold from you the evidence supporting my deductions. Nothing in the Constitution’s text or the IRS regulations actually supports my claim. However, specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”
But less than a decade later, in 1973, the Supreme Court used this imaginary right of privacy to publish Roe v. Wade, its landmark death case. Justice Blackmun decided: “State criminal abortion laws, like those involved here, that except from criminality only a life-saving procedure on the mother’s behalf without regard to the stage of her pregnancy and other interests involved violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against state action the right to privacy, including a woman’s qualified right to terminate her pregnancy.” There it is. The right of privacy that Justice Douglas imagined was now used to justify a woman’s right to murder a child in her own womb. Decision Heritage Analysis
Let’s watch and listen to Martin Luther King’s ringing declaration that the dignity of man by God’s grace applies to every man and woman on earth. At the present time we accept it with a reservation for age discrimination. Persons who have already been born are covered, but those still in their mother’s womb are not. Age discrimination and race discrimination are two sides of the same coin with Caesar’s face on it Mt 22:19–21. Every child from the first instant of conception is God’s image Gen 1:27 redeemed by RabbiYeshua on the Cross Lk 23:43. With prayer in our hearts, we shall overcome the scourge of abortion. Dr. King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, still works to glorify God through pro-life work.
“I Have a Dream” 16:43
A Wanted Child
God made us in his image Gen 1:27.
He told us: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” Mt 18:5.
He told us: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” Mt 18:10.
He told us: “So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” Mt 18:14.
He told us: “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” Mt 19:14.
He told us: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” Mk 10:15.
Rabbi Yeshua wants every child! During the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast, Mother Teresa told us: “Jesus said, ‘Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me.’ By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.”
Mother Teresa added:
Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child. From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.
“Wanted” preborn children are granted personhood and life. The “unwanted” are consigned to a cruel death and burial in a garbage can. Whether a mother “wants” the child in her womb is now the arbiter of life and death, personhood or nonentity, the widening experience of living or maceration and body parts.
Is there any other area of public life where human life depends on whether the person targeted is “wanted?” If one man murders another, his execution does not depend on whether the jury “wants” to execute him. Standards for execution are enshrined in law, and a jury in conscience is required to apply those standards. As the law stands now, the murderer has a greater right to life than the innocent pre-born baby who has not even been baptized.
Moreover, a baby’s status of being “wanted” is not nearly as clear in reality as it is in popular image. The human mind and body work in concert. During pregnancy, as the uterus enfolds the placenta, the mother’s mind naturally holds and wants to nurture the tiny infant. Every woman to some degree wants, accepts, and struggles to protect her baby. Every woman grieves the loss of her baby whether she said she never wanted it or not. But now the difficulty for the post abortion mother is that her grief is mixed with guilt and likely to become pathological grief which leads to depression and so on.
Joy is the mark of deep Catholic faith. Mental anguish is the mark of Satan. However much a woman may say, “I’m glad that’s out,” she is beset with interior conflict and struggle, sometimes suppressed and other times out in the open. She was made God’s image but she has not lived as God’s image. As Rabbi Yeshua’s image she wants the child but in her own heart she does not want the child. She has not been herself, but rather she is a torn woman. Only the Sacrament of Penance can heal her wound.
Rape and Incest
When pro-aborts debate with pro-lifers the pro-aborts invariably bring up pregnancies forced on the woman by a rapist. They know weak pro-lifers imagine that forced pregnancy justifies an abortion.
St. Paul told us, “Test everything; hold fast what is good” 1 Thes 5:21. So let’s test the logic. We’re out on a city street. A man mugs a woman, steals her purse, and runs away. The police come. They can’t find the mugger, so they prosecute another man who happens to be nearby. Everyone recognizes that prosecuting an innocent man is wrong. The child conceived in rape is as innocent as a child conceived in marriage.
If the children are equal in innocence, perhaps there is a visible difference. Let’s test that as well. Go to any school during recess and watch the children run and play. See whether you can tell which of them was conceived in rape.
