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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Message to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann: Leave Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Alone

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Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City has been spewing his vile opinions in regards to President Obama’s selection of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the Health and Human Services secretary nominee with several media outlets this week. These opinions include: being openly, however, unfairly critical of the governor and her political party (i.e. Vice President Joe Biden, California Senator Nancy Pelosi, etc.), suggesting her political and social views are evil or wicked ("Such acts [abortion] are judged to be intrinsically evil…"), and he has called for the Catholic Church to deny Governor Sebelius communion.

First, Archbishop, Governor Sebelius has maintained that her Catholic faith is the basis of her belief that "life is sacred." She INSISTS that her personal belief is that abortion is wrong. However, bullying her to try and criminalize abortion will not stop the practice of abortion, but only make it more deadly. Governor Sebelius has stated several times that her goal is to implement policy to prevent unwanted pregnancies, obviously in a hope to lessen the number of abortions that take place in the U.S.

And the Governor will likely have the opportunity as HHS secretary to make several policy changes in an effort to reduce the amount of abortions that take place in this country, but that will only occur if the number of unwanted pregnancies decreases, as well. However, I’m sure the Archbishop will oppose that, too, since his church is adamantly against the use of condoms, except in the most narrow circumstances (and that latter exception is only a recently amended doctrine rule).

Now the Catholic Church and Archbishop Naumann will state that 100 percent extramarital abstinence will prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions. See, the problem with this argument is 1) That’ll never occur. Never. We’re humans. We’re mammals. And sex is natural. And it’ll naturally occur among teenagers, young adults and other non-married couples. 2) These guys, the clergy and other leaders within the Catholic church, can’t even practice what they preach. Just because they’re not having sex with consenting adults, doesn’t make sex with children morally correct.

Archbishop Naumann is essentially saying that the Catholic Church’s doctrine should dictate public policy. He wants to surreptitiously make church and state one in the same. And if the Archbishop had his way, his views on all church doctrine being vigorously enforced, then condoms would be prohibited. In fact, Archbishop Namann and his church’s doctrine essentially sacrifices the lives of thousands of women each year. For instance…

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is now the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The virus infects over half the American population and causes nearly five thousand women to die each year from cervical cancer; the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than two hundred thousand die worldwide. We now have a vaccine for HPV that appears to be both safe and effective. The vaccine produced 100 percent immunity in the six thousand women who received it as part of a clinical trial. And yet, Christian conservatives [and Catholic conservatives] in our government have resisted a vaccination program on the grounds that HPV is a valuable impediment to premarital sex. These pious men and women want to preserve cervical cancer as an incentive toward abstinence, even if it sacrifices the lives of thousands of women each year.

Sam Harris, "Letter to a Christian Nation"

There is nothing wrong with discouraging teenagers from having sex at a young age. But, as seen by Sarah Palin and her daughter’s unwanted pregnancy, abstinence only is not a good way to curb teen pregnancy nor is it the responsible approach to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Also, in preemption to the Catholic Church’s uproar in regards to President Obama lifting the Bush ban on embryonic stem-cell research, that I’m sure will be heard vociferously later today or this week, your qualms and complaints are similarly obtuse.

Until you guys (Archbishop Naumann, Cardinal Mahony, Dolan, etc.) quit contradicting yourselves, quit acting in nefarious ways when it come to clergy sex abuse matters, quit saying you appreciate all forms of life, when in fact that’s a flat out lie (i.e. see the church’s recent views on most things scientifically progressive; the Catholic church seemingly wants society to be shackled in the ways and mores of medieval Europe, much like Islamic-extremists would like us to revert to the Stone Age) then most people, rational people, do not want to hear anything you’ve got to say.

Most of your opinions and belief are anachronistic and invalid. So leave Governor Sebelius alone.