Is Contraception the Hill We Want to Die On?

Barbara Comstock 2012

Using artificial contraception to avoid pregnancy is a mortal sin, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

While only the Catholic Church maintains this teaching on contraception, it would be a better world if everyone did.

Paul VI was a prophet when he told the world that great societal evils would follow upon the widespread use of contraception: a loosening of morals, an objectification of women, family breakdown and all the rest of the pathologies that have visited us like furies.

Many of us also hold that contraception also leads inevitably to abortion. After all, according to national statistics, 94 percent of the women getting abortions have  used contraception at some point in their lives. Meaning they know what it is and how to get it.  Contraception is a promissory note that is cashed by abortion when it fails.

Contraception was made a constitutional right in this country by the Supreme Court in two cases, Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird. Griswold gave married people the right to use it and the decision was based on the sanctity of marriage. Eisenstadt kicked over that rationale by making it a right for single people, too. And then came the deluge.

According to the United Nations the US has one of the highest incidents of contraceptive use in the world. Anybody who wants it can easily get it, including abortifacient “contraceptives” like Plan B that are now available over-the-counter. Bowls of condoms adorn the entrances of clubs and the desks of school administrators. A month’s supply of the pill can be had for as little as nine bucks a month at your local Wal-Mart. And the Obama administration has now made it federal law that all women get it for free.

The abortion crowd knows that Americans love their contraceptives and that Americans would fight tooth-and-nail against anyone who might try to take them away. That’s why the abortion crowd loves to make the abortion debate all about contraception. This is why the “war on women” rhetoric has been so effective. They have been able to convince a significant portion of the electorate that pro-lifers want to take away their contraceptive pills.

But do we?

Serious Catholics understand the evils associated with contraceptives, including the medical dangers to women who take them, and we tell that story. But I am not aware of any campaign to ban contraceptives. In order to do that, we would need to overturn not one but two Supreme Court decisions. I have never seen a bumper sticker that says, “Overturn Griswold … and Eisenstadt,” not even on Judy Brown’s car. Think Roe has been hard to overturn? Try Griswold.

Not even the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has made banning contraceptives a part of its lobbying program. Their spokesman, my wife, told the New York Times in 2003, “while the church does not lobby to ban contraception, it does oppose policies like coercive government birth-control programs or laws that force individuals or institutions with moral or religious objections to provide contraceptives.”

And by the way, when was the last time you heard a sermon from your priest about contraception, let alone a statement by your Bishop?

A Catholic politician in Northern Virginia has come under fire from a primary challenger and LifeSiteNews for asking the Federal government to allow adult women to buy oral contraceptives without a doctor’s prescription. She is being accused of being a bad Catholic and questions are being raised about whether faithful Catholics can support her.*

This letter came at a time when contraceptives are already available in drugstores all over Virginia. You see racks and racks of condoms everywhere. What’s more, there are 136 federally funded Title X family planning clinics in Virginia where poor women can get contraceptive pills for free and virtually instantly, as many have doctors on site who write the prescriptions.

I must admit if I was in her place, I would not have sent the letter, but then I could never be elected to this most liberal part of Virginia, the tony suburbs of Washington DC where she is the only Republican of any kind elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from inside the Beltway.

Even though she represents a profoundly pro-choice area, where abortion is practically a sacrament, she has a stellar pro-life record, voting against state funding of abortion, against abortion funding in a proposed state health exchange, in favor of ultrasound, and she even voted in favor of something that many pro-lifers oppose for prudential reasons, personhood for the unborn child. She voted a single time against an amendment to cut abortion funding from Obamacare but, according to pro-life watchdog Family Foundation of Virginia, she did so as a vote against Obamacare and not as a vote in favor of abortion. And one of her Republican challengers runs on this, and on contraception?

Such charges tend to be made in desperation and truth be told, the primary opponent making these charges has about as good a chance to win in this district as I do.

But her challenger’s chances aside, the more interesting question is what is the duty of the Catholic politician when it comes to contraceptives?

There is no question that the Catholic politician is duty bound to limit and then to stop legal abortion. After all, abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. Protecting the innocent from abortion is not a uniquely Catholic matter. Is contraception the same as abortion, or is it more like divorce, a fundamental Catholic teaching but one that we do not seek to impose on others. We may seek to convince others but we do not seek to impose it on them through public policy.

There are good public health reasons to be against contraception. Hormonal birth control pills can cause cancer, for instance. And this is a very important point to make when we properly try to undermine public confidence in contraceptives. But this is not a Catholic reason to vote against them and Delegate Barbara Comstock is being attacked on Catholic grounds. We do not see any great Catholic campaigns against smoking and smoking probably causes more cancer than the pill.

Comstock’s letter should be seen in the context of where we are in our new Obamacare world. Contraception was universally available before Obamacare, but now every person in America gets it for free, either through employer insurance or the healthcare exchanges. They have utterly won and somewhere in the pits of hell, sitting in the cocktail lounge, drinking a celebratory martini is Margaret Sanger.

Here’s an irony: the policy change Comstock called for could actually reduce the use of contraception, because women would actually have to reach into their own pockets to buy it. Are free pills paid by tax dollars the purer “Catholic” position than making women pay for it themselves?

Abortion advocates everywhere are eager to use contraceptives as a cudgel to beat us with and they would love nothing more than for us to actually fight on that ground. Comstock declined. In one fell swoop she took the cudgel away from them.

As for her critics, do they really want us to charge up Contraceptive Hill, flying our flags high and singing Te Deums? Must we now launch campaigns to ban contraceptives? And condoms, too? Must we make overturning Griswold and Eisenstadt a litmus test for candidates and judges?

Certain defeat awaits us up Contraceptive Hill. We should not fight there.

___________________________
* In the spirit of full disclosure, my wife and I, along with former US Ambassador to the Holy See Jim Nicholson and other serious Catholics, have endorsed Barbara Comstock’s candidacy to replace retiring Congressman Frank Wolfe in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.

  • Jim Spillman

    No one expects Comstock or anyone else to start a campaign against contraceptives. But is a simple vote of integrity too much to ask? Without public opposition to contraception, we have no comprehensive and compelling vision for what marriage truly is.

  • ForChristAlone

    Electing someone to a government office should never be more important than saving one’s immortal soul which means being a follower of the One who is Truth. For what does it profit a man….

    • TheAbaum

      We’ve reached an interesting point in time. We have a choice between people that will do the wrong thing and ones that won’t do the right thing.

      Of course, I think that much of world’s politics is a particular form of Japanese theater.

      • Art Deco

        An aspect of that is simply poor institutional construction, most particularly the U.S. Senate’s parliamentary rules (which have their analogues in some states like Texas). Another is chronic misfeasance on the part of the appellate judiciary.

        • TheAbaum

          This has been going on forever.

          Worse than the rules was the practice of allowing individual Senators to “card” judicial appointments. Wonder why the Ninth circus is just a mess? The two headed monster of Di-Babs.

  • Objectivetruth

    Thought provoking article, Austin. Perhaps contraceptives are like pornography. Neither needs to be outlawed, but people need to be educated how there is a better way of living then engaging in either. In discussions with pro contraceptive people, I don’t try to go toe to toe and attack contraceptives. I try to honestly engage them and ask “but isn’t there a better way than the pill or condoms?” This grabs their attention when with their surprised expression they ask “And what is that?” Then with joy a Catholic can discuss purity of heart, the beauty of chastity, pure love between a man and woman, the beauty of NFP and listening to ones body, the selflessness, awe, mystery and wonder of the sexual act between man and woman. For many women, taking a high potency prescription drug every day that is not therapeutic can be very stressful. We need to express the “cause for our joy”, and yes……there is a better way!

    • ForChristAlone

      Couldn’t be expressed any better than this. Besides being factual, it is founded on just plain ole common sense.

      I have always found it interesting (especially with all we now know about breast and ovarian cancer) how willing women are to put hormones into their bodies month after month, year after year so they can experience unfettered sex. I wouldn’t be caught dead doing this and I know few men who would.

    • BillinJax

      The beauty and wonder of the Conception of a child in the
      womb of its mother was chosen as a target at the very beginning of socialism
      and its liberal agenda to accomplish the “fundamental transformation of America” way before the current regime and their announced messiah appeared on the national scene. The cry from the desert of dome was that the world God had made for us was in grave danger of Over Population. We had to save the earth from being over run with new life? The pictures accompanying every deceitful article echoing that cry were not of cute toddlers in their mother’s arms or on happy playgrounds or in pleasant classrooms learning of the beauty of God’s good earth. No, we were shown starving skin and bone figures in poor countries of Africa and Asia where Christian missionaries were trying to bring the truth of the gospels to the people. Ironically this deceitful campaign gained support at a time when tens of millions of innocent humans all over the world had just been ritually slaughtered by godless dictators and imperial rulers before, during and after World War II.

      Contraception in all its forms, as part of the selfish
      passion for freedom from individual responsibility, was hailed as a redeeming
      blessing for not only married couples who wished not to have the obligation of raising a family but also to any and all who desired to be romantically involved prior to or in lieu of marriage. The personal benefits and blessing of conjugal love which God had reserved for married couples to have families and procreate were transformed and disguised as simply human rights suddenly ordained and made available by the secular progressives to everyone without having to pledge eternal companionship or bare the obligations of parenthood. Giving those with a taste for such freedom, the media offered public cover by naming their cause a Sexual Revolution. Driven by the desire to avoid personal responsibility at any price¸ rejecting any mention of chastity, this was the harbinger of societal perversion as well as the precursor and foundation for what eventually became our own national plague, Abortion.

      One might easily define the demise of American family life by its two most
      revealing concepts, contraception and abortion. One opposed the creative nature God granted to the union of a man and a woman joined in Holy Matrimony and the other sought to challenge the very involvement of God in the equation. Both have at the center of its premise the denial that man is the product of the goodness and abundance of God’s love and that man was not made in His image and likeness. Therefore, there is no such thing as procreation and God had no purposeful design for the ability of mankind to reproduce.

    • Invincible Hope

      I would say porn needs to be outlawed as much as prostitution does, it has the same ill effects on a wider scale.

  • BillinJax

    This whole issue needs to be viewed from the broad picture
    of what we are and how we came to be. If you are unsure or lack truth of our
    origin and purpose you have little chance of understanding our nature and
    ultimate destiny. This is why I continue to believe any civilized society must
    ask itself these questions.

    Do we ever want to get to the point where all men may
    consider behaving as human gentle men, spouse protectors, family providers and
    not a domesticated form of reproductive animal?

    Do we ever want to see an end to women being treated by men
    as if society had given them a license to use women simply as a depository for
    their male sexual passions?

    Do we ever want all women to someday have enough self pride
    and dignity to understand and admit their bodies were designed to be the very sanctuaries
    of human society and their wombs are and always have been the wellsprings of
    mankind?

    Do we ever want both men and women to understand that within
    this concept and the knowledge they are pro-creators that children are more
    than simply a product of physical activity between lovers?

    Do we ever someday want all children to grow up to realize
    and understand they were begotten out of more than blind passion?

    If and whenever we have answered “yes” to these questions we
    will have begun to know and appreciate the true meaning of human love and life
    and when it begins.

    • Objectivetruth

      Nice, and well expressed!

      If we work on purity of thoughts and the heart, then pure actions will happen. Even if the rest of society creates immoral laws and wants to live in the gutter, doesn’t mean I or my family have to. At its core, sins like contraception and abortion are selfish, self centered acts. If we teach our children to make Jesus first, Others needs second, and Yourself third, you will find JOY!

  • lifeknight

    AGAIN: Contraception IS the root cause of abortion, and in many instances the use of the Pill can cause an early abortion. Hence the term “abortifacient.”
    If we are to fight evil, we must start at where it begins, which is contraception. It may not be a popular hill to die on, but it is the right one!
    As the beloved Fulton Sheen said, “We do not need a voice that is right when everyone else is right. We need a voice that is right when everyone else is wrong.”

    • AcceptingReality

      Contraception is the font of a whole host of other evils, too.