Perhaps the memory of the rapist’s attack justifies aborting the child. Let’s test that as well. Sometimes a woman is in an unhappy marriage. Her husband doesn’t love her but only uses her. Her son looks like his father; whenever the woman sees the son she is reminded of his father. Do we as a society allow the woman to kill her son because he is the child of a bitter marriage?
Rapists who are caught and convicted do not face the death penalty. What then justifies a more severe penalty for the innocent child than the rapist himself gets? There can be no justification for aborting an innocent child because God’s law protects him: “You shall not kill” Deut 5:17. Holy Mother Church repeats:
§ 2258 Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.
Rape inflicts pain that never quite goes away. Meet Rebecca Kiessling, a woman conceived in rape who has much to say about the personal side of all this.
All of these apply to rape and incest. What about the life of the mother? What if the medical circumstances are that either the child or the mother can be saved, but not both? In that case the doctor has two patients, one large, one small. He wants to save both mother and child. Since he cannot do that he saves whichever he believes has the greatest probability of recovery.
Which Lives to Protect
We protect lives from childhood to old age. But not all. After an earthquake, rescuers go through tons of rubble listening for the faintest sound that might indicate a person under it who is still alive. However, once a man gets old, here in the United States, we as a nation have decided that he is no longer worth as much. We make “quality of life” decisions about others when we have no idea what each person considers a life worth living.
However, until the child is born, American law allows his mother to hire an abortionist to kill him. What a strange situation. Everyone knows that if you don’t want a baby, don’t do what makes babies. Some women do what makes babies, a baby shows up, and they get upset. Shouldn’t she blame herself? She could have gone to a movie that evening, but she freely chose to make a baby, and then she gets upset when the baby shows up.
And, oh my, how she punishes that baby! The United States imposes the death penaltyon born men and women only after they have committed the most extreme crime of all. It has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. They get lawyers to defend them. But the same United States allows the mother to impose the death penalty on the child for simply showing up after she performed the act of conception. The child had no choice! Shouldn’t we get a lawyer to defend the innocent child when the mother wants to murder it within her womb?
Even when the United States government executes a murderer, it makes sure the execution is humane. But when that mother hires an abortionist, the child’s silent screamis unheard. It is much more brutal than would ever be allowed in the darkest prison death row on the planet.
We in the United States, through the abortion franchise, murder one child in every three. It has now been more than 40 years since the Supreme Court committed Roe v. Wade. A third of all Americans conceived during the past 40 years were never born. A third of all the doctors, a third of all the nurses. Anyone who has been in a hospital recently knows that when you press the nurse button, often nobody comes for a very long time. Nobody even intercoms back to find out whether it’s an emergency or tell the patient when the nurse might be able to get there. The nurses are doing the best they can, but they have more patients than they can handle, while we continue to kill a third of the next generation of nurses.
The news networks don’t cover all this. We see a disaster on TV and people are carried into hospitals. A triage nurse examines the patients and schedules initial treatment for the most severely injured. Then, when the TV cameras go away, these same patients also get to press their nurse buttons. Occasionally a nurse passes by, notices the flashing red light outside the patient’s room, and goes in to see how she can help. But, more and more often, the patient presses the button and waits, and waits, and waits.
We need to stop abortion now. But we too wait, and wait, and wait. Then someday, we will be in the hospital bed, desperately pressing the nurse button. Perhaps we will reflect that the nurse God would have sent died thirty years ago in her mother’s womb.
In the United States, about 60 million children have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs since 1973, a tower of evil darker than Mordor, a number so vast that Second Exodus believes every Catholic, whatever his particular place in the vineyard, also has a second workplace in the pro-life vineyard. The Holocaust comes from the same bitter root as the abortion movement. They both came that we might have death, and have it abundantly. In the Holocaust 6 million Jews were killed. Jews often object when anyone compares the number killed in the Holocaust with any other number of persons killed because Hitler was trying to kill Europe’s entire Jewish population, but state approval of a systematic killing of large numbers of Jews is comparable no matter who is doing the killing. If Jews are 2 percent of the population, we may assume that Jews participated in 2 percent of the 60 million U.S. abortions since 1973. Liberal Jewish women therefore have killed more than 1 million Jewish children, a significant part of the Jewish population.
