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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.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

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. derp

    I think gluttony is immoral.

    Any obesity related health care should be covered under insurance plans because it encourages gluttony.

    February 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Yes! Shouldn't a company, like a vegan restaurant chain for example, not have an equal right to not cover any health issues related to fatty, unhealthy diets? How about an animal rights group not wanting to cover injuries during hunting trips? Is it just assumed that religious beliefs are of a higher order than all other kinds of principles?

      February 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  2. derp

    "Even though the official Catholic Church teaches against contraceptives, I do not feel immoral using them."

    What a stupid b i tch.

    Her religion teaches that the pope is the conduit to god.

    The pope says birth control is immoral.

    Using birth control is immoral. Your own silly religion says so.

    Dum b a ss

    February 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      He may not claim it of himself, but there are folks out there who cannot imagine anyone being able to claim being a "true" Christian unless they follow the teachings of Billy Graham to the letter. Disagree with Billy on any part of the faith and it's you who has to be in the wrong, end of discussion! Other folks hold other pastors as their spiritual authority. So, isn't that like protestants having popes?

      February 14, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  3. GoodCatholic

    I don't go to church regularly. I don't pray regularly. I don't do any fasting. I don't go to confession..I love to sleep around. I like ssx. I'm not familiar with the bible. I lie all the time. I indulge on a lot of things. I don't do much in terms of charity work. I'm not widely known as a good person, much less a devout Chris tian. That is why I tell the world that I'm a good Cath olic. Makes sense ? I've determined that I know what it means to be a good catholic.

    February 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bob

      You sound more like an evangelical spinning a straw man version of a "good Catholic." Anyone like who you described would likely think of themselves as a "lapsed" Catholic which, as the joke goes, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world. Here, in the US, they probably are the biggest, but so what? People can call themselves any kind of Catholic, or Christian they want and it isn't anybody's business but their own.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  4. Christians are not allowed near children and other living things

    Christians rape and molest your children, keep your children away from them!

    February 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  5. hornee

    It would be good for the author to clarify her situation. Is she married ? Is the contraception for her & her husband ? Otherwise, it looks like an article from yet another hornee person who cannot control their libido. There's no need to lie. If you need contraceptives because you sleep around then just say so. You just want religion to change to be convenient to you.

    February 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  6. Think for yourself

    "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."

    Well said.

    February 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  7. SPA Knight

    Karalen,
    "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".

    I guess most of the Catholics that you are surrounded by have failed you. Perhaps you should read the Catholic Cathechism rather than rely on the poor education you received as an excuse for embracing contraception. In the end though, contraception was used for the medical purposes of hormone therapy originally but YOU are the one that decided to use it as a form of birth control. That was the moral choice that you made after so called "hormone balance" that you should better examine as a young Catholic.

    February 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • RecoveringCatholic

      Birth Control is nobody's business except the person using it. The Church as ZERO rights to this discussion. We are talking about the same Religion that tried to hide sickos who molested children but then thinks it's not moral to take care of your body. Preventing pregancy is not abortion. If men carried children, I guarentee our Male Based Catholic Church would find it acceptable to choose when and where a child came to this earth. The Catholic church has long repressed woman. I for one am a Christian that values life, freedom, and respect for others. I agree Birth Control is Pro-life. This article was exactly now I feel and I am a 41 year old woman in a wonderful marriage with two beautiful children. To those judging the author of this article, you are NOT a Christian person if you are casting negative comments.

      February 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  8. gerald

    Man these threads bring out the anti-catholic nut cases.

    February 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Patrick

      Fight fire with fire!

      February 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  9. dats right

    Another coke head dies. Big deal. And Beonce's baby is ugly. What did they name it, Blue Spider or something?

    February 13, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  10. NoGod

    Xtianity has morphed over millennia into a terrible philosophy. We need to limit population as resources are limited and dwindling.

    February 13, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      Some great atheists who limited population -Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot.

      February 13, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      And the list of great Christians who limited population would include Hitler, the Czars, the Crusaders, the Inquisitors, the Conquistadors, the witch burners, the Indian killers, and pretty much every other western warlord since the pagan Roman Emperors. Christianity hasn't tamed much of the natural bloodlust that comes with being a powerful ruler, has it?