    • HigherCalling

      Yes, but what is the root cause of contraception? Contraception is the symptom of a deeper evil. It is part of a certain mentality that makes the individual the sole arbiter of truth. The contraceptive mentality is based in an identifiable falsehood. Exposing that falsehood, that cluster of wrong thinking, is the right hill for Catholics to die on.

      • lifeknight

        Agreed. The current thought is that avoiding conception is desirable. Children are viewed as disposable items not intended or welcomed ones. The contraceptive mentality is entrenched in our world and imposed on anyone who views a “full quiver” as a gift from Above.

      • Michael Petek

        The identifiable falsehood is that God is not the Sovereign He says He is. The highest expression on earth of the Divine Majesty is the giving and the taking of a human life. Human participation is not lawful save as He expressly authorises.

  • Adhemarde

    This is a very thorny issue. NFP is OK because it is not “artificial”, and depends on the couple to use self-control, thus subduing their passions rather than indulging them. This is fine as far as it goes, but what about continued use of NFP to avoid having any children at all? Humanae Vitae says it is to be used for serious reasons [Latin: seriis causis] , but what are those? In the past, children were welcomed because they worked and actually added to a family’s income. Nowadays they are a huge drain on that income. So, is the fact that they cost money a “serious” reason? This is really a moral dilemma that is not clear from doctrine, and must be dealt with by each couple. As for a societal proscription of artificial birth control however, it is no more the job of the state to enforce Catholic teaching that it would be for them to insist that all meat be Kosher. The use or non-use of artificial contraception should be a matter of catechesis.

  • NormChouinard

    I think political calculation is a bad mix with morality and a loser in the long run politically. I would rather lose votes today and be dismissed as irrelevant than to bend on contraception. We should make the case as Katie van Schaijik did on these very pages “Catholics oppose birth control not because religious authorities forbid it, but because we’re deeply convinced that it harms persons, and hurts society”.

    Looking for rationale to oppose contraception, among many others, check it out here: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/its-about-contraception.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    If we were to be truthful, we would admit that contraception and abortion are products of materialism, the heresy that the soul does not exist and that only the material world counts. The reason these sins are so rampant here is because the God of Profit, material wealth, is worshiped far more than Christ. Fewer children means more material profit. Pennies before people, our entire economy is supported on the ghosts of children not allowed to be born.

    • jcbathtub

      and ultimately, that population vacuum created, will take the pennies away!

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Yep. But the generation that created this Ponzi scheme was largely born before 1970, and many of them won’t survive to see the effects.

        That’s the problem with demographics in the first world- there’s a 70 year gap between births and deaths. We are only now beginning to see the effects (though I was off by a couple of points in an earlier discussion) of the 1930s and 1940s contraception liberalization, it will be 30 more years before the abortion liberalization sinkhole hits hard. For now, it’s hidden behind a generation of workers that can’t afford to retire- but they’re dying to get out of their jobs now, so eventually, things will even out.

    • Art Deco

      our entire economy is supported on the ghosts of children not allowed to be born.

      This is a nonsense statement.

      That aside, the United States is not suffering fertility problems which cause serious policy dilemmas. Japan and Germany are.

      • TheAbaum

        The US doesn’t have a “fertility problem” like Japan or Germany. It does have a “compostional” fertility problem where there’s to many children being born to the unmarried, dependent and indolent.

        I have a relative who just had her second out of wedlock. People (mostly married, at least nominally married observant, married Catholic females) who should no better gave her facebook likes and the normal gushing “what a beautiful baby” comments. Sure the kid’s beautiful, all babies are-but her circumstances are ugly. I was half tempted to write”

        “Good for you, you’ve got two kids, more tatttoes than some guys on Harleys, no how about you and the boyfriend get off your a**es, get at least one job and a marriage license, get off the dole and stop being parasites. And for you likers and commenters, stop encouraging this-she’s taking money out of your pocket to support her irresponsibility. “

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          Thank you for proving my point about putting material wealth ahead of human life.

          • TheAbaum

            Idiot-I don’t want to pay for fornication!

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              Better than paying for murder.

              • TheAbaum

                Raising children with this kind of witness is soul murder.

                But you are fixated on money, so you won’t get it.

                • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                  Not always:

                  http://www.hrimm.org/st-martin-de-porres/

                  Childhood is not an indicator of what someone will accomplish Spiritually as an adult, any more than the Malthusian Eugenicist idea that poverty is genetic is true.

                  • TheAbaum

                    You are the Malthusian. You already posted that.

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      No, I’m an anti-Malthusian. I post that most of America are Malthusians- including both Republicans and Democrats, in different ways.

                    • TheAbaum

                      No, you are intellectually disordered, aptly demonstrated numerous times before.

                  • TheAbaum

                    hey dufus, poverty isn’t genetic but irresponsibility is legated.

                    These “parents” not only don’t work, they don’t darken the door of the Church. The two little ones aren’t even baptized.

                    They do however know how to take vacations from the jobs they don’t have and post pictures to facebook from a smartphone.

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      So what? None of that prevents one of their children, or even one of their grandchildren, from rebelling against his parents and becoming a saint.

                      The standard pattern of Americans is for the children to turn out very differently than the parents.

                    • TheAbaum

                      Well then lets all skip Church on Sunday. Our kids will rebel by being daily Communicants.

                      Theodore, you really need to stop exploring the limits of inanity.

                  • TheAbaum

                    Luke 17:2, Matt 18:6, Mark 9:42..

                    If the Good Lord holds those who mislead the little ones in such contempt, I assume that its important to watch the example one sets.

                    • Valentin

                      Very true, I sometimes find it tragic thinking of the kids born out of wedlock to some of my school mates, not because the children shouldn’t have been born but because it was the wrong time and situation for them to come into the world with bad examples around them.

          • daisy

            Single mothers are child abusers and blackmailers. They tell the rest of us “Give me money of the kid gets it.” So we pay her welfare, we give to Toys for Tots and Salvation Army Angel Tree so the poor kid can have a present. We also look the other way when she invites strange man after man into the house to damage the kid and do nothing until the child is physically harmed. It’s not a matter of valuing material wealth over life. No decent human being wants a dead baby but let’s not lie about the fate of bastards either. I don’t know how but we need to stop celebrating these women.

        • Art Deco

          The last I checked, TANF rolls had a census about 1/3 of those for AFDC ca. 1996. The problems posed by the dependent and such are less severe than was the case a generation ago. The problem is manifest in working class culture generally, leaching into the bourgeoisie. The majority of first-borns nowadays are bastards, though I believe about 30% of them are legitimated post-partum.

          • TheAbaum

            There’s more to this than AFDC/TANF. The EITC is welfare administered through the IRS, and it, along with extended forever unemployment, the 50 million on SNAP, makes for a large depend class that is adopting the inner city norms as you aptly say “leaching into the bourgeoisie.”

            My relative is a perfect example. Raised by a Catholic mother and a father than converted in her childhood, she started living the “Jersey Shore” lifestyle in her late teens.

            The next time I talk to the children’s grandmother and great grandmother who fret about the way the children are being raised, that’s it’s all good because some nincompoop/timeshare expert named Theodore on the internet thinks they’ll rebel by becoming Saints.

            • Art Deco

              EITC is a program structured quite differently than TANF/AFDC with a different client mix. It is doubtful it is a promoter of disagreeable behaviors.

              For a variety of reasons, SNAP is an inadvisable program, as are housing and utility subsidies. However, amortized over the potential client population, SNAP, federal housing subsidies, and LIHEAP amount to benefits in value of about $4,000 per household. It is a problem of different scale and nature than TANF / AFDC.

              I saw an article a while back on SSI which attempted to make the point that it substitutes for AFDC. The trouble is that the client population is small, receipt for the working population requires a disability adjudication, and some of the demographics on the recipient population indicate it is a very different corpus than that for AFDC.

              • TheAbaum

                “It is doubtful it is a promoter of disagreeable behaviors.”

                Among other “disagreeable behaviors” is widespread fraud.
                It’s only saving grace is that it’s not conditioned on the absence of a spouse. It also represents a subsidy for certain industries.

                • Art Deco

                  It does not represent a subsidy for any given industry. You ought to know better than that.

                  The IRS inspector-general identifies a number of problems with EITC, of which fraud is one. The salient source of that is under-reporting of income. About 16% of all income goes undiscovered by tax collectors as a matter of course. The problem is not local to EITC.

                  • TheAbaum

                    “In all of the scenarios that I consider, a substantial portion of the
                    intended transfer to low income single mothers is captured by employers through reduced wages. The transfer to employers is borne in part by low skill workers who are not themselves eligible for the EITC and are therefore made strictly worse off by its existence.”

                    http://www.nber.org/papers/w14966

                    Also:

                    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1634732-does-uncle-sam-subsidize-ronald-mcdonald

                    “And The EITC also has a significant marriage penalty for low-income taxpayers. If a single taxpayer with a child marries another taxpayer with equal income, the value of the credit can drastically decline for the family.”

                    http://taxfoundation.org/blog/overview-earned-income-tax-credit-eitc-awareness-day

                  • Valentin

                    That 16% is from all the smart people who keep their business under the table so that the employees and managers keep more of the money rather than having the tax man take it. The example that comes to mind is almost every Italian restaurant in Philadelphia and Delaware as well as Craigslist. I know this because many of my friends have worked at Italian restaurants and say that usually they pay employees under the table and are tied to the mob.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Yet, Art, Yet. We’re only a couple of decades behind Japan, Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy on this. We are ahead of Spain and Greece on the Demographic Decline.

        • Art Deco

          No. Japan and Germany (and Korea) have had chronic and abiding fertility problems for about 35 years now.

          The United States has had adequate and fairly stable total fertility rates since 1971. They dipped below replacement levels during the period running from 1971 to 1975 then slowly recovered and by 1990 were at replacement levels. They have fluctuated around replacement levels for 25 years.

          France and Britain have had a recovery in their fertility rates in the last 20 years and are now at replacement levels.

          We are not ‘ahead of Spain and Greece’ on this metric. Spain and Greece have had chronically deficient fertility for 30 years. The situation is better than it was 15 years ago these places, but it is still wretched. TFRs in both countries are around 1.4 children per woman per lifetime. Spain can readily import people from Latin America. Greece has no backstop.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            1.8 children per family is not replacement rate, even if it is balanced by the 2.6 children per family common among first generation immigrants.

            • Art Deco

              I do not know where you are getting your figures, but it is not the U.S. Census Bureau or the World Bank. Again, every racial category in this country has a total fertility rate above 2.0 bar the aboriginal population, who collectively constitute 0.7% of the total.

              • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                I’m of the aboriginal population.

            • Valentin

              Not to mention that many of the ‘2.6’ probably won’t continue that ratio.

              • lee

                childhood sexual abuse anyone!

          • TheAbaum

            In recent years that “adequate and fairly stable birth rate” has shown some weakness. Obviously the birth rate per 1K isn’t fertility, but if sustained, it will impact that ratio.

            http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/06/news/economy/birth-rate-low/

            • Art Deco

              No, the total fertility rate is the metric to which I am referring, not the crude birth rate.

              • TheAbaum

                Did you miss this?

                “Obviously the birth rate per 1K isn’t fertility,”

      • Valentin

        This is a pot calling a kettle black, In the US most people my age and under are infantilized from kindergarten, made stupid in middle school and neutered in high school, plus there are a lot of things which fertility estimates don’t take into account such as all the people who don’t get married and all the illegitimate children born not to mention much of the birth rate being held up either by immigrants or pockets of the US, whereas in Germany where my family is despite the media claims I know many Germans who did married and have children as well as in my circle of Catholic friends in the US.

    • TheAbaum

      “Fewer children means more material profit.”

      Only if you are an adherent of Thomas Malthus, who adheres to a doctrine of false economy.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Which, of course, most Americans are, on both sides of the political spectrum.

        There is a reason why Democrats push for abortion and Republicans criticize those welfare mothers and try to push them off the dole. BOTH sets are putting material wealth ahead of human life, and both rightly should be condemned by anybody who values People over Pennies.