Each woman who aborts her pregnancy seeks to kill only the one child in her own womb. However, the Talmud observes that God created the animals in large numbers all at once, but started the entire human race with only one man, and explains that just as Adam, created at the beginning in Eden, was the entire human population of the world, we need to look at each individual as if he or she were the entire population of the world.
Talmud Sanhedrin 37a states: “For this reason was man created alone, to teach that whoever destroys a single soul … Scripture imputes [guilt] to him as though he had destroyed an entire world, and whoever preserves a single soul … Scripture ascribes [merit] to him as though he had preserved a complete world.” From this comes the Jewish imperative pikuakh nefesh, to save a life.
During the Holocaust Jewish men and women cried out from their hearts, “Almighty God, hear the cry of the poor!” God heard their cry and gave them back the land of Israel. Israel’s war-cry was, “Never again.” But even in Israel many Jewish mothers also kill the children in their own wombs. God told us, “He who closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself cry out and not be heard” Pr 21:13. Rabbi Yeshua confirmed it. “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” Mt 7:2.
In Hebrew, mercy is rakhamim, from the same root rkhm as rekhem, womb, a place of mercy. How can a Jewish mother say rekhem and rakhamim and murder the child in her own womb? Another word from rkhm, verav, full of, as a child fills the womb. Verav khesed ve’emet means “full of grace and truth.” St. John describes Rabbi Yeshua using exactly these words. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” Jn 1:14.
In this, liberal Jews are no worse than other liberal Americans. But, in the shadow of the Holocaust, even liberal Jews should be much better. The same is true for liberal Catholics. If they are only a little better than Americans in general, then they oppose Rabbi Yeshua who “came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” Jn 10:10. For those who cheerfully obey the Torah or Church law, our fidelity is eternity in heaven. For those who follow man’s law Roe v. Wade it can be eternity in hell.
When we look at the Scriptures we see that God firmly condemns homosexual activity. His first command to us was, “Be fruitful and multiply” Gen 1:28. He told us how: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” Gen 2:24.
In the Old Testament we find, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” Lev 18:22. “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them” Lev 20:13. In the New Testament, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error” Rom 1:26–27. “Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them” Rom 1:32. And, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” 1 Cor 6:9–10. “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” Jude 7.
Rabbi Yeshua expressly reaffirmed marriage as between one man and one woman: “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’” Mt 19:4–5.
Some homosexuals try to argue that these passages do not mean, or no longer mean, what they very forcefully do mean. Sodomy is one of the four sins that cry out to heaven. “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know” Gen 18:20–21.
Arguing with God makes no sense. He knows what he meant, and he knows our hearts. Rabbi Yeshua told us that loving God with all our heart and soul and mind Mt 22:37 is the greatest commandment of all, the one to which all the Bible points, so we know he does not hold betrayal small. “Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born” Mt 26:24.
§ 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that, “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
§ 2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
§ 2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Its Defense in Our Time
In the spiritual war raging so fiercely today in the world, some historical-critical “scholars” have persuaded the Catholic institutions at which they teach to embrace the homosexual culture. But they artfully duck the crucial omission. These “Scripture scholars” rarely quote from the Word of God unless pushed into betraying him Mt 26:24. Instead they quote, “You will be like God” Gen 3:5. Their arguments are well-rehearsed. “Social justice,” “pastoral concern for differently structured families within our community,” “be inclusive,” and “everyone’s doing it.” God does not change Mal 3:6.
Many faithful Catholics see these historical-critical “scholars” and wonder whether Holy Mother Church is preparing to surrender her two thousand years of teaching to a whirlwind of sin. In a word, no. But some Catholic leaders do find it extremely painful to be out of sync with their own intellectual and moral culture.
