My Take: Why I’m a Catholic for contraception
February 10th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

My Take: Why I’m a Catholic for contraception

Editor's Note: Karalen L. Morthole is a senior majoring in political science at Catholic University of America.

By Karalen L. Morthole, Special to CNN

I have been a Catholic my whole life. Baptized as a baby and confirmed in the seventh grade, I attended weekly catechism classes and received a Jesuit education. Never once did the opinion of the church on a person's use of contraceptives surface.

In high school, I was prescribed birth control to balance my hormones. I suffered from terrible mood swings that had negative effects on my relationship with my family and got me into trouble with teachers. I also experienced menstrual cramps so painful as to be debilitating; sometimes, they left me unable to move.

My mother, a devout Catholic, had no problem with my taking birth control, because she recognized the dramatic effects this simple medication had on my life. Birth control gave me a new, healthy and balanced way to live. As a 22-year-old woman, I am able to think more rationally because of birth control.

Teachers at the Jesuit high school I attended urged students to protect themselves when they became sexually active, to use condoms to stamp out the risk of contracting a viral sexually transmitted disease that would affect the rest of their lives. Some would criticize my teachers for that, but I thank them. My peers and I were taught by caring and realistic teachers with experience making decisions to promote their own health. Some had seen the horrors of sexually transmitted diseases.

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Birth control, condoms and emergency contraception have all served their purpose in my life, because each work in different preventative ways. Birth control has aided my mental health, giving me a clearer head; condoms have protected me from contracting diseases from sexual partners. Emergency contraceptives were there when I was uncertain about whether I’d become pregnant and needed reassurance. I’m not ready to raise a child on my own.

Even though the official Catholic Church teaches against contraceptives, I do not feel immoral using them. They’ve allowed me to live my life without the fear of unwanted pregnancies or deadly diseases.

My religion has played a large part of my life, laying the groundwork for my personal relationship with God. It has taught me how to respect others, be a human with integrity and help those in need. Catholicism is a beautiful religion that supports family values and tolerance of others and leads us to serve others, a teaching I’ve adapted into my everyday living. The Catholic Church does an exceptional job standing up for those who live in poverty and suffer injustices.

But on contraception, the Catholic bishops have taken a stance that violates the basic rights that affect millions of Catholics across the country and shows a lack of concern for women's health.

It is disheartening that the Catholic bishops were so opposed to the Obama administration's decision to require religious institutions like hospitals and colleges to provide their faculty, staff and students with access to reproductive health care, which includes birth control, emergency contraceptives and condoms. Even after the White House announced a revised policy Friday that exempts religious institutions from having to pay for the contraception coverage, at least one bishop voiced disgust. The U.S. bishops said in a statement Friday that it's "too soon to tell whether and how much improvement (there's been) on core concerns."

The bishops have gone so far as to threaten to cease health care coverage to the faculty and staff at my college if it’s forced to comply with the Affordable Health Care Act.

Even though the church will not support women's health needs and denies them opportunities to care for their physical and mental health, it does apparently condone other uses for condoms. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI endorsed the use of condoms for male prostitutes, saying condoms “can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility,” and could help “in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.”

In my view, any sexual activity that spreads deadly diseases is sinful because it shows complete disregard for human health and human life. The Catholic Church believes that condoms negatively impact the sexual lives of men and women, preventing reproduction and the creation of life.

I believe that condoms are, in fact, pro-life. They help women and men act responsibly in regards to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Condoms also prevent unintended pregnancies that could result in abortions, another issue that the Catholic Church has strong views about.

As a Catholic, I stand with President Obama's decision to require religious institutions to provide access to contraceptives. I believe that birth control can be used by religious people without having a negative effect on someone’s faith. Catholics value human life. I believe that includes acknowledging the rights of women to take care of our bodies.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Karalen L. Morthole.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (1,826 Responses)
  1. Oh Yeah

    ‘I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object... Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against
    reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life. In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today's intellectual field, they call themselves 'pro-life’. Ayn Rand

    February 12, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • kendallpeak

      Ayn is a funny person to quote. Anyway, The pro-life women I know, have prayer groups, open their homes for pregnant women, knit children's clothing, and have contributed to have ultrasound machines installed at pregnancy clinics so that women can observe their child for free. 90% of women who do the ultrasound do not go through with the abortion. Huh, I wonder why? Maybe Ayn just hung around jerks, if you know her story, she pretty much was one herself.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      I'd say that about 90% of parents end up keeping pets that their children have picked up as strays and fallen in love with, but that doesn't mean that keeping the animal was a sound choice, or will ultimately prove to be. People make lots of choices based on emotions, and often these prove to be ill advised, wouldn't you say?