        • TheAbaum

          You make a ghastly moral inversion by creating a fiscal incentive to fornicate outside of wedlock.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            It’s order of priorities for me. Heterosexual marriage is #2 to opposing murder, which is #1.

            Promote heterosexual marriage, and MOST of the problem with poverty will go away. But to promote heterosexual marriage, you must start by being for a living wage for every man- if he can’t find a job at a living wage, he must be provided with one.

            That means not underpaying workers, not claiming that one man’s labor is worth significantly less than another (there will never be complete equality, but I refuse to believe that a CEO is worth 450 janitors either).

            Treat people like dirt in business, and they’ll treat their children like dirt in their private lives. Treat the worker with dignity in business, and a lot of other social ills just disappear.

            But before we get to that point, we need a next generation to be caring for at all, and right now, this anti-child attitude isn’t helping.

            • Arriero

              The second, third and fourth paragraphs are absolutely correct and go directly to another point of great concern and conflic: post-modern laboral enviroment.

              No CEO in the world deserves the amount of money that many of them get (even less, football players, NBA players, etc.). Put the number you want. A naive pseudo-calvinist could ask in bad faith: «isn’t that how capitalistic forces (AD/AS) work? We, Catholics, could answer: maybe, so what? This is just your protestant anti-Catholic world, isn’t it?» Many of them usually talk about «merit», «studies», «MBAs», «Harvard», etc. Nonsenses, excuses. This kind of salaries are a good reflection of how the tentacles of post-modernism – especially in its nihilistic form – have penetrated within the coorportavist world (because these things don’t usually happen in little companies, yet). I will avoid to talk about the technical aspects of how big corporations nowadays are run (MBO&MBR, DMS, ELECTRE, MAGIQ, PROMETHEE, SMART, etc. all acronyms of very relativist things).

              I link this aspect with the value Vs. price debate in the first – mainly and mostly – protestant liberalism. The first liberals considered that something values the amount of labour it has (Smithosian, Marxian and Ricardian labour theory of value). Then, Menger, Walras and Jevons, at the same time, exposed the marginal utility concept – which I consider profoundly subjectivist -. Aquinas already wrote in the Summa that nobody should «never sell anything for more than it’s worth» – following also the aristotelian tradition – (this is a rational-objectivist theory of value). The School of Salamanca, the first and foremost true liberals in world history, developed the concept. Adam Smith already discussed widely the differences between «real price» and «market (or nominal) price». Only from this harmful perspectivism has been able to grow out the kind of current awful post-modern coorporativist world. Some coorporations should be better considered «labor camps». This is another consequence of the profoundly anti-Catholic protestanized liberalism, which has marginalized the Church, undermined once millenarian Institutions (like marriage) and is inflicting the society with several anti-rational fashions. And one has to see how still many Catholics like to play the game.

              Mostly, the CEO-ideology is anti-Catholic. We know them very well and we know pretty well the stink of death that these ideas has brought. Many only a group of nihilistic pseudo-calvinists…

              • TheAbaum

                “No CEO in the world deserves the amount of money that many of them get”

                Envy is the work of the devil, but that’s you, Wormwood.

                Mostly, the anti CEO-ideology is anti-Catholic.

                I think you get paid to much, but it’s still none of my business.

                • Arriero

                  - «Envy is the work of the devil»

                  Do you think is something admirable, rational and good that Cristiano Ronaldo, for instance – Real Madrid’s football (soccer) star – is being paid 10 milion euros per year? Do you think he deserves it? If yes, why? By merit, for his handsome face, because yes and period, by how demand and supply works?

                  I consider his salary, as that of many other CEOs, artists, musicians or whoever, immoral and irrational. There is no common-sense reason for having to bear with such immoral salaries. But this is how our nice and beloved world works, don’t you think? I cannot shut up. This Pope cannot shut up, either, although he is touching the sensible ground of many pseudo-calvinists. And I know all these people very well, and I know none of them deserve such salaries. The «merit/effort» rhetoric is an excuse to uphold and emboss an immoral (and nihilist) injustice. Let me to quote the first sentence from Woody Allen’s (yes, I already know he is the less Catholic man to take a quote from) «Match Point» movie: «in life you better have luck than talent». Many CEOs think they’ve been touched by God to have such a wonderful salary for his also wonderful merits and aptitudes (calvinist reasoning, by the way) when truly they’ve just been lucky, very lucky, and should be praising God every day.

                  – «I think you get paid to much, but it’s still none of my business.»

                  One cannot serve God and money at the same time. That said, the hard working man or the little/middle company entrepreneur don’t usually have such immoral salaries. In the fifties and sixties big fishes had big salaries, but the difference was not that big. It’s a matter of common-sense.

                  PD- Another issue is why public servants are so lowly paid in comparison with big CEOs. Aren’t public servants important? (as you don’t really like the state in general, translate public servants for soldiers or generals – who are also public servants -, probably you feel more esteem for the «patriots»). As an anecdote: «By the 1980s, someone asked Lee (Singapore’s great conservative prime-minister) why his Minister of Justice was paid the unheard-of sum of US $350,000 a year. He answered, “That’s what the head of Coca Cola Singapore earns. Is Rule of Law less important than fizzy drinks?” Their head of state now earns four times that of the U.S. President, but woe betide the corrupt.» ( from: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/02/greatest-conservative-statesman-age-lee-kuan-yew.html )

                  PDD- See what switzerland has done: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21647937 Oh, these dirty undemocratic and socialist swiss…

                  • TheAbaum

                    What part of Though Shalt Not Covet don’t you understand?

                    I give a rat’s posterior about Switzerland.. Geneva has too much Calvinist residue.

                    • Arriero

                      - «It bores me to tears.»

                      Obvious, as good soccer (football) is almost nonexistent in the US – except, paradoxically, feminine soccer -. Didn’t you watch any Spanish national team soccer game in the last World Cup? Wait for Rio to watch good soccer, then.

                      Citing Ronaldo was a mere example – as I don’t follow NFL or NBA – and he is one of the best madly paid sport-players; actually, take the name you want, from Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein, to Lebron James or Floyd Mayweather, passing through any Hollywood actor.

                      Tell me if these salaries are fair, balanced and, ultimately, morally acceptable in your opinion.

                      – «I don’t give a rat’s posterior about Switzerland, other than some chocolates…»

                      … and clocks and watches, many of which like to wear many usurer pseudo-calvinists that like to visit Davos.

                      Roman Catholicism is the majority religion in Switzerland ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Switzerland ). Even this country is more Catholic than the US… ( http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/ ). Of course, you seem unable to discuss the point about democratically limiting usurers’ power or discussing the morality of the current post-modern laboral enviroment.

                      But I do care about the Pope, who is with me in this, too. God bless him.

                      ROME DOES NOT PAY TRAITORS.
                      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Witch-scene4.JPG

                      (The burning of a 16th-century Dutch Anabaptist Anneken Hendriks, who was charged with heresy)

                  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                    Presumably Cristiano Ronaldo is worth it to those who pay his salary. He increases their gate receipts, television rights, merchandising, sponsorship and advertising revenue.

                    The same holds for actors, musicians &c Their salaries are a function of box office receipts and royalties.

                    They are valued in the same way that things as diverse as a racehorse or a railway are valued – by the revenue they are expected to generate.

                    • Arriero

                      Sheer anti-reason (ergo anti-Catholic) subjectivism of the worst kind.

                      The whole anti-Catholic liberal dogma is summarized in the phrase: «one thing is worth what people is willing to pay for it».

                      The great Thomas Aquinas, on the contrary, affirmed: «never sell anything for more than it’s worth».

                      I’m with Aquinas. And you?

                      PD- This debate is no nonsense. The whole pseudo-calvinist liberalism is built upon the subjectivist theory of value summarized above.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      The labour theory of value is manifestly false, as is shewn by the phenomenon of dead stock. Whatever labour went into the production of last season’s fashions, if the public will not have them, all the labour in the world will not give them value.

                      Value, after all, is not an inherent property, like mass or density; it is always value for someone. Commodities have no value for the merchant, except what he expects them to realise on re-sale

                    • Arriero

                      - «[…] Value, after all, is not an inherent property, like mass or density»

                      Of course it is. I have no doubt that VALUE IS AN INTRINSICTIC PROPERTY (God given).

                      Do not confound value and price.

                      A simple question: do you think water has a higher VALUE in the desert than in a town next to a river? Price Vs. Value.

                      – Keynes would respond from a scarcity perspective.

                      – Menger, Jevons and Walras would ask from a marginal utility perspective.

                      – Marx, Smith and Ricardo from a labour theory of Value.

                      – Post-modern neo-classical economics from an aggregate demand and aggregate supply perspective.

                      What would a real Catholics answer to the question? Easy to know, don’t you think?

                      PD- Another question: How you explain the distortion of prices within a bubble? Are things’ value also distorted? Wait, maybe you simply believe in the little god of rational expectations and bubbles don’t exist… Oh, the almighty God is called market, isn’t it?

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      One cannot value water in the abstract; the question is the value of, say, one litre of water.

                      If my well yields, say, 200 l a day and my consumption is, say, 100 l, the value of 1 l is nothing at all (unless I can sell it). There cannot be separate values attached to the 2 l I use for drinking, the 2 l I use for cooking, the 50 l I use for bathing and so on.

                      “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
                      And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

                      Those flowers have no value, whereas, in someone’s garden, their value, as contributing to the amenity of life, might be very great.

                  • daisy

                    Cristiano Ronaldo makes millions of people happy and because of him a lot of people make their living. The guy who parks cars at the stadium, the lady who sells food at the game, the woman who sews jerseys with his name on them, the janitor who cleans up after the games … all these people depend on Ronaldo. Again, envy is a sin. It’s also an excuse. I don’t envy my boss. He took the risks. He made the company. He invented a going concern out of a dream and because of him I have a job. Envy is a sin.

                • Sid

                  It’s not envy nor anti-Catholicism to champion distributism, solidarism and authentic Catholic teaching in the economic sphere in the face of the liberal evil of Austro-libertarian economics. Many pious acclaimed Catholics have done so in the past.

                  For a von MIses to excoriate Pesch is appropriate, for it highlights the ungodly materialism of the former and the morals, principles, holiness and sanctity of the latter. Liberals will always hate the truth.

                  • TheAbaum

                    We’re not discussing any economic system, whether it be “Distributism”, “Austro-libertarians” or any other. all that’s at issue here is somebody’s visceral reaction to somebody else’s paycheck, and that has it’s root in envy, nothing else.

                    Actually, it’s quite funny that you see “Austro-libertarians” as some coherent monolithic group, because they don’t see themselves as such. Trying to get them to cooperate or even agree is like herding cats. Five seconds after they are in the same room, they’re hissing with their backs arches.

                    On the other hand many libertarians occupy the room next to the “Distributists”, at the “Fantasy Arms”. I’d like to lock all of you in the same room, and throw away the key.

              • daisy

                Be careful with the envy Arriero. If someone were to ask your boss about you he might say that you really aren’t worth the money he pays you.

                • Arriero

                  That’s not about envy. Re-read my comments, my critique goes much more to the root and not to the superficial details and personal experiences. I’m sure your boss is wonderful and he deserves his salary; I don’t deny it mainly because I’m not talking about it. Hard-working people deserve to be well-paid.

                  But nobody in the world deserves 10 million euros (or dollars), period. This is irrational, unfair and immoral. This man’s salary is higher than that of Jack Welsch in his good times. Why? Ask yourself that question. If that’s the world you like and you see it normal, perfect; but don’t expect others to play the same game.

                  I’m not against money (unlike golden calf lovers). I’m not against remunerated work (unlike post-modern coorporations). I’m not against commerce and free (and fair) trade (unlike Wall Street rescuers). I’m not against wealth and prosperity (unlike neo-marxist coorporativist fascists).

                  I’m against this awful pseudo-calvinist anti-Catholic liberalism.

                  To end, I can only recommend you one thing: READ CAREFULLY AND KINDLY THE HOLY FATHER. He has very insightful things to say. Begin with «Evangelii Gaudium», for instance (is this a product of the envy, too?).

                  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                    “Hard-working people deserve to be well-paid” By whom? Presumably, by someone who sets a value on their labour. What value determines what they are paid. Desert doesn’t come into it.

            • TheAbaum

              Proper prioritization requires mental clarity.

  • Michael Lee

    Your “full disclosure” would have been better placed at the beginning of your article, as it certainly sheds significant light on your position.

    • Austin Ruse

      Really? How?

  • AcceptingReality

    Maybe charging up Capitol Hill with our anti-contraception flags flying isn’t a good political strategy. But our priests and bishops should still be preaching about the evils of contraception and the perils of mortal sin……..Can’t help thinking that those souls being contracepted out of existence would probably salute an anti-contraception flag if somebody somewhere was flying it!

    • Jeremy Vezina

      Our priests and bishops absolutely need to do this, though the action is a double-edged sword. On the one hand we will likely lose lay Catholics as a result, but those who stay and become properly informed will make our church better for it. Having a smaller, more unified force is much better for an uphill fight than a large hodgepodge not knowing who to follow.

  • Stray Dog

    Abortion is a natural byproduct of the contraceptive mentality. You will never have any real pro-life victory where contraception is the law of the land. We’ve been trying for over 40 years. It’s like trying to clear a field of weeds by only cutting off the flowers. If you leave the root intact, any tiny victory you have will be shallow, temporary, and completely meaningless.

  • Vinnie

    There is also the abortifacient aspect of “contraception.” I believe that is why pro-abortion people focus on contraception. They see it as the future and proliferation of abortion since abortion mills and abortionists are on the decline. An analogy – now that we have our personal computers, how many “adult” video stores do you see and has pornography increased or decreased?

  • Ford Oxaal

    The very laws of nature are on the side of the folks who have big families. The ones who go against nature will go extinct — their lines will die out. All you folks out there who support sterile and antiseptic sex: how far will you go? When other people fill in the blanks with five, ten, fifteen kids, will you support ‘legislation’ to limit family size? How far will you compromise your humanity to enforce such limits? This isn’t just about the moral sewer you have already foisted upon your own family and upon our entire society — it is about selling your own soul — your own birthright. And for what? To press that pleasure bar yet again? It’s all so adolescent.

  • Dick Prudlo

    This is precisely the tact I have expected our shepherds to come forward with: We will conform with Obamacare if we can simply dispense condoms to our Protestant employees. “You see they have no difficulty with them, as we Catholics.” This is, certainly, the most courageous method of coming to terms with this fine law. This article is pure neoCatholic pap.

  • jcbathtub

    Compromise, does not seem to be working. Lovers of truth and morality are getting their noses rubbed into liberal poop. We may as well, leading Holy lives, fight with the whole truth, only to be sacrificed, as was, and in following, our Savior.

  • http://sivertellingsen.blogspot.com Sivert Ellingsen

    This is positively Sarumanesque. The criteria for whether a fight is worth fighting are not the chances of victory or the popularity of the cause one is fighting for, but the rightness of that cause. Also, the Church forbids Catholics from voting for or in any other way supporting political candidates whose policies go against the natural moral law — and it is certainly the view of the Church that the grave evil of contraception is part of that law.

    I’m not mad at Crisis or at Mr. Ruse (who has written sensible things in the past) — just very, very disappointed.

  • Art Deco

    Just to point out that in a federal system such as ours, shipping contraceptives across state lines or across the international frontier falls within the proper purview of the central government’s regulatory apparatus. The issuance of prescriptions by physicians practicing within a given state and commercial transactions occurring over the pharmacist’s counter are properly the subject of state law with the option to devolve discretion to local councils.

  • Art Deco

    What’s more, there are 136 federally funded Title X family planning
    clinics in Virginia where poor women can get contraceptive pills for
    free and virtually instantly, as many have doctors on site who write the
    prescriptions.

    The federal patronage mill is another scandal.

  • Kris Athomescience

    The difficulty with this article is the loose way in which the term “contraception” is used. In some parts of the article, it refers specifically to oral contraceptives while at others, the deliberate prevention of conception during intercourse.

    Some contraceptives are abortifacients and therefor rise to the same level of immorality as abortion, though perhaps lessened a bit by the ignorance of the user regarding what exactly is going on. Oral contraceptives (OCs) sometimes are abortifacients while IUDs always are; condoms and sterilization never are.

    Comstock is specifically promoting broader availablity of an abortifacient; it cannot be justified by the wide availability of condoms or compared to divorce. This is why the HHS mandate is so reprehensible! In the Pro-life movement, OCs and IUDs are the problem, not condoms.

    If anything, the arguments in this article could be made about sterilization, which seems to have risen to a level above condoms, more on par with OCs and IUDs, probably because of its irreversible nature. Still, it is not an abortifacient. Perhaps the Pro-life movement should clarify the message by specifying hormonal contraception and IUDs. If we are to protect human life from conception until natural death then, yes, we need to charge that hill.

  • MM

    If everything is accurate, I agree with the article. If everything is accurate, Life site and others leading the campaign are confusing politics and religion. They should not politically protest her on the basis of her being a bad Catholic. We cannot fix dissent (an internal issue) by publicizing it and trying to get social/political leverage on the dissenter. The public will applaud, not punish the dissenter and then exploit the division among Catholics. She should receive a letter from her bishop and the protests should be handled in house. We should not air our dirty laundry but clarify our position for those who may be confused. This is probably a deformed practice that developed as a reaction to the bishops utterly failing to do their job. In short, instead of getting a letter (if there is a real dissent) from the one person whose job it is (the Bishop) and who could make a difference, she got notifications from those whose job it is not (Catholic lay interest groups) and who will not make a difference; and we Catholic give further reason to lose more ground politically. It is what it is. Cheers to all on the titanic.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    It is about much more than contraception, it is about the rôle of the Church in society.

    As Hilaire Belloc put it, “Catholic life is not normal to a society unless Catholic morals and doctrine be supreme therein. Unless the morals of the Faith appear fully in the laws of that society, unless it be the established and authoritative religion of that society, the Church is ill at ease… She proposes to take in men’s minds even more than the place taken by patriotism; to influence the whole of society, not a part of it, and to influence it even more thoroughly than a common language. Where She is confronted by any agency inimical to Her claim, though that agency be not directly hostile, She cannot but oppose it. She denounces such laws as impose universal instruction upon Catholic children by force and forbid that instruction to be explicitly Catholic; as permit divorce; as license foul art; as favour contraception or the mutilation of the deficient. She does not admit the thesis that legislation and executive action, in Her eyes immoral, is no concern of Hers: that in this Christendom which She made She is to tolerate by silence and acquiescence what is damnable.”

    • Sid

      Nice job, MIchael, Who says one always has to make reference to France, in order to make a point. :)

      • TheAbaum

        It’s a disease. Francophilia, commonly comorbid with oenophilia. Of course MPS doesn’t suffer from anonophilia.

  • Christophe

    Another capitulation.

  • cestusdei

    The hill we are going to die on is the government forcing us to pay for contraception and eventually abortion. We are going to die on some hill. So why wait? Let’s just do the right thing and sing the Te Deum as we are marched to prison.

    • TheAbaum

      “Let’s just do the right thing and sing the Te Deum as we are marched to prison.”

      Or the gas chamber.

      • Valentin

        Let’s face it during the Nazi regime and Ussr political dissidents were also put to death and not nearly as many people were killed at the hands of Stalin or Hitler as at the hands of the child murder machine and Obama regime. So I think your comment should be taken more seriously.

      • SK

        I say, “Better the gas chamber than martinis in Hell.”

        • TheAbaum

          On a certain level, I agree with you, but better than us denied the Lord three times before the rooster called out.

          • SK

            Yes, and he turned back. We don’t sin, however, assuming we will repent. I cannot presume that I am good enough to be that strong and I’m not willing to take that risk.

            • TheAbaum

              That was my point.

  • TheAbaum

    Why is it that the biggest female advocates of abortion and contraception (outside that dreadful prop from Georgetown Law) are post-menopausal individuals?

  • Sid

    Amazing and sad, but not altogether surprising.

    Mr. Ruse exhibits the telltale signs of the neo-Cath ‘conservative’ complex, which is incessantly in flux in relation to Holy Tradition as it tries to continually ingratiate itself to our American masters, and desperately seeks acceptance, a ‘place at the table’, and furthering the election prospects of a gaggle of folks who from time to time say some nice things about the unborn.

    In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI explicitly stated that government had a responsibility to act appropriately to pursue the curbing of contraceptives from families. Apparently even a pope like Pope Paul VI is too much of a hard-line, traditionalist, ultramontane figure for Mr. Ruse, and apparently must be consigned to the dustbin with Pope Pius X, Pope Pius XI, and Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve.

    Once one chooses to depart from Tradition, free-wheeling theological creativity becomes the rule very quickly. So at the end of the day, our ‘conservatives’ are not always very different from our ‘liberals’.

    • Austin Ruse

      Sid, perhaps you can tell me waht campaigns you are running to ban contraceptives? Or any campaigns that other Catholics are running to ban contraceptives. Or any Bishop’s Conference, or Roman Dicastery, or Bishop? Or Cardinal? I am sure many people here would love to join in.

      This sounds facetious but the point I am making is…there isn’t any. So you are asking Barbara Comstock to do something that no one else is doing, including yourself and the entire body of Christ.

      • Sid

        The dearth of substance and Catholicity on display here, Mr. Ruse, is remarkable, and simply adduces more evidence of the cataclysmic collapse of Catholicism in our time.

        Government’s role is not simply to protect life, liberty and property – an American corrupting of the faith – but to provide for the common good and foster morality and virtue in its citizenry. The Church has always considered, since it became a subject for consideration, laws banning contraceptives to be good, laudable and effectively important for the virtue of society. Even Pope Paul VI magisterially re-affirmed this. The fact that you are willing to add even Paul VI to the apparent list of popes you are breezily prepared to ignore is simply staggering.

        Nobody is doing it is a bankrupt rationale for it not being done and for encouraging others not to do what they should be doing.

        As for my stance regarding B. Comstock, there is no inconsistency in my position at all. I favor outlawing contraceptives as all Catholics should. I speak about and make this position known properly consonant with my station in life, which is not one that entails seeking or holidng public office nor seeking or holding a direct position in the study, influencing and/or promulgation of public policy. Comstock has chosen to enter this area. I expect nothing from her or anybody else that I would not expect from myself if I were in the same position.

        The hollowing out of the faith as a strategy is monstrously scandalous as well as hopelessly ineffective, as the past 50 years have shown us again and again.

        And you do not seem to have carefully thought out the implications of your foggy conceptualization. By artificially separating contraception and divorce from abortion, that also clearly leaves homosexual marriage and polygamy on the contraception/divorce side of the divide, as nobody is being killed by those evils. So your erroneous position taken to its ‘logical’ conclusion would remove us from the marriage issue completely in the realm of public policy. After all, why should we want to die on that hill either? There are so many hapless conservative-taking ineffectual pols to still get elected!

        In fairness, this isn’t totally your fault. For some decades, we have had popes who have completely abandoned the clarion call of the Rights of Christ the King in society and government, and have instead served us up a syrupy counterfeit worldview balanced on religious diplomacy and distorted anthropomorphisms obsessed excessively with ‘human dignity’.

        I hope you will find the wherewithal to please reconsider your approach here.

        • Austin Ruse

          So, Sid, your answer is no, you don’t do anything but comment in comment boxes. Moreover, you do not know of any Church authority or lay group actively working to ban contraceptives. Is that correct?

          Do you vote accordingly at least? Do you make sure anyone you vote for also works to ban contraceptives? Do you at least do that, Sid?

          BTW, what ever station in life is yours, does not preclude you from actively working to stop evil. This is why I ahve dedicated my life to it.

          • Sid

            Actually, I do more than comment in comment boxes in this regard. So why do you feel entitled to fabricate a fictional statement about somebody you don’t even know?