      February 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  11. Caral from SoCal

    But – with all respect to this very articulate young lady – that is not the point. So what? I am a protestant, and I do not have a problem with (some) methods of birth control (not abortifacents). The issue isn't whether the CAtholic church's position is right or wrong, but rather whether the government has the right to make them provide something so against their teaching, for free. It is important to note that anybody can go buy birth control. Nobody can legally stop them. THese employees could walk down to their local Planned Parenthood clinic, in fact, and probably get it for free. But, no. The Obama administration wants employers to HAVE to provide birth control, as well as all the other straws on business' back. What else will this President mandate that employers must provide, at what point will people say, 'Wait a second, that isn't how our society works'? Food, housing, transportation? At what point do we say, "yup, we're socialists now"?

    If this administration can force religious employers to do this, they can force all employers to have to provide pretty much anything. Remember the proverb, "They came for the...but I didn't protest, because I'm not a...." Well, we had better start protesting. And voting.

    February 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Karen

      If passing an IQ test were required for voting, there would be no religious voters.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Credenza

      Your comment is great. You stick to the point unlike the writer of this article. Well said

      February 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Anything Credenza approves is trash. What would you expect from a piece of dead wood?

      February 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      By this logic, if I'm an employer, and I disapprove of drinking and smoking, then I shouldn't have to provide health care for health issues arising from those practices in my employees either. Hell, I'm sure that if I try hard enough I can blame my employees for any health issue they may come down with, and if I can do that, then why should I pay? Hmmm... Someone who disapproves with people doing anything that could lead to harm, or illness would never have to provide any health insurance to any employee at all then. Sweet!

      February 13, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Primewonk

      Point 1 – This rule applied to businesses owned and run by religious groups. It did not apply to the churches.

      Point 2 – Free? No. Costs will be built in to the premiums you pay. The insurance companies just can't charge a copay or deductible

      February 13, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • A

      Agree with Oh Yeah. The Catholic Church (and whoever else is objecting to this on religious grounds) is simply saying that "We shouldn't have to follow a law if we don't believe in it."

      Heck, there are plenty of things the government does that I don't believe in. Nobody asks for MY approval. How is some church any different? The law was debated, your side lost. Deal with it. I don't care if you don't believe in it because of some religious reason or for some other reason. The law passed. You're an employer. Provide the required benefits to your employees.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  12. Cynthia

    Dear writer, that you profess the catholic faith and chose what to believe and what not to believe doesn't differentiate you from a self professing Christian who disagrees with Christ's teaching on adultery, thus comits adultery and prides in it .

    February 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Credenza

      Good comment. Respect to you, Cynthia.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • chief

      shut up and go back to the dress wearing men for your next thought

      February 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Concerned Lutheran

      It seems you have put the teachings of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on the same level with those of Christ. This is an error.

      February 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Concerned Lutheran
      Can you prove that Catholics are wrong?

      February 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • NoGod

      research the history of the RCC. Cruelty, torture, greed, wars, corruption, bureaucracy, anti-science, bigotry rule the RCC thru history. Just read "God's Jury" by Murphy.

      February 13, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Concerned Lutheran

      I would begin by looking at the stature of the hierarchy relative to God:

      1 Corinthians 3:5-7
      What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has
      assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither
      the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

      February 13, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      Concerned Lutheran
      Still, Paul isn't just an ordinary servant any more. Not since his words have become part of the authority protestants follow, the Bible. Many follow his teaching rather than what Jesus said in the gospels. How high does that place him on the hierarchy relative to God?

      February 13, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • J.W

      Where did Jesus speak about contraception. I still have not found those verses.

      February 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    February 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Karen

      Name one. Prove it.

      February 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Nat Q

      Any sort of evidence for this claim would be appreciated.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Mahatma Gandhi

      “The greatest prayer is patience” Buddha

      “A man does not serve God when he prays, for it is himself he is trying to serve” Thomas Paine

      “If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another” Epicurus

      February 13, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Godless&Proud

      Atheism is myth understood.

      February 13, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Primewonk

      Lovely spam, wonderful spa-a-m,
      Lovely spam, wonderful S Spam,
      Spa-a-a-a-a-a-a-am,
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      SPA-AM, SPA-AM, SPA-AM, SPA-A-A-AM!

