To the editor:
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote a series of meditations that became the book On The Way To Jesus Christ. In a chapter titled “Communication and Culture,” our future pope talked about what the Church faces in today’s society. “Ever since the Enlightenment, Western culture has been moving away from its Christian foundations with increasing rapidity. The disintegration of the family and marriage, the escalating attacks on human life and its dignity, the confinement of faith to the realm of the subjective, and the consequent secularization of public awareness, as well as the fragmentation and relativizing of ethical values demonstrate this all too clearly.”
Cardinal Ratzinger was talking to the bishops of Italy but certainly his remarks were intended for all of the Western world, including the United States.
Since 1973 there have been approximately 53 million surgical abortions in this country, and this is called “freedom of choice.” The states of Washington and Oregon have legalized doctor-assisted suicide and this is called “death with dignity.”
The Obama administration’s recent attempt to force religious institutions to pay for sterilization, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs is called “reproductive freedom.”
A few states, either by judicial fiat or legislative effort, have granted same-sex couples the right to marriage and the Obama administration decided last year to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and this is called “equal rights.”
Science has given us in-vitro fertilization and human embryonic stem cell research that destroys a living embryo, and this is called “progress.”
I think a better description for the above acts would be sin.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was talking to his disciples about sin. “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown in the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:1-3).
In the weeks and months ahead we will be reading and hearing about recall elections, the economy, collective bargaining rights, health care, education, the budget deficit and debt, the war in Afghanistan, unemployment, job creation, housing, and many other issues facing our citizens as we vote for a president and other elected officials. And yes we will hear about the so-called social issues like abortion, contraception, and the push for same-sex marriage.
Let us take this time to think what a true disciple of Jesus Christ means in this the year 2012. And remember, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life” (Matthew 16:26).
Patrick Hardyman, Blanchardville