            Instead, it would be better, if you wish to properly defend your position, to try to address the host of substantive points I’ve raised: the classical stance of the Church, the Rights of Christ the King, role of natural law in proper governance, the historical multitude of laws banning contraceptives, Pope Pius XI, Pope Paul VI, implications for homosexual marriage and polygamy etc.

            Voting, and the licit prudential judgments that can entail, does not precisely coincide with the topic at hand, and has associated considerations beyond those tied to the topic at hand. But since you asked, yes, in recent years my votes for federal and state offices have gone to those who, among other things, would favor the outlawing of contraceptives, as I have shifted my voting patterns into an increasingly Catholic direction.

            I do oppose evil, consonant with my station in life. And I don’t expect anything from anybody that I would not expect from myself in similar circumstances.

            Please reconsider your position.

            • Austin Ruse

              Nope…

            • Austin Ruse

              Sid, can you name one candidate you ahve voted for who has explicitly called for banning contraceptives? Plesae be specific…

              • Sid

                Mr. Ruse, I’ll make this the last post, as I don’t wish to burden Crisis Magazine with an interminable exchange.

                Again, I have raised a barrage of solid counterpoints to your position grounded in Western history, normative Catholic teaching and values, and implications of your position. You have steadfastly refused to respond or refute these points. I cannot help but conclude that your silence in essence refutes your own position, as you do not seem willing or able to defend it in any systematic analytic manner within the full corpus and context of 2,000 years of Catholic truth.

                As for voting, what I said in my previous post is perfectly true. But you need to please read and reflect very carefully as to what I said.

                I said nothing about official candidates.

                Please reconsider your position.

  • elarga

    It would be as pointless to try to re-ban artificial contraceptives as it would to re-ban sodomy. Or usury, for that matter.

    • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

      I don’t think many Catholics who know that contraception is evil call for it’s banning. Rather, we must avoid any formal cooperation with it, and avoid material cooperation in as far as it is reasonably possible. Also, be careful tossing around usury as not all loan interest is usurious.

  • Magdalene

    Yes, any tenet or truth of the faith is what we must defend. Martyrs gave their lives rather than offer a pinch of incense to a false God for example.

  • Objectivetruth

    Contraception might not be the hill we want to die on here in the United States, but why no specific, public denouncement from our Commander in Chief in the Vatican? If Pope Francis did an interview specifically calling out the president to stop persecuting his Church in the United States over contraception with immoral legal requirements, it could possibly go a long way with Catholics here.

  • NDaniels

    “And then came the deluge”, worse than in the day of Noah, for the outpouring of support for the contraception mentality, has led to the objectification of the human person.

  • chrisinva

    Catholics – even “other serious Catholics” like Mr. Ruse’s esteemed cohorts – — certainly have the right to hold Mr. Ruse’s views — or to oppose them — on these contentious matters (viz. Lumen Gentium, 37 et passim).

    Mr. Ruse has done noble work for life over the years. His endorsement of Ms. Comstock’s campaign is thus not insignificant, especially among those in the pro-life community.

    I just hope that Crisis received the usual fee for paid political advertisements, because that’s what this “article” is.

    If not, Crisis had better send the Comstock campaign a bill posthaste, for its own protection.

    Otherwise, its nonprofit status might well be challenged – and on reasonable grounds.

  • AquinasMan

    “They have utterly won and somewhere in the pits of hell, sitting in the cocktail lounge, drinking a celebratory martini is Margaret Sanger.”

    Respectfully, no. If she’s in hell, she’s suffering eternal torment, not having a cocktail. This is why elevating political gain above the duty of Catholics to, yes, be their brothers’ keepers is nothing to trivialize. One of the burdens of being a self-identified Catholic is the responsibility of avoiding giving scandal — especially public figures (yes, I know, this has been discussed ad nauseum) — because giving scandal isn’t about “not staying on message”, but cooperating in the eternal loss of souls.

    Moreover, the same argument can (and will) be made for gay marriage: “Is this a hill we want to die on?” My answer: Better to die on a hill like this and perish for the sake of Truth, than have yourself a one-night stand with a Lie that results in the Eternal Walk of Shame.

    Realistically speaking, we’re not even living in the same country that gave at least a cursory voice to moral sanity, in past decades. In a democracy of degenerates, degeneracy wins and wins until it collapses on itself. Better to save souls than play Don Quixote in a landscape of windmills. Acknowledging that we can’t turn back the tide of contraception-addiction is one thing — it’s burrowed into the fabric of society, I agree. But giving it a leg-up for political expediency demonstrates a lack of thoughtfulness not only toward one’s own salvation, but to the spiritual well-being of those Ms. Comstock seeks to represent.

    Peace…

    • Austin Ruse

      Aquinasman. It was a joke. I really don’t think there’s a cocktail lounge in the pits of hell. And if there was, the drinks would be flat.

      • Objectivetruth

        Or…..

        ……maybe by the grace of God Sanger is in purgatory for the next 10 million years, changing the poopy diapers of the millions of babies aborted by planned parenthood……..

        • Valentin

          nice

      • Ford Oxaal

        They use gun tonic in Hell. And wet ice.

        • Austin Ruse

          Very funny!

    • John MacGovern

      I could not agree more with your comment about Ms. Comstock and what this description of her votes(and I have read others) says about her. We already have enough compromisers, slicers and dicers, ‘I voted for it before I voted against it’ kind of politicians. As someone wrote earlier in this comment section: is a simple vote of integrity too much to ask?

  • texasknight

    Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” Sin is sin. It does not matter if you are Catholic. As a Catholic, you can never look past a politician’s support of the intrinsically evil act of contraception, abortion or the removal of God from our republic. As Catholics we must vote to oppose these things until they are reversed and no longer an issue. Why? Because they are intrinsically evil. By its very nature, the act of contraception separates one from the grace of God. Any support what so ever will be counted against us on our judgment day including the guilty silence of our priests and bishops (not my words – ref. Casti Connubii para 56 & 57). All the other issues being discussed in politics are matters of prudential judgment and therefore, do not warrant any consideration of our vote as long as one of these intrinsic evils is unresolved. Legalized contraception would have been reversed long ago if our bishops would have espoused this truth clearly and loudly. As it is now, we cannot rid ourselves of all the intrinsically evil fruit spawned by the contraceptive mentality until the legalization of contraception is reversed. In addition to the removal of god from our republic, we have legalized and funded abortion, euthanasia, pornography, embryonic stem cell research, no fault divorce laws, public school sex education, freedom of conscience and same sex marriage. All were made possible by the contraceptive mentality. All are tools of the enemy to separate us from God. Until the entire Church unites to rid our land of this scourge, the enemy will continue to snare countless souls. Pray and fast for God to deliver us from this evil.

  • WCW

    Plan B isn’t the only abortifacient in town. The birth control pill acts as an abortifacient also. Impossible to know the numbers of unborn human lives that have been destroyed by the pill.

  • Janet Baker

    It is Ms. Comstock who “charged up contraception hill”. She must own that blunder – no, not blunder, but serious sin and scandal-mongering. Now of the two candidates she may well be the more moral choice, but she has betrayed trust. Of course there is the question of the abortifacient nature of many oral contraceptives; that cannot be overlooked, either.

  • Lassiter

    YES, This is where we fight or die! There will never be an end to abortion until contraception is ended and outlawed for the poison that it is! It’s a clever assault on the dignity of the human person and Satans direct attack on morality and the destruction of marriage and children created by God with a purpose and plan. Their eternal salvation and not for fornication, adultry, and sterility within marriage, but fruitfulness and chastity! Contraception is the gravest evil perpetuated upon humanking cloaked in free choice and supports the abortion industry.

  • Andrew Carlan

    A reading of Jacques Elul’s Betrayal of the West is essential for a full understanding of the confusion of the faithful. The Church is in the world but not of it. It must either serve God or Mammon, therefore it must separate the chaff from the wheat and accept martyrdom if it must. I read the Argentine constitution (understandably). In the first article it proclaims the Catholic Church as the State Church. The Church must refuse that poisonous preference because it is the Church of Martyrs and not the pawn of the benefits of materialism. Bill Buckley was one of the voices of the Church and he boasted of practicing birth control. 60% of Catholics don’t know what Roe v. Wade was about. Is it worse to prevent life than to destroy it forgetting what our secular culture thinks? We must steer our boat through troubled waters.

    • Art Deco

      Bill Buckley was one of the voices of the Church and he boasted of practicing birth control.

      I know not where this meme originated, but it’s nonsense. They were able to have one child in 1952 and no more. Patricia Buckley had multiple ectopic pregnancies.

  • Mary

    On the contrary, we will never win against abortion unless we also win on contraception. The author also fails to mention that hormonal contraception can cause early abortions.

  • Anne Hendershott

    Great article Austin. Thank you for your courage to say this. No one should want to die on the hill called “war on women” – we need to live to fight another day against the evil of abortion. We need to show that the real radicals are on the left fighting to expand abortion. Rather than waging war on women, we are the only ones who continue to say that “women deserve better than abortion.”

    • Austin Ruse

      Well said.

  • Paul Sho

    if i had resources like Melinda Gates or Warren Buffet or some other rich folks this is what i would do as a catholic. i would bring together the most brillant minds in Reproductive Medical Science and Technology and challenge them to get for me the best and least expensive contraceptive methods that have no single hint of abortifacient in their mode of action. i would distribute these contraceptives – free of charge – to all non-Catholics who want them and to those Catholics not yet spiritually matured enough to practice self-restraint and abstinence as a family planning method.
    .
    Now, does that sound like a challenge to well-to-do wealthy Catholics who want to stop the abortion epidemic in its tracks?

    • ForChristAlone

      What matters is what’s in your heart and whether your heart is in synch with Christ’s.

    • musicacre

      The act of contracepting is the sin….if a person has no moral restraint, he shouldn’t be in a relationship with ANYONE. What’s preventing him from stealing? If he can justify one sin, why not another? I wouldn’t trust my cat to be taken care of by a contraceptive person. For a man to want to use contraceptives in a relationship is to treat the woman like a convenient “thing”. He’s just de-humanized the person he claims to love. And yes, that is exactly what Melinda Gates is doing, dispensing baby-preventing drugs so that people on a poor continent that are unworthy, won’t have the joy of having children.

  • Invincible Hope

    And what “hill” did the early Church, Saints, and Apostles avoid for fear of “death”? If we do not end up as saints where will we end up? God has promised that the Church will last forever so I do not think we need to fear addressing the roots of poison. Look what contraceptives are doing/potentially doing to all our drinking water and then try and tell me we are not dying (physically) b/c that battle is not being fought hard enough. We are certainly dying (spiritually) when we avoid our God given call to take up such the topics in the ill-informed secular sphere. Lastly, put your self in the shoes of an atheist, anti-Christian, or the devil, what would make you more happy – True Catholics addressing and changing public opinion about contraceptive use, just as they have done to abortion over the last few decades, OR would the devil be more pleased if Catholic’s said “despite God’s promise to the Church we must avoid the ‘ hill or contraception ‘ for fear we may die on it so let society sink deeper”. We must always do what the devil despises and place not our faith in polls, or our own strategies (and limited view points), but in God FULL vision of his plan.

  • uncle max

    Pope Paul VI was right

  • etienneaix .

    Abortion follows contraception as night follows day. Why are you tearing down the one good guy in the race who did not surrender to the contraceptive mentality and sell out the Church’s teaching for political points? As you well know, the pill, which Ms. Comstock wants as freely available as a cough-drop, is also an abortifacient.

    Hey, I came across a perfect description of your unnamed “primary challenger” a/k/a Bob Marshall. Drink it in, Mr. Ruse, it’s by Teddy Roosevelt.. :

    The credit belongs to the MAN who is actually in the ARENA; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives VALIANTLY…and spends himself in a WORTHY Cause … If he fails, at least he fails while DARING GREATLY

    Enough said!

    • Austin Ruse

      Bob Marshall is a very good man.

  • Seeker

    When is the last time you heard a sermon against contraception? Well, how about adultery? They are still grave sins, with terrible consequences. If the Church had been speaking about these issues all along we wouldn’t be intimidated to speak out now.

