Conscience Rights in Danger

By: Jeff Caruso
In implementing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued guidelines requiring almost all private health plans to cover FDA-approved contraceptive methods and sterilization as “preventive services” for women. On August 3, HHS published an interim final rule that references these guidelines, and allows HRSA to implement a very narrow and inadequate religious exemption. This action poses an unprecedented threat to the religious freedom of individuals and institutions. Until now, no federal law has required private health plans to cover these services.
  • HRSA’s statement that these services “do not include abortifacient drugs” is misleading. The FDA-approved “emergency contraception” (EC) drugs covered by this mandate can work by interfering with implantation. Also, the drug the FDA most recently approved for EC, “Ella,” a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486, has been shown in animal tests to cause abortion. Thus, the mandate includes drugs that may cause an abortion both before and after implantation.
  • The religious exemption allowed by the interim final rule is not only extremely narrow but unprecedented in federal law. It covers only a “religious employer” that has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose, primarily employs and serves persons who share its religious tenets, and is a church organization under two narrow provisions of the tax code. Plans offered by a great many religious organizations, including Catholic colleges and universities as well as hospitals and charitable institutions that serve the general public, would be ineligible under these terms. Individuals and health insurance companies do not qualify at all for this exemption.

Please click here to send a comment to HHS. Personal comments can be added to the suggested message.

The public comment period on this interim final rule ends September 30.

As is the practice, all comments and information submitted to HHS are made available online. Only your name (first and last) and your message will be forwarded to HHS.

Thanks for everything you do in support of life!

After you send your comments to HHS, you will also have an opportunity to send a message to your elected representatives in Congress, urging them to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179/S. 1467) to ensure that such federal mandates do not violate Americans’ moral and religious convictions.



2 thoughts on “Conscience Rights in Danger

  1. Each human soul, to the extent that it is naturally alive, is teeming with conscious experience and activity. Those of us who are at least somewhat familiar with the field of psychology as I am and folks in general label this conscious activity in the following primary categories: 1) thoughts; 2) emotions; 3) feelings; 4) drives or instinctual impulses; 5) acts of will; free, semi-free, and non-free; 6) sensations; 7) some would say psychic paranormal experiences; 8) intuitions; 9) memories which can have any of the previous 8 features; and 10) combinations thereof.

    Regardless of whether a given human soul is united to a living body in this life, is in Heaven, Purgatory, any Limbo, or even in Hell, the human soul at some natural level is teeming with consciousness in all of its possible broad categorical forms, that is of curse the forms that are possible in each of the three or possibly four states and/or places after bodily death.

    The state of the consciousness or personal subjective identity of each human soul is in constant flux as we go about our daily activities in this life. Yet despite this at times roiling cauldron of the fire of consciousness and experience, the fire burns on as personal experience and as part of the accidental aspects of our human soul, all of which despite being accidents, really exist.

    Our consciousness seems to be an inherent aspect of our souls, and indeed it is because it defines the activity, psychodynamic energy, accidental features, and characteristics of the faculties of our soul which are generally characterized as the intellect, will, memory, heart, and power of sensation. We identify this at times roiling sea of consciousness as being our soul or our personal identity and rightfully so because it is, but nonetheless, it is not the full story of the Human Soul.

    The fact that this at times roiling consciousness of subjective experience is in constant change throughout our daily waking life and yet still seems ever to be our same selves indicates that this roiling psychodynamic activity is in a sense self-transcendent. Otherwise, how could we intimately experience such activity as our-selves in a stable manner with all of the constancy commensurate with continuous experienced personal identity.

    From an objective, ontological, and epistemological consideration, such a constant sea of change within the personal conscious psyche also affirms a substantial underpinning that is as enduring and personal as to its identity as a soul in Heaven, Purgatory, Limbo, and even in Hell remains itself in such an utterly stable manner commensurate with the possibility of the immortality of the soul and the utterly eternally enduring existence of each human soul, no matter what its ultimate fate in the afterlife. Even the souls that go to Hell are unalterably themselves and have an un-alterability in their personal identity commensurate with the possibility of eternal punishment.

    Even for the souls that go to Hell, the personal identity and therefore the substantial underpinnings of such identity must be of utmost stability throughout all eternity commensurate with the possibility of moral judgment and moral responsibility for their behavior while united to their human body while having lived here on Earth.

    For clergymen who are utmost literalists in terms of traditional interpretation of the meaning of eternity for Hell, even you must admit that absolutely stable substantial and even conscious identity of each soul in Hell is required to a degree commensurate with the eternal moral obligation and responsibility to which the soul is held in suffering for all eternity. If the souls in Hell had no personal stable identity, either objectively so and substantially, and consciously so and subjective, then they would not have a personal identity commensurate with being able to experience the pains of Hell for all eternity.

    But let us not dwell too much on the sad reality of Hell as none of us should want to go there.

    The same arguments can be made for souls that go to Heaven, either directly or from Purgatory, or to any Limbo. For souls that go to any three of these locations and/or states, the personal conscious identity, perhaps even at the natural level is enhanced commensurate with spiritual health and well-being.

    Thus we can intuit something about the dynamical activity of life in the human soul as implying a super-stable soul essence or soul substance amidst the change of daily time-varying soul activity. This daily changing of soul activities seems to imply an extra-dimension of the soul thereby making the soul all more full existentially, even at the natural level of the life of the soul. The continuous soul activity seems commensurate with the soul constantly becoming and already being on track at each point in subjective time to not be itself and as a result, seems implicit of soul self-transcendence, and even the transcendence of the soul’s dynamic life with respect to the eternally self-same soul essence or substance.

    As long as the human soul can naturally evolve, even if only in accidental form, to a state that did not previously exist, the human soul should be held as capable of self-transcendence, at least with respect to its ability to change in future subjective time with respect to its present accidental state.

