Church Abortion Stand Not Humanitarian

Speaking to the UK Conference of Catholic Bishops last week, Francis Cardinal George sent the first salvo in what he and other conservatives hope will be an ongoing battle with the Obama administration over abortion. It is unclear that they intend to obstruct the progress of the new administration, but obstruction is the certain outcome of the planned campaign to overturn Roe v. Wade at any cost.

Anti-abortion activists have sought consistently to throw the baby out with the bath water. They should be pleased that abortion is relatively difficult to obtain because 87 per cent of all U.S. counties lack facilities for them. However, they continue the fight to outlaw abortion under any circumstances. Family planning clinics without protesters standing outside are rare. While they claim to be “protesting abortions,” their demonstration make no distinction between the dispensing of contraceptives and the abortion procedure. Anti-abortion activists have promoted legislation making contraceptives less available and standards for obtaining even medically necessary abortions onerous.

These same conservatives ridiculed Barack Obama’s statement that determining when human life begins was above his pay-grade. In fact, Obama was paraphrasing St. Augustine of Hippo in his remark (Wikipedia, History of Abortion).

Cardinal George focused some of his remarks on the Freedom of Choice Act of 2007 (FOCA; Thomas), which sits in the Committee on the Judiciary. George falsely claims that this law would force health-care workers to provide abortions against their own consciences and could force Catholic hospitals to perform the procedures. FOCA is clear, however, that government and government employees may not restrict a woman’s right to bear children or terminate her pregnancy before fetal viability. George attacked the legislation, saying it could prevent Catholics from practicing their religion freely. His remark betrays the fact that he has not read it. Since it is less than 10 pages of clear English, he should.

Interestingly, the FOCA cites the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States as authority for Congress to enact such a law. The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, aimed to prevent the re-enslavement of Blacks freed by the Civil War. As FOCA intends to prevent the conservative enslavement of half of the population of the United States, the citation is fitting. Sadly, the act does not specifically mention contraception, which omission lawmakers may come to regret.

Societies have often outlawed abortion when they desired to ensure large numbers of warriors would be born. Often those same societies outlawed homosexuality. With world population currently more than 6.7 billion people, there is no danger that the human race will die out due to contraception. Some scientists, in fact, see the incidence of homosexuality as a result of population reaching a critical mass. China and India are examples of the results of unchecked population growth. Few people in the United States would consciously choose to recreate those conditions here. If the Catholic Bishops, led by Cardinal George have their way, the standard of living in the United States could take a turn for the worse.

George claims the church wants to help women and children; his desire to impose restrictions on women’s right not to bear children speaks otherwise. Rather than acknowledge the reality that not everyone agrees with his view of abortion, he insists that no solution except outlawing it will satisfy him. Regardless of laws to the contrary, women continue to terminate their pregnancies. Worldwide, 13 per cent of pregnancy-related deaths are a direct result of unsafe abortions. In real numbers, some 68,000 women died last year from unsafe abortions. Increasing this number, the certain result of making abortions illegal, can hardly be called a pro-woman or pro-life policy.

Perversion of the Church: Why Forgiveness is Not Enough

The Catholic Church has been a religion superpower for almost two thousand years. It was founded on the basis of the belief in one God, forgiveness and repentance. It has weathered the storms of persecution and war many times over. In the last fifty years a new war has threatened to ravage the Catholic Church: Pedophilia. In 2004, the John Jay Report, commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, reported that there was substantial evidence that 4,392 priests in the United States had engaged in over 6,500 inappropriate relationships. This means that 4% of all priests in the United States were pedophiles. Only 384 priests were prosecuted and only 100 of those prosecuted served a prison sentence.

It is easy to look at a small number like 4% and think to yourself that it’s a very small majority. 3%-5% of the population is either psychopathic or a sociopath. Dr. Gene Abel (CNN Specials Transcript #454) estimates that between 1% and 5% of our population are child molesters. The National Women’s Study reported over a three year time span that 13% of all adult women have been victims of a completed rape. 5.4% of deaths of children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old was ruled a homicide according to NVSR 2001. According to Dr. Gene Abel in a National Institute if Mental Health Study, sex offenders will have on average 117 victims.

