What Does it Profit a Catholic Politician to Endorse Contraception?

Sometimes pro-life leaders must disagree, as when I read in these pages an expiatory article about Barbara Comstock by Austin Ruse, followed by an endorsement of her candidacy for the U.S. Congress.

My difficulty with Comstock, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 10th congressional district, is that she has, in her own words, “spearheaded a request and letter from House of Delegates members to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to … make birth control pills available over the counter without a prescription for adult women.”

Reading this hit me where I live, since I have spent the last 30 years fighting for a Culture of Life around the world. (In fact, I helped to set up C-FAM back in the late nineties, hired Austin to direct it, helped to fund it, and served on its board for many years.) Comstock’s letter seemed to me a betrayal of Catholic teaching.  Why would faithful Catholics not question whether it is right to support her, given that there are other credible Catholic candidates in the race, such as Rob Wasinger, who haven’t made such compromises?

We all understand that many Catholic politicians, starting with the sitting Vice President, are more than willing to compromise on Catholic teaching to win elections. And I have some Catholic friends who are apparently ready to do the same—in private. One of them, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote me the other day that the purpose of Comstock’s letter was not to spread contraception, but was instead an effort to take the ‘war on women’ away from the pro-abortion left. Besides, he continued, making birth control pills available over the counter would reduce the incidence of contraceptive use.

ComstockThis is a curious defense, since Comstock herself asserted that her goal was to “provid[e] easier access to birth control” and “enhance women’s access” to “oral contraceptives.” If this doesn’t mean that her goal is to “spread contraception,” I am not a native speaker of English.  And since when do we violate the consistent teaching of the Church through 20 centuries in order to score political points?  (Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, don’t answer that.)

And, finally, how exactly does making a drug available over the counter reduce its use?  (I’m fairly certain that marijuana sales in Colorado are skyrocketing now that almost anyone can walk in off the street and buy it, aren’t you?)

When I raised these objections with my friend he switched gears and went on the attack. He didn’t agree with Comstock’s letter, he now told me, but it was no worse than what we did in 2000 when we supported George Bush who believed that it was ok to kill some babies.

Well, that’s not quite accurate, at least as far as I am concerned.  I did not endorse Bush in the primaries because there were pro-life alternatives available.  I did support him in the general election, as my friend correctly recalled, because Gore (and later Kerry), were both apparently untroubled by the wholesale slaughter of innocent unborn children up to the point of childbirth.

Besides, it is glaringly obvious to me that there is a world of difference between attempting to change the policy of a U.S. government agency in an anti-life direction, as Barbara Comstock openly declares she has done, and George Bush’s promise to try and move the country in a pro-life direction, by limiting abortion-on-demand, even if he didn’t go as far as I would like.

Then there is this:  It may be just me, but I find it easier to accept an evangelical candidate who compromises on the Life issues than a Catholic candidate who does the same thing.  After all, an evangelical does not have the fullness of the Truth as taught by the Catholic Church.  A Catholic should know better. If such a candidate still chooses to stray—as in this case—well, I am more inclined to hold them accountable.

To this riposte, my friend shifted ground a third time, and began arguing that contraception is less serious than abortion. He wanted me to agree with him that there is nothing worse than abortion, because abortion kills and contraception doesn’t.

Wrong again.

In its own way, contraception is an even greater tragedy than abortion.  Why? Because it involves the deliberate rejection of God’s creative power, a spurning of His gift of life.  Remember that the only creating that God has done since Genesis is the creation of each individual, spiritual soul.  And He requires our cooperation.

Those couples who contracept, according to the soon-to-be Saint John Paul in his Discourse of Sept. 17, 1983, “claim a power which belongs solely to God, the power to decide, in a final analysis, the coming into existence of a human person.”

And Benedict XVI added, at the Mass for the inauguration of his pontificate, that “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.  Each of us is the result of a thought of God.  Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”

As Prof. Charles Rice has pointed out in his new book, Contraception and Persecution, God has chosen to depend on human cooperation for the creation of new citizens for the kingdom of heaven.  The contracepting couple reject that gift by altering the conjugal act to prevent that creation.  What they say to God is something like this:  “For all we know, God, it may be your will that from this act of ours a new person will come into existence who will live forever.  For all we know, that may be your will.  And we won’t let you do it.”