      February 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Oh Yeah, Now you compare the unborn to a stray pet, an animal. You show your true colors. You compare man to the beast because Satan has twisted you into a beast. You are his victory.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      No, all that I'm saying is that emotion-driven decision-making tends to be illogical and even irrational. It's like impulse buying, and we've seen what kind of trouble that can lead people into, right? Very often, an unplanned pregnancy is not the best starting point to raising a child.

      February 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  2. Oh Yeah

    The Jewish Talmud, compiled around 600 AD, holds that ‘an embryo is a limb of its mother’ [Hulin 58a] and for the first forty days after conception, the embryo is ‘simply water’ [Yevamot 69b]. A foetus’ life is of equal importance to that of the mother's only once its head has emerged (from her body)’ [Mishna Oholot 7:6].


    February 12, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • So?

      The Talmud is an odd resource to choose to avail to. Jews are not in the least uniform in opinions about abortion.


      February 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      "Jews are not in the least uniform in opinions about abortion."
      And neither are Catholics, but all supposedly choose to live their lives according to what the same God deems appropriate. Point is then that there is no clear-cut ruling on what God supposedly prefers. It's all just human opinion, and those who prefer to have access to contraception or what have you should not be denied this simply because others of the same faith think otherwise.

      February 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  3. Oh Yeah

    _"If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely (has a miscarriage) but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows." - Exodus 21:22
    Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.

    _"4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels; 5 for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels; 6 for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver;. "– Leviticus 27:4-6
    The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

    _"Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD." - Numbers 3:15-16
    Fetuses and infants less than one month old didn't count and were not considered persons.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • kendallpeak

      You are using what is called an illogical argument. One cannot say a certain belief is wrong, then use that belief as an accurate authority to justify one's stance. In this case, if you consider the Talmud/OT an accurate authority you may quote from them to justify your stance, also stating your belief in their doctrines. If you are not a believer in their doctrines it is illogical to use those doctrines as a justification for a belief, in this case abortion. I'm sure there are many courses in logical argument at a local community college.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      I was merely pointing out that the Bible, a book that you likely consider authoritative regarding God's supposed view of abortion, not only has numerous sections that illustrate that a fetus was not considered a person in those times, but that the Jewish people, whose books these references come from, have upheld that interpretation. That Christians misinterpret this should not be very surprising. Look at how wrong they got the Jewish expected messiah confused with Jesus! Lots of Greek thinking twisting the Jewish. The Greeks were the ones who thought in terms of demigods, and they were also the ones who saw complete humans in a man's "seed".

      I don't believe any of these doctrines. I am just pointing out that the inventors of Christianity were drawing on non-Jewish ideas while cherry picking those from the Jewish tradition that they still liked. That's OK as long as you're being honest about it, but lots of Christians actually claim that the Jews were wrong concerning the god they themselves invented, which makes as much sense as an American legal expert telling the British experts that they don't understand their own law.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Still illogical, even more so. You are now using your very questionable interpretation of two religions that it is very doubtful you are a scholar on, in conjunction with out of context quotes from those religions to make your dubious point. Any 1st year student would find this approach laughable.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      It's not my interpretation. Ask a Jew about what the Talmud says about abortion, or who they are expecting to be the messiah, or if God could have a son. I happen to know the answers to these, and I'm just illustrating how Christian belief tends to be a radical departure from the faith of the parent religion.

      February 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  4. hh

    * do not want to have anything to do with these megalomaniacal.....

    And Ms. Morthole, I stand by my original assertion. You are an admirable young woman with your thumb solidly on the real nature of things.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  5. Nii Croffie

    No medical doctor will tell you truthfully that abortion is not killing. Whether it is murder is a matter for debate among lawyers and to a certain extent theologians but do not insult anybody's intelligent to assuage your conscience.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      I do not think anyone believes abortion is a good thing. Most of us agree that it is killing and most of us agree it ought not to happen. But it does happen. It happens all over the world and both legally (in hospitals) and illegal (in hotel rooms and kitchens) As often as not the illegal kind kill both of them. I suppose most of us would agree that war is bad (and even immoral .. but we keep having them). So much of what we do is WRONG but we keep doing it (and it is foolish to think it can be stopped). A law LIBRARY (thousands of books .. rules that get broken. Every kind of killing, larceny, interpersonal abuse, slavery (called human trafficking now), chemical abuses, amorous commerce .. political crime, white collar crime, social crime, medical fraud and malpractice .. it fills libraries. There is not expectation that ANY of it will every stop.