A story from Jewish folklore tells of a beautiful woman who came into a small village and asked if she could stay the night with someone. All the residents realized that this woman would be very tempting to the men of the town. They brought her to their saintly rabbi, who agreed to let her sleep in his barn. To protect himself from lust he put her up in the loft, then called some of the men to help him take down the ladder, which was much too heavy for any one man to lift. Then they all went to their homes. But at midnight the rabbi awoke. Consumed with lust, he went to his barn, lifted the ladder into place, and started climbing up to the loft. Then, halfway up, he realized what he was doing and shouted, “Fire! Fire!” The men in the town came running to rescue the rabbi, but when they arrived they saw him halfway up the ladder. They rebuked him, “Rabbi. We’re ashamed of you.” But the rabbi replied, “Far better that you should be ashamed of me in this life than God should be ashamed of me in the life to come.”
Rabbi Yeshua teaches something like that today. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you” Mt 5:10–12.
The Catholic Church recognizes a hierarchy of truths. How to fulfill both mission and magisterium in these circumstances? Many homosexuals who are not yet Catholic hear the word Catholic and think, “They’re the enemy.” But can we get past that instant barrier without compromising the truth of Rabbi Yeshua’s teaching? Perhaps we can. Every Catholic is required to maintain chaste behavior except when engaged in marital relations open to the transmission of life. The Church leaves to God whether children will actually come of a particular marital encounter, so that a couple past the normal age of childbearing may still have relations. But in all other situations, no. A licitly married man and woman who can’t achieve penetration together are obliged to exactly the same chastity as a homosexual couple. Perhaps the Church could emphasize that her call for chastity is identical for both orientations. Perhaps some homosexuals could be invited into the Church recognizing that they would have to live chaste lives.
It is not enough to write one thing as God’s law while wink-winking that we don’t really mean it. Passage of time and habit is slowly leading us away from God’s law. Each of us as a Catholic has to stand firm, re-read Mt 5:10–12, and go forward toward Rabbi Yeshua who will be there at the end of our journey for our Particular Judgment.
Marriage as a Purposeful Association
Through the power of the news media, homosexual activists have obscured a powerful truth we all knew until recently. Marriage is a particular type of association, originally established by God but during recent centuries taken over by governments. Human procreation is absolutely necessary to our survival. We are all alive because a great chain of being, from our first parents until now, has continued uninterrupted. If a single generation had chosen not to procreate, it all would have ended right there. As the lawyers say, the state has a “compelling interest” in procreation.
We don’t necessarily need marriage to ensure procreation. Our powerful drives will take care of that. But St. Augustine had said,”the procreation and the education of children.” History shows that the most stable institution for raising and educating responsible children is a man and woman in a lifelong marriage. It doesn’t matter that some married couples are utterly incompetent at raising children. On the whole, a man and woman in a lifelong marriage have the highest probability of raising responsible children.
We see a similar situation in the home ownership tax deduction. It was instituted to encourage home ownership, as opposed to rentals. Experience indicates that a home owner will be more stable, and take better care of his home, as compared with a renter. It doesn’t matter that some home owners are unstable and take poor care of their properties. On the whole they do, and that’s how the policy is based.
Traditional marriage does not discriminate against homosexuals. A homosexual man has always been free to marry a homosexual woman. However, a homosexual man who wants to “marry” another homosexual man says in effect, “I want the benefits reserved to the marriage association, but I will not give the state the benefits it expects from persons who enter into a marriage.”
Homosexuals have been remarkably successful in gaining public acceptance of their activities through the colleges and universities by changing the meaning of words. They called it a civil rights issue, which re-invigorated the 1960s civil rights coalition by giving it a new rallying cry: “We’re in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr.” Are they? Listen to Dr. King’s I Have a Dream 17:27 speech and make the comparison yourself. Dr. King declared, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” We may hope that each homosexual today will be judged in civil life not by the nature of his sexuality but by the content of his character. God judges each of us for eternity.
The Same Sex Court Case
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015, addressed two questions: First, does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? And second, does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex that was legally licensed and performed in another state? Justice Anthony M. Kennedy answered each question in the 5-4 decision: Yes. See Same-Sex Court Case.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” We may infer its priority from its position within the Bill of Rights: It is the First Right mentioned in the First Amendment. Second Exodus considers the question wrongly framed. The Court should have added to each question: “If so, does the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion override the right to 50-state recognition of same-sex marriage?” How we phrase a question inevitably influences how the question will be answered.