    • musicacre

      The Church has always spoken out against these grave evils..it’s just that we think if it didn’t come on the major networks, it didn’t happen! Catholics are obligated I think, to search for the truth before they take an action. My husband and I did, in our early 20′ s; and 30 years later, we have not contracepted. We are not either one of us rocket scientists or highly educated…we just searched until we found the answers. People that want to be cute and say they didn’t know, but were never curious enough to find out the truth makes me wonder about their truthfulness.

      We had leadership on the issue of contraception right away, as soon as the (poison) pill was invented. Paul VI stuck his neck out and was persecuted for the remainder of the papacy. His document,Humanae Vitae is clear, very clear except to those who really would prefer not to know the truth. Unfortunately the document was “leaked” to the American press even before it was officially released, (that is how close the enemies to the Church were, to the Pope) and the wayward modernist American priests ran with it, denouncing the Pope and his teaching. The rest is history. We would have had it in all the dioceses around the world had not most of those bishops somehow lost their nerve. And yet there were some who in communion with Rome, did preach it and tell their priests to. These men were not covered by ABC TV or any other popular means, but there have consistently been a smattering of faithful priests and bishops who have unequivocally proclaimed the truth. Some of us have had the joy to meet some of these good men, for us, early in our marriage.

      I would suggest we focus on what can be done; to find out who these preachers are and tell other people about them. Just the readership in this little magazine is enough to start a groundswell! Sometimes the Church speaks in a diminished voice (diminished numbers, as in the time of Frances of Assisi, but the truth is just as powerful) but it is there if one seeks it. Luckily (providentially?), an organization took it upon themselves to gather the testimonies of many of these courageous men and publish a book called, A Preachable Message. I believe every Catholic living in these warped times, needs to have one on their kitchen table….but more importantly, parishes could help fund buying them for the priest; the book is invaluable, in that each of the priests and bishops in the book explain how they preach the good news about Natural family planning and use the cycle of readings in the mass to fit the message. There is even a calendar of the liturgical year at the back to make suggestions for preaching!! How come everyone is not all over this??

      It’s always easier for us to eulogize over the terrible calamities and sins of the church, but why don’t we all do something constructive instead? I will give the publisher and title, and hope that more people will put this book into the hands of priests.

      A Preachable Message/ The Dynamics of Preaching Natural Family Planning
      copyright 2002, ISBN: 0-9722251-0-2 Printed by Versa Press, Inc. East Peoria, Illinois. Published by The Billings Ovulation Method Association-USA P.O. Box 16206 St. Paul, Minnesota. 55116 651-699-8139 email: boma-usa@msn.com http://www.boma-usa-org
      PS
      Wonderful book, I lend it out all the time!

  • Pingback: When Pro-Lifers Muddle the Issues! | Top US News Today

  • TALMars

    To prevent confusion, we should more care in our terms. First sentence of the article is a confusion creator. All contraception is grave matter, suitable for mortal sin for we Catholics; and gravely immoral for all. Natural means contraception are gravely immoral. Artificial contraception is gravely immoral. Artificial birth control – what we often call contraception, is gravely immoral. Natural means of birth control, that ARE NOT contraceptive are permissible. It is very frustrating when i see learned Catholic writers use the term artificial contraception, as being the “thing we should avoid”. Onan was a natural contraceptor – and God was not pleased.

  • Andrew Carlan

    Cardinal Dulles reiterated that Catholicism could exist in a secular society that our Founding Fathers established because it is consistent with the natural law that is open to reason and does not require the forced imposition of dogma. Every poll shows that Catholics practice contraception and abortion in proportion to the rest of society. Perhaps the Church ought to begin with our own. The Catholic vote for Obama in 2008 exceeded that of Evangelicals. The Republicans–who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk–would probably have picked up an additional Senate seat if Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) had not used a political campaign to preach against conception and abortion by rape. More ought to be aware that it is a heretical position to expect heaven on earth which by the way is precisely what the Progressives believe, that science and technology can achieve just that. That is precisely why I cited Jacques Eliul’s “The Betrayal of the West,” where he opposes the idolatry of worshiping technology as God.or expecting political institutions to return the West to faith, family and community. We must practice our Catholicism as the “light on the hill” and hope that by our example others will be attracted. Abortion, even outside,the Church, is different. It is killing. Except for the morning after pill, contraception prevents conception and as the author points out if we cannot overturn Roe we surely cannot overturn Griswold and Eisenstadt.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      “Catholicism could exist in a secular society that our Founding Fathers established because it is consistent with the natural law that is open to reason and does not require the forced imposition of dogma.”

      The belief in a “natural order,” governed by Natural Law, consisting of truths accessible to unaided human reason, as something that can be kept separate from the supernatural truths revealed in the Gospel is what Lucien Laberthonnière called “a false theological notion of some state of pure nature and [that] the state could be self-sufficient in the sense that it could be properly independent of any specifically Christian sense of justice.”

      This is what Maurice Blondel meant, when he wrote that “one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny. Because, since it concerns the human being such as he is, in concreto, in his living and total reality, not in a simple state of hypothetical nature, nothing is truly complete (boucle), even in the sheerly natural order.”

      Jacques Maritain, too, declared that “the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being . . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account” and that “Man is not in a state of pure nature, he is fallen and redeemed. Consequently, ethics, in the widest sense of the word, that is, in so far as it bears on all practical matters of human action, politics and economics, practical psychology, collective psychology, sociology, as well as individual morality,—ethics in so far as it takes man in his concrete state, in his existential being, is not a purely philosophic discipline. Of itself it has to do with theology…”

      If unaided human reason is adequate to the right ordering of the state, the liberal privatisation of religion logically follows.

  • BigBlueWave

    When you support a candidate who lobbies for greater access to The Pill, you are supporting a candidate who lobbies for greater access to an abortifacient. Honestly, Austin Ruse, I’m very disappointed in you. You should know better. Way better.

  • LRC

    We have this completely misguided way of thinking that says that the matter of legality has a bearing upon morality; as if statistics is the only door to redemption. The lack of sin is not a measure of a person’s holiness. A prisoner in for life, in solitary confinement, sins less than the average free citizen. Using the standard set by this article and so many others, it’s quite obvious that few really want to work for anything of value, they just want it legislated. Pass the popcorn.

    • DD

      The law is a teacher. Once you teach vice it is a bit absurd to claim other venues matter more. BTW, if true morality does not infuse the law then we have tyranny.

      • LRC

        Can you flesh out that first sentence a little? Not sure what you mean. Who’s teaching vice? And I guess that you are saying that vice is a lot more tempting and attractive than virtue. Yes? And, how does morality infuse law. You seem to be stating that law is somehow a separate entity; not only capable of standing on its own merit, but precedes morality. Yes?

        • DD

          I am simply reiterating traditional Catholic teaching. The law is a teacher for good or for ill. That was stated, again, by Cardinal Ratzinger. If the law teaches abortion is licit you get more abortion. People form their consciences by the law. If the law teaches vice people think vice is good.

          If the positive law contradicts the natural moral law you do not have freedom but slavery. The law becomes a tyranny.

  • Michael Lindner

    Is Contraception the Hill We Want to Die On? Yes. yes it is.

    • givelifeachance2

      Yes, oh yes. Contraception was the beginning of the slippery slope. It makes a laughingstock of the gift of sexuality, facilitates abortion – you read all about it’s insidious effects in Humanae Vitae. Makes women into objects, Huxley’s “Centrifugal Bumblepuppies”‘ Yes Austin the only reason you’re out of breath fighting is because you’ve been playing incrementalist footsie with the beast these many decades.

      But the Hill I want to die on is the fight to get our SHEPHERDs to preach on, like HV begged them to. You let them off the hook claiming that their failure to preach means we don’t have to make it a political cause. You should be charging up that Shepherd hill, instead of camping out at the UN with your shiny NGO badge.

  • Jay Douglas

    The article is completely off base, and the current editors of Crisis (if they are Catholic, which I presume they are) should be embarrassed. 1. Comstock endorsed making it easier for 18 yr old boys to buy their 16 yr old girlfriends abortifacients over the counter (we’re not talking condoms, we’re talking abortion inducing drugs); 2. Comstock has no remorse about this position–in fact she mailed out an article to me and other 10th district voters just two weeks ago praising her for this position; 3. Contrary to the author’s implication that the district solely exists inside McLean/the DC beltway, the district extends to West Virginia where it is redder than red; and 4. She is not an incumbent in this office; it is currently held by solidly pro-life Rep. Frank Wolf (again the author was incorrect in stating Comstock to be the only elected republican in the area). 5. The choice for Catholic voters is not between Comstock and someone worse; the choice is between 2 or 3 candidates (i.e., Wasinger) who are in line with settled Church teaching and someone who’s voting record and positions are not fully in line with settled Church teaching (i.e., Comstock). I think it is quite scandalous for a Catholic to be actively promoting a politician who favors making abortifacients (again, we’re not talking condoms) available over the counter, when other better candidates are running in the same primary.

    • Austin Ruse

      Jay, like many, you are not up to date on public policy. Over the counter abortifacients — Plan B — are already available in Virginia and all over the Unites States.

  • J.P. Wicki

    Austin,

    In reference to your question,”And by the way, when was the last time you heard a sermon from your priest about contraception, let alone a statement by your Bishop?”

    I heard it mentioned in a sermon this morning and have heard it mentioned several times in the past. What a shame if this is the exception. Our parish is full on Sundays and weekday Mass. It seems the more our Priest preach the truth, the more our parish fills with people, amazing. I believe your suggested strategy is a compromise and compromising the truth leads to empty churches and hollow politicians. I had hope for more backbone from an orthodox magazine.

  • Bernadette

    The question I have reading this article is whether Austin Ruse would have written it for any other candidate than someone he has already endorsed and who is likely a personal friend. I have to say, having read and liked many other articles he’s written, that I can’t imagine he would have. This seems more like an apologia for Barbara Comstock framed within the context of larger principles than truly an article on those principles. After all, it’s one thing to tolerate contraceptive use, yet another thing publicly to promote it by seeking to have it funded. The better title would be, “Is Barbara Comstock’s Candidacy the Hill We Want to Die On?” Austin has seemed to answer “yes” to that question and unfortunately I think his reputation is unfortunately going to suffer. This article, like Barbara Comstock’s letter, was ill-advised.

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  • Andrew Carlan

    I forgot in my comment attributed to Cardinal Dulles to add that the First Amendment guarantees our right not only to freedom,of belief but also to freedom to practice and pronounce our faith in the public square. “Public Square” of course was coined by Father Richard John Neuhaus who established the magazine “First Things” to counter the secularists pushing religion to the sidelines of our ongoing national debate. Of course, Catholics should be outspoken about the truths taught by the Church. What I wonder is why bishops don’t excommunicate recalcitrant politicians like Pelosi, Cuemo and especially Sebalius who exploit their cradle Catholicism to garner Catholics votes and then brazenly contradict the Church’s teachings. In the Sixties the then bishop in New York;s Governor Hugh Carey’s diocese demanded him on pain of excommunication reverse his support of abortion. Believe or not, he reversed his position because he feared for his soul. That’s what we need more of from our bishops today.

  • Valentin

    One big problem with contraception is that it treats human life as disposable, you see this with the attitude that someone needs to be ‘useful’ or ‘convenient’ ‘otherwise they shouldn’t live’. You see this with all these cases where brain dead people are murdered because of how expensive it is to keep them alive.

    • musicacre

      The other big problem is that is re-defines what women are; they become objects. A marriage becomes objectified and the the couple partake of an intimacy that lacks intimacy. I have been around long enough to see so many divorces result form contraception. Absolutely everything changes in that household that practices this dark art. Suddenly a fiscal value or lack of value is put on the children. The parents begin to take their pulses every second, not sure if they can “take it” anymore…having children. Yet they could probably push hard to do a reno or or something else they think has more value than a life. Priorities begin to crumble or become warped, sense of selflessness, becomes selfishness…

      • Valentin

        That’s interesting, so women end up either getting degraded by themselves or by someone else because of this contraceptive mentality. I find very strange when young men of my generation are told that women and girls are simply called ‘bitches and hoes’ and women are expected to follow along with that notion as well as hardheartedly deny any real friendliness to anyone. It seems like feminism is tied to the contraceptive mentality.