      February 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  6. RightTurnClyde

    How can you have earned an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree and hold a responsible position in business or government and believe that God requires ....
    Put money in the poor box (for penance)
    light candles to saints (@$1 per candle)
    say the stations of the cross (for penance)
    say the rosary (over and over and over .. for the drudgery of it)
    giving up whipped cream for lent fulfills a Godly obligation
    going to church and dopnating on first Saturday make the Lady of Fatima powerful
    confessing venial sins is necessary (like you broke wind during communion)
    That saying the Lords Prayer five times is a virtue?
    Saying Glory Bees ten tiems is a virtue?
    Saying Hail Mary's five times makes you pure?
    a vermin shirt remits venial sins
    Whipping yourself with a switch erases having dirty thoughts
    Putting gravel in your socks for four days makes God happy
    Going to church and donating on Holy Days of Obligation is better than other days?
    Buying one or more or ten mass cards gains favor in heaven?
    Mailing mass cards around makes others blessed and lucky?
    Sprinkle holy water on your head makes you holy?
    Praying to your wooden crucifix means it knows and you will not catch polio
    wearing a scapular means you will not get TB?
    a St. Christopher medal will protect you from reckless driving?
    St. Anthony finds things for you but only if you pray to him?
    St. Patrick's wishes you'd get drunk on March 17?
    St. Joseph's wants a red line in the streets (instead of yellow)
    Getting ashes on Ash Wednesday (and making a donation) protects you from struff?
    You have to give to Peter's Pence or else you are a venial sinner
    You have to donate to the Legion of Decency or else you are a sinner
    You have to get your throat blessed on Candlemas so you won't get laryngitis and other throat diseases
    If mus not eat meat on fast days or else you will be damned
    Rep.e.t,i,.t.i.ve litanys forbidden by Jesus but demanded by the pope is wanted bvy God?
    the pope cannot make a mistake because he s infallible.
    No matter how good you have been if you do not get extreme unction the rest does not count
    Nomater how bad you have been if you get extreme unction the rest does not matter
    IF YOU THINK this is what God wants .. you are in no position to criticize the author of this post .. but frankly I have to wonder how a RC believes anything in this list unless he/she is a medieval peasant...

    February 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      These idiots also believe in trash like honor, honesty, virtue, fidelity, bravery, family, and patriotism. Fools. They need to become secular and believe in doing what feels good, adultry, killing unborn babies, men lying with men, and the end justifies the means. Then they'll please Satan as he laughs at them.

      February 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well you do not have to tell me about killing. I patrolled the interstate highways after Vietnam and "worked" about 20 trauma's a month (DUI's, drugs, just plain reckless .. saw it all). Friday night domestics: he come home drunk and kills innocent family members. Or they slice each other up in a road house and go down right there (DOA). Or they are throwing dice and drinking wine and shoot one another. The run over each other. (is this stuff innocent??) Good Christians and Jehovah Witnesses and everything in between .. some of them start drinking at noon on pay day. Some start at 7AM. They are out of this world by 7PM. Born, unborn, old people, kids, women .. nobody is safe .. but they read the word and go to meetin' on Sunday. Seen it ALL buddy. (Do ya thing God loves that stuff? .. Do ya think singin' Amazing Grace makes it all better?

      February 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      You have got to be kidding. While all individuals are capable of being sinners, you and I both know the churchs teach against these things. All the more reason you should support the teachings of God. You sound, like most atheist, more bitter at your own misfortunes than disbelieving in your Creator. Rather than cursing your Lord, ask Him for guidance.

      February 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Matt.7 1. [3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 2. [4] Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 3. [5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

      Luke.6 1. [41] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 2. [42] Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye

      February 12, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • monicast

      That's quite the litany my friend. I'm not sure where you got it from but, from what I know of catholicism, most of it looks like nonsense and will be dismissed as such.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • kendallpeak

      And Christ gave the authority to Peter and built His Church on that rock. Where did Luther's and his successors authority come from? If from themselves, then all men have authority which is the same as chaos and no authority.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      I'm an atheist, but I don't have any misfortunes grave enough to be bitter about.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Kendall, 70+% of those engaged in "killing unborn babies" in the USA each tear were believers. Again, massive fail for religion and its man-made gods.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  7. GodIsTheWay

    It's very simple: If you utilize birth control of any kind, you are not a Catholic. If you proclaim to be part of something, you have to follow ALL of the rules, even the ones you don't like. No Church exists to serve YOU. The Church exists to serve God. That's it. Take it or leave it, black or white. No shades of grey.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • JF

      Religion was created by man for man. The church exists to serve man. That's it. Take it or leave it, black or white. No shades of grey.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • A servant

      We should all be servants of one another, especially those who would want to wear fine robes and pointy hats.