By leaving out serious consideration of the First Amendment, the Court put a heavy thumb on the balance scale, on the same-sex side. Serious consideration? Justice Kennedy offered a single paragraph on religious freedom, and in it he subtly misrepresented the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise as freedom to teach. The difference is profound. Look at the dollar bills of all denominations in your wallet. On the back every one says, “In God we trust.” That is free exercise.
Now look at the names of some American cities. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), Texas. Las Cruces (The [three] Crosses), New Mexico. Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love), Pennsylvania. Providence, Rhode Island. San Antonio (St. Anthony), Texas. Santa Fe (Holy Faith), New Mexico. St. Augustine, Florida. St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Petersburg (St. Peter’s City), Florida. California is full of Christian city names. Los Angeles (The Angels), Sacramento (Sacrament), San Bernardino (St. Bernardino of Siena), San Diego (St. Saint Didacus of Alcalá), San Jose (St. Joseph), San Francisco (St. Francis), Santa Ana (St. Anne), Santa Barbara (St. Barbara), Santa Clara (St. Claire), Santa Cruz (Holy Cross). and Santa Monica (St. Monica). Every one of these is a major American city. If we count the smaller towns such as Salem or New Hope that appear in state after state, the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains, the Golden Gate (Gate of Heaven) Bridge, and all the rest, we come up with about a thousand place names. That’s free exercise of religion apart from teaching.
The best place to look for critical analysis of a Court case is often in its dissents. Dissenting Justices were present during all phases of the decision process. They’re all first-class legal scholars. Several write with lively zest. Mollie Hemingway’s Dissenting Obergefell Justices Sound Alarm on Religious Freedom covers them concisely.
Second Exodus, noting that the Court requires that states recognize same-sex “marriages” within their jurisdictions, urges the Catholic Church to immediately cease signing the paperwork by which states give legal recognition to every marriage. Catholic certificates of marriage should be signed by pastors only for Church recognition. If Catholic parish churches don’t sign as representatives of the state, the Church should be able to separate itself from being an agent of the state and concentrate on First Amendment religious freedom issues, and on where the Church goes from here.
De-Valuing Marital Relations
The civil rights image cloaked an underlying moral truth. As long as sex and marital procreation remain an indivisible unit, the foundation of Catholic sexual morality endures and all non-marital sex is visibly disordered. But once we allow them to be separated, with sex recognized as licit for its own sake, the moral foundation crumbles. No other relevant moral imperative remains. If sexual pleasure for its own sake is widely seen as good, then sex between an unmarried man and woman becomes widely seen as good. Sex between two men becomes widely seen as good. For a time some couplings remain widely seen as repugnant, but without the foundation it is only a matter of time until someone stands up and raises the civil rights banner for that coupling as well.
Concealing Homosexual Relations
Then the advocates drew attention away from what homosexuals actually insert into where and with what effect. The word homosexual means same-sex, reminding us of it. So they insisted upon being called gay, which had meant “keenly alive and exuberant,” creating a bright and positive myth. We can almost hear the strains of We Shall Overcome wafting over morally illicit couplings in every park. But when we research objective statistics for homosexuals such as rate of hospital admissions as a percentage of the population, and median age at death, we can draw conclusions about whether this particular word fairly represents the homosexual experience.
Unions Between Homosexual Persons
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2003 published Unions Between Homosexual Persons. In it, § 10 made three points:
“If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.”
“When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.”
“When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “Could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided. This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.”
Carrie Gress, Homosexuality, Identity, and the Grace of Chastity
§ 2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.
§ 2277 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. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
§ 2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment.
Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted.
The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
§ 2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted.
The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable.
Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.
§ 2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him.
It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life.
We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls.
We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.
It is not ours to dispose of.
§ 2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.
It is gravely contrary to the just love of self.
It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations.
Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.
§ 2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal.
Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.
Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.
§ 2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.
Rabbi Yeshua told us:
“With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” Mt 7:2.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” Jn 10:10.