Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health care hangover

I've felt dispirited these past two days after the passage of the health care bill. This post is not to argue the merits of it. I'm just going to say that for many reasons I think it is a bad bill and will not accomplish what it sets out to do. In fact, just the opposite.

The worst part of it is that it now opens the way for federal funding of abortions. (See post below on why the executive order is a farce.) The Stupak collapse was sad to see. The icing on the cake was at this morning's signing, when Obama gave one of the pens he used to Sr Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Healthcare Association. Sr Carol was a strong supporter of the bill and lobbied supposedly pro-life Congressmen to vote for it.

The Catholic moral principle is that we can never do evil so that good may result. To approve of a bill that would greatly expand abortion funding, and thus the number of abortions, is a serious sin. A mortal sin, the kind that kills the life of grace in the soul and separates us from Christ. It seems that few people talk about mortal sin anymore. But it's no less a reality for all that.
If the issue were slavery, we would see it more clearly. Who would ever approve of a health bill that would bring health care to many people, if it meant that other people would be enslaved? But for some reason, when it comes to abortion our moral compass often goes haywire. It points south instead of north. People say it's a necessary evil that we have to tolerate in order to bring about some other good.

With this I'm not judging Sr Carol's conscience, for only God can do that. I am saying that her actions gave grave scandal. I felt sick at heart over this, that a Catholic nun would stand by the side of the most pro-abortion president and cheer him on as with the stroke of a pen he snuffs out even more lives.

More and more, I have the sense that the time has come to take a stand. Enough with all the papering-over of dissent in the church. Enough with pretending that we can be Catholic and support legislation that will promote abortion, on the plea that it will do some other good. Enough with compromise.

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