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Having spent yesterday reading the secular news accounts of Pope Francis’ recent comments about abortion and homosexuality, and having also read reports from the uber-right, it is distressing to see that people either can’t read or can’t think. This Pope is being undermined left and right.

Literally.

For the rest of us, we can read the Holy Father’s interview here.

According to the illiterati, the Holy Father doesn’t think abortion and homosexuality are worthy of much time and attention, and besides, as he has already said, who is he to judge? For the left, this distortion serves the purpose of eliminating the only significant barrier to the homosexualist and abortion agendas: the Roman Catholic Church. For those to the right of Mussolini, it serves to discredit “the Jesuit”.

In context, here are the Pope’s remarks, begining with the interviewr’s question which frames the response:

I mention to Pope Francis that there are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

 “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

“I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”

Nothing in that quote contradicts the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s own document, Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, promulgated under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

The Pope is also quite correct in saying that we must first address the wounds of people before hammering away at many of the moral issues, and here is where things get thorny.

Doctrinally, dogmatically, the Pope is on solid ground, a groundwork laid by the giants who came before him, from Pius XI to Benedict XVI. He does not need to reformulate what has been articulated so clearly and beautifully. Francis has been sent to show us how to minister to a broken humanity in a way that may well be alien to those whose only approach is moralizing. It begins with the language he employs regarding accompanying the sinner along the road of his life.

That means accepting the person where they are at and then walking the road with them. It means eating and drinking with those whose behaviors are profoundly disturbing to us. Working with street kids for seven years at Covenant House in the 1980′s was a formative experience for me, especially when so many had worked in prostitution. What moved the kids the most was the fact that we were the first people, for many of them, who were nonjudgmental and simply loved them where they were at.

I get where Francis is going with the Church. If John Paul II and Benedict charted the course, Francis is our guide.

Encyclicals are neat, crisp, and clean. Employing their contents with love and not bludgeoning people into submission with them will be the hallmark of this papacy. It is work fraught with the perils of which the Pope speaks when he talks of confessors being too lax or too rigid.

The same goes for the laity.

To those on the right who fear that the situational ethics that tore the Church apart Post-Vtican II has now made its way to the chair of Peter, they need to breathe deeply and accept authentic pastoral direction from the chief shepherd. After all, the Pope is right, we can’t only and always talk of homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. We must address the woundedness that gives rise to these ills.

We in the pro-life movement have prayed for a cure at the root of it all.

Will we now stop our ears and shout down the answer to those prayers?

Will we?

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SO001396

When tsunamis make landfall they can be rebuffed by mighty cliffs of granite, or accommodated by soft sandy beaches which allow the mighty waves to strip them, leaving them disfigured and littered with the tsunami’s wasteful debris and shattered bodies when the floodwaters retreat back into the abyss from whence they came. So it seems that the Church in America, once a towering giant, has become increasingly accommodating to the Culture of Death as it washes over her with impunity.

The examples over the past year alone abound. Revelations in last week’s New York Times that the Archdiocese of New York has been paying for union employees’ contraception and abortion benefits, “under protest,” are just the latest in a string of surrenders.

In this latest disaster, the Archdiocese claims that there is a difference between fighting the HHS Mandate and the union contracts inherited when they got into the latest arrangement. Read the Archdiocese’s refutation here.

Indeed, there is a difference between an illegally imposed government mandate to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion, and willingly staying in the healthcare field where the powerful union drives such services being mandated in the insurance plans.

To what degree is the Archdiocese compelled in all of this? From their statement it is clear that they feel the greater need to remain in the healthcare field because there is a proportionally greater good to be done. The larger moral question is how much good done by the archdiocese washes the blood of a single aborted baby from the diocesen hands that paid for the abortion? How is this argument different from the woman who feels the pressure from family to abort? Or the woman who pervceives the great good that will not be accomplished in her life if the baby prevents her from getting a college education? Is the emotional plight of the abortion-minded woman under duress not more compelling? Yet she incurs automatic excommunication if she knows the penalty. What of those in diocesan offices who maintain the involvement with the unions and write the checks?

Undoubtedly great arguments can be made for all of the good that would not be done if we abandoned the field, but it’s still a proportionalist argument being deployed against moral absolutes. Unfortunately, our opponents have been handed a PR win on this one.

