We live in a world of contradictions when it comes to many things of great importance in life. Whether we realize it or not, faith in God is the most important aspect of our lives. Since God put us on planet Earth, and God will call us back to himself when our life here comes to an end, the most important thing we can do is recognize our dependence on Him and seek to know what, if anything, He expects of us.
Yet how many there are of us who think we get to tell God what we will and will not accept when it comes to his law and our willingness to obey it. Recently, I watched as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked during a press conference what she thought of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s claim that her Women’s Health Protection Act—passed by the House on September 24 to codify abortion on demand in federal law—was “nothing short of child sacrifice.”
“You’re a Catholic,” the reporter reminded her. “Your response?”
“Yeah, I’m Catholic,” Pelosi replied,
I come from a pro-life family . . . different in their view of a woman’s right to choose than I am. In my right to choose, I have five children in six years and one week, and I keep saying to people who say things like [what Cordileone said]: When you have five children in six years and one day (sic), we can talk about what business is any of us (sic) to tell anyone else to do (sic). It’s none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families . . . the archbishop of the city of that area, of San Francisco, and I have a disagreement about who should decide this. I believe that God has given us a free will to honor our responsibilities.
Pelosi treats God’s law as something discardable by an act of her free will. She fumes that it is not hers or anyone else’s business “how” people choose the “size” or “timing” of their families. But she and her bishop do not have a “disagreement” about who should decide the size and timing of hers or anyone else’s family. That is up to the husband and wife. What she and Cordileone disagree about is the morality of using abortion to achieve the desired size and timing. He is being a good shepherd to a wayward sheep in reminding her that killing an unborn child is never an acceptable way to act in pursuit of a goal—any goal.
To violate the fundamental right to life of the innocent unborn child is against God’s law. What Pelosi calls a disagreement, as if it were a matter for legitimate debate, is better described as her rejection of what she is obliged to profess in order to be a faithful Catholic. She is free of course to make her rejection clear. But in doing so she ceases to follow God’s law and, in her role as Speaker, becomes not only a proponent but an engine of what is in fact child sacrifice. (Only one member of Pelosi’s Democratic flock, Henry Cuellar of Texas, voted against her bill.)
Pelosi’s appeal to God’s gift of free will as a justification for keeping abortion legal (and funded by taxpayers) contradicts Church teaching on the proper and just use of one’s free will. The choice to do wrong is in fact a type of enslavement to evil. Her claim to be “honoring her responsibilities” by rejecting her responsibility to follow the law of the God who made her and gave her the gift of faith when she was baptized, is completely contradictory. In fact, she is using her free will in a way that dishonors her duties before God, and she is plainly not happy to be reminded of that.
Pelosi’s reference to the fact that she is the mother of five children is another contradiction. How can a mother of five children claim abortion could be a good thing for other women? So here we have the multiple contradictions of a woman who tells us she is a believer, but a believer who does not believe in many of the things her religion requires her to believe in.
The moral of this sad story is that spiritual blindness, often rooted in human pride, is a constant obstacle to obedience. Shepherds such as Archbishop Cordileone do Nancy Pelosi a great service by reminding her, and anyone else who is paying attention, that free will does not have veto power over God’s law. Passing legislation to protect a specious right to kill unborn children is not a morally acceptable expression of free will simply because Pelosi asserts that it is. Yes, contradicting God is within our power; but it is always wrong, and in this matter, it is deadly.