Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
While we have been overwhelmed with the faux hysteria over the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and also amused at the mind-numbing stupidity of so much of the commentary that insists we are heading towards a theocracy with those 5 Catholic men on the Supreme Court, many of us may have missed the other small victory in the Court's unanimous decision to strike down the Massachusetts law that required buffer zones around Abortion Clinics in order to keep the Pro-Life sidewalk counselors at bay.
The Court ruled that the law as written went too far in restricting the Pro-Life counselors. As I have written before Pro-Life protestors are the only group of protestors that are routinely singled out again and again for unequal treatment. These laws are never targeted at Union protestors, Occupy Wall Street protestors or any other protestor for that matter. Apparently Justice Scalia agrees with me and in his concurring opinion took Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the decision, to task for the logic he used to reach the decision, stating very unambiguously that Robert's rationale continues "this court's practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents." In essence Justice Scalia is saying that the court reached the right conclusion but for the wrong reasons. I concur.
The stated purpose of the law was to "protect" women's access to the abortion clinics without interference from violent Pro-Life protestors. Well I have been to lots of Pro-Life protests and have yet to see violence on our part. The incidents of violence are far and few in between. Most of the heated rhetoric usually comes from the other side. I've been cursed at, spit at, called a misogynistic bastard and told again and again to "get my rosaries off their ovaries" and have witnessed lots worse inflicted on other Pro-lifers without any retaliation. But as I have repeatedly said the ever-increasing animus towards Pro-Life sidewalk counselors comes from the fact that they are effective which hurts the bottom line ($$) of the Abortion industry.
Pro-Life sidewalk counselors do not want to scream or use a bullhorn to get their message out. That certainly would not be effective. What the law restricted was their ability to approach in a friendly manner those going into the Abortion Clinics and offer to discuss with them alternatives to abortion.
And who exactly was the "violent extremist anti-abortion" protestor that the Massachusetts law was trying to defend against? None other than Eleanor McCullen, a 77 yr old grandmother who has for many years quietly stood outside an abortion clinic offering alternatives to the women going into the clinic.
But that is how it all works when it comes to abortion. Too often we see that the pro-abortion side is deeply threatened by the simple acts of love demonstrated by the Pro-Life crowd. It also reveals the level of frustration of the pro-abortionists that we simply won't give up no matter how much the laws are manipulated to silence us.
Add this victory to the Hobby Lobby decision and many say that "forcing" women to pay for contraception only adds to the number of unintended pregnancies and hence increases the rate of abortions. Except that they are wrong. In places where birth control is widely available and easily affordable the rates of unintended pregnancies actually often increase. Why? Birth control gives an increasing false sense of security and is not 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Contraception also promotes promiscuous behavior as well as encouraging teens to engage in sexual behavior. There is simply no evidence that providing free contraception reduces teen pregnancy rates or abortions. (See usccb.org/issues-and-action/)
It seems to me that one way or the other God is providing opportunities for us to make very clear the Church's teaching on human life and sexuality. Again and again these issues are taking center stage providing us with a chance to change hearts and minds and build greater understanding of the dignity of the human person.
Love, Fr. John B.
P.S. Join us Thursday July 24 for a Press Conference/Rally sponsored by the Arizona Life Coalition at 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Planned Parenthood Tempe, 1250 E Apache Blvd #108, Tempe to encourage Law enforcement to investigate Planned Parenthood's failure to report sexual assault and abuse of minors.BACK TO LIST