Summary: Poverty is an ongoing problem that will not be solved by government action in a day of high deficits; it is our responsibility to help the poor.

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20th Sunday in Course


Spirit of the Liturgy

Most Americans, if they were aware of four recent events, did not connect them. The first was the 43rd anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the Church’s 2000 year old teaching that married love stems from divine love, and that doing things that are directly contraceptive contradicts that unreserved love husband and wife owe each other and God. The second was the White House order that insurers must pay for contraceptive so-called “medicines” from the first dollar. Ironically, the third was the announcement that the proportion of children in the U.S., which was 34% in 1970, has fallen to 24% and would continue to fall for the foreseeable future. And the fourth, which we all became aware of, is that the stock market fell 10% in one week and the credit rating of the U.S. was downgraded a notch, with more to come, because we have borrowed over $14,000 billion and continue to spend as a government more than we take in.

The four news items are connected at the most fundamental level. Demographics drives economics. It’s fairly easy with your computer to see that the formation of natural families–husband/wife/children–and the fertility rate are correlated very closely with economic growth. When natural families are formed and children are procreated, those families buy houses and cars and all the things you need to raise kids, and that results in economic expansion. As the Boomer generation formed families in the eighties and nineties, the U.S. had a prolonged economic boom. As the Baby Bust generation postpones families, has the lowest marriage rate in U.S. history, and when they have kids, consider two to be a big family, we are seeing an economic slowdown, high unemployment, and an even further suppression of fertility. At the risk of oversimplification, contracepting and killing babies, just as Paul VI predicted, has lowered our moral climate and ruined our economy.

This is a homily, not an economics lesson. But don’t forget what I just said. A great Catholic author once said “God always forgives, man sometimes forgive, nature never forgives.” Our fifty-year old addiction to contraception and baby-killing has hurt individuals, families and society. We need to be clear–on a spiritual, moral and scientific basis, the birth control pill makes women sick and hurts marriages. How else would you classify a drug that shuts down or interferes with a natural body function, has a list of negative side-effects you have to read twice, and tends to abort children already conceived? That’s not a medicine; it’s a poison. It poisons people and relationships. Even its inventor, Carl Djerassi, has seen the light and realized the damage it has done to Europe. We have listened to Isaiah tell us to observe what is right and do what is just, and we have gone our own way, observing what is wrong and doing what is unjust–to ourselves and to generations yet unborn.

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