In other matters, the silence of the bishops in the run-up to the scheduled vote in February regarding admitting gay scouts in BSA was deafening. When BSA rescheduled the vote, we had a second chance to speak out against this disastrous move, but neither the bishops, nor the Catholic Commmittee on Scouting condemned it.

A year ago when New York State voted to adopt gay marriage Cardinal Dolan rued that he was caught flat-footed. What can be the excuse of the USCCB on the Boy Scouts? My observations on what is so wrong with that move here.

Through it all, we have witnessed Cardinal Dolan welcoming Vice President Biden to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, going out of his way to assure that he does not declare Governor Cuomo, who is seeking the liberalization of New York’s abortion laws, a Catholic in bad standing. Which means that he is regarded publicly as a Catholic in good standing; abortion and gay marriage notwithstanding.

Are we surrendering on all of these issues? We welcome the “Catholic” politicians with open arms who are at the same time accelerating the implementation of a diabolical agenda.

In this Year of Faith, as our churches continue to empty, an unsolicited thought for our leaders. If fundamental moral truths and goods are not worth fighting for, then don’t be surprised when many find that there isn’t much worth staying for.

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On the eve of the Fortnight for Freedom, there are those within the Catholic Church who are denying that the two-week observance has anything to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception and everything to do with upholding the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religious expression. That’s a false dichotomy and misattribution of the causal nature of our current dilemma.

It’s akin to those who say the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, that it was all about states’ rights; which of course begs the question: The right to do what?

There is no doubt that the states who seceded feared the loss of self-government to the Federal Government, but the loss of liberty was rooted in the issue of slavery which was woven into the very social and economic fabric of the South. In the case of slavery (which took on a more prominent role for Northerners as the struggle wore on) it was an example of the Federal Government getting it right. The unalienable (That is, God-given) right to liberty had been denied to African-Americans for far too long. Federal troops were sent to both preserve the Union and end slavery for good.

In the current struggle, the Federal Government has sought to attack the Catholic Church over an issue that is central to her identity and mission, the teaching that all human life is made in the image and likeness of God from the moment of fertilization and is to be respected as such until natural death. Our loss of freedom is centered on the mandate by the Federal Government that we pay not only for birth control pills, some of which are known abortifacients, but that we pay for sterilizations and known abortifacient morning-after pills such as RU-486 and Ella.

Further, the Government is dictating what institutions constitute “religious” institutions and which do not. The only “religious” institutions that qualify for an exemption by the Obama criteria would be those who violate equal opportunity law by hiring most of their employees who are members of that church, and whose services go mainly to members of that same church.

Otherwise, Catholic hospitals, schools, and social service agencies are required to pay for contraceptives, abortifacients and abortions, and sterilizations. If the bishops do so, they shred Humanae Vitae and every decent moral precept undergirding Catholic Anthropology. If they voluntarily close down these institutions, they cooperate with evil by giving our enemies precisely the evisceration of our Church that they seek.

Perhaps jails overflowing with civilly disobedient Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity will be the sole salvation of religious liberty in America. We’ll see soon enough how this situation breaks. The Supreme Court ruling on the HHS mandate is due out any day, and then there are the November elections.

That’s plenty of reason to pray during this fortnight.

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Recently, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dropped her guard and gave the American people a good insight into how it is that Obamacare will ultimately stay solvent: The nonexistence of patients who, not being alive, cannot make claims upon the system.

From CNSNews.com

During the subcommittee hearing, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) said that contraception provided by insurance companies to people employed by religious organizations under the future form of the rule Sebelius described would not be was not free.

“Who pays for it? There’s no such thing as a free service,” Murphy asked.

Sebelius responded that that is not the case with insurance.

“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception,” Sebelius answered.

Murphy expressed surprise by the answer.

“So you are saying, by not having babies born, we are going to save money on health care?” Murphy asked.

Sebelius replied, “Providing contraception is a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children.”

Murphy again sought clarification.

“Not having babies born is a critical benefit. This is absolutely amazing to me. I yield back,” he said.

Sebelius responded, “Family planning is a critical health benefit in this country, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

See and hear Sebelius in her own words:

Now this week comes word that the Congessional Budget Office estimates Obamacare will cost twice its originally promised cost. News also comes of the return of what Sarah Palin dubbed, “Death Panels” for healthcare rationing. Far from right wing flights of fancy, these realities already exist in chilling bureaucratic routine across the nation in hospital committees who decide when patients have used too many resources, and in Oregon’s health care system where the government decides when a patient’s remaining quality of life justifies the expense of keeping them alive.

