Yes, some of our institutions (but by no means all) defied the Church and already paid for these things in their health care plans. Yes, some of our people (but nowhere near the ridiculous 98% figure being bandied about) defied the Church and use or have used artificial contraception. Some have sterilized themselves temporarily or permanently. It’s a broken, confused culture, and some of us are broken and confused along with it.
But here’s a truth about Catholics: If we want to sin, we sin. We call it a sin. We do it knowing full well it’s a sin. What we don’t do is call it something else so that we feel better about doing it. And we sure don’t sin because the government tells us to.
So, yes: We know what religious liberty is and we know when it’s being threatened, even if we also run bingos and have beer and gambling at our festivals and some of our bishops are known to wear lace. We love babies and we love parties and we love ceremony and we love the poor and most of all, we love God. We’re a big, messy, contentious Church and we always have been — full of prostitutes and kings, drunkards and saints. Some of us — even members of congress — will cave in to the culture and some of us — even housewives — will stand up to the culture. It may surprise everyone who does which. We’ve always been like that, wheat and tares all jammed together in one big field. And our goal has always been holiness and our Lord has always been Christ.
Yes, the church sign is funny. It’s funny because life is funny. It’s wonderful because life is wonderful. We don’t apologize for our fish fries and our Indiana Chicken Dinners and our basket raffles any more than we apologize for 2000 years of the world’s greatest composers, philosophers, writers, scientists, architects and artists. We claim them all. And we won’t stop fighting for the religious freedom that is our right as Americans. After all, we’re fighting for the rest of America as well. Because if we lose our religious freedom, everyone else is next.
And don’t forget — bingo’s at 7.
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