      February 13, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Nope

      *The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs."""""`~~~~~~~~~~

      February 13, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • nope

      nope,

      February 13, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Yup

      "nope

      nope,"

      More desperation from the xtians. LMAO!

      February 13, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • just sayin

      Karin
      George Frederick Muller
      Ordinary guy extra ordinary prayers
      check the reference or i"ll quit responding to your ignorance.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Yup

      "George Frederick Muller
      Ordinary guy extra ordinary prayers
      check the reference or i"ll quit responding to your ignorance."

      More desperation from the xtians – don't bothering wasting your time.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • nope

      nope.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      This George guy was not an ordinary guy! He was an Evangelist and missionary, Director of Orphan Houses. Of course he believed prayer worked...it was part of his upbringing and the brainwashing of the day. We have come a long way in our knowledge since this man existed (born in 1805 died in 1898). So we can dismiss his thoughts on prayer..they are antiquated and have no pertinence with what we know today.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Prayer for the country

      God keep our land
      Prayer borrowed from the Canadian national anthem

      February 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Which god would that be? The canadian anthem doesn't specify.

      February 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Stevie7: Of course not...we stand by the fact we are secular and respectful. The dolt spewing the crap about that line is only trying to provoke people in to thinking Canada is a christard nation.

      February 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • just sayin

      To dismiss evidence out of hand for any reason shows extreme prejudice. George Muller prayed , his prayers were answered and things were changed. Verified through out his lifetime by thousands of impartial witnesses. One example was requested, one that is well doc umented was given. Prayer, talking with God began in the Garden of Eden and continues through today. All prayer is available and bears witness against 'liar' prevails and those of similar ilk.

      February 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Prayer for the country

      The God of the Canadians is the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. The one true God as known by the Christian nation of Canada. There is only one God, the creator of the universe and mankind. God in three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

      February 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Yup

      "nope

      nope."

      More and more desperation. LMAO!

      February 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just lying, I already posted the supposed "evidence" that those prayers were answered. You are such a bozo you can't figure out that correlation does not equal causation. Just because I prayed the sun would rise today and it did is no proof that my prayers were answered, you witless wonder.

      February 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  14. Bobs Friend

    I wish Catholics were allowed to read the Bible:
    Eph 4:17 "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

    Lets all be honest: This woman simply wants to sleep around and be free of the consequences. No one is taking her choices away, if she wants to avoid these risks, she can "CHOOSE" to close her legs.

    Isaiah 59: 1Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
    2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear. 3For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies,
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.

    This woman has no idea how far away from God she is....tragic.

    Matthew 7: 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    This woman does not know Jesus.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Men already are free to sleep around without consequence. Are you saying that's Ok for them, but not women? If men didn't want to have illegitimate children then they have an equal option not to drop their drawers too, but your whole line of thinking never supposes any obligation for men, does it?

      February 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      It is not without consequence, they get diseased, they produced children that they abandon, they support aborting the children, and they grieve God with their unrighteousness.
      Unless they repent, they too shall suffer, just as Jesus said.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Christian

      U Right!

      February 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Ann K

      I sincerely hope you are kidding when you say Catholics are not allowed to read the Bible. Other than that you are right about the woman.

      February 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Ann K: Perhaps I overstated that, but as I'm sure you know, The Catholic Church has always been the most zealous in the concept that only ordained priests can properly understand Scripture. It's what the reformation was all about. In my experience, very very few Catholics know the Scriptures.. for that matter, very few Protestants know the Scriptures.

      Anyway, she's nearly a graduate at Catholic University, and knows nothing of Jesus. She is interested in whatever can support her in her chosen lifestyle..promiscuity.

      February 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • J.W

      I did not see Jesus say much about contraception. Bob's Friend could you cite the exact verses in the Bible regarding contraception.

      February 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Cynthia

      Totally agree with you, but i must correct your view that catholics don't read the Bible, because they do read the Bible. Mass is celebrated daily and the first reading comes from the old testament, second reading come from the new testament particularly the epistles and the gospel com from the gospel according to either mathew,mark,luke or john. Just FYI.

      February 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Bob

      And after reading from the old testament, the Catholics, being fine upstanding Christians, go out and sacrifice and burn a goat just like their nasty asshole of a god commands them to.