I think it is about time the Catholic Church steps up and tries to put an end to this. Gone are the days of hiding behind your religion to get away with things like this. Most of the reported molestation that occurred over the last 50 years in the Catholic Church were swept under the rug. The duty was put on the local Bishop and if he made the judgment call that nothing had happened, then nothing happened. They failed to understand the gravity of the situation. Today’s Church is too worried about lawsuits and public image and perception to even try to do the right thing. It seems the fear of a scandal has quickly outweighed their fear of God. Most priests who were accused were sent to treatment centers that were not qualified to treat patients with these problems. Most importantly, the Catholic Church’s position on forgiveness clouded the problem at hand. If they were truly sorry and repented their sins, they were forgiven in the eyes of God.

The Catholic Church has surely stood the test of time. With over a billion followers and almost 2,000 years of history it is almost impossible to think a scandal could bring it down. In the years to come it would be nice to see the church get back on track, begin taking ownership of the mistakes it’s made and return to the days where a healthy fear of God was enough to keep on the straight and narrow.

Changes in the UK Church and the Feelings of Older People

To makes changes in a particular church to make it more modern and appealing to younger people doesn’t mean that the basic teachings of the church are put in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, these changes in a church and the feelings of older people, those who might have gone to this same church for many years, are sometimes in conflict.

Resistance to Change and Being Elderly

In general, the resistance of older people to changes in the church can be seen as a reflection of what it means to be elderly in the first place. This is to say that the problems that are associated with being old can overlap into a basic reluctance to accept changes in the church.

Older people view changes in the church from the position of vulnerability. They have too much time on their hands and are sometimes too physically fragile to make the same commitments as before.

Further, if older people have conflicted feelings regarding changes in the church, it’s perhaps because they feel just a bit betrayed. After all, these elderly people have invested time to create a certain kind of church and this memory of the traditional church is set in their minds.

If they’ve contributed so much to establishing a particular church atmosphere, why then is change needed?

Human Relationships

Changes in the church and the feelings of older people are brought into conflict for other reasons.

Simply put, changes in the church magnifies the sense of loss older people feel. It’s bad enough that they miss their friends who have died.

Now they are being asked to adjust to more modern music when they prefer the traditional hymns, for example.

Older people might also find it difficult to relate to those younger newcomers whose attitudes may seem more frivolous and non-traditional.

Once again, the basic issue of being old is difficult enough for people to have to deal with.

Now they are expected to welcome changes in the church on behalf of younger men and women with whom the elderly have very little in common.

With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why changes in the church and the feelings of older people are often at odds.

The principles of the Bible remain the same, and changes in the church are not meant to put the basic teachings of the church in jeopardy.

And yet, because of the basic vulnerability which is associated with being old, changes in the church too often magnify an already hurtful situation and make older people resistant to change.

Ushers, Trustees and Elders of Your Church

There are many individuals that are entrusted with an office of their church. They are either appointed or elected to an office of their congregation. This article examines three very important positions that are held by lay individuals in their church.

Ushers

Ushers have more responsibilities than just seating people as they enter the church. Their main objective is to keep things in an orderly manner. They hand out programs and church bulletins, they help handicapped individuals, they light candles, attend the sound systems, assist in the collection of monies, remove loud babies and individuals. They do things that help make the service run smoothly.

Trustees

A trustee’s title is different in many congregations. They could solely responsible for church expenses. They could even assume the duties of a usher. Since I have already covered an ushers duties, let’s look at other trustee responsibilities. Financially, they make sure bills get paid in an orderly manner. It is good if this is entrusted to several and not just one person. They also make sure that the building is well maintained for comfort. This means a workable internal environment. good heating, air conditioning, and lighting. They meet on a regular basis to do this things.

Church Elders

Church elders have a very special job. They are responsible for stewardship, fellowship, evangelism, church discipline, and leaders of church doctrine. They make sure that the minister follows the constitution of the church. They always look to take a proactive approach to all areas of church business. It is the job of the elders to even remove a minister, if they find him to be leading the church astray.

Holding a church office is an important responsibility and it should be taken very seriously. There is no glory to be found serving others. An officer should be humble. They will, like any individual, be subject to character scrutiny. However, at the end of the day, you will have an internal feeling of a good job done well. That truly is the only reward that you will get.