In recent news the plight of women receiving reproductive health care at Catholic facilities was highlighted with a story of a Redding, CA hospital that refused to provide a tubal ligation for a patient. This Catholic hospital was following the Church’s Ethical and Religious Directives that prohibit sterilization because it is “inherently evil”. I find this amusing, particularly following so closely on the issuance of the Pope’s environmental encyclical.
Although it is wonderful that the Church officially supports the environment, this position is almost negated by its clinging to outmoded misogynist policies. Possibly the most pressing environmental issue today is overpopulation. The earth is unable to produce enough to provide for this many people, so ecosystems are degrading and people are fighting wars and starving. It is absurd to value the potential lives of the unborn more than those of the living, and to endanger the lives of all by actually promoting overpopulation. With the global population climbing beyond seven billion, how can sterilization possibly be considered evil by a reasonable person? Even by the Church’s own standards it should be preferable to abortion. This sort of theology is regressive and should not govern policies that affect the public, including healthcare. Any theology that devalues one segment of the population or that does not consider the good of all is suspect. I am glad that fewer young people now belong to organized religion; it gives me some hope that this sort of thinking will decline sooner than I have anticipated. (See my post from 18 May 2015.)
I can only hope that the patently absurd teachings of conservative religion will work to everyone’s benefit by driving thinking people to more contemplative practice and belief. If enough people turn to contemplation and adopt contemplative values, they will see that restrictive and one-sided religious teachings do not promote oneness, and the truth of oneness will, eventually, gain a firmer foothold.
Copyright © 2015 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.