WasingerThat is a non serviam with eternal consequences.  The souls of aborted babies are with the Father, the Blessed John Paul taught us. The souls contracepted out of existence are—nowhere.

That is why the Blessed John Paul, in the same discourse I mentioned above, went on to say: “Contraception is so profoundly unlawful as never to be, for any reason, justified.  To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in human life situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God.”

I am not a theologian, but would this not make contraception a violation of the First Commandment as abortion is a violation of the Fifth?

My friend then backed and filled a fourth time, and began arguing that opposing contraception is political suicide.

He’s probably right. We all know how hopelessly addicted our society is to sterile sex, after all.

Then again, no one is asking Catholic candidates for public office to make opposition to contraception the centerpiece of their political campaigns.

But is it too much to ask them, as a matter of personal honor and integrity, not to openly promote it?

I don’t know why Barbara Comstock is advocating easier access to abortion-causing birth control pills.  Someone should ask her.  But, in general, I have had more than enough of Catholic candidates who compromise Church teaching for political gain.

Besides, it is our duty to remind them that, while election cycles are short, eternity is long.  And while global warming is not a problem in the here and now, it might be a problem for some of them in the hereafter.

Editor’s note: Steven W. Mosher has just endorsed Rob Wasinger in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.


Steven W. Mosher


Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute located in Front Royal, Virginia.

  • Allamanda

    Very clearly explained.

    I always have a problem with the “contraception as the lesser of two evils” argument.

    It’s not a lesser evil. It’s a different evil. There’s no one point in time where a woman has to choose between contraception and abortion. Each is a different evil chosen at a different time.

    • lifeknight

      It is the root of anti-life evils.

      • Maria

        Surely, Ruse has come upon the “contraceptive mentality” …

  • Objectivetruth

    As Catholics we shouldn’t (and don’t have to) compromise on the Catholic candidates we elect into congress. Look at Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), the man’s a walking Catholic Catechism, and votes that way. A devout Catholic can make it in to congress. Saint Tommy More pray for all of our Catholic politicians to be faithful to the teaching of the Church.

    • MarkRutledge

      Amen. Smith is yet another example of how the rare politician who boldly stands for Truth can win, even in areas known to be secular/liberal. I firmly believe we’d have more pro-lifers in Congress if more pro-life candidates would stop apologizing for their beliefs and instead stand up for them.

    • uncle max

      “A devout Catholic can make it into congress.”

      But not as a democrat.

  • lifeknight

    Great article with the best point of view–ie the truth! Thank you.

    Those willing to compromise on contraception inevitably strike a chord with those willing to accept abortion of those conceived in rape or incest.

    It should be noted that other “Catholic” candidates signed on to Ms. Comstock’s letter. I don’t want to spread info that is not factual, but can you or others on Crisis verify the signatures? I believe I donated to one of them and worked on his failed presidential campaign.

    • Objectivetruth

      And I don’t think I can endure another “CCC” (Cafeteria Catholic Congressman) spouting out the bidenpelosicaseyism of “I personally believe that contraception and abortion are wrong, but I won’t let my beliefs get in the way of a woman’s right to dismember their baby in the womb, or free fornication on the tax payers
      Dime.” ARRRGH……! I can’t take that vomit being spewed out of the mouth of someone claiming to be Catholic anymore! Just so their ego can be placated and impress their pals with a seat on Capitol Hill!!! No…..enough is enough of these charlatans!!

  • AcceptingReality

    Contraception is more than a “deliberate rejection of God’s creative power”. It’s an actual thwarting of His creative power. To say that Catholic politicians “should” know better, implies that they don’t. Most often, I think, they think, they know better than Holy Mother Church. The only sure way for them to stop imperiling their own souls while doing damage to the culture is for Catholics in the pews to stop voting for them. And part of that equation would mean putting more Catholics back in the pews. The way to bring that about is through proper catechesis. The Truth is beautiful and attractive. If it were coming from our pulpits with any amount of regularity there is no telling how the culture of life could abound. And those jelly fish politicians would have to endorse Church teaching in order to get the Catholic vote.

