Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

3/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Liberal secularism is crassly materialistic

The Church has an entire different vision of contraception.  Based upon the natural law and the teachings of the Gospel, the Church insists that the use of artificial contraception, whether as an end in itself or a means as an end, is an intrinsic evil, a moral wrong admitting no exceptions. It is a wrong based upon natural law, which means it morally obliges the entire world no less than does the injunction "Thou shalt not kill."

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: chastity, condoms, contraception, Georgetown Law Student, virtue, Freedom, secualrism, secularist, materialism, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Rush Limbaugh has created quite a stir in calling Georgetown's third-year law student Sandra Fluke some rather ungentlemanly names following her testimony to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.  I will not repeat them here. 

I suppose had he been more circumspect and Shakespearean, he could have, with an added delightful double entendre, called her a Winchester's goose, and then the modern media would not have known what he was talking about. 

(Though it is possible that a Professor of Elizabethan English would have known exactly what he meant. Google it, I will not do the work for you!)

As for me, I would not stoop to call Ms. Fluke such vulgar and plebeian names.  For me, Ms. Fluke is a Knight. 

Ahhh, but she is not a knight like the woman knight Britomart in Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene, for Britomart was a Knight of Chastity.  For me, Ms. Fluke is a Knight, but a Knight of Unchastity. 

As the commentator on Spenser's Faerie Queene Elizabeth Heale observes, the virtue of which knight Britomart is a symbol-chastity-is not simply abstention from sex.  For Spenser chastity-before marriage and in marriage-was "a binding force central to social, national, and indeed universal concord." 

As it turns out, Ms. Fluke has turned out to be a symbol of unchastity, an unchastity which is more than mere profligacy, sex upon sex upon sex.  No, the unchastity of which Ms. Fluke is a knight is unchastity as "a binding force central to social, national, and indeed universal concord." 

We have heard it bantered around that more than 98% of all women have, at least at some period of their life, used artificial contraception.  Whether this sad fact is true or not is hard to tell, but it is certainly perceived as true.  And, what is more, it is perceived as a good thing, one that is worthy of public promotion so that the 98% can have their way paid for by everyone else and so that the last 2% holding out may eventually be captured.

That is why this unchastity needs to be subsidized, the experts say.  That is why unchastity as a social institution needs a Knight.  And that is why Ms. Fluke-ahem, Sir Fluke of the Law Students for Reproductive Justice-has received her many accolades from the Knights of the Round Table of the liberal press, and even a call from the King of the kingdom of which she is a knight, President Obama.

Sir Fluke has been offered the Siege Perilous of Liberalism, that vacant seat of the Round Table reserved for that one great knight who would successfully attain the Holy Grail: 100% subsidized contraception.

I've read Sir Fluke's testimony, and it is downright depressing in its crass materialism.  There is mention only of "financial, emotional, and medical burdens."  There is a lot of what lawyers call inadmissible anecdotal evidence and hearsay about such burdens by "real people" (as distinguished, I suppose from "unreal people," who, I gather under our current law and Sir Fluke's way of looking at things, are fetuses in the womb.).  There's the de rigueur "hard cases"-a woman with "polycystic ovarian syndrome," a woman that has been raped-which-in liberal ways of thinking-makes good law.  And all this is peppered with plenty of inconsistencies and non sequiturs.  But all of it is based upon the supposed calculus of weighing financial, emotional, and medical grounds.  Utilitarianism, all of it.

Sir Fluke never, ever considers the issue of whether artificial contraception is moral, whether it is virtuous, whether it is, from a moral standpoint, right.  I repeat.  The testimony is depressing in its crass materialism and utilitarianism.  There is no spirit, much less Nature or Nature's God, in the thing.  It is all conventional.  Never does she try to get to the heart of moral reality, of what is.

The Church, of course, has an entire different vision of things.  Based upon the natural law and the teachings of the Gospel, the Church insists that the use of artificial contraception, whether as an end in itself or a means for an end, is an intrinsic evil, a moral wrong admitting no exceptions.

It is a wrong based upon natural law, which means it morally obliges the entire world no less than does the injunction "Thou shalt not kill." 

It is, of course, this very moral law that the Obama administration acting through the Department of Health and Human Services wants the Catholic Church and all its organs to violate, and which the Church insists-as a matter of religious freedom, and indeed in obedience to Nature and Nature's God-the Federal government cannot compel.

Flannery O'Connor stated perceptively in one of her letters: "The Church's stand on birth control is the most absolutely spiritual of all her stands and with all of us being materialists at heart, there is little wonder that it causes unease."

Liberal secularism is crassly materialistic.  And so it follows that any talk of God, or natural law, or objective morality outside of mere utilitarian concerns of "financial, emotional, and medical burdens" puts it in a great unease.  That's why Sir Fluke did not mention it.

Don't expect Sir Fluke to be sensitive to the things of the spirit.  She is-alas-not unlike a man known as Aurelius Augustinus who in his famous book Confessions wrote about how he was enslaved by lust and how the law of such sin can hold one's mind against even its will, the soul being so weighed down by custom and convention that it cannot rise even with the support of truth.

Sir Fluke is weighed down by custom that artificial contraception is a good, and she cannot rise even with the support of truth as she testifies-under oath-that a falsehood is true, that a wrong is a good.