        • musicacre

          Definitely. They were the first (and most dedicated) promoters of this mentality that cheapens life. Even though my son has probably witnessed some coarseness in his life (part-time with the military ) he has made it clear to girlfriends that he is pro-life, Catholic and will not contracept when he marries someday. He already broke up with someone on those grounds-someone I know he was quite fond of-but I admire that he is sticking to his convictions.

          • Valentin

            You must have raised him fairly well.

            • musicacre

              Thanks; he was homeschooled and has a music degree. Now 25 and finishing an accounting degree, but he loves guns more than violins now I think. He has alot of sisters that he loves and confides in.

              • Valentin

                What a charming family, I’ve always wanted a sister (I grew up with only brothers).

  • MPI

    Austin, isn’t there a world of difference (one that you gloss over a little in your column) between taking a prudential stance as a politician in Fairfax to not make an issue out of contraception and taking an active role in making it easier for women to obtain the pill? Mrs. Comstock highlights the latter on her website as a key health issue for her.

    Not to mention her seeming support of contraception here undermines any philosophical basis for the correct stance on other family issues.

  • Jonathan Weinberg

    Austin Ruse has gone off the rails. He clearly downplays the seriousness of chemical abortifacients and ignores that Comstock is trying to win votes on the single issue of wider distribution of OTC chemical contraceptives. He should be ashamed of himself.

    • Austin Ruse

      Jonathan Weinberg is the nom-de-comment of a person from the nasty campaign. He is not writing under his own name. This is a sock-puppet. He has been outed by the Bearing Drift blog in Virginia and a number of other political blogs in Virginia.

      http://bearingdrift.com/2014/02/06/here-we-go-round-the-wasinger-bush/
      http://bearingdrift.com/2014/02/10/the-anatomy-of-a-takedown-catholic-edition/

      As to his comments. I most certainly do not downplay anything. Moreover, I say explicitly in the piece that i oppose what Comstock did. What’s more, she is hardly trying to run on the single issue of contraception.

      There is lying going on here and it should redound negatively to the silly campaign behind it.

    • Objectivetruth

      “Harverd?” Sock puppets??……..OK…..freakin’ me out…

      YERRRRRR…..OUT-ED HEEEERRE!!!!!!

    • Austin Ruse

      Here’s more information from Ramesh Ponnuru on the wasinger campaign which is becoming a laughingstock.
      http://m.nationalreview.com/corner/371279/comstock-and-her-critics-ramesh-ponnuru

      • Andrew Carlan

        Yes, we are getting misinformation and it is a moral sin to dissimulate. Ponnurunu of the National Review and says any other position borders on the insane. Do go to the link to the National Review and read it for yourselves. It is exactly what I have tried to put across obviously with no effect in support of Austin.

        • Austin Ruse

          Andrew..I don’t understand this post..can you clarify?

      • Andrew Carlan

        Well I went to the NR site and Ponnuru supports Comstock for the reasons I have been giving. Maybe I’ve gotten you wrong but my reading is that you support Comstock for tjhe same reasons as Ponnuru. If I am wromg I apologize

        • Austin Ruse

          I dont believe Ramesh has come out in any way for Comstock. I believe she is the best candidate who also has the best chance of winning. I support her despite her letter to Sibelius on contraception.

  • Andrew Carlan

    What is overlooked is that you cannot beat people into virtue. It is the basic violation of free will which the Church believes as firmly it does abortion and contraception. Besides honesty and fact are essential to meaningful discussion. All contraceptives are not abortifacients. The rest of contraceptives prevent implantation. If one still be;believes that every act of intercourse must be open to life that is catholic doctrine that cannot be forced by government on non-believers. Besides in the political realm it is just plain suicide. Even if a candidate makes contraception an issue if he wins he will soon forget his promise.

    • DD

      Just as a point of fact it is not “beating” anyone to have just laws. The civil law ought to reflect the natural law. That is not a matter of Church doctrine but a matter of justice.

      It would be like claiming abortion should be legal because the Church does not want to impose Herself on society. It is just not accurate to claim the Church is imposing anything. If the Church said everyone must worship on Holy Days that would be an imposition.

      • Andrew Carlan

        My father used to say you can swing your arms until it hits someone else’s noise. Again abortion is one person killing another. That is murder and we must insist as hard as we can to protect anyone from murder and punish the perpetrator. Contraception, I believe is prevention of a new life coming into being. It was an exemption that Griswell was convicted but not of the horrible abortions but there being done by unlicensed staff, the unsanitary conditions of his clinic and his selling drugs in violation of the law.

  • Paul Schumann

    If she’s got a solid pro-life record, as you describe, then I’d have no problem voting for her I guess. The opposition sounds like the ridiculous people who insist on voting “conservative” or “right-to-life” instead of “republican” in major elections. I can’t take them seriously. Do they think their one representative is going to do more to protect the unborn then a republican majority that can approve a solid supreme court justice? Baffling.

  • Austin Ruse

    For anyone concerned about my adherence to Church teaching on contraception and on fighting it in the public square, all you need to do is google “Austin Ruse contraception”

    You will see i have been fighting this for going on two decades…it is laughable to suggest that i have now taken a dive on contraception….

    • Paul Schumann

      I’m sorry to see Shea and others targeting you. This seems like a sensible piece. Keep it up!

  • Andrew Carlan

    If you want to oppose contraception in the political realm it is essential to read the radical anarchist Jacques Elul’s Betrayal of the West available on line by just typing in his name and the title of the book. It is free to download or print. He opposes the left and the right and the Utopians all who use government which is essentially repressive and through technology and the mass media would eliminate the individual and incorporate him into a mass. It is very much like Dorothy Day and the Berrigans who viewed all governments as repressive. I know I am in a minority here for rejecting the Utopianism of a heaven on earth. Only the coming of Christ can accomplish that. Elul advocates withdrawal from participation in government, and that meansnot voting but otherwise observing neutral laws that maintain social peace. It means the refusal to accept government funding at all even if it means closing down the Church’s philanthropic institutions. That would bring Obamacare to a standstill since the Church funds a third of all hospitals and operates many schools and colleges which Obama and his cohorts depend on.

  • Austin Ruse

    For more about the laughingstock Wasinger campaign see this.

    http://m.nationalreview.com/corner/371279/comstock-and-her-critics-ramesh-ponnuru

  • Claire Smith

    A Catholic who won’t die on the hill to defend the Church’s teaching on innocent life won’t die on any hill to defend anything

  • daisy

    Mr. Ruse, other than being Catholic why are you for Barbara Comstock? What’s wrong with her opponent?

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  • Michael Petek

    Contraception is indeed the hill we want to die on. According to the Vademecum for Confessors, contraception denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life. The moral principle in play is that the transmission of human life is lawful only for God, to the exclusion of any human act He does not authorise for a married couple. Subvert this, and God is no longer Lord in any sense the scriptures say He is. Either contraception is banned, or we lose.

  • Austin Ruse

    If any of the potshots in these comments care to look you will see that I have been fighting on the hill of contraceptives for going on 20 years. Google “Austin Ruse contraception” and you will see.

    The point of my piece is that it is a kind of suicidal lunacy to decide to make this an electoral issue when almost 100% of Catholics are against us, let alone everybody else. It is the electoral hill we do not want to fight on.

    We have a great deal of work to do with our fellow Catholics and other citizens, work I have been faithfully doing for years, before we make this an electoral issue.

    I believe that Bob Marshall is a sincere believer in this issue. If I believed as many of you do about this issue and Barbara Comstock, I would support him in a minute.

    • MPI

      Mr. Ruse, I haven’t followed this campaign really at all, but the thrust of your arguments seems to be that as a prudential matter Catholics ought not make an issue out of contraception. OK. But as I understand it, Comstock invited the criticism by actively promoting the wider distribution of the pill, which can be an abortifacient (I think this is a key point). Didn’t Comstock make contraception the issue and not those who are critical of her for it?

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    To vote for someone is one thing. To endorse someone is another thing altogether. We all must occasionally (if not often) vote for the “lesser of two evils.” But it is a dangerous thing, because it can lead us to forget the last word of that little equation.

  • Almario Javier

    “And by the way, when was the last time you heard a sermon from your priest about contraception, let alone a statement by your Bishop?”

    Last year, in fact – twice! Once from a Jesuit, even!

  • CiceroTheLatest

    “Is Contraception the Hill We Want to Die On?”

    The answer depends on whether you want to embark on a generational journey to reverse the Left’s Gramscian March Through the Institutions, or simply feel good about yourself.

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  • Maggie Sullivan

    Wow, Mr. Ruse I have always respected and supported your work but I never knew you would give up the fight for the common good in order to appear more “reasonable” to the liberals who are running the show.
    Contraception destroys marriages, destroys relationships, is an offence against God and human life. Some contraception destroys human life in the womb, contraception is the reason we have an abortion mentality, contraception teaches that babies in the womb are an illness to be eliminated, contraception is the root of the culture of death.
    Mr. Ruse, you may give up on protecting people from this evil, it even may be the right decision for you if the God you serve is so impotent and powerless that He cannot protect His children………..but I and my family will continue to speak out against the horrors of contraception.

    • Andrew Carlan

      I understand your strong opposition to contraceptives. Please be specific about how you would procede. Would you have the House and Senate pass a law that requires Obama’s signature? Would it apply to everyone, even atheists who hate the Catholic Church? How would you enforce it on everyone? You know what a failure prohibition was. Booze was smuggled in from Canada. People had stills hidden away. And it created the hughest crime wave in our history, thugs like Al Capone. People switched from beer to hard liquor because it has a effect on a smaller quantity, which made it easier to smuggle in from over the border.That has changed our nation’s drinking habits to this dayt. Lastly, you can bet the law will go to the Supreme Court. The Court, based on precedent, would declare it unconsituional. Even Catholics like Scalia and Thomas would write decisions opposing the law on everyone. In fact the Supreme Court would declare the law unconstitutional unanimously. What would be accomplised expect getting more people to hate the Church and Obama to clamp down even harder on Catholic institutions.

      • Maggie Sullivan

        Always do good and avoid evil. Whenever law or bill is proposed that is good support it, if it harms people oppose it.
        Mr. Ruse has it all wrong…….he thinks a person will metaphorically “die on the hill of opposing contraception.” No good person who stand for what is true, good, and beautiful would die on that hill….when we do good we live in Christ and that is all that matters.

  • musicacre

    We all know the crisis began with legalized and therefore justified contraception. Society at large must have known it was a destructive idea,; that’s why it WAS outlawed and took a court case to legalize it. The perception toward women changed that day, and the image of women as being objects to have sex with has steadily and strongly devolved into a barbarian society once more, except for enclaves of men who still follow the Christian respect for women as whole human beings, and the dignity that implies. Abortion is the natural and predictable outcome of that; women became disposable, so children too, became disposable. Reading Anne Roche-Muggeridge in the early 80’s was so prophetic!

  • musicacre

    Just one question Austin, the “hill we die on…” you mean politically? The Church does not die when her followers insist on the truth; in fact it is set apart like a light on a hill. We cannot put a bushel basket temporarily over the light, because it will stay there. Christ did not make the message more palatable when he sensed the main crowd would not follow the hard sayings.

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  • Rhoda Penmark

    One reason the anti-birth control position is a loser for politicians is that it’s ridiculous.

    More than 90 percent of Catholic women of reproductive age have used contraception. Are they all evil sluts? That’s what many of the comments on this article seem to imply.

    Women who plan the number and spacing of their children often do so because they are responsible, moral, conscientious people motivated not by out-of-control lust but by a desire to do the best they can for their families. They know they don’t have the emotional or financial resources to play “Vatican roulette.” Instead, they base practical decisions about their lives on common sense.

    The position of the Catholic hierarchy on birth control undermines their credibility and authority on other issues, including abortion. It ensures that most of what these elderly, celibate men proclaim about human sexuality will be ignored.