  • John Hiner

    ” The souls of aborted babies are with the Father, the Blessed John Paul taught us. ” What does this mean? Is there some citation I can see? This seems false and dangerous.

    • Susan

      Well, one place is in his Encyclical “The Gospel of Life”, where he told mothers who had aborted their babies: “To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.” And also in the same Encyclical: “You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord.”

      will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will
      also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in
      the Lord.” – See more at:
      will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will
      also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in
      the Lord.” – See more at:
      will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will
      also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in
      the Lord.” – See more at:

      • Susan

        Sorry! I have NO IDEA why that repeated 4 times!!!! A cut and paste problem I guess! Sorry again! Maybe the Holy Spirit wanted it repeated ! (smile!)

      • John Hiner

        Thank you for the citation, Susan. However, there seems to be a significant problem. The second sentence which you mention, “You
        will come to . . . “ does not appear in either the Vatican’s Latin or English
        editions of the encyclical. (Though it
        is in the EWTN version to which your link leads.)

        Further, the first sentence “To the same Father . . . “ on
        the Vatican’s English edition does say “sure hope” but this is a translation of
        the Latin phrase “cum spe” which does not have any additional word which adds
        the idea of “sure” to hope.

        On the whole, it seems like some English translators are
        pushing a questionable idea. This is
        very troubling when doctrine is asserted on such thin grounds and then
        bolstered with tendentious translations and arguments. Is that what is happening here?

        Do you have any other citations to this alleged teaching
        which I can look at?

        In the meantime, I would be very cautious about passing this
        idea along. The notion that Baptism is
        un-necessary and that aborting a baby sends him to heaven seems like a
        diabolical trick.

        Thanks very much for your help in tracking this down.

        • Fred Barr

          No one is saying Baptism is unnecessary, least of all Blessed John Paul II. The fundamental teaching is that all are in need of radical salvation due to original sin. That salvation is offered by the Father in and through Jesus Christ by the Spirit. The Church is the sacrament of this salvation. Baptism is thus the foundational sacrament of this New Life.

          However, do not forget such traditional teaching that not all are baptized by water. There is also the baptism of desire (which certainly would pertain to Catholic couples who lose a baby in gestation before birth). There is also baptism by blood-martyrdom. Remember the “Holy Innocents”?

          In our correct emphasis on the necessity of each person to be saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, it is also important for us to not limit God. God is Rich in Mercy. God Himself as well as His mercy is far beyond what we can either imagine or hope for. Sadly, no, not all human beings are saved, but that knowledge should not give us permission to be afraid of His love and mercy

          • John Hiner

            Given the state of the published editions of the encyclical
            Evangelium Vitae, this notion of the salvation of aborted infants is simply not the teaching of the Church. Are there
            other more authentic sources to which I can look?

            It is not we who limit God, but there are some things God cannot do (e.g., He cannot deny Himself).

    • HigherCalling

      This caught my attention, too. If this is true, the pope, apparently, is declaring all aborted babies to be saints. If that’s the case, would not abortion be the most caring, compassionate and loving thing a mother could do for her child? Would not the simple, natural act of giving birth automatically put her child’s soul at risk of being deprived of the Beatific vision of God? I understand the Church’s teaching to be that the souls of aborted children are in a Limbo of Infants, precisely to avoid the conundrum of twisting Church teaching into an endorsement of abortion.


      • patricia m.

        Specially because they haven’t been baptized…

      • Guest

        The conclusion does not follow from the premises. Just because the soul of a child who is not of the age of reason (including a baptised child), or for that matter any person who has not achieved sufficient discretion to be guilty of actual sin, would be received on their dying from this life into eternal life by Our Heavenly Father in His infinite mercy does not mean that it is a good for another person to KILL them. Killing innocent persons is never a virtuous act. I have heard this absurd argument offered in a nasty, leering manner by pro-abortion apologists. They sardonically suggest that if Christians believe that Heaven is the goal, why not send the little nuisances there posthaste? This concept that Christians or anyone should commit murder to send souls to Heaven is entirely sick and twisted. Saying that the objectively innocent soul is God’s is not an invitation to slaughter. The bottom line here is that God creates human beings to know, love and serve Him and that it is His Divine Will that ordains the span of life on Earth. Never is it a true mercy for another person to take that life. Additionally, suicide is a type of murder. God is Lord of life.