      Matthew 23

      8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do
      not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be
      called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your
      servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be

      1 Corinthians 3

      21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or
      Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of
      Christ, and Christ is of God.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      Like I said. Churches exist to serve the Lord. There is no other option but to shut up and deal.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • JF

      Like I said. Churches exist to serve the Lord. There is no other option but to shut up and deal.

      Well I'm convinced. Where do I send my money?

      February 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • GodIsTheWay

      Who said anything about money? Except in the mormon cult, financial contributions are voluntary. I'm Orthodox, I follow the rules of my faith. It includes giving to the church what you can. If it means money, if it means time and service, either way you give back to the church, and in that way, you're serving the Lord.

      Someone else earlier made a comment on another blog about how the Bishops of the Orthodox Church list the Catholic Church as an Orthodox, even though the Catholics broke from the Orthodox in something like 570 AD.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • JF

      When it comes to religion, it's all about the money.

      February 12, 2012 at 6:30 am |
    • JF

      God created the universe and is all powerful, but for some reason can never get enough money.

      February 12, 2012 at 6:34 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer works miracles

    February 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Philippians 1

      3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Atheism is not healthy: stop repeating the same thing over & over...

      "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." (Mt.6:7)

      February 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      I have a little Vietnamese boy tied up in my closet.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      Russ an encouragement to prayer is not in itself a prayer, so your comment and probably your life is way out of context. Get well soon , my sympathies to you.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • bringoutyourdead

      demon is so desperately afraid of prayer that it steals a handle on an anonymous blog

      February 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Bob

      Have you prayed to Vishnu lately? All the gods have been prayed to, and all these prayers have proven to be about as effective as Christian prayers.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • An inconvenient truth

      What you suggest Bob is not accurate but thanks for playing. There is nothing to suggest an idol or false god is effective.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Ignoring that prayer to *any* god has been shown to be ineffective, all inconvenient truth has to do now is explain how gullible people can definitively separate idols and false gods from true ones. For the non-gullible, it's easy – there are no gods (or more correctly, the probability of any gods existing is so small, saying there are none is not an exaggeration).

      February 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Prayer for the country

      God keep our land

      February 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Bob

      Prayer for the country
      God keep our land, glorious and free.
      O Canada! We stand on guard for thee!

      I heard that on the hockey game last night! 🙂

      February 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bob

      An inconvenient truth
      There is nothing to suggest praying to your God is effective either.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  9. kendallpeak

    If the secular world hadn't convinced people they needed to be tramps, the religious world wouldn't be being pushed to pay for it.

    February 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Bob

      It's more like the religious world did a poor job of reining in people's natural desires. If it had concentrated on elevating the self-esteem and as.sertiveness of females, instead of teaching them to be submissive, a lot of this could have been avoided.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • kendallpeak

      So your teacher teaches you not to behave a certain way, you do anyway, then blame the teacher for for your actions. This is newspeak for "it's never my fault". That's the weakness modern education indoctrinates people with.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So married women who want to limit the size of their families or have children more than a year apart are "tramps", kendall?

      Then most married Catholic women are tramps.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • kendallpeak

      TomTom, all people, men and women, must learn self control, responsibility, consequences for their actions, and accepting responsibilities. This is what used to seperate us from the beast. To demand the Church reinterprate God's Word to accomodate our personal lusts is a little much. Act respomsible, practice control, accept God's will, be a real woman/man, The modern world tells us we powerless animals, quit listening.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Kendall, bullsh!t! The modern world teaches that we are intelligent animals who can made and follow our own collective rules (laws), no god(s) required.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Hotair, I paraphrase, you can't teach young people abstinance, they cannot do it. You cannot outlaw abortion, they'll will kill themselves with kitchen knives, you cannot tell people to but their own birth control, they will not be able to. The big brother, daddy list goes on and on, that is what the original article was about. You really have swallowed the cool aid.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      There will always be some that cannot or will not "follow the rules." The 700,000+ believers that get an abortion each year in the USA are great examples, but their failure to follow their cult's rules does not mean the cult is needed. Again, no gods exist and none are required, except to maintain the religion charade.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Prayer for the country

      God keep our land....

      February 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      The only appropriate response to "God keep our land" is "There are no gods, not even just one" which is what I state every time I hear that lie.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Ya Never Know

      (just in case "God" is dyslexic, or is standing on 'his' head)

      puɐן ɹno dǝǝʞ pob

      February 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Now you've done it! You forgot the capital "g" – you're going straight to hell...