      Yes, the bible really says to do that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Be free of religion in 2012.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      February 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I hold a Masters degree from a Catholic University, My studies had not one iota of religion in them. She's studying PolySci, not Religion.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Bobs Friend
      Not every woman who is promiscuous has STDs and, if she has them, then she likely owes that to some man down the line, right? So, all things considered, women not only have to deal with everything men might be concerned with regarding this, but also have to deal with all the stuff that only they have to contend with. It's hopelessly lopsided.

      February 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Bob
      "Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions."
      Well, the apostle Paul would disagree on that, but he never learned from Jesus, did he?

      Have you ever read A. J. Jacobs' "The Year of Living Biblically"? It's not only quite funny, but also very enlightening.

      February 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      J.W. The Bible does not explicitly say not to use contraceptives. However if you read the Bible you will become familiar with the will of the author..God. One of the first instructions to man was to "Be fruitful and multiply"
      Jesus touches on the concept of avoiding marriage in order to serve the Kingdom of God, which is what He did; Jesus never married and had no children, and He is our example. However His method for not having children was to choose not to marry:

      Matthew 19:12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
      Jesus also explained that leaving behind this worlds cares for the Kingdom will be rewarded:

      Mk 10:29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
      The other answer to your question comes down to being Spirit led. People who are true Christians and walk with God are led by God, and know His will. People who murder their own children in order to enable their promiscuous lifestyle are not being led to do that by the Holy Spirit, regardless if what they are doing is not explicitly forbidden in the Scriptures.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Bobs Friend

      Bob: Glad to see you are back!!! Or I'm back, because I've been out for awhile. Yes, of course I have been praying for you.
      Do you know how the great Apostle Paul described himself before his conversion?

      1 Tim 1:2 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
      Bob, even though you make it your business to come here and blaspheme and curse, and vainly try to tear down the faith...."The gates of hell shall not overcome it"...
      God is calling all of Mankind into righteousness, even you. And even you can be forgiven, as Jesus said :
      Matt 9:13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

      Jesus said "It is finished" on the cross? What was finished......? The sacrificial system, for He was the final sacrifice.
      The Law is for you, my friend, not for me:

      1 Tim 1:8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that lawa is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
      It is your duty, not mine:
      Galations 3:10 10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”c 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”d 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”e 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”f 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
      Jesus fulfilled the Law for me. I live by the Spirit!
      Amen!!!

      February 14, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • J.W

      Humans have already multiplied enough. We cannot continue to be fruitful and multiply or we will run out of resources to support all the people. You refer to using contraception as murder. If that is the case then any sperm which is produced which does not result in a child is just a wasted life, so basically we have to have a baby with every one of them or it is murder.

      February 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      So, Bob's Friend, you think the only reason a woman would take birth control is so she can be promiscuous?

      What about the married woman who already has four kids and can afford no more? Should she just tell her husband, "Sorry, honey, no nookie for you anymore"?

      What about the young woman with debilitating PMS and irregular cycles that making living a normal life nearly impossible? Should she just suck it up and deal with it, losing her job and failing out of school because you think the medical solution to her situation should be illegal?

      There are many reasons women take birth control. Grown up, responsible reasons that are thought out and considered. And yes, for some that means they can partake in s.exual activity outside of a married relationship. That is their decision. Not yours.

      February 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  15. k

    Every time humanity deviated from this path, God sent down His of prophets (Noah, Ibrahim, Mosses Jesus and Mohammed were among thousands) who carried this single message to the whole humanity (And they all had the highest moral standards). That is the message of Islam.

    God speaks to the whole humanity through His book Quran..

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “…anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people....." Qur'an [5:32]

    Most exalted is the One in whose hands is all kingship, and He is Omnipotent.The One who created death and life for the purpose of distinguishing those among you who would do better. Quran [67.2]

    Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous. Quran [5:46]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to learn more whyIslam org website.