      • Objectivetruth

        I believe I remember reading that the “intent” and “desire” of every child (whether in the womb or outside) is for baptism. So in the case of abortion, for example, the aborted child, through no fault of its own, is denied the sacrament. Therefore, because every child “desires” baptism, it goes to heaven. In other words, it’s the parents fault it was not baptized, not the child’s.

        • HigherCalling

          On Baptism, that makes sense. But if the souls of aborted children are said/taught to be in the presence of God, does that not say that the act of abortion (surely an evil), produces something good (in fact, the greatest good possible)? What then, is the purpose of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, when death in the womb by the will of one’s own mother skips right past the entire design of Salvation and the coming of Christ? If the primary purpose of parenthood is to get your children to Heaven, why would abortion not be a sacrament (if, again, their souls truly receive the Beatific Vision)? One possible way around this dilemma is to introduce the idea of Limbo, where the soul has great natural happiness, but not supernatural happiness (i.e. the Beatific Vision). They cannot be suffering in Purgatory, nor can they be triumphant in Heaven. The only possible condition is Limbo, with the genuine hope of eventually being received into Heaven. It’s a difficult problem. This video is helpful:


          • patricia m.

            You’re very right, I learned that the souls of non baptized children go to Limbo. This is the Catholic belief. That’s why people of old rushed to baptize their children, so in case they died early they’d go straight to Heaven. Nowadays people wait a bit more in order to baptize children – the mortality is not so high anyways, so I think it’s ok.

            • Objectivetruth

              …..but remember this from Pope Benedict in 2005 on Limbo?:


              • John Hiner

                Catechesis through news articles is a poor
                approach to the Faith. Where is the
                document? What does it actually say and
                how has the Magisterium of the Church received it? Humanae vitae is a memorial to the lesson that commissions’
                reports and newsmen’s predictions are not a reliable basis for one’s practice
                of the Faith.

          • John200

            “does that not say that the act of abortion (surely an evil), produces something good (in fact, the greatest good possible)?…”
            No. God produces good from evil. That does not make evil good.

            There are long and detailed disputations on this topic, but one line suffices.

  • sibyl

    Even on a merely human level, the endorsement of over-the-counter oral contraceptives is a terrible idea. The growing body of evidence showing how damaging birth control pills can be to women should make any politician extremely wary of speaking in their favor, let alone encouraging their casual use by any 14-year-old. This politician is ignorant. It’s hard not to think that this idea was cynically self-serving.

    • Tony

      And then there is the great scandal of chemical pollution in our midst, that nobody will talk about — all the estrogens dumped into the ecosystem via the water supply.

      • WSquared

        Yep, especially amid the near obsessive-compulsive fixation on caring for the environment, and “not having harmful chemicals” in everything from our food to our children’s toys.

  • Jo Joyce

    We must keep reminding the flock, the candidates, the clergy, that the empty pews are a result of our cultural, secular influences–not necessarily OUTSIDE the church–but often those that are brought INTO the churches. Can we harp enough on the mixing of political community organizing that are neutral on the life issues? In hundreds of parishes around the country (and the world) Alinsky style–PROGRESSIVE style–organizing uses the money and people power of our parishes to push policy after policy that are dangerously close to socialism. Somehow they feel that they don’t need a violent revolution to bring about these great changes–they will do it patiently, parish by parish, grant by grant. The immigrants are instantly sucked into the Democrat party because of these organizing groups who purport to bring citizenship (and will probably get it soon), but while their bellies are being filled, and their need for activism is being satiated, their souls are holding the handles of hell every time they support pro-abort candidates… It is a compromised they either ignore or justify…for Alinsky taught (and modern organizers still support) the ends justify the means… Power before program… Reciprocity=tending to the congregants issues first, then working toward your own goals through popular education programs that inflict envy, hate, lust for power, and general class warfare. Yes, many of the pews are empty while the organizing conventions are full. And trained organizers take the next step–being elected to an office…like Obama. http://www.johntwo24-25.net

    • TheAbaum

      “In hundreds of parishes around the country (and the world) Alinsky
      style–PROGRESSIVE style–organizing uses the money and people power of
      our parishes to push policy after policy that are dangerously close to

      Here too.