Here is the ABC News article about one such patient, Barbara Wagner. It is a portal into the national future.

Adding fuel to the fire is the issue of states increasingly strained by the growing number of civil service pensioners who do their 20 years and retire on full pensions.

Add to that the Social Security insolvency.

It becomes clear that Sebelius has not so much committed a gaffe as she has revealed the solution her fellow travelers see to our insolvency issues: decreasing the number of claimants on the system decreases the system’s expenditures. Nonexistence of humans on the front end of the life spectrum will fund the cost of the HHS contraception mandate through the offsetting of the non-conceived human’s non-claims on the system. Applying the same thinking on the other end of the life spectrum will realize a bumper crop of savings for local, state, and the federal government when civil service pensioners are denied life-saving services, or have them delayed long enough in rationing lines in the hopes that the patient will be overtaken by the disease while waiting.

Being a Pacific Northwestern Governor, Sarah Palin looked to one of her closest neighbors, Oregon, and saw clearly the future of the pro-abortion, anti-life, rabidly eugenic left wing. It is far easier to cull the herd than grow the economy, especially in a political party that is opposed to all known and practical sources of energy; to a political party that has made a central plank of their platform the reduction of the world’s population.

We are a nation in serious, serious trouble.

To only blame the Obama administration or the Democrat Party is to miss the fact that sufficient numbers of Americans agree with these people. Far too many uphold the right for someone else to slaughter their child, even though they are personally opposed to doing so.

So many uphold he right of others to force doctors to perform manslaughter through physician-assisted suicide, even if it violates the doctor’s conscience.

So many uphold the forcing of all medical students to perform abortions against their consciences.

So many uphold the forcing of religious institutions and private businesses to purchase contraceptives against their consciences.

90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, with costs to the parents and the ‘system’ cited by physicians and genetic counselors in a coercive campaign to rid the world of these “defectives”.

Far too many in this nation support the coercion of physicians and private citizens to do the government’s bidding when doing so violates consciences formed by thousands of years of civilized precepts. Now we have established that private and institutional conscience is the property of the state, the state is taking full advantage of the opportunity to advance its agenda.

Hitler never could have accomplished his malignant agenda without the support of the German people in sufficient numbers. It takes more than a village, it takes a nation to be good or evil. Today, our nation balances on a razor’s edge.

It will take more than the November elections to turn things around. It’s going to take the realization of what is at stake. It’s no longer someone else’s ox getting gored.

We’re all in peril.

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Yesterday at a Congressional hearing, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made two outrageous claims:

From CNSNews.com

During the subcommittee hearing, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) said that contraception provided by insurance companies to people employed by religious organizations under the future form of the rule Sebelius described would not be was not free.

“Who pays for it? There’s no such thing as a free service,” Murphy asked.

Sebelius responded that that is not the case with insurance.

“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception,” Sebelius answered.

Murphy expressed surprise by the answer.

“So you are saying, by not having babies born, we are going to save money on health care?” Murphy asked.

Sebelius replied, “Providing contraception is a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children.”

Murphy again sought clarification.

“Not having babies born is a critical benefit. This is absolutely amazing to me. I yield back,” he said.

Sebelius responded, “Family planning is a critical health benefit in this country, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

Quite aside from the fact that nobody is incensed that the government is now directing private industry to provide goods and services for free, the twin claims that decreasing the population offsets the cost of such mandates to industry, and that contraception is a, “critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children,” tell us all we need to know about the depravity of the political left in this nation.

Lowering cholesterol and salt intake are “critical preventive health benefits” as they prevent disease states such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, etc.

Eliminating tobacco is a “critical preventive health benefit” as it reduces chances of developing lung and throat cancer.

Now we are told by the HHS Secretary that pregnancy is a potential health risk not only to women, but their existing children as well. This is the trajectory the twin evils of abortion and contraception have had us on all along. No less a prophet than Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta saw this coming decades ago:

America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters

And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.

~Mother Theresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14

While it is axiomatic that families and nations do not grow and prosper by shrinking, the question needs to be asked. What is behind the political left’s emphasis on reducing the size of our population, especially in light of the dwindling numbers of employees who will be available to support retirees on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare?