      February 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      There is always a god. Hotair, I submit you have made yourself your own god. You are the ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong, good and bad. This has been done many times before. Soviet Union, Communist China, Cuba, Nazi Germany. I feel sorry for the lost sheep that you are. I must say though, your computer name is very appropriate.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Kendall, please get on with proving there are any gods. Also, I have never, implicitly or explicitly, claimed to be a god – that would be totally inconsistent with believing there are no gods, and a straw man claim made by believers when they cannot prove their own delusions. I do trust in the collective wisdom of most others – I say most because I absolutely do not trust any religious leaders – they are all delusional snake oil salesmen.

      Re: my name, I use it to give those with no substance something to write about – welcome to that club of losers.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • I_get_it


      Funny, I guess how your name reads depends on whether people agree with you or not...

      Me, I see, Hot _AirAce 🙂

      Rock on bro'.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      hotair, the collective wisdom of others. Like Nazis and communists. While I have amused myself on a snowy day, you are to simple for me to feel it fair to continue with this banter. No fun fighting the unarmed boy. Suffice to say it would be appropriate for us to both be correct. You to live a meaningless life with the cold grave at the end, me to live a meaningful life to the glory of God and His just rewards. Adios poor one.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Kendall, how about moving into the 21st century – mass murdering religious right wingers (Nazis) and communists are pretty much a thing of the past, and do you really want me to drag out the huge number of atrocities committed in the name of some god? You are running away because you cannot prove your basic underlying belief – a childish belief in supernatural deities – and you cannot explain how your deity is powerless to control its cult members, never mind all of humanity. I'm confident I'm not the only one that noticed your arrogance in believing you know anything about my life.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bob

      Your att.itude only made sense in a male-dominated world where women couldn't much hope for a life outside of producing children and keeping house. Join the rest of us in the modern world, why don't you?

      February 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  10. Gaudeamus

    Hogwash. The Catholic church is not arguing women like from taking the pill to control hormoes, or commit an abortion for that matter. All they are saying is they should not be forced to compromise their conscience by facilitating contraception to women, when these women can get the pill on their own by simply writing their insurance companies –insurance companies would gladly even pay the shipping of this pils to women, rather than paying for more expensive birthings, pre and post natal care, and even abortions. THIS IS A MATTER THAT IF WOMEN CAN'T BE TOLD WHAT THEY DO TO THEIR BODIES, CHURCHES CAN'T BE TOLD TO MOLD THEIR MORAL BELIEFS EITHER.

    February 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

    • AND CHURCHES CAN'T TELL WOMEN ... oh wait, the Church can tell you whatever the hell it wants to tell you.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Al


      February 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  11. Ed

    Only eat fish on Friday...

    You're all a bunch of loonies.

    February 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      And why don't you learn not to base your existance around f***ing? Even dogs can learn to control themselves. gutter animals.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must not get any, kendall.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • kendallpeak

      TomTom, actually in a loving marriage for 21 years. Always seen the relationship as two people traveling life's journey, supporting one another, building each other up, raising a strong family, having a full life in all departments. Never had time to prowl for tramps to use so I could laugh about it with the guys. Left that enlightened, mature, way for you boys in the secular world. Be a man and try to be a life partner as opposed to "getting any".

      February 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I win. I have been married for 31. Neener, neener.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, and just FYI: I'm a 57 year old woman, you moronic dolt.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Almost 20 years of completely faithful marriage for me too. Best you rethink using that atheist strawman there, Bud! 😉

      February 13, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  12. yikes

    All of you "ignorant" Catholics – you have it all wrong when you say the Catholic Church does not believe in contraception -they do in fact – the Vatican approved it in 1951 – Pope Pius XII announced that the Church will sanction the use of the rhythm method as a natural form of birth control. So the church does believe in contraception – they just don't like the unnatural type of pregnancy blockers – chemicals, hormones, and latex! Oh, wait a minute – hormones are natural. This is the most absurd use of power. If the pope said tomorrow that the pill is OK – then all of you naysayers will just flip your beliefs.

    February 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Artificially manufactured hormones are not natural chemicals. Without the correct dosage they may kill or damage you.

      February 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Flinders, the butler

      Not "natural" chemicals ? Hahaha. What...the electrons go around backwards ? ANY medication can harm you if not taken in the correct dosage, and frequency. Do you drink pop / They are not "natural" chemicals. OMG.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Not natural"? Oh, brother. What a laugh. Go back to school, Nii.

