Restoring the Sacred

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fr. Schall: No one can be a citizen of this country and a practicing Christian at the same time.

Father James V. Schall, S.J., who taught political science at Georgetown University for many years, wrote a timely essay at Crisis today.  It's entitled: "Will Catholic Hospitals be the Next Target?"

Here are some excerpts:
A systematic, more and more obvious persecution of Christians has been going on for some time. Its briefest statement is that no one can be a citizen of this country and a practicing Christian at the same time. Persecution is now so obvious that it needs little emphasis. Yet, most of our citizens refuse to acknowledge it or do anything about those elected and unelected officials, from the president on down, who carry it out in increasingly ominous ways. This country itself was designed to prevent precisely this sort of public persecution. We suddenly realize that the constitutional mechanism to prevent this persecution is not working but is being used to foster, indeed justify, the persecution...
Beginning with florists, bakers, and photographers, we see an ever increasing legal demand that no opposition will be tolerated to government rules whatever their reasons, especially if they are religious reasons. At one time, we thought that, if religion had a problem with something, it was probably that there was something wrong or dangerous about it. We read Scripture as instructing us on how to live. Now, almost the opposite is the case. If it is in Scripture, it must be wrong. So we need to eliminate from the public order any influence from this source, no matter how “reasonable” unless it agree with the civil law...
In Redding, California, the lone hospital is Mercy Hospital. It belongs to Dignity Health Care, a group of some 29 hospitals in the state. The article in the Redding paper discussing this case is listed under the heading “Health Care,” a phrase that covers a multitude of sins. The hospital’s normal practice is not to allow sterilization procedures. The reason for this prohibition is not arbitrary. It is an unnecessary mutilation of a normally functioning human organ and is use simply as another form of birth control...
The essay, as you might have guessed by now, goes on to report that the hospital caved on this issue in order to avoid a lawsuit, which was threatened by the ACLU on behalf of a patient seeking such "care."

Fr. Schall sums up the problem clearly by stating:
What the Redding case implies is that medicine is not primarily governed by what is good for the patient. Rather it is a mechanism to give the patient what he wants, whether or not it be good medicine. The government now conceives its purpose not to foster good medicine or the common good to which medicine contributes by its standing for what is right. It functions to enforce its own laws that allow us to do what we want. 
You can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.