What was the rant by Mr. Ron Horan from Immaculate Heart Parish about? Was he trying to say that the Catholic Church’s position in a pluralistic society should always trump everyone else? Is he trying to prove what people feared before a Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, was elected – that the Church demands its moral perspective prevail over everyone else?
There are many things in a democratic society that we sometimes must accept. For instance, I was totally against the war in Iraq for moral reasons based on my faith. Should I be exempt from paying income taxes because my taxes help support that effort? In a pluralistic society do we not all have to give and take? If we do not, we will have anarchy and civil war.
It is not clear from Mr. Horan’s letter what he or the U.S. Catholic bishops are trying to achieve – religious exemption, the banning of artificial birth control, a war on women’s health issues or an issue to help the Republican cause. They may want to think it through, or they endanger their tax-exempt status. If they want to get political, maybe the Church should pay taxes.
In addition, what makes Mr. Horan or the bishops think they have a large constituency that would make anyone pay attention? The awkward fact is that over 90 percent of Catholics use birth control. What makes these celibates think they can dictate to everyone else when they cannot get their own flocks to follow? It would seem that the laity have not received their teaching – might be time to move on to the next issue and take the administration’s compromise.
We all have to give and take in a pluralistic society. That includes the Church. We must continue to build on what we hold in common and allow for legitimate differences. However, my religious faith should not trump everyone else. How then could democracy work? If the bishops want to totally limit access to birth control, then they are going to have to convince the whole society and not hide behind some canard of religious liberty.
Katya Holon, Brentwood