Monday, September 2, 2019
On the "Pro-Choice" Position on Abortion
When a parliamentary or social majority decrees that it is legal, at least under certain conditions, to kill unborn human life, is it not really making a 'tyrannical' decision with regard to the weakest and most defenseless of human beings?....While public authority can sometimes choose not to put a stop to something which – were it prohibited – would cause more serious harm, it can never presume to legitimize as a right of individuals – even if they are the majority of the members of society – an offense against other persons caused by the disregard of so fundamental a right as the right to life.
Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law.
Utilitarianism is a civilization of production and of use, a civilization of "things" and not of "persons", a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used. In the context of a civilization of use, woman can become an object for man, children a hindrance to parents, the family an institution obstructing the freedom of its members. To be convinced that this is the case, one need only look at certain sexual education programmes introduced into the schools, often notwithstanding the disagreement and even the protests of many parents; or pro-abortion tendencies which vainly try to hide behind the so-called "right to choose" ("pro-choice") on the part of both spouses, and in particular on the part of the woman.
On "social sin":
Also social is every sin against the rights of the human person, beginning with the right to life and including the life of the unborn or against a person's physical integrity...The term social can be applied to sins of commission or omission-on the part of political, economic or trade union leaders, who though in a position to do so, do not work diligently and wisely for the improvement and transformation of society according to the requirements and potential of the given historic moment...Whenever the church speaks of situations of sin or when the condemns as social sins certain situations or the collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations and blocs of nations, she knows and she proclaims that such cases of social sin are the result of the accumulation and concentration of many personal sins. It is a case of the very personal sins of those who cause or support evil or who exploit it; of those who are in a position to avoid, eliminate or at least limit certain social evils but who fail to do so out of laziness, fear or the conspiracy of silence, through secret complicity or indifference; of those who take refuge in the supposed impossibility of changing the world and also of those who sidestep the effort and sacrifice required, producing specious reasons of a higher order. The real responsibility, then, lies with individuals.
When workers do not have adequate time to rest, families suffer. Also lost is the necessary time for spiritual growth and building a relationship with God. Pope Francis has said it is "inhuman" that parents must spend so much time working that they cannot play with their children. Surely many wish for more time, but their working conditions do not allow it. As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "Even as God rests in Himself alone and is happy in the enjoyment of Himself, so our own sole happiness lies in the enjoyment of God. Thus, also, He makes us find rest in Himself, both from His works and our own. It is not, then, unreasonable to say that God rested in giving rest to us." A culture that obsesses less over endless activity and consumption may, over time, become a culture that values rest for the sake of God and family. Employers ought to consider the total well-being of their employees and prioritize conditions that help them to thrive as human persons. Wages and working hours should support the fundamental needs of people to form and nurture families. The spiritual needs of workers must also be taken into account, so that God may more easily draw them into deeper relationship toward their ultimate purpose.
One of my favorite memories of being stationed as a soldier in Germany was the mandatory closing of shops from Saturday afternoon until early Monday morning. As a result, I was able to spend time with my family walking with them through the beautiful German woodlands. Often, we Volksmarched together. There are Volksmarching Clubs in America take advantage of them with your family this holiday.
The Supreme Court held in McGowan that “as presently written and administered, most [Sunday closing laws], at least, are of a secular rather than of a religious character, and  presently they bear no relationship to establishment of religion as those words are used in the Constitution.” Since the McGowan decision, many state blue laws have nevertheless been struck down on other grounds.