  • Susan

    “Then again, no one is asking Catholic candidates for public office to
    make opposition to contraception the centerpiece of their political
    campaigns….But is it too much to ask them, as a matter of personal honor and integrity, not to openly promote it?”


  • Jonathan Weinberg

    Mosher misses a couple of key points, and muddies the water. 1) We need to recognize that Barbara Comstock is campaigning on the issue of wider distribution of abortion inducing chemicals. Why Mosher does not underscore how chemical contraceptives kill human beings is beyond me. 2) Mosher also calls Austin Ruse his friend. Is Ruse really Mosher’s friend? Ruse is a Catholic writer who supports distribution of abortion-inducing contraception. We can judge a person by the company he keeps. If Ruse is Mosher’s friend, this helps to explain why Mosher does not raise concerns about the abortion-inducing nature of contraception. Mosher’s friendship with Ruse places friendship over principle, which is like placing political expedience over principle, which is what Ruse and Comstock are doing, so Mosher muddies the water here, and draws more attention to himself, once again, than this dire, life and death issue. Finally 3) Mosher should have defended Deal Hudson for his courageous stand. Hudson was the one who raised this issue in the first place. Hudson should be recognized for this. In this debate, Hudson is the only one who has been true on this issue. He is the only one with direct campaiogn experience. He is the only one who has made the case between Catholic victory and Catholic principle. It is no wonder the pro-life movement is in distress, when its leaders — like Mosher, Austin Ruse, Judie Brown — behave like jack-asses.

    • MarkRutledge

      Suffice to say, Jonathan, that we can keep tax collectors and sinners among our friends. How better to help bring them more completely into the kingdom? Perhaps the pro-life movement (if not all movements towards orthodox Christian practice) is in distress because of, among other things, spiritual pride.

    • Objectivetruth

      Geeeeez….! Can you guys take your Virgina bar brawl elsewhere? I feel like it’s last call at the local Knights of Columbus beef & beer.

      Can ya let us get back here on Crisis to talking about gays, abortion, the Tridentine Mass, and our heretical Jesuit pope?! Geez…


  • WRBaker

    And then there is the bishop with a person on one of his councils who works for a pro-abortion, pro-SSM politician…

    • John200

      Sounds like you have inside knowledge or experience. But I don’t recognize the reference and I am lost, although it is perhaps my own fault.

      Will you identify this bishop? the council person? the politician?

      • WRBaker

        I was just looking at the site and decided to look further:(http://www.rcbo.org/news-and-events/diocesan-news/690-sb-131-passes-state-senate-by-one-vote.html). The link verbiage has nothing to do with the announcement. The politician is a Democrat State Assemblywoman whose voting record shows 100% Planned Parenthood rating and a 100% Equality California rating, as well.
        Last year, the LA Archdiocese had a similar politician on a Catholic high school board.
        Makes one wonder who is tending the shop at “headquarters” doesn’t it?

        • WRBaker

          Since the link seems to be too long, go to the main page (www.rcbo.org) for ” Diocesan News” and find “Bishop Vann Appoints Influential Korean-American to Diocese of Orange Finance Council” – it seems that he was once a Obama appointee, as well, and now assists Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.
          I understand that the bishops never impose Canon 915 on politicians (though there is no logical reason why not), but to help the pro-abortion/SSM politicians? Wonder if bishops were taught about scandal?

  • Pdx

    “But, in general, I have had more than enough of Catholic candidates who compromise Church teaching for political gain.”

    It’s not clear to me that such so-called Catholic candidates are, in fact, compromising for political gain. That is, if you took political gain out of the equation, how many of them would not continue to hold beliefs that are completely at odds with the tenets of Catholicism?

