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The Daily Logos V

“The passing of unjust laws often raises difficult problems of conscience for morally upright people with regard to the issue of cooperation, since they have a right to demand not to be forced to take part in morally evil actions.  Sometimes the choices which have to be made are difficult; they may require the sacrifice of prestigious professional positions or the relinquishing of reasonable hopes of career advancement.  In other cases, it can happen that carrying out certain actions, which are provided for by legislation that overall is unjust, but which in themselves are indifferent, or even positive, can serve to protect human lives under threat.  There may be reason to fear, however, that willingness to carry out such actions will not only cause scandal and weaken the necessary opposition to attacks on life, but will gradually lead to further capitulation to a mentality of permissiveness.

“In order to shed light on this difficult question, it is necessary to recall the general principles concerning cooperation in evil actions.  Christians, like all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law.  Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil.  Such cooperation occurs when an action, either by its very nature or by the form it takes in a concrete situation, can be defined as a direct participation in an act against innocent human life or sharing in the immoral intention of the person committing it.  This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it.  Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs; no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12).

“To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right.  Were this not so, the human person would be forced to perform an action intrinsically incompatible with human dignity, and in this way human freedom itself, the authentic meaning and purpose of which are found in its orientation to the true and the good, would be radically compromised.  What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law.  In this sense, the opportunity to refuse to take part in the phases of consultation, preparation, and execution of these acts against life should be guaranteed to physicians, health-care personnel, and directors of hospitals, clinics and convalescent facilities.  Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane.”

-Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae #74.

As if it were not bad enough before, increasing amounts of federal funding are going to cover increasing amounts of abortions.  Where is the conscientious objection clause for paying taxes?  Since there is a middle-man, the tax-payer is not directly in cooperation, and paying taxes is still a moral obligation; but as taxes increase to unjust levels and as the redistribution of that wealth is spent on unjust causes, the line begins to thin.  Governmental coercion towards participation in injustice is growing.  Acceptance of this health-care bill on the (fallacious) belief that it may accomplish much good is morally unconscionable, for the bill looks to directly support a gravely immoral act.

Bug your senators.  Bug your representatives.  Find out where your money is really going.

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