      February 12, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  13. Katherine

    Church vs. Reality. If none had dared to challenge it, according to the Catholic church,, the world would still be flat and scientists excommunicated. Click on the link below to see what reality would be like when church doctrine is followed to the letter. And to those who think it's a 'Third World' issue of poverty, let me remind you there are very wealthy people in Catholic Philippines and they sure are smart enough to use contraception.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Kevin

      Do you seriously think that if all those poor people in the Philippines started taking birth control that they would automatically become rich. I mean did you even watch the video? Look at the housing they live in, look at the conditions they are living in.

      How can you in all seriousness blame the whole entire problem on over population? If you bothered to educate yourself on the issue you would find that overpopulation is not about numbers but about comport level and resource sharing. Giving out contraceptives will not automatically make all the rich people of the world share what they have with the poor.

      Also, the rich aren't using contraceptives because their "smart," their using it because their selfish.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  14. Nitrogen

    Brava, Karalen! You are one of the few shining examples of rationality among people of faith. Don't listen to people that claim to know what is or isn't Catholic. They don't matter. The chuch has NO RIGHT to dictate what you do with your body. It is yours. As for those who say that BC is equivalent to abortion, that's simply not true. These notions are the vestiges of the church's old method of gaining power through its numbers of followers. You can only kill something that's alive in it's own right. Until a fetus can respond to stimulus, and thus feel pain, it is not alive. The nervous system doesn't develop until the third trimester, and it's already illegal to abort after that point in the US. To say that BC is abortion, when the embryo is only a few cells large, is simply ignorant and driven by religious intolerance.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      An amoeba which is unicellular is alive so why is a multicellular zygote or foetus dead because the nervous system is not up and running. When a mother eats the foetus absorbs and processes the food and produces waste. It eats so why is it not alive because it has a cellular nervous system. Careful!

      February 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Flinders, the butler

      When is the "moment of conception" ? When the sperm gets "close" to the egg ? When the sperm first "touches" the egg ? When the sperm gets part of the way into the egg / When the 1st DNA replication is 1/4th complete ? When EXACTLY ? When the zygote implants into the wall of the endometrium ? When the electrons from the 1st atom in the zygote begin to interact with the nearest electrons in the endometrial wall ? When the closest electron cloud of the sperm first interacts with the egg wall ? Hmm..

      February 12, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Bob

      An amoeba is at the highest stage in it's development just after it divides out from it's "parent". That's a huge difference from human development.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:01 am |
  15. sarah m.

    I'm happy to see somebody embrace their religion with being an extremist. Extermists in any religion only hurt the world and everybody around them.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • sarah m.


      February 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Cool Sarah, let's all be lukewarm and wishywashy. That's how greatness is obtained, by not standing firm for anything. When God spoke to man, I'm sure He said "this is only a thought man....". You are obviously the product of modern education and liberalism that teaches all westerners to be weak people.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bob

      So you're equating thinking for yourself with weakness, and following rigid dogma without thinking for yourself with strength?

      February 12, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • kendallpeak

      Bob, you need to improve your reading skills. Sarah said she was against "extremism" as in being adamant about one's belief. We were not even talking about how one came about that belief. There are many very good home study courses one can find for reading comprehension.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Bob

      I was addressing your sarcastic response to Sarah, not her post. You want people to "stand firm" and not be "lukewarm and wishy-washy". Maybe you should take that course yourself there, Sparky!

      February 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Kevin

      Bob, you are a moron. If he was "lukewarm and wishy-washy" then you wouldn't have any reason to post a comment opposing what he has to say about the subject.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  16. Daniel Ellsberg

    It's a honey of a pot that you've got here. Flies in its own face! Sweet!

    February 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  17. Lynne

    I am happy that the writer had the choices that she did...She is also free to decide whether or not she is a Catholic...She however, took an available medication for a health problem...most Catholic facilities recognize such health problems and allow for that treatment...I am completly puzzled, though, that she would not want other Catholics to be able to choose differently than she did...for those people who wish to use contraceptive services and medication, options are open to them...I am not Catholic, did not grow up in a faith based family, and don't know whether a God exists or not...However, to leave a relgious group with no option but to contradict its own tenets is an attempt by those who don't believe in those tenents to mock them, certainly, but more to erode them...this seems the aim of many and when those folks operate from inside the government...that intrusion is an overreach of the govenrment...

    February 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  18. JimBeam

    I would recommend that Ms. Morthole actually learn what Catholic teaching is before she writes an article about why she disagrees with it.