  • ForChristAlone

    I will be moving to Front Royal next year. Unfortunately, not in time enough to vote against Comstock.

  • Jonathan Weinberg

    I just received a very threatening email from a representative of the American Life League (ALL) accusing me of calumny. This person also accuses me of being “dishonest” for asserting that Austin Ruse is providing support for the public health policy of greater availability of abortion-inducing contraception through his support and defense of a candidate who has specifically made this policy part of her political campaign, in order to win this election. This person from ALL then threatens me with a lawsuit if I mention any of this.

    This is what we are dealing with, people, in much of the pro-life movement.

    Here are the facts. In his article, Ruse stated that Barbara Comstock “has a stellar pro-life record” even while she has received a 100% grade from NARAL, and is actively campaigning to expand the availability of chemical contraception, which Ruse defends on the grounds that it provides less health risks than smoking. Ruse even states that Catholics do not seek to oppose contraception through public policy.

    Steve Mosher, should have cited Deal Hudson in his article. This is standard journalistic ethics and practice. Deal Hudson broke this story, and has been unfairly attacked because of his courageous stance. Hudson should be cited and recognized appropriately.

    ALL should also come out publicly and recognize that, in this case of Austin Ruse’s article, public support for a candidate who is campaigning on a policy of wider access of abortion-inducing chemicals is morally the same thing as support for that policy.

    If ALL or anyone from ALL wishes to sue me, I stand ready to defend myself.

    We need to be right on these issues.

    • patricia m.

      Contraception pills or abortion-inducing chemicals? Technically, they are very different one from the other. By reading the text I understood she campaigns for contraception pills, not abortion pills. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Daren

        The following is a quote from “Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition.” found online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK283/

        “The estrogens in birth control pills inhibit ovulation via the effect on the hypothalamus and the subsequent suppression of pituitary FSH and LH; inhibit implantation of the fertilized egg; accelerate ovum transport; and cause luteolysis, or degeneration of the corpus luteum, thereby causing the fall of serum progesterone levels, which prevents normal implantation and placental attachment.”

        This says that the pill can “inhibit implantation of the fertilized egg *(i.e., a living human being). It thereby aborts the new life and so the normal contraceptive pill can function as an abortifacient.

  • kirthigdon

    Bravo! Well put!
    Kirt Higdon

  • Amatorem Veritatis

    Ah yes…the seductive siren song of utilitarianism strikes again. Let’s compromise on some fundamental issue of principle, (whether it be or doctrinal or political) just this once…or maybe twice…because we have a “creative” interpretation of the ethical standards of double effect and the greater good. Easy to work your way into the pretzel logic that suspension of principle works in the short term, and that over time the proper order can be re-established. The problem of course, is that in both politics and in the Church, progressivism is ten times more difficult to remove once established than it is if it had never been permitted to infect the host organism. The pathogen of progressivism has created the current identity crisis in the Republican Party, and has been slowly but surely weakening the foundations of the Church for over forty years. A top down rot for Republicans and a “foundational” rot (rebellious laity, along with rebellious priests) in the Church. I realize that this will be a controversial statement, but I can only counter that we could not reasonably ask for for better than JPII and Benedict from the standpoint of doctrinal orthodoxy and philosophical depth. The fact that the majority of the laity and the clergy follow(ed) the Magisterium of Me is hardly their fault. Mr. Ruse, despite his worthy efforts in support of the sanctity of marriage and family, is just plain wrong on this issue. And Mr. Mosher has it exactly right.

  • Tony

    A quibble: the doctrine of creation holds that God has never ceased to create … the creation is happening now.

  • Terrance Shuman

    Mr. Mosher is BADLY confused about not only what Comstock has advocated, but about what faithful Catholics are bound to do when they become politicians.

    Making contraception an over-the-counter option means, among other things, that my tax dollars (which subsidize other people’s insurance coverage) will not in any way be used to pay for such contraception. The way things are at the moment, that is not the case. Which is the more “Catholic” position, Mr. Mosher?