    Just think of it all you married folks of fertile age who use artificial contraception or not. When you conceive a child, you are the indirect cause of GODs creation of one of these wonderful things called human souls. You thereby irrevocably increase the size of the set of spiritual creatures for all eternity. Now, that’s an honor you simply cannot pass up. Long after the last Mass is said, the last Sacramental Baptism is carried out, the last Sacramental Confirmation is made, the last Sacramental Ordination occurs, your mark on the whole of spiritual creation will be ontologically irrevocable, and even Googol-Plex (10 EXP 100) EXP (10 EXP 100) years from now, your child will have no less time to live wonderfully in Heaven than when He or She was first conceived.

    Support Life ! Your Parents Did.



  2. I thought I that would take a break from commenting about the Human Soul and instead comment about the great glory to come for our bodies at the Final Resurrection. I must admit that I am a soul freak, but many Catholics are just the opposite as body freaks. And so I thought that the hopefully encouraging remarks that follow will be viewed as an act of charity by GOD and any body freaks who will read these comments.

    I often have a deep future time mental image of basking in the warm glow of a white spectrum star within some sort of space suit and at the same time, viewing a space craft or satellite in orbit around the star but at a distance of a few meters in front of the space craft. This mental image has a setting of about one trillion years into the future from now.

    In this image, I am kind of depressed at first when I think that the Sun would have long burned out as would have any current O,B,A,F,G and K class stars.

    However, this mental image then assures me that even after a trillion years have passed since the big bang, even though it may be getting late in our universe, we still have all of future eternity to live, and evermore to enjoy the wonders of creation.

    We not only have the possibility of extending our civilization over ever greater finite distances in finite time periods, but we have ever deeper time to explore as I believe the physical Cosmos will last forever by GODs providential design in HIS Divine Economy.

    I do not know when the Second Coming Of Christ will occur, but I suspect that the time will be late when HE does come in Glory.

    We will as a human civilization arrive at a time when it will be late in our universe, but at the stroke of proverbial midnight, GOD will transform all Creation to another level. At least some of the Heavens will be metaphorically dissolved in fire, but then these Heavens will be brought back into existence in a far more glorified form, World Without End.

    Perhaps just as we have the Cross of our bodily frailty and mortality and must pass through bodily death and the Final Resurrection of our mortal bodies at the End Of Time, so too will inanimate creation be Resurrected, perhaps after its merely temporary dissolution. Just as we humans face the cross of our deaths, so too may the Pre-Resurrection Era inanimate cosmos. However, the physical and other inanimate aspects of creation will then be Resurrected to an exalted state along with we humans to such an extent that we can in no way currently fathom the details of such.

    Where we will go from there is anyone’s guess. However, I invite everyone to kindle within a personal sense of what we as the civilization of humanity may be capable when the cosmic time is near midnight and even more so, after midnight into an early morning and dawn of a new era in all of Creation, in all of the Cosmos.

    You may be wondering just how transformed our current mortal bodies and the rest of physical creation can be. How does the Consecration of the lifeless Sacred Species into the very Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ sound.

    In reality, we are already members of the Body of Christ, that is, of Christ’s Mystical Body. Just how our Resurrected bodily ontology will relate to GOD is anyone’s guess.

    As a physicist, I often contemplate the physical world in all its grandeur, and I must say, I simply do not understand the existential and ontological glories that will come for us and our Resurrected Bodies at the End Of Time.

    It is interesting to reflect on Sacred Scripture and how it mainly speaks of the Human afterlife in terms of Bodily Resurrection. From the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, we can be assured that the Human Body will be definitively given incorruptible life. The human body will be spiritualized in a manner that we cannot understand. Just how spiritualized it will become may be commensurate with the concept given in Sacred Scripture that what is sown a mortal body will arise an incorruptible spiritual body. What is sown in mortal flesh will arise incorruptible. What is sown in weakness will arise immortal.

    Perhaps it is the glorified human body at the Final Resurrection that will be our biggest ontological asset commensurate with the lowly human body being subject to the Cross of Death and lifelessness. Otherwise, why would Sacred Scripture focus so much on the reward of the Resurrected Human Body.

    I am convinced that the to be spiritualized human body has nothing to do with the so-called energy body of the alleged occult practice of out of body travel, or as perceived in alleged near death experiences. As a physicist, I have some ideas about what such so-called spirit bodies might be composed of and have even come up with toy model examples of created purely natural events that could destroy such spirit bodies, not out of a morbid desire to destroy, but as a way of humbly looking at truth, and not allowing myself to be seduced by notion of invincibility. By the way, I do not believe such energy bodies are the same entity as the human soul, which I, as a Scholastic, believe is incorruptible per addends and per se. Also note that I humbly admit that I have absolutely no psychic abilities and have never even had a supernatural sensory experience, either imaginative or real.

    Regardless, by conceiving children, married folks of fertile age will produce human bodies that will be re-united with a spiritual and immortal soul, incorruptible at the End Of Time.

    Even though I have definitively decided to remain single, I view part of my vocation in life as the encouragement of good Catholic Marriages. Marriage has gotten a real bum rap over the last few decades, and if you read the accounts of Church approved Marian apparitions, it is not so much the shortage of clergymen and religious that She bemoans, but instead the lack of good Catholic marriages.

    With so many Catholic cohabitating, and with so many Catholic men alienating themselves from females by working homosexual tendencies ever more into their psyche by living active so-called gay life-styles, I am absolutely convinced that I need to promote pure heterosexuality in the context of Holy Matrimony. After all, Our Lady as Queen of the Universe and Queen of Heaven, was married to Joseph, and brought Jesus into this world in the context of family life.



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