    February 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      D o . .y o u . .k n o w . .w h a t . .t h e . .R . . .C a t h o l i c . .t e a c h e s ? . .B e c a u s e . .i t . .i s . .a . .c o n t r a d i c t i o n . .i n . .t e r m s . . .S h e . .s t a t e s . .t h e . .p r o b l e m . .v e r y . .w e l l . .- – . .s h e . .h a s . .b e e n . .a . .R . C . . .a l l . .h e r . .l i f e . .a n d . .h e r . .c h u r c h . .h a s . .w a l k e d . .
      o n . .h e r . .l i k e . .a . .d o o r . .m a t . . .T h e . .R . C . . .c h u r c h . .i s . .N O T . .t h e . .f r i e n d . .o f . .t h e . .R o m a n . .C a t h o l i c . . .T h e y . h a v e . .a b u s e d . .t h e m . .f o r . .c e n t u r i e s . .a n d . .t h e y . .t h i n k . .t h e y . .a r e . .e n t i t l e d . .. . . .t h e y . .w e r e . .g i v e n . d o m i n i o n . .o v e r . .s e r f s . .a n d . .p e a s a n t s . .u n d e r . .D i v i n e . .R i g h t . .w h e n . .k i n g s . .n e e d e d . .t h e . .R C . .t o . .j u s t i f y . .t h e m . . .T h e y . .p r e y e d . .u p o n . .i g n o r a n c e . .( p e a s a n t r y ) . .a n d . .i n v e n t e d . .o n e . .f a l s e h o o d . .a f t e r . a n o t h e r . .t o . .f l e e c e . .t h e i r . .m e m b e r s . .f o r . .e v e r y . .p e n n y . .t h e y . .h a d . . .I n . .t i m e . .H e n r y . .V I I I . .h a d . .t o . .e x p e l . .t h e m . .b e c a u s e . .t h e y . .w e r e . .s u c k i n g . . .E n g l a n d . .d r y . . .T h e . .R C ' s . .r e f u s e d . .t o . .r e c o g n i z e . .t h e . .a r c h b i s h o p . .o f . .C a n t e r b u r y . .( t h e . .t h e o l o g i c a l . .e q u a l . .o f . .t h e . .p o p e ) . .j u s t . .a s . .t h e y . .r e f u s e d . .t o . .r e c o g n i z e . .t h e . .G r e e k . .a n d . .E a s t e r n . .R i t e . .b i s h o p s . . .T h e n . .i n . .' 6 3 . .t h e y . .h a d . .a n . .e c u m e n i c a l . .c o u n c i l . .t o . .r e – u n i t e . .C h r i s t e n d o m . .. . . .b u t . .n o b o d y . .s i g n e d . .u p . . .T h e y . .d i d . .n o t . .w a n t . .r e u n i f i c a t i o n . .- – . .t h e y . .m e r e l y . .w a n t e d . .t o . .s u b s u m e . .a l l . .C h r i s t i a n s . .i n t o . .t h e i r . .F R A U D . . .T h e y . .k n o w . .h o w . .t o . .r e f o r m . .b u t . .t h e y . .d o . .n o t . .c h o o s e . .t o . .r e f o r m . . .T h e . .c h o o s e . .N O T . .t o . .f o l l o w . .J e s u s . .C h r i s t . . .T h e y . .i n t e n d . .t o . .b e . .e v e r y t h i n g . .t h a t . .t h e y . .a r e . . .A n d . .t h e y . .n e e d . .b l i n d . .u n t h i n k i n g . .h e r d s . .o f . .p l o d d e r s . .t o . .a c c e p t . .w h a t . .t h e y . .s a y . .a n d . .p a y . .t h e . .m o r t g a g e s . .( t h a t . .i s . .w h e r e . .y o u . .c o m e . .
      i n . .. . . .n o t . .h e r . .. . . . .y o u ) . .

      February 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Hundreds of thousand of Roman Catholics have LEFT the RC church AND it is not news. They have been leaving for the last 60 years both in N. America and Europe. (even in L. America). Still they refuse to change one iota of their false doctrine. You have recently witness a very destructive (of all Christendom) era of pedophile priests. Women have left in thousands over misapplication of the Pauline Epistles. Christians are no longer peasants (this author is in Catholic university). They can figure it out. But the hierarchy will not budge. So the non-Christians are right: within two or three decades Christendom will be but handful of believers .. it will simply disappear unless "teachers" choose to teach the gospels as they were commanded in the Great Commission (and stay with that).

      February 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • GJP

      RightTurnClyde- You are clearly misinformed and ignorant. AND your use of the weird font and spacing clearly shows you are delusional.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • GJP

      RightTurnClyde- You are clearly misinformed and ignorant. AND your use of the weird font and spacing clearly shows you are delusional. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have left the faith??? Where do you base your numbers. We are receiving a lot of Protestants back into the Church that Jesus Christ himself commanded. Protestants are quite a lot with the thousands of different churches and pastors, all thinking they know how to interpret the bible. Where in the Bible does it say Sola Scriptura? Before Luther know one even heard of that false theory.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well if that makes you comfortable then good. Go back to sleep (zzzz) and do what the priests tell you to do. Put money in the poor box, light candles to various saints, say the stations, say the rosary, give up whipped cream for lent, got for first Saturday prayer for Fatima, confess all your sins, say five Our Fathers and ten Glory Bees and one or two Hails. Better yet .. wear a vermin shirt (now that is penance) Whip yourself with a switch (that's penance!) for having dirty thoughts. Put gravel in your socks (that's penance)(but confess if you cuss the gravel). Don't forget you Holy Days of Obligation (and be sure to give money to that intention). Buy ten mass cards and mail them around (the church needs the money) Sprinkle holy water on your head when you enter and leave. Pray to your crucifix (it knows).. wear a scapular (so you will not get TB) . Get a St. Christopher medal so you can drive dumb and get away with it. Pray to St. Anthony for anything lost. Get drunk on St. Patrick's day. Do penance on St. Joseph's day. Get your ashes on Ash Wednesday (and make a donation). Give money to Peter's Pence. Pledge to the Legion of Decency. Get your throat blessed on Candlemas so you won't get laryngitis. Don't eat meat on fast days. Say litanys .. even if Jesus told you not to; the pope is right; he's infallible. Whatever you do don't die without extreme unction or all of the preceding doesn't count. (and leave your money to the church - it needs it).

      February 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Kevin

      RightTurnClyde you seem to be very caught up on the whole charity thing. Misunderstanding it in some places and blatantly blowing it out of proportion in others. Your view of history is very revisionist as well. Catholics were never 100% made up of peasants, Catholics were always from all walks of life.

      Getting back to the whole money issue it sounds like you are a very financially poor person. Maybe too lazy to study in school? Too ignorant to network properly in business? The Catholic church always taught that it is right to take care of your family first, then give what you can to Charity. So don't worry the church does not condemn you for not being rich or successful.

      I don't really feel like picking through your incoherent wall of text any more, those seem to be the main issues. Only you can decide to educate yourself further about the truth of the matters.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  19. kendallpeak

    E and Chief, when one has no knowledge one should be quite. You are like 2nd graders saying algebra is stupid because "x" is not a number.

    February 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  20. Tom

    I don't know how this lady claims to be Catholic. "Emergency contraceptives were there when I was uncertain about whether I’d become pregnant and needed reassurance. I’m not ready to raise a child on my own." Did you even read what you say? Lady, lets face it you are a cafeteria Catholic picking and choosing what suits you. It's "catholics" like you that give us a bad name. I suggest that you should look for another church and what that one has teaching you don't agree with try yet again.

    February 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • visitor

      I agree Tom, and I applaud all those Catholic Men that actively worked against, and voted against, George Bush who invaded Iraq when Pope John decried the action. I also applaud all those Catholic Men that actively defended Andrew Greeley when he was outing the pedophile priests and far right wing Catholic men were calling for his excommunication, because they claimed he was lying. I applaud all of you! Big Big Catholic Men!

      February 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • TR6

      @Tom:” Lady, lets face it you are a cafeteria Catholic picking and choosing what suits you. It's "catholics" like you that give us a bad name.”

      Tom all Catholics are cafeteria Catholics some, like yourself, are just to arrogant and hypocritical to acknowledge it in themselves. It’s Catholics like Miss Morthole that give catholisisum what little good name and respect it has left. I agree with you on one point, I don’t know how someone so intelligent, companionate and reasonable can stomach to be associated with such fossils as you or the decrepit old windbags that make up the RCC leaders

      February 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Ed


      I think she should leave the church completely. They are all bad.

      February 11, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Ted

      A "real" catholic would show love and compassion to all. Not immediately try to expel individuals from the church. Even though you disagree with her position, you have been clouded by jumping on the band wagon and pointing fingers. Do you believe that you are above and beyond this individual as a "better" catholic?

      February 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Lagos

      Ted – There's a difference between JUDGING someone and pointing out how their own statements prove they are not in line with the teachings of the catholic church.

      February 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is? Then you should be able to articulate exactly what the difference is. Get right on that. Thanks in advance.

      February 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      With so much out there that can be called "Christian belief" aren't all Christians just picking and choosing?

      February 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.