    And when you are done answering that question, here’s another: Since when is it the moral obligation of a Catholic politician to see to it that the Catechism is adhered to in all matters of public policy? Is Mr. Mosher not aware that this has been the baseless caricature of the Catholic politician by non-Catholics for a couple of hundred years in this country?

    • Guest

      This is confusing. The sin of contraception is not a Church law but a matter of natural moral law. All are bound.

      • Terrance Shuman

        “Bound” to do what, precisely? Make sure that civil law reflects your sense of universal moral law? Include me out, thanks…

  • Adam C. Kolasinski

    Mr. Mosher, do you think St. Thomas Aquinas is burning in hell? You do realize, don’t you, that he advocated legalized prostitution, a vice much worse than contraception?

    Mr. Mosher seems to be ignorant of the long-held Catholic teaching that the state is not obliged to outlaw or even legally restrict every vice. As Aquinas teaches, whether or not a vice should be outlawed is a matter of prudential judgement of the secular authority, not a matter of faith and morals, and hence can be a matter upon which faithful Catholics can reasonably disagree.

    It’s perfectly fine to argue against making contraception over-the-counter, and I think there is much merit to such an argument, but suggesting that any Catholic who disagrees with you isn’t faithful is just plain wrong.

    • Objectivetruth

      Interesting analogy on prostitution. Clement of Rome’s epistle to the Church in Corinth dealt with the immorality of prostitution. He condemned it, saying it’s unChristian to engage in it. But he never (I believe) called for its outlaw. I think we need something similar from our pope, bishops. Greater emphasis on the immorality of it. If 60 million American Catholics refuse to use contraception because it’s a mortal sin, possibly it might not matter whether its ‘s legal or not. It would be an example of St. Francis’ quote “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.”

    • Guest

      Each time the Aquinas/prostitution example is used, or misused, it means someone is advocating something wrong. Can you tell us in which time the Church said no laws against prostitution protect the common good?

      • Adam C. Kolasinski

        As far as I know, the Church has never opined on whether voluntary adult prostitution should or should not be policed by the state (sex slavery and child prostitution are another matter). It was legal in much of Catholic Europe during the middle ages, without any strong objections from the Church.

        Of course, the Church has often condemned prostitution as immoral, but as I say above, that is a very different thing from calling for it to be outlawed.

    • Art Deco

      You do realize, don’t you, that he advocated legalized prostitution, a vice much worse than contraception.

      Is it self-evidently ‘much worse’?

      • Adam C. Kolasinski

        Given that prostitution necessitates use of contraception (or worse, sterilization), it logically must be at least as bad as contraception. That it also necessarily involves intercourse outside of marriage, which contraception use does not necessarily include, clearly makes it worse.

    • Terrance Shuman

      Excellent point. I also think Aquinas would consider it a sin against right reason as well… 😉

  • Jim Spillman

    I endorse Bob Marshall. Talk about someone who ahs never compromised and accomplished so much in state legislature.

  • Steven Mosher’s article strikes at the fundamental flaw in contemporary Catholic voter
    reasoning in that human rationale can somehow manipulate objective truths to achieve
    any good. Given that the soul encompasses both our intellect and will, neither
    can be ignored at the peril of the other. If a person (voter) simply relies on reasoning, however clever it might be, in the absence of following the Will of God, the outcome will be predictably disastrous. Yet knowing, understanding and living
    according to the Will of God also means using one’s brain.

    Now, some might well complain that Catholics have no right to “impose” their
    beliefs on others, or even more extreme, that we cannot behave as though there
    is an eternal life, let alone a heaven and hell. Yet, for the informed Roman Catholic, the one who has sufficiently studied the faith with its roots stretching back into
    eternity and forward in the same direction that is analogous with expecting
    someone to stay neutral on the shape of the Earth.

    Would we support a candidate who was absolutely convinced that the Earth was flat or one who placated those who so believe that? No, we would consider such leaders fools who would be incapable of planning for us and steering the nation in any productive sense.

    Moreover, for the mature Catholic, life is not confined to the 8-5, “live it up today,
    for tomorrow you will die” mentality. We are in the world but not of it. Parallel
    to temporal biological and cognitive developmental stages, we should be growing
    spiritually and not regressing. In that vein, we certainly would not vote for the proverbially immature candidate who claims that it is okay to touch a hot stove or swallow foreign objects! We know better—or should.