    O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, "Trinity." You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master. Quran [4:171]

    February 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • chief

      stay on the topic and people may respect you more..... else you are no different than the zealot catholics trying to ram their belief into public opinion

      February 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Jesus and Muhammed had opposite doctrines
      Jesus said "Love your enemies, and bless those who curse you"
      Muhammed said " Kill them where you find them"
      Muhammed was a warrior who shed much blood, a fact of which many Muslims are proud.
      Jesus said "whoever lives by the sword shall die by the sword"
      I have read the Koran; I know what it says.
      The wonderful thing is, that if at any time you want proof that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, all you need to do is ask Him. :

      Rev 3:19 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

      Muhammed is most assuredly a false prophet, because he added to the complete Word of God:

      Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

      20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

      Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

      21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Bobs Friend
      "Jesus said "whoever lives by the sword shall die by the sword""

      Revelation sees Jesus come back in a form that would make Muhammad look like a Care Bear, and many Christians cherish this version of him far more than that of Jesus, meek and mild, surrounded by little children. Prince of peace, indeed!

      February 13, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • gerald

      Chief, is this thread about priest abuse? You have posted about that. Stay on topic Chief. BTW when do you get out of the mental hospital.

      February 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  16. Hypatia

    The point of the entire mess is that I do not give a flying rat's hindquarters what some guy in a dress thinks. If they are employing people like a business, they need to provide TOTAL health care like every other business. Just because they think they've got a hot line to a fairytale doesn't exempt them from the law.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  17. Flinders, the butler

    NO one is being "forced" to pay for anything. All insurance companies and those involved in healthcare know, that the "total cost of care" is LESS for the plans which OFFER contraceptive services, than for those who do not. The plans who do not offer contraceptive services have HIGHER costs as a result of NOT offering the services. Therefore, no one is "paying" more for anything, and in fact those who OFFER the service PAY LESS.

    February 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Yes it has been a gross misrepresentation of the facts, but that is what they White House wanted to do. It was supposed to look like Obama DICTATED and the RC lock stepped behind him like a good little church. They thought it could look like he actually did something (because he has done little other than to disrupt, spend and tax the H out of everyone). Nobody feels better today because Obama was president. But this DICTATOR scheme backfired. Now it just so happens that MOST of the Catholics are knee jerk liberals and voted for Obama .. so the WH believed they would not dare to oppose him. Obviously it was a gross miscalculation.

      February 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  18. Reality

    Reiteration has and always will be an important learning tool.

    "Facts on Contraceptive Use---------->

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
    January 2008

    "WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

    • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]

    • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a con-traceptive method.[2]

    • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use cont-raceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

    WHO USES CON-TRACEPTIVES?

    • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had int-ercourse have used at least one con-traceptive method.[2](and men?)

    • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)

    • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inte-rcourse; or are not se-xually active.[2]

    • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using con-traceptives.[2] (and men?)

    • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing con-traception.[2] (and men?)

    WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

    • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice con-traception use reversible methods, such as oral con-traceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

    FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

    Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

    Method……………..Typical

    Pill (combined)……… 8.7
    Tubal sterilization ……0.7
    Male condom ……….17.4
    Vasectomy…………… 0.2

    Periodic abstinence.. 25.3 (RCC approved)
    Calendar 9.0 (RCC approved)
    Ovulation Method 3.0 (RCC approved)
    Sympto-thermal 2.0 (RCC approved)
    Post-ovulation 1.0 (RCC approved)

    No method 85.0" (RCC approved and important to women and men wanting to get pregnant)

    (Abstinence) 0 (RCC approved)

    (Masturbation) 0

    More facts about contraceptives from

    guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

    "CON-TRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

    Cont-raceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002

    Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users
    Pill.............. 11,661.................. 30.6
    Male condom 6,841.................. 18.0 "

    i.e.
    The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).

    i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
    x 62 million (# child bearing women)
    x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
    x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

    1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies
    during the first year of pill use.

    For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

    1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

    The Gut-tmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
    (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    o Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer methods to include multiple method (e.g. combined pill and condom) in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nobody even bothers to read your posts, Unreal, when all they consist of is cut-and-paste.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Reality

      Reiteration has and always will be a great tool for education:

      Obviously, a perfect birth control/disease-prevention barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one. In the meantime, mono-mas-turbation or mutual mas-turbation for heterose-xuals are highly recommended for those at risk. Abstinence is the another best-solution but obviously the se-x drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?

      February 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You suck as an "educator" if you think that cutting and pasting repeatitive posts is effective.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      edit: repetitive

      February 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By the way, Unreal, did you bother to read the story in Health about the drop in teen pregnancies?

