On Monday night our PBS station aired a documentary about Pope John Paul II. As I watched I was remembering the discussions that I had with my daughter about the Theology of the Body (writings by Pope John Paul II).
Julia was attending Marquette University and was introduced to the Theology of the Body, God’s design for male and female, for marriage and sexuality. She brought home some tapes for me to hear, and we talked about them.
I am not Catholic, but this teaching on sexuality makes sense to me. I have great respect for the Catholic position on life. I understand the position of the Catholic Church, opposing contraception and drugs that cause early abortions. As a nurse I have concerns about the effects of hormonal drugs on longterm health.
So when the Little Sisters of the Poor refuse to be providers of contraception, I am with them. This is the teaching of their church. They have a right to live out their faith.
My own right of conscience was tested during my first year of nursing practice. I was working in a large city hospital, affiliated with a university. I was shocked when I realized that an abortion was taking place in our labor/delivery unit—a saline induction. I could not participate. That night I wrote a letter stating my conscience objection to abortion, gave it to my manager and it was kept in my file. I was never called to assist with an abortion.
Later I would choose to work at Catholic or Lutheran Hospitals.
In the United States the first amendment guarantees the freedom of religion—the right to live according to one’s faith. The Little Sisters of the Poor are living out their faith as they minister to the elderly.
Can the government force the Little Sisters to provide free contraception in the health insurance they give their employees? The mandate goes against their faith. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on this case today. I am praying for the right of conscience to be upheld.
If SCOTUS rules against them the Little Sisters will be heavily fined and may be forced to discontinue their work.
The Little Sisters minister at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in my community. I am participating in a day of prayer and service as a sign of support. Let them serve.
Addendum: A good sized crowd gathered in front of St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Palatine. We were positioned along Northwest Highway and were encouraged by cars and trucks honking as they saw the signs. We received many waves of approval.
Maria Goldstein led in prayer and Bible reading. We sang the servant song together.
What do you want of me, Lord
Where do you want me to serve you?
Where can I sing your praises?
I am your song.
Refrain: Jesus, Jesus, you are the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus, you are the way.
You are the light in my darkness.
You are my strength when I’m weary.
You give me sight when I’m blinded.
Come see for me.
I am your song and servant,
Singing your praise like Mary.
Surrendered to your Spirit,
“Let it be done to me.”
We prayed for the protection of conscience rights:
Father, we praise you and thank you
For your most precious gift of human life
And human freedom.
Touch the hearts of our law makers
with wisdom and courage to uphold conscience rights
and religious liberty for all.
Protect all people from being forced to
Violate their moral and religious convictions.
In your goodness, guard our freedom
to live out our faith and
to follow you in all that we do.
Give us strength to be bold and joyful witnesses.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.