Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops of the U.S.

I've spent most of a week agonizing over this.

I've prayed about it. I've pondered the variables. I've played "devil's advocate" with myself.

But I believe, finally, God has inspired me to raise my voice, on behalf of my family and all other Americans, whether they are Catholic, Protestant, or of any other persuasion, or none at all.

My message is this:

With or without an amendment protecting the unborn, the health care reform packages that are working through Congress are evil.

They should not be supported by anyone or any organization that values our unalienable, God-bestowed rights of life, liberty or conscience. I would add that I believe this list should include pursuit of happiness and property, but I know that some of you bishops have a hard time going there.

In the U.S.C.C.B. bulletin that went out to Catholics nationwide this month, you said that all the bills before Congress thus far are "seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them."

You have asked for us to pressure our representatives and senators to "fix" these bills with pro-life amendments.

You do not go far enough. You are not looking at the Big Picture. You are painting yourselves into a corner, politically, and us with you.

With all due respect to your position as bishops of the Church, I must raise these questions:

Since when is it moral for a government to mandate (force) its citizens to purchase a product (health insurance) or face massive fines and prison sentences?

Show me where, in Catholic social teaching, this is an acceptable means of achieving a desirable end? Where is your precious "freedom of conscience" in this?

Where in Scripture does Jesus tell us that it is our individual responsibility to surrender our free will to the State in order for good deeds to be performed?

And not only our free will to decide for ourselves how charitable we wish to be, but our free will to decide how we will take care of the health needs of our own families, and of ourselves.

Where does Jesus admonish us to accomplish the work of the Church through the coercive dictates of government action, and surrender our future choices forever to a system that will crash our economy?

With all due respect to your teaching offices as bishops, when you are teaching on matters of faith and morals -- salvation and righteous living -- I am bound by faith to accept these teachings. And I do.

But corporately, as you "guide us" through the U.S.C.C.B. you have strayed from the parameters of your teaching office. You are pledging to throw your strong support behind the creation of an unprecedented federal bureaucracy in which the individual choice (free will) of individuals and health professions will be subordinated to the collective "wisdom" of government bureaucrats. You are playing politics.

"The poor you will always have with you ..." Jesus reminds us. But you have potentially traded our God-given freedom away in exchange for a socialist answer to a perennial problem based on a big "if": "If" the government promises not to force taxpayers to pay for abortions.

"If" you trust the Mao-loving denizens of Congress and the executive branch to keep their promise more than a year or so, you are naive.

If the United States has enjoyed one of the highest levels of health care in history, instead of supporting a centralized system that will lead to rationing and income leveling, you should be asking why the system worked in the first place, and then ask how that success could be translated to more people. Instead, you accept the Marxist premise that unequal distribution of income and health care resources is an indictment of the system that can only be remedied by a Marxist solution.

How about instead a Christian solution? Or have you given up on that?

America developed the greatest economy and health care system known to humanity because of its guarantees of individual liberties. People were free to take risks and find new, innovative ways of doing things. America is not perfect, but then no nation can meet that standard.

Under government control, risk-taking is frustrated and regulated. Innovation will go elsewhere. Regulations will bloom like a million flowers in a People's Cultural Revolution, and Christian healers will be shunted to the dark alleys where abortions (allegedly) once were performed.

If you think supporting this kind of system will gain you favor with God, you might want to rethink that. Jesus had little use for government in His ministry, and government hasn't changed much in 2,000 years.

If you think supporting this kind of system will gain you favor with the elites in Washington, D.C., you are seeking the approbation of "the world," and are thus deluding yourselves. The world will never love you if you stand with Christ, and the only way to curry its favor is to stand apart from Him.

That is the path that leads to destruction. You should know this.

There is no compromise with evil, and no compromise with those who have evil motives behind their gleaming smiles.

One of the architects of the current health care reform push is SEIU president Andy Stern, who wants to "equalize" the disparity of wages globally, and he sees health care reform as the tool to begin this process.

Do you really want to throw the weight of the Catholic Church behind this effort?

Please reconsider your position and quickly. Do not consign this and future generations of Americans to state control of their lives out of a well-meant but flawed belief that government can provide to the have nots more efficiently than the Church.

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