      Guess not. Funny how you can't seem to cut-and-paste anything that doesn't line up with your beliefs.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How is it you didn't "publish" the fact that abortion rates are also dropping and have done so at a fairly steady rate?

      February 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Reality

      From the Guttmacher Inst-itute, 2011

      "Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 67% among blacks and 53% among Hispanics are unintended.[1] In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]"

      February 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Reality

      From the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute, 2011

      "Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 67% among blacks and 53% among Hispanics are unintended.[1] In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]"

      February 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "From 2005 to 2008, the drop in abortion rates stalled."

      Hmmmm. And wasn't our pal George in office then?

      YOu do realize, don't you, that 2008 was FOUR years ago? And that abortion rates continue to drop?

      Did you forget to notice that teen pregnancy rates have ALSO dropped to a 40-year low, Unreal?

      Reiterate that a few times.

      February 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and Unreal, suppose all 50 million of those abortions had not occurred and we now had an additional 50 million people to house, feed, etc.?

      How many unwanted children have you adopted? There are plenty in foster care. Go get one.

      February 13, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  19. Dale Rudiger

    Concerning contraception:

    1) Contraception is allowed (and even encouraged) in Catholic teaching. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2368). The Church focuses on the mechanics of contraception in determining its morality, encouraging the rhythm method.

    2) The Catechism also states that the state has a responsibility for its citizens well being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. CCC 2372. However, it is not to coerce the couple’s personal responsibility.

    3) The Vatican II Commission in place to advise the Pope Paul VI on contraception surveyed 3,000 Catholic couples regarding the rhythm method. 63% said that the rhythm method harmed their marriage and 65% said that it did not prevent conception.

    4) The Commission voted 30-5 in favor of changing the Church’s position on contraception. The Bishops on the Commission also were in favor, voting 9-3. Karol Wotjyla, who was on the Commission, abstained.

    5) Well over 90% of Catholic women of child-bearing age use artificial contraception. The Church teaches that this is a mortal sin, since artificial contraception methods are “intrinsically evil.”

    6) The main issue is less about the morality of artificial contraception than it is the authority of the Pope.

    February 12, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • Richard M

      "Contraception is allowed (and even encouraged) in Catholic teaching."

      That is simply not true. That is a complete misrepresentation of Catholic teaching.

      It is true, as you note, that parents may legitimately attempt to space their births for good and sufficient reasons (saving the money to buy a second SUV does not count). But they may not use artificial methods to do so. As the Catechism affirms in 2376, " Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral." That is the teaching of every Pope who has spoken on the subject, affirmed by bishops in union with him.

      Legitimate methods may include natural family planning (NFP), so long as the parents remain genuinely open to any life that may be given to them.

      But it is not true that the Church ever condones the use of birth control.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Flinders, the butler

      Richard M,
      You false dichotomy of "natural" vs "unnatural"(?) is a semantic dodge. YOUR Catechism and Moral Theology teaches that INTENTION is the crux of a moral act. The INTENTION of a couple in making a PLAN, abstaining, making charts, taking temperatures is ONLY, clearly, objectively to prevent a pregnancy. NFP IS (attempted) contraception. Is your god stupid ? Does He NOT know what you're attempting to do ?

      February 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Funny that none of these 'true Catholics' can be bothered to respond to this question.

      Funny, but hardly surprising. I doubt any of them ever think very much about such questions.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  20. RightTurnClyde

    This has been a good and moving discussion about faith, life, choices and values. (not about politics, or policies (albeit the White House policy), the election, or Republicans and Democrats or all of the labels that go with that. I am glad that the CNN Blog has been able to find a writer (hopefully more than one .. but this one at least) who provokes a discussion about faith and morals and not about party A versus party B and the tiring election.

    Everyone has different opinions (of course) about churches, faiths, life's difficulties, God and practices. That is our American heritage. We each have our own opinion. Many of them have been aired and expressed. It has been lively discussion and I hope it is possible to have more of them. But in any case this has been a very good post and a very invigorating response to it.

    Ms. Morthole shows great wisdom for such a young person. She will be an excellent leader over the course of years in whatever endeavor she chooses. There will be many chapters in her book. She reflects well on Catholic university.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:16 am |
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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.