It seems to me that the Obama crew has it entirely wrong. The only way to fix the funding shortfalls for senior citizen programs is to increase the size of the nation, her tax-paying workforce, and the size of her economy. Having aborted 54 million citizens over the past 39 years, as well as the offspring they’ll never have, has devastated our senior entitlement programs.

Again, it is axiomatic that growth and prosperity are tied to…

Growth!

There is no logical, economic, political, or philosophical explanation for the model of stewardship espoused by the left. Sebelius has revealed, again, the pitting of the mother against the child of the womb and has now added the pitting of the child of the womb against its siblings. She has reduced pregnancy to the level of a disease state in the Federal system of health management.

It is classic radical feminist agitprop. It also echoes Margaret Sanger who famously decreed,

The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it. The same factors which create the terrible infant mortality rate, and which swell the death rate of children between the ages of one and five, operate even more extensively to lower the health rate of the surviving members. Moreover, the overcrowded homes of large families reared in poverty contribute to this condition. Lack of medical attention is still another factor, so that the child who must struggle for health in competition with other members of a closely packed family has still great difficulties to meet after its poor constitution and malnutrition have been accounted for.

From “Woman and the New Race,” page 63. Book can be read online here.

Such sentiments from two prominent Catholic women arise from the crosscurrents of poorly formed morality and ethics, and encountering human suffering. It would seem that in the Sanger-Sebelius circles not much has changed in 90 years. Their response to suffering and death is not charity and expanding economic opportunity. The response is more death.

It is a cramped worldview that sees human struggle and only envisions death, or nonexistence as the solution. We can do better than these people.

We must.

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My article in today’s HeadlineBistro.

The first part of this series showed how the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) newest contraceptive drug, Ella (Ulipristal acetate), is in reality an abortifacient like RU-486. It argued that FDA’s marketing of Ella as strictly a contraceptive that denies its abortifacient capabilities, which are abundantly evident to most informed non-scientists, is the culmination of a series of lies through omission. Here in Part II, we will see all the safety data that the FDA deliberately ignored, and all of the safety investigations it didn’t bother to make the manufacturer perform.

In a June 2, 2010, letter to the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs, Dr. Donna Harrison, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) outlined the deficiencies in the safety data and proposed labeling of Ella. This article summarizes those deficiencies and the reader is referred to the letter for the details.

The first great omission was that of transparency in the drug approval process. According to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburger, who wrote in a letter to her colleagues:

“FDA is advised by 49 committees and panels with more than 600 members. These committees provide advice on specific regulatory decisions, such as product approvals, and general policy matters, such as regulations and guidance. … [t]he primary goal of the advisory committee process is to bring high-quality input to FDA in order to support agency decisions.”

In reality, FDA required comment submissions from advisory groups such as AAPLOG by a deadline without any prior releasing of the data on the drug. Harrison and AAPLOG were forced to use the publicly available data from the European Medicines Agency, as Ella is already available in Europe, sold under the brand name EllaOne.

According to the European agency, “EllaOne is contra-indicated during an existing or suspected pregnancy.” Right there is the admission that this drug can serve as an abortifacient. But there are additional issues beyond the immediate embryocidal effects that are associated with this contraindication.

It is important to note that 2 percent of all pregnancies subjected to Ella will survive the treatment. That means 20,000 babies for every 1 million treatments, and no studies were performed on the toxicity of Ella on the surviving fetuses.

The European agency admits that there are very insufficient data regarding the developmental effects of Ella on surviving fetuses. It is beyond comprehension that no reproductive toxicity studies have been performed on Ella when International Conference on Harmonisation guidelines clearly requires such studies to be done. The European agency states:

“Reproduction toxicity data are insufficient due to lack of human and animal pharmacokinetic data. Due to its mechanism of action, [Ella] has an embryolethal effect in rats, rabbits (at repeated doses above 1 mg/kg) and in monkeys. The safety for a human embryo is unknown.”

The purpose of animal studies is to extrapolate to humans what is found in evolutionarily similar animals such as monkeys. Combining the mechanism of action described in Part I and the lethal effect for embryos in all tested animals, it isn’t difficult to make the connection that Ella has an embryolethal effect on humans.

Additionally, studies in monkeys indicate the presence of Ella in reproductive and other tissues 14 days after single dose administration, a presence that far exceeds the touted five-day window of drug effect. Many women will certainly use this drug more than once per menstrual cycle, so the lasting effects remain unresearched and unknown.