    So, there is no compromise in matters belonging only and rightfully to our Creator, and I
    will admit that I go even one step further than Steve Mosher and will not vote
    for anyone who ignores or contorts fundamental truths at any stage of the election process. Besides, deceivers compliment and promote such ploys only when it furthers their agenda! Even staunch defenders of life have fallen for that ruse.

    Some years ago Sean Hannity poorly defended his vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor of California with the very liberal Alan Combs who rightfully called it hypocrisy. It was based on which candidate had the reasonable expectation of “winning.”
    Sadder still, at that time, there was a superb Republican candidate, who by all accounts scored high in many areas and even won the debate on economics. Ironically, the voters rejected that wise and prudent leader because of his strong moral code that included being prolife.

    You see, then, that those who support secular, anti life policies have no compunction
    about demanding that everyone follows their belief system and their shallow
    understanding of life.

    That brings the argument for staying the course on objective truth full circle. Those who blindly follow the majority on the deception of contraception, among other fatal attractions, only capitulate to those who will rule them in ways ultimately contrary to even the best side of human nature. Look at how rapidly same sex behavior is being embraced to the level of marriage, no less. Yet, no one needs to go beyond the oxymoronic healthcare law to know that the toad is nearly fully boiled.

    Someone’s concept of reality will rule the day, and for Catholics who are wishy-washy or
    ridiculously blindsided, that day will feel like an eternity in hell, before
    the actual eternity!

  • Missy

    Mosher-1, Ruse-0

  • AnthonyMa

    The Roman Catholic people across the world have spoken and have come out in favor of contraception. Been to church lately? How many American Catholic families have eight or nine kids? Wasn’t uncommon when I was a kid. The horse, the cow and the farmer’s daughter have already left the barn.

    • Kamilla Ludwig

      Doctrine isn’t determined by popular vote.

  • SK

    Thank you, Mr. Mosher. This is EXCELLENT!

  • WRBaker

    CINO politicians know that the bishops will do nothing, so they do whatever it takes to get elected. Has there been one politician that a bishop has imposed Canon 915 upon (and there are so many prominent ones to choose from)? If the bishops won’t follow the laws and rules of the Church….

  • uncle max

    I have often heard catholic (small c) politicians repeat the standing line “I don’t want to impose my beliefs on others.”

    That’s the crux of the matter – but isn’t this just that – a battle of values?

    Abortion – with Roe v Wade those who think abortion is fine imposed their values on us who DON’T think it’s fine.

    Contraception – with the HHS mandate which is currently being fought in court we Catholics are forced to help pay for free contraception. That to me qualifies as forcing their values on us.

    But politics is the art of compromise so I have this compromise:

    Mr. Vice-President (Biden)
    Mr. Ambassador ex-Senator and ex-presidential candidate (Kerry)
    Madame (ex)-Speaker Pelosi
    Madame Secretary (Sebelius)
    Governor (Cuomo)

    We realize that you don’t want to impose your catholic values on the rest of the citzenry, so let me suggest this compromise – it is asking too much of you just to defend them ever now and then?

  • Pingback: SUNDAY EDITION | God & Caesar()

  • Stephen

    I particularly liked the part about global warming. A sharp blow at the perfect time.

    The great truth that we all must remember when dealing with abortion and contraceptives is that the Church does not leave these issues as a matter of opinion; The Church says clearly, as a matter of absolute doctrine, to take part in either is mortal sin. It is even mortal sin to let it happen when one has the ability to prevent it.

  • Pingback: Catholics, Comstock and Contraception: A Response to Ramesh Ponnuru | Crisis Magazine()

  • A Pole

    I didn’t know Americans can be such strong catholics, bravo! 🙂

    we have this debate in Poland too, but our politicians don’t compromise yet, but the leftists are trying to force them… recently I read that a viceminister of Justice, who happens to be a benedictin oblate, should not be allowed to express his opinions, as they are affected by his religion… as if leftist opinions were affected by nothing… :/