Saturday, January 24, 2015

I Will Not Serve! I Will Not Be Served!
Jan. 23, 2015
PHA Monthly
Newsletter for the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance
Eighteenth Edition

From the Chairman's Desk
I Will Not Serve! I Will Not Be Served! 

Dr. Brian Kopp 

The sexual revolution embraced a mindset that is best described by Jeremiah's phrase, "I will not serve!" 

"Long ago you broke your yoke, you tore off your bonds.
'I will not serve!' you said."
 - Jeremiah 2:20

Jeremiah attributes the declaration "I will not serve" to the people of Israel in their rejection of God. More generally, it is attributed to Lucifer in his refusal to serve the Creator-God and his desire to himself be worshiped. The phrase "I will not serve!" appropriately describes the sexual revolution's rejection of God and His moral law and the idolization of youth and unrestrained sexuality. The "I will not serve" mentality has strewn wreckage in its path.

There is a corollary to "I will not serve": "I will not be served!"

In Scripture, when Jesus talks about the Last Judgment, He says:
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." - Matthew 25:35-36, 40

One can almost hear the lament:
"I will not be served because whatsoever you do to the least of His brothers that you do unto Him. I've always done everything for me. I've never done anything for Him. I'm not going to start now! I'm not going to humble myself. I will not allow anyone to do unto Him by letting them do unto me.

"I will not suffer. I would rather die. Now and in eternity, I will shake my fist in the face of God, spit in His eye one last time when I refuse my last meal, take my last pill, draw my final breath. My last act will be eternal rebellion and thus damnation."

This rejection of suffering short circuits the cycle of grace that comes both in serving "the least of these brothers and sisters of mine" and in being served as "the least of these."  By humbling ourselves so that we may be served, those who serve us may attain Eternal Life.

The tip of the spear in the present battle regarding stealth euthanasia* is death by dehydration. In the vast majority of cases of stealth euthanasia, death occurs primarily due to withdrawal of fluids, leading to volume depletion, organ failure, shock, and death. The symptoms of dehydration are almost always masked by narcotic analgesics, sedatives and anti-psychotics. Stealth euthanasia is not just unethical and immoral, but also an obvious violation of the basis on which Jesus said we would be judged.

Today many are not only quietly acquiescing to the stealth euthanasia agenda, but are requesting the legalization of assisted suicide. The same generation that idolized youth and sex is refusing to bear the ignobility of sickness, old age and vulnerability.

Why accept natural death? Because, instead of final rebellion, it is final surrender. Acceptance of death at the time of God's choosing says:
 "Please, Lord, let this cup pass me by. But not my will but Your will be done. If that means taking this cup of spoon feeding or tube feeding or IV hydration, Your will be done! If that means letting others care for me and giving up my radical autonomy, so be it! If that means letting others clean my face or behind,this, Lord, seems too much to bear! But this too I accept. I am not sufficient unto myself. Without You, God, I am nothing.

"Your will be done. I humble myself and permit others to serve You in my person, in my weak and vulnerable and suffering body, in the ignobility of age and sickness. I accept that, where once I did for others, now I must permit others to do for me. Because I am one of "the least" now, and in Your providence You call forth the next generation to love and serve selflessly, I must swallow my pride. I am no longer the strong one, the warrior. I am now the one who needs protection. You call new warriors into the arena to protect me, feed me, clothe me, bathe me.

"I permit others to console Your heart by consoling and caring for me in my need. That alone makes it possible to bear my cross. Because in doing it for me, they do it for You."

Ultimately, the battle against euthanasia and assisted suicide is a battle for eternal souls--our own souls, the souls of those for whom we fight and for whom we care, and the souls of those who care for us.

* "Stealth euthanasia": hastening death by neglect or intention while pretending to provide appropriate end-of-life care.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rabbits and NFP

My wife and and I taught NFP for ten years. We heard all the jokes (i.e., half truths and outright lies) about NFP, typified by this perennial favorite: "What do you call couples who use NPF? 'Parents.'" We heard the continual disparagement about "breeding like rabbits." We had couples who walked out of our class after my presentation on the necessity of having "grave reason" for recourse to NFP. We also had couples who, after hearing the Church's teaching on the necessity of having "grave reason" for having recourse NFP, realized they had none, and happily reported within a month or two that they were expecting. 

We also always wanted a big family, and I even bought a 12 passenger van when the children were young in hopes of having 6 or 8 children or more. After our third came along, God never sent us any more.We love our children, and we would have loved to have more, but He knew best for us.

We gave up teaching NFP partly because the mentality was not that Catholics could have recourse to NFP "for grave reasons," but one that had morphed into the idea that NFP was "responsible parenthood" and "Catholic birth control" and that "grave reasons" weren't really necessary any more. It was just too difficult to teach young couples how to be "responsible parents," avoiding pregnancy for often less than grave reasons, when we still were asking God for more children.

The Pope's recent comments were grossly imprudent in my opinion, even hurtful to many good faithful Christians. They contribute to the values-free mentality of the modern NFP movement and the idea that "responsible parents" must limit childbearing. They are not in any way helpful; I find them to be indefensible, despite the spin of the usual suspects who want to interpret them in a hermeneutic of continuity with former Magisterial statements on the subject. I find them to be a rupture with the perennial teachings of the Church on this subject, based on firm reliance on Divine Providence, appeals to the "responsible parenthood" proof texts in Guadium et Spes and Humanae Vitae notwithstanding.

If Pope Francis were not preparing an encyclical on "global warming" and "human ecology" I would just shrug off this latest embarrassment as just another in a long line of off-the-cuff gaffes.
But he is using the language of the environmentalists and population controllers who blame climate change on Christians, Islamists and Third World citizens who "breed like rabbits." If he has bought into the climate change propaganda then he has likely also bought into the idea that fighting climate change requires "responsible parenthood."

In his mind, maybe population control to combat global warming is fine, as long as it employs NFP?