According to Harrison, the European agency based their safety assessment of Ella on a single 30 mg dose per menstrual cycle and based on that alone they “lowered or waived required safety, toxicology and pharmakodynamic study requirements for:

1. Human in vivo metabolism data
2. Single dose toxicology studies
3. Dose recovery studies
4. Carcinogenicity studies
5. Toxicokinetic documentation
6. Bioavailability and absorption studies
7. Mechanism of action with regard to threshold concentration effects
8. Formal dose proportionality studies
9. Information on drug interactions in patients with renal or hepatic impairment
10. Pharmacokinetic interaction studies.”

Were that all not enough, the European agency also identified other unstudied populations, such as women over the age of 35, women who are on concomitant hormonal contraceptives (use for “missed pill” contraceptive failure), lactating women, and adolescent females, for whom no safety or efficacy studies have been done.

It is accepted in the pro-life community that abortion, and its proponents, are among the most corrosive influences on the public health. The machinations behind the passage of Ella constitute a case study in how, yet again, women’s health is sacrificed at the altar of this modern-day Moloch. No serious scientist or physician can look at this appalling list of omissions in safety and toxicity studies, the lack of transparency surrounding the hearings, and conclude that the FDA had women’s health at heart. There are well-established, rigorous scientific and regulatory protocols for the approval of new drugs, a frightening number of which were either incomplete, or not engaged at all in the case of Ella.

This is primarily about population control, a driving ideology behind the Culture of Death. It is not only cultural, but civilizational suicide. The surest way to defeat this is at the grassroots level, by spreading the word among women of just how dangerous abortion is for them, and the conspiracy of silence among those scientists and physicians who have betrayed every ethical precept in railroading an unsuspecting public.

In addition to getting out the truth, our prayers and our support of crisis pregnancy centers are two of our greatest weapons in reestablishing a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love.

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Today is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.

Many non-Catholic brothers and sisters object to the title and don’t understand whence it comes. An excellent, brief essay here tells the story.

In light of our focus here these past few days, today’s Solemnity throws two very different women into stark relief: Mary, Mother of God and Margaret Sanger. A study in contrast if ever there were one.

Both women looked out upon a broken and wounded humanity. Both heard the call to action. One embraced life as the answer to healing humanity. The other embraced death as the solution.

Through her acceptance of the Archangel Gabriel’s message, Mary invited God Himself in the person of Jesus to take on human nature through her womb. Thus, the dignity of women was forever elevated in God choosing to cloak Himself with our humanity through woman. Mary chose a lifetime of scorn by others. Having her son referred to as a bastard child was an implicit condemnation of Mary as a less than virtuous woman, to put it politely. The indignity of a feeding trough as a cradle, a barn as lodging. They were chased out of their homeland. Jews going back to Egypt, setting up the second Exodus, this one for all humanity. The gifts of the Magi, God’s providence manifest through the faith of strangers, no doubt secured safe passage and sustenance in the land of their former slavery.

Mary’s acceptance of being Mother of the Messiah didn’t make her the Jewish Doris Day of the first century. Life for Mary was hard. And then she saw her son die the most excruciating death.

The lesson for us, suffering is redemptive. Jesus’ suffering redeemed us all. Mary’s suffering is a model for us. She could have had a much easier life-a home, social acceptance, economic security-all of the things Sanger would later cite as the justification for her war on life.

Mary’s reward for being the Mother of God, not merely His incubator, but fully His Mother, was not to be here on earth. She enjoys pride of place in paradise with her son.

Margaret Sanger’s approach was the converse of Mary’s. To be fair, the widespread grinding poverty that Sanger lived with and witnessed exists in small pockets in America today. Most Americans cannot imagine the poverty of which she spoke. None should begrudge her the genuine revulsion she felt staring into the face of that poverty. Such revulsion is very healthy indeed.

Then came her response. Death and nonexistence. Sex divorced from responsibility and consequence. The lie that pleasurable sex could only be had by deliberate and artificial means of thwarting the transmission of new life. The lie that suffering is meaningless, that pleasure and ease are to be sought after to the exclusion of any suffering along the way.

Suffering is not easy, but it helps us to grow. We learn from suffering, if we are open to her lessons.

