My daughter came tumbling out of her religious education class recently, shouting, "Mom, I want to go to Washington; they’re killing babies!"
Next to her my 5-year-old chimed in, jumping up and down: "I want to go, I want to go!"
Dread flooded my stomach and chest; the abortion debate had reached my doorstop.
I knew it was coming. Years before when it came time to enroll our oldest daughter in CCD – Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, religious education for Catholics — I thought of the conflicts that lay ahead.
In CCD she’d be taught things my husband and I didn’t believe and, quite frankly, things we didn’t want her to believe.
We don’t believe that homosexuality is a disorder, we don’t believe the use of contraception is wrong and we don’t believe that having an abortion is a sin, or evil.
But the Catholic Church is home for me, and it is more than the sum of the doctrine I ignore, more than the sum of its scandals and newspaper headlines.
It has something important to teach its members – and my children — about right and wrong, about love and commitment, about social justice and compassion.
And I pledged at my wedding and their baptism that any children would be raised Catholic.
" Have faith," I said to myself when I signed our oldest daughter up for CCD four years ago.
"You’ll hear a lot more about it in the coming years, and you’ll have to make your own decision about what you believe," I said, "but what’s important is that you know people have different opinions. The Church believes one thing; Mom and Dad believe another."
…A few days after that CCD lesson my husband and I sat down with our daughter and her science book and turned to the chapter on cells and cell division. We talked about when life begins according to science, and according to the church and talked some more about what this means in terms of an abortion.
She got bored after a while and squirmed away.
But she’ll be back and we’ll continue the discussion adding more of the missing pieces as she grows old enough to hear them.
Those who take their faith seriously have a hard time understanding cultural Catholics and exactly why they want to belong to a Church they fundamentally disagree with. Besides the Church exactly what other "organization" that they have problems with and who they see teaching as sins things that are totally fine would they let teach their children. Whatever happened to Isaiah injunction "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;" which surely they see the Church as doing? That certainly there are other religious denominations that fall much more in line with what they believe. I guess this is just a fundamental disconnect or a sort of religious patriotism of the sort of "My Church right or wrong." She says that it is important that the Church teaches what is right and wrong and than says that the Church is wrong about what it says is right.
What I also find interesting is the defense of abortion by those who say they have faith and belief in God. It is pretty much always a case of moral relativism and situational ethics. Support of the need for abortion is defended by naming the circumstances; whether it is rape, incest, economic, timing, etc – the situation is used to defend the need for abortion. In this article the same arguments are used and in like in most cases there is never talk of a soul, being created in the image of God, why it is okay to kill the innocent because of circumstances, etc. That a believer strangely makes no arguments in a religious context at all and make statements that are totally secular. For a moral relativist as in this case it comes down to "And then, it’s her choice" which is at least consistent, but extends the idea that the truth is what you choose to be the truth.