The Bishops have spoken out against the birth control and abortion mandate and urged people to take the action of signing a petition.
This is a toothless effort.
The time for signing petitions is long past. Petitions let people feel good about having done something when in reality they did nothing. What is needed is action with TEETH.
Our representatives have voted for bad policies over and over, eroding our God-given freedoms with impunity. Catholics need to respond to these thefts with our VOTES. The incumbents are responsible for this mess– vote them out.
Elected officials are failing to serve the people. It is not service to pass laws that infringe on our freedom to live our religion openly and without interference. Therefore, these elected officials need to experience what happens to employees who fail to do their jobs– fire them! Vote them out of office.
If the elected officials of our government actually thought the Catholic vote would swing away from them they would FIX the problems. Sadly, most Catholics fit the first cartoon posted by Mr. Peters at this worthy blog: CatholicVote.
Catholic Lay persons are obligated to fulfill their duties as citizens. It is wrong not to vote, it is equally wrong to vote with ignorance. We know from Church teaching that voting for anyone who is not pro-life when a pro-life candidate is available is wrong. Both Blessed John Paul II and President Reagan used many of the same phrases to defend life as the most fundamental of all rights given by God. This blog post by Paul Kengor details this important fact about Catholic teaching:
Reagan insisted that without the right to life, there can be no other rights. The right to life is the first and most fundamental of all human freedoms, without which other human freedoms literally cannot exist. Notably, this is a very Catholic sentiment. Reagan used words identical, almost verbatim, to those used by Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life), among other Church documents. (see link)
Even a marginally pro-life candidate is better than one who votes consistently in favor of abortion. We have God given freedoms and cannot allow the government to infringe on those rights!
Catholic social teaching places a premium on subsidiarity. Encouraging the growth of big government violates that precept. The Church used to run their hospitals and schools from donations rather than from grants of tax money. Donations freely given are a demonstration of subsidiarity and the practice of charity by the individual.
Government money comes from the forced taking of money in the form of taxes which bypasses both subsidiarity and the virtue of charity. Money filtered through Caesar will be used by Caesar to control the recipients. Hence the mandates we face today!
Bishops teaching boldly about alms-giving as a virtuous act is more in line with subsidiarity. A charity funded by donations is free of government interference and free to care for each needy person because in that person we see Christ.
Catholics have it in their power to turn the vote against the culture of death and move this country back toward respect for religious freedom, conscience, and human dignity.
It is time the Bishops realize that petitions are toothless and begin to take risks and make sure the laity know the precepts of the Faith and how to apply them– so that Catholics fund our hospitals and schools generously and the Catholic vote will have TEETH in it and make a difference.