Sanger’s was a life of narcissistic self-indulgence that poisoned everything it touched, the very operational definition of neurosis, which is the attempt to avoid suffering. Unrestricted pleasure slowly twists and distorts us. It removes us from human suffering by inducing us to disengage from those who suffer, ultimately causing us to objectify them. Sanger chose to scorn charity as a means of relieving the suffering of others, of healing them, of lifting them up and ameliorating poverty. She objectified not poverty, but the poor themselves. She loathed them. The result of such objectification when we do so, is that they lose their humanity in our eyes, as they did for Sanger.

Then we are free to contraceive and abort them into oblivion, all in the name of relieving their suffering, which is really to say, our own.

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A commenter in the comboxes believes Margaret Sanger to be misunderstood, and that we would all do well to follow the lead of her disciples at New York University.

Mike Wallace interviewed Margaret Sanger 9/21/57. Watch the video here.

Sanger really starts fidgeting, ducking and weaving, telling lies and conveniently forgetting in the second half of the interview.

She outright lies in the first half, when speaking of the opposition of the Christian Churches to Birth Control in the beginning of her movement.

“At that time (1920′s) there was no opposition as far as the Church was concerned- any Church. It was mainly the law-federal law and state laws that one had to think of.”

In reality, all mainline churches opposed contraception until the Anglicans broke with tradition at the Lambeth Conference of 1930. Only then did others follow suit.

Surely Sanger must have remembered how Pope Pius XI wrote the famous Encyclical Castii Connubii (On Christian Marriage) four months after the Lambeth Conference of 1930, wherein he states that the teaching against contraception was “uninterrupted Christian tradition” (see paragraph 56 in the document).

After watching Sanger’s sanitized, Disney version of her motives for pushing birth control, consider what she didn’t say:

“Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying
… demonstrates our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism …
[Philanthropists] encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the
world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of
others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead
weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the
stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world,
it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant … We are paying
for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing,
unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born
at all.”


– Margaret Sanger. The Pivot of Civilization , 1922. Chapter on “The
Cruelty of Charity,” pages 116, 122, and 189. Swarthmore College Library
edition.

“Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most
adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and
social problems.
“I think you must agree … that the campaign for birth control is not
merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims
of eugenics … Birth control propaganda is thus the entering wedge for the
eugenic educator.
“As an advocate of birth control I wish … to point out that the
unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit,’ admittedly
the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the
inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this
matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-
minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be
held up for emulation.
“On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and
discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.”

– Margaret Sanger. “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.”
Birth Control Review , October 1921, page 5.

“The third group [of society] are those irresponsible and reckless
ones having little regard for the consequences of their acts, or whose
religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers.
Many of this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper
element dependent upon the normal and fit members of society for their
support. There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the
procreation of this group should be stopped.”

– Margaret Sanger. Speech quoted in Birth Control: What It Is, How It
Works, What It Will Do. The Proceedings of the First American Birth
Control Conference . Held at the Hotel Plaza, New York City, November 11-
12, 1921. Published by the Birth Control Review , Gothic Press, pages 172
and 174.

“In passing, we should here recognize the difficulties presented by the
idea of ‘fit’ and ‘unfit.’ Who is to decide this question? The grosser,
the more obvious, the undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be
discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind. But among the
writings of the representative Eugenists [sic], one cannot ignore the
distinct middle-class bias that prevails.”

– Margaret Sanger, quoted in Charles Valenza. “Was Margaret Sanger a
Racist?” Family Planning Perspectives , January-February 1985, page 44.

In fairness to Sanger, Idiot, Imbicile, and Moron were medical diagnostic categories in their day. Also to be fair to Sanger, she dripped with contempt for these people. She had no appreciation for their humanity, and in her hardened heart, could not imagine that the poor might enjoy meaning in the midst of poverty. Nor could she imagine that the children of the poor might rise above the poverty. My parents grew up in tenements in grinding poverty during the great depression. I lived in those same tenements until age 13. Of five children in my family four went to college and graduate school. All live lives of productive contribution to society.

But even the most handicapped among us has great individual value and moral worth. In the most bitter of ironies, it was Margaret Sanger herself who added to societal misery on the same scale she imagined it in other quarters. If as she suggested the handicapped had little to offer, it is all the more certain that Sanger wasted much. A terrible epitaph.

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