Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Catholic Bishops and FOCA

You've heard of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object? There is a possibility that we may see it happen. And the result could be (figuratively speaking) a nuclear train wreck! In fact, the result could actually be worse than a literal nuclear train wreck!

Barack Obama campaigned on his support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). This act would possibly nullify all existing restrictions on abortion "up to the time of fetal viability." There is a chance that FOCA would even in "invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books in 46 states." If that happened, Catholic hospitals would be required to perform abortions.

On the other hand, Catholic bishops have sworn that they will close every single Catholic hospital in the country rather than be forced to violate their religious convictions on abortion. Approximately on third of all American hospitals are run by the Catholic Church. Imagine the consequences if one third of all hospitals closed their doors--a crisis not only for the patients, but also for the unemployment rate!

The Bishops are apparently not bluffing (wouldn't it be sin for a Bishop to "bluff")? After all, they closed a Catholic adoption agency in Massachusetts when forced to violate their convictions on adopting to gay couples. And an "Auxiliary Bishop" of St. Louis said that "any one of us would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow—to die tomorrow—to bring about the end of abortion'' (Slate, via Hot Air).

If the Freedom of Choice Act passes and if it removes freedom-of-conscience laws, I hope the Bishops follow through on the promises to close the hospitals. I don't say that lightly, because MY hospital is a Catholic hospital and it is the only hospital in my town.

But if American Christians roll over and allow government to force us to violate our religious convictions, the free America that we know and love will have died.


jazzycat said...

At some point a showdown must come. This one seems to give Christians a lot of leverage.

Jason said...

I think this is good, but at the same time I think we need to push back socially by sending the message that Mother Theresa did about giving all the unwanted Children to her. I think Catholic and Protestant churches need to start pushing social activity of adopting Children, creating organizations to let mothers who want an abortion to give over their Children to people who do want a Child, or even trying to help these mothers who may need a push in the right direction.

I think standing up for our convictions is the best answer we can give them, and if that means closing hospitals, then so be it. But at the same time, we should be sending the message that Abortion is wrong and if you don't want your child, we do.

I understand the strain that implies, but sometimes you try everything you can legally, and when that doesn't work you push back socially. Sometimes that can be a better way to reach people, to get the gospel message out.