The Lord had mercy on the restless Aurelius Augustinus.  He tells us of a time when he was under a fig tree, in tears for being unable to relieve himself from the chains of lust which bound him to untruth, when he heard the voice of a young child-a boy, or girl, he could not tell-chant, "Tolle, lege!  Tolle, lege!" Take up and read!  Take up and read!

He picked up St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and opened up the text where his eyes settled randomly on the following: "Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."  (Rom. 13:14-15)

"No further would I read," Aurelius Augustinus whom we know today as St. Augustine of Hippo tells us, "nor needed I." 

Why not?  He tells us that also.  "For instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away."

Sir Fluke appears not to be struggling with the issue of lust and unchastity like St. Augustine did.  After all, as the Knight of Unchastity she seeks to encourage it with the public purse or enforce it with the public law, which, of course, means she wants all of us to pay for it.  It is for her, she thinks, the Holy Grail, an absolute good.

It is, in fact, the chalice of a Beast, a "Giantess Argante," a monster of lust and licentiousness in Spenser's Faerie Queene, "which did make war against Heaven" and who lives "'gainst Nature Law and good behavior."

What kind of knight need we to overcome this lascivious Beast?  Certainly not one like Sir Fluke. 

We must, to quote Spenser, invoke

But a fair Virgin, that in martial Law,
And Deeds of Arms above all Dames is deem'd,
And above many Knights is eke esteem'd,
For her great Worth; she Palladine is hight:
She you from Death, you me from Dread redeem'd.
Ne any may that Monster match in right,
But she, or such as she, that is so chaste a Wight.

We might invoke our heavenly Britomart, the "real" Virgin Mother, who, as St. Sophronius says, was chosen "that she might be an example of chastity to everybody."   "Christus matrem virginem elegit," St. Sophronius says, "ut ipsa omnibus esset exemplum castitatis."

She was, we may also recall, Our Lady of Victory at the Battle of Lepanto.

Mary, pray for us.

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More U.S.

The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... continue reading


Caught in the act: Telephone scammers get comeuppance from plucky woman Watch

Image of Becoming pro-active, Rachel Fitzsimmons decided to take action in an effort to spread awareness so that others do not fall for the swindle.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Telephone solicitors threatening phony legal action are the bane of many people's existence. They typically prey upon "old-timers" who still have landlines in their homes and are home in the evenings. Rachel Fitzsimmons, of Denver, Colorado received such a call ... continue reading


Is Israel beholden to Obama? Should the president be able to hold the American people hostage via threat of veto? Republicans and Israeli prime minister say no! Watch

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu is set to speak before a joint session of Congress on March 3 about keeping nuclear capabilities out of the hands of Iran.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On March 3, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will speak before the a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a move which is as much a show of support for Israel from the Republican dominated legislature as it is a rebuff of President Obama. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Upset over private donations, Liberal protestors barged in on the Supreme Court Watch

Image of Members of 99rise during a protest.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the Supreme Court opened on January 21, a rare disturbance broke out which caused seven protesters to be removed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chief Justice John Roberts was about to announce the day's opinions when a protester stood up and began shouted: "We ... continue reading


The First Right is the Right to Life. It is Time to End Legal Abortion on Demand Watch

Image of The great human rights movement of our age is the struggle to restore to the Civil and positive law the legal recognition of the fundamental Human Right to Life. It is already a fundamental human right, and one which can never be taken away. This Right to Life is the foundation of all other rights. It is the first solidarity issue. The child in the womb is our innocent neighbor. It is wrong to kill any innocent neighbor. We know this and we have perpetuated the lie for too long.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

No one with integrity any longer argues that the little girl or little boy killed through procured abortion is not a human being. When the abortion occurs through miscarriage we properly enter into the mourning of the mother over the loss of the one we call - her ... continue reading


Archbishop Josť H. Gomez: OneLife LA and 9 Days for Life Watch

Image of Archbishop Gomez - In granting a legal right for some people to take the lives of others, the Supreme Court in effect decided that human rights are granted by government - not by God. That gives the government the final say - not only in defining what is right and wrong, but also in deciding who gets to live and who does not. There are many injustices in our society, but the most fundamental is the one our society rarely acknowledges - the routine taking of innocent human life every day through abortion.

By Archbishop Josť H. Gomez

Roe v. Wade continues to shape American consciousness and public life. At the political level, from debates in state legislatures to federal questions about health insurance, our country is clearly still divided over whether to allow abortion and what limits ... continue reading


The Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Must Include Our Youngest Neighbors in the Womb Watch

Image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Remember his words,

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this day when we remember the dream and honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we must continue his work and not succumb to the counterfeit agendas which seek to leech upon his noble memory. There is no doubt that any positive or civil law which ... continue reading


Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton: The Deception Continues

Image of

By Catherine Contreras

The abortion lobby, their media lapdogs, and pro abortion politicians have been able to continue the deception that there is a "right" to take innocent human life in the womb because of a scam perpetrated by the United States Supreme Court in 1973.  On ... continue reading


Filing for bankruptcy, St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese owns up to sexual abuse lawsuits Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Taking responsibility for myriad abuses of the past, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed for bankruptcy. Archbishop John Nienstedt of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese says that the financial reorganization will help pay each of its ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 26th, 2015 Image

St. Timothy
January 26: Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter