Saturday, February 15, 2014

From The "Et Tu Brute?" Department - Austin Ruse Shills For Dissenting Catholic Politician

Barbara Comstock, a Catholic Virginian who is running for US Congress, is asking the Obama administration to make oral contraceptives available over the counter for women over eighteen.  She is a GOP insider who has the backing of Rick Santorum, Mark Levin and other leading figures.  Why she feels it necessary to cheer Obama's contraceptive mentality is beyond me.  She has garnered well-deserved criticism of LifeSiteNews and other pro-life organizations.

Austin Ruse, president of C-Fam, wrote an article in Crisis magazine entitled "Is Contraception the Hill We Want to Die On?"  He defends Ms. Comstock's formal and material cooperation with the mortal sin of birth control.  Let's take a look at what Comstock did.  In joining that push for contraception, she is actually engaged in an act that is inherently sinful.  I cannot judge her condemned for I know not her degree of culpability; by the same token I cannot assume her excused either.  I am surprised and disappointed that Ruse did not address that facet of the issue, for that one, among all other considerations, deals with the eternal (as opposed to political) consequences of Comstock's foolishness.

The title of the article is Ruse's attempt to take LifeSiteNews and other like-minded people (such as this author) to task for "charging up contraception hill".  In reality, it is Comstock who made that foolish foray up that hill.  We're simply choosing not to look the other way.

Ruse does make some good observations.  He notes, all too accurately, that Catholic homilies on these matters are few and far between.  He also notes that the USCCB has taken no public action regarding contraceptives per se - much to their shame.  Other than these, I cannot but believe that Ruse has done the Teaching Magisterium of the Church a gross disservice.


  1. If the true Catholic position is to discourage contraceptive use, which is the more Catholic position; contraception that is free free or contraception that a woman has to paid for? Under Obamacare contraceptives are free. Under an OTC scheme, they are paid. Which is the more "Catholic" position?

    We are in a worse position with contraception than with abortion. Most Americans now self-identify as pro-life but most Americans, nearing 100%, enthusiastically support contraception. This tells me that our work is cut out for us and that a legislative fix is no where near reality and that such a fix is far far far downstream from culture. What we must do as Catholics is change the culture of contraception. This is not achieved by politics, but by evagelization.


    Austin Ruse

    PS Barbara Comstock has a stellar pro-life voting record. She even voted for Personhood.

    1. In your first paragraph, the underlying theme of the choices is the erroneous "lesser of two evils" principle. This principle is and always has been condemned by Catholic moral theologians for one can never directly choose an intrinsic moral evil. See and

      The "lesser of two evils" theory is NOT to be confused with the morally valid Principle of Double Effect. The latter has four criteria, all of which must be satisfied:
      1) The considered action must itself be morally good or at least morally neutral.
      2) The good effect must not be caused by the evil effect.
      3) The evil effect must not be intended for itself but only permitted
      4) There must be a proportionately grave reason for allowing the evil effect.

      Right there we see that Comstock's push for contraceptives fails the first condition, for no one can morally seek to make contraceptives available - ever.

      My friend and colleague at Les Femmes, herself a Virginian, urges support of Bob Marshall in lieu of Barbara Comstock. He has never wavered on these issues. I suggest her lead be followed.

      I agree that we must change the culture of contraception. Any attempt to evangelize will only be compromised by politicians such as Barbara Comstock who act in direct defiance of the Magisterium on this matter.

    2. No, not the lesser of two evils. Which proposal limits the use of contraceptives? That is the question. If the proper Catholic position is the eliminate the use of contrceptives, and I am not sure that it is, then which program advances that notion? Is it yours, the status quo, that is, free contraception for anyone over 18? Or is it contraception that someone has to pay for?


      Austin Ruse

    3. Quoting JPII, you're not fully evangelized unless you're evangelizing. This quote of Dr. Lafranchi quoted by LifeSite News is all I need to see the light:

      “Not requiring prescriptions will result in more women taking the pill, and more women will die, and more human beings will die in the womb as a result.”

  2. Austin,

    I must apologize in advance for my impatience with intellectual dishonesty.

    It would be most helpful if you would stop circumventing the truth by suggesting you support Comstock because Catholics can't eradicate contraception from secular culture.

    The issue at hand is that you and others wish to prolife Catholics to accept the preposterous notion that Comstock's crusade to hand out contraceptive abortifacients to our children isn't an obstacle to support her candidacy.

    Do you understand the theology behind the Bishops and Catholics vigorously fighting against HHS mandate which forces Catholics to cooperate in the passing out contraceptives?

    None of us can do it, including Comstock.

    The fact that she is doing it, is much more than a scandal. It has ramifications to her own salvation. More importantly, it has ramifications to the salvation of scores of 18 year olds and the physical lives of unborn children whom they 'contracept' and 'destroy' - lives from the hand of God. It is cooperation in spiritual homicide of the woman and the physical homicide of the 'contracepted' child. Whom God knew and created. Not to mention that 'contraception' is widely associated with breast cancer.

    This is why so many Bishops and Catholic business owners are vigorously fighting against the HHS mandate.

    Now you ask whether Catholics wish to die on this hill?

    You better believe we do.

    There is no excuse for your support of a candidate who would do such a thing to our children, in light of the fact that there are several authentic prolife candidates in the race.

  3. I blogged on this. Austin Ruse directed a couple of comments to my posting and I'm re-reading his article to see if I misunderstood but I doubt it.

  4. TTA: But this is not what I am claiming: "It would be most helpful if you would stop circumventing the truth by suggesting you support Comstock because Catholics can't eradicate contraception from secular culture."

    I am saying precisely that Catholics should try to eradicate contraception from secular culture. I say that a lot. I have dedicated much of the past 20 years of my life precisely to that proposition. What I do say is that electoral politics is not the same thing as culture. Culture is way way way upstream from electoral politics. Just as in abortion, we must prepare the ground so that the people will be ready willing and able to receive a political decision on this.

    Our Father God prepared the ground of Israel for centuries precisely so they would be prepared to receive Christ. And even then, most of them weren't.

    Almost 100% of Catholics are against us on contraception. This shows me we have lots of work to do before we ask any of them to vote for candidates who will ban contraception!

    So, no, please understand what I am saying. I dare say I have been fighting on the contraceptive hill longer than many people you know but what we should not do is make it an electoral issue. the people are not ready. Our prophetic work has to be face to face, heart to heart before it gets to the voting booth...

    and by the way, abortion drugs are already sold over the counter all across the fruited plain.

    1. The problem with stumping for Comstock is that you are supporting a candidate who supports contraception. Her stance is morally unacceptable, and this trumps political maneuvering any day. Carol is dead-on correct.


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