In Texas, a Catholic bishop made two hospitals cease doing tube-tying operations for women who are not going to have more babies. In Arizona, a nun was excommunicated and the hospital where she works was expelled from the church after 116 years for allowing doctors to terminate a pregnancy to save a woman’s life. At the same time, some doctors and other health professionals have faced disciplinary action for refusing to perform procedures or provide medications that go against their religious beliefs.
Should Catholic hospitals be able to restrict doctors from performing common and legal medical practices? Do such restrictions unfairly impinge on the rights of non-Catholic patients and doctors, particularly those in rural or underserved areas where alternative hospitals are not readily available?
When any religion refuses to change with times it becomes dormant and degrades itself. Catholics have steadfastly refused to come out of the shell of antiquity to see the light of a new day. Consequently, its strength and support lies now mainly in the primitive cultures of Africa and parts of Asia. Anything, including philosophies and religion, that remains stagnant becomes fetid and eventually dies. Many ancient cultures have met this fate because they refused to meet the changing needs, hopes and aspirations of its followers. The Catholic religion is going the same way.
I have never been able to reconcile the Catholic notion that the life of an unborn child is of greater value than the life of a living adult. They are willing to go to extremes to stop abortions but they have never, in living memory, called upon Catholics not to participate in any wars where innocent lives of adults are freely taken. This is justified by the notion of “Just War.” When is a war “Just?” The popular argument is that when it seeks to eliminate an evil personality like Hitler or Stalin or, in modern times, Saddam Hussein. This line of thinking implies that people who do bad things can be summarily eliminated to make the world a better place. But what of the millions who are killed in the process of eliminating one evil leader? Can it be said that all who follow orders of one evil leader automatically become evil themselves?
It is this notion of a “Just War” and the need to eliminate all bad people that has made Christianity the most violent religion in the world. If one attempts to compute the number killed by Christian nations in the past century the number would be mind-blowing. Clubbed together the Western Family of religions — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — are responsible for at least 75 per cent, if not more, of all violent deaths in the past century. What happens to the Catholic notion of “Respect for Life” under these circumstances? I will not even go into the question: doing to the evil person what they did to us does not make us better. Like my Grandfather, Mohandas K. Gandhi said: An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.
Can we ever overcome the moral contradictions in which we live? If not, then our own actions will lead to the demise of the religion we cherish the most. Hope the Catholics can pull themselves out of the morass of unreasonable thinking.