    • CiceroTheLatest

      I actually tracked that “90 percent of Catholic women” assertion down after Nancy Pelosi threw it up.

      It’s a lie.

      You can find the study it came from at the Guttmacher Institute (and I won’t like it or them). The study is a good teaching tool as an example of how not to conduct social research. (I don’t think the “researchers” were so much dishonest as they were utterly incompetent.)

      I’d suggest you look up the study before citing it again so you’ll understand why you shouldn’t. Otherwise, you will be deliberately lying instead of simply misinformed.

  • theresa

    Very recently, Barbara Comstock’s campaign issued a press release announcing a Comstock for Congress Catholic Coalition. When I read it, I was stunned and disheartened to discover her campaign’s hijacking of the term “Catholic.” I have asked Ms. Comstock to remove the name “Catholic” from the coalition.

    Barbara Comstock has trumpeted “spearheading” a letter-writing effort by
    Virginia delegates to HHS to make birth control pills more readily available to
    women without a prescription. At the same time as highlighting this on her Facebook and her political website (see, e.g., her posting of Mona Charen’s “Primer from a Conservative Winner” that appeared in National Review), she has touted, on the same media, the creation of that coalition consisting, as dubbed by her, of “prominent Catholics.”
    It is brazen, to say the least, for her to strut out a “Catholic” coalition when she has publicly undermined the Church’s teaching on human life and conception and apparently has no hesitation in championing that cause in her Congressional campaign. The primary, if not sole, purpose of this coalition is to enhance her political attractiveness to the Catholic community. It is disingenuous for her, however, to reach out to Catholic voters through the ploy of a Catholic coalition given her public stance on the “pill” and, for that matter, abortion (a graver matter under Church teaching) since studies show the “pill” acts in many instances as an abortifacient. The principal effect will be to mislead fellow Catholics into believing that her political record is consonant with, not inapposite to, Catholic teaching and doctrine. (There is no indication that any of the coalition’s members asked her to retract her position or had any reservations about endorsing her.)

    For these reasons, Barbara Comstock should refrain from denominating the coalition as “Catholic” as it erroneously suggests that Ms. Comstock’s political credentials are harmonious with “Catholic” dogma. For her to do otherwise would be tantamount to
    deceiving faithful Catholics into thinking that her record is in no way antithetical
    to Catholic values and teaching.

  • http://catholicdem.wordpress.com/ Catholic Democrat

    A perfect example of a Koch brother Catholic. Contraception causes more souls to go to Hell than the 2 percent of the sexually perverted committing sodomy. Another example to prove that so-called conservative Catholics will give up on the fundamental issue of contraception just to protect the ideology of “unfettered capitalism” which has been condemned by every Pope since Leo XIII.

    • TheAbaum

      You are a laughable troll.

      It’s not unfettered capitalism, but your dear sweet Democrat party, with an “Irish Catholic” (Kathleen Sebelius) who are making us pay for contraception.

      Man, Soros pays an awful lot of people with weak skills of persuasion.

  • Jonathan Weinberg

    In the race for VA-10, it seems to me that Barbara Comstock and Bob Marshall are the extreme candidates, polar opposites. Comstock goes out of her way to support things the Church opposes, to get votes. Marshall, on the other hand, says things that are not helpful to reasonable debate. He pokes sticks in the enemy’s eye — for example, his internal ultrasound bill is now being used by Democrats against all Republicans to win elections, or his likening of a reasonable pro-life amendment he didn’t like (cutting elective abortion from Obamacare) to the bombing an abortion clinic. He causes collateral damage downstream to pro-lifers; a one man pro-life wrecking ball, a crackpot Churchill, poking a cane in Hitler’s eye then leaving the lights on through all of London during the German air raids.

    Alas, I digress…

    Then there’s Wasinger. Rob Wasinger, an adopted son of the Old Dominion. The family guy who’s raised his family in Virginia. Wasinger is reasonable, and has a track record on pro-life issues which underscores his effectiveness and reasonability. He’s been effective on these “Culture of Life” issues — you cannot argue with that. Wasinger… get to know him. You’ll be glad you did.

    Now, Deal Hudson first brought this issue to light, on which Ruse attacks him. Ruse supports a candidate who is supporting wider distribution of contraception. But let’s get back to origins… Hudson’s original article was reasonable. It raised reasonable concerns about a Catholic politician (Comstock) who has been rated highly by NARAL, a big abortion group, and who is campaigning specifically on an issue that goes against the teaching of the Church; namely to provide wider distribution of chemical contraception. Even Bush did not campaign on this issue. He was “status quo” on this issue. He did not campaign on making contraception more easy to get. But Comstock is not status quo. She is expanding contraception beyond the status quo. This is what Planned Parenthood wants candidates to do more than almost anything. She also voted against a pro-life amendment (HB1900). I know her apologists try to nuance this. But votes are votes.

    Comstock also raises concerns that she’s been “bought and paid for” by the same-sex marriage lobby. She took a big gift from Paul Singer whose stated goal is to buy Republican votes to overturn traditional marriage. These concerns are as much about Comstock’s character as anything. If a candidate campaigns on things even her Church opposes, what kind of politician would she be? If a candidate was a DC lobbyist for dubious contracts, what type of Congressman would she be? If a candidate seeks votes on social issues abhorrent to Church teaching, what will she do next when she can draft congressional legislation? Hudson, as he’s done for so many years, raises many significant and reasonable questions about Comstock.

    Austin Ruse, reacting to Hudson, jumped in guns blazing and provided support for this candidate (Comstock) who is supporting something the Church opposes. Ruse is part of the Catholic cocktail set of the DC beltway region. I was surprised at the speed and force of Ruse’s attack against Hudson. I have not seen Austin move that fast before. It was almost like watching Ruse underneath a lampshade try to pelt Hudson with olives from the salad bar. But Ruse, through his support of Comstock, is providing support for a policy that the Church opposes. That’s not funny.

    Thank you Deal Hudson for raising these issues about Catholic candidates. Thank you Rob Wasinger for running a reasonable and effective campaign.

    • ObiJuan
    • theresa

      Name-calling is a game
      that’s played when one has very little worthwhile to say. We need Bob Marshall
      (and more like him) in Congress because he is a very

      principled, honest
      man who’s willing to challenge the establishment, and

      even his own party,
      whenever called for by the common good. Bob

      enacted the
      Marriage Amendment, ratified by 1.3 million Virginians.

      He saved taxpayers
      millions of dollars when he challenged Governor

      Tim Kaine’s
      gigantic new tax law, and the Virginia Supreme Court

      unanimously agreed
      by tossing out 14 new taxes. Delegate Marshall was the

      leader who banned
      partial birth abortion in Virginia.

      Before casting
      stones, you might look at your own candidate’s record and ask

      yourself what has
      he done that comes close to outstripping the

      conservative and
      “Catholic” credentials of Bob Marshall. (Please tell me and others.) And, while we’re at it,
      the term “reasonable debate” that you use, isn’t

      it just a code word
      for “common ground,” and could you please

      tell where the
      “common ground” is when it comes to the life or death of a

      baby. Some things
      are just non-negotiable. (Isn’t it all about saving lives and souls, not votes?) We don’t need a candidate who will “sell
      out”: filter every word and deed to ensure he’s not offending a Democrat.
      Rather, we need someone who is willing to speak the truth even when it
      offends or disturbs others.

  • ObiJuan

    It seems calumnious to claim that because a Catholic supports over-the-counter contraception, or supports a candidate who holds such a position, that he or she must also support abortion. By definition, contraception and abortifacient drugs are not the same thing. Catholics may not vote for a candidate who supports abortion, the Church is clear. Whether a candidate supports the legal abolition of contraception, on the other hand, is a different matter. Political prudence must prevail. Or to quote St. Thomas More, “You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the
    winds….What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little
    bad as you can.”

    • http://catholicdem.wordpress.com/ Catholic Democrat

      A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons – Cardinal Ratzinger trumps you.

      • ObiJuan

        Fair enough. Though I struggle to think of valid “proportionate” reasons why a Catholic could cooperate, proximately or remotely, with abortion and/or euthanasia. The Church calls both murder, and seeks their abolition from society (unlike contraception). Policies regulating contraception, as with many other immoral practices, is a matter of political prudence. I have yet to see any bishop, cardinal, or pope call upon states to ban contraception (the same cannot be said for the abortion/euthanasia issue). No Catholic should feel guilty of supporting abortion by voting for a candidate who supports over-the-counter contraception. Conflating the two terms is dishonest at best, manipulative at worst. Why are we requiring a Republican candidate to hold positions the Church doesn’t even espouse?

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  • Patricia

    America is hooked on sex , Contraception and abortion are societys solution to the problem of babies, those annoying cute little consequences of sex which tend to appear in nine months or so. This with the other AMerican obsession of freedom , (ie the illusion that one is free to , do whatever they want, whenever, and as often as they want ) and the flood gates open to ridicule and heckle anyone who suggests that perhaps this is not what true freedom is.
    Politicians who shamelessly buy votes with “free contraception,& abortion” are but imitators of those ancient dictators who give the people their “bread and circuses” so they can rule unencumbered. You are asking is contraception the hill Catholics want to die on? Well, I think its more complicated than that. There are many hills in any battle. The pill can be an abortifacient , so Catholics shouldn’t be using it or promoting it. We can’t impose our morality on the nation, but nor should they be making us compromise on such serious issues. It does take a few generations for various things to play out ,and slowly the information about how harmful the pill actually is on the body, emotional state and environment are starting to emerge. Smart forward politicians would see this , I think the Catholic Virginia politician ahead of the curve.

  • Pingback: UPDATED! Pro-Life Champion Austin Ruse Betrays The Catholic Faith, Fuels Loss Of Souls Through Contraception | Catholic Canada

  • pbr90

    Showdown in the Male I’m okay, you’re not, as a women corrale?

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  • Thomas Sharpe

    There will be no end to abortion until there is an end to widespread contraception. Abortion mills are not what is causing children to be killed, it’s the contraceptive mindset: a demand for sex without children and the demand not to have a child cause burden$.

    That said, it would be unwise (imprudent) to leap from a bunker and charge an enemy hill only to be cut down by enemy machine gun fire. But there are other means. It ought to start with a clear Teaching from the pulpit by Clergy and from Lay Persons. I have seen the latter, but not much from the former. If we are not informing the culture, we are sliding backwards.

  • Andrew Carlan

    Don’t the faithful even know that there are honorable, honest agnostics and even atheists who are public intellectuals for their cause and yet courageous enough to openly confess that abortion is murder? They do this not because the Church teaches it or even because the natural law dictates it. They may be moral relativists, but they know what the science of human origin is based on science not the ideology of scientists. One of the heroes (because he lost many followers for his forthrightness) was Christopher Hitchens. He targeted the Church and was officially involved as an objector in the Vatican process of testing Mother Thersa’s claim to sainthood.Yet he wrote just before his death in a Vanity Fair magazine piece entitled “Fatal Distraction”. “But all of us began our important careers in that form, and every needful encoding for life is already present in the apparently inchoate. we are the first generation to have to confront this as a certain knowledge. The article is easily available on line doing a google search.

    In this post-Christian decaying civilization does anyone here want to exclude from what could be a big tent support from anyone with the integrity to publicly state the scientific fact that abortion is murder? Leaving out true abortifacients, why let any babies in the womb die while we who should be allies squabble over who holds the high ground because we fog the clear scientific proof beyond doubt that abortion is murder and therefore what a person believes about it is irrelevant; There is no excuse for murder which is and should be punishable by law even in the most extreme secular society. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about contraception.That is an article of faith and of what is the desirable way of living. Live our truths so other men may see it in action and brought by free will to acknowledge it.

    The Cathecism warns against “immanentizing the eschaton,” that is attempting to establish a theocracy by committing the heresy or the Utopian faith of wishing for a heaven on earth which denies the uniqueness of Christ’s sacrifice and grace. This is precisely the heresy of the liberal’s belief that without God man can establish a heaven on earth.

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