“The issue is now quite clear. It is between light and darkness and every one must choose his side.” G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Melinda Gates: Philanthropist for the Culture of Death

Melinda Gates at the London Family Planning Conference, July 11 2012

Many of you may have been following news stories about the big population control conference in London last week, sponsored by Melinda Gates.  Gates and the foundation she runs with husband and Microsoft founder Bill Gates has advocated increasing availability of artificial contraceptives in the developing world since the 1990s.  A professing Catholic, Gates has used her Catholic credentials to defend her support of birth control in opposition to official Church teaching. 

When I grew up, I grew up in a Catholic home. I still consider myself a practicing Catholic. My mom’s great uncle was a Jesuit priest. My great aunt was a Dominican nun. She was a school teacher and a principal her entire life. In fact, she’s the one that taught me as a young girl how to read. I was very close to her. And I went to Catholic schools for my entire childhood, until I left home to go to university. And in my high school, Ursuline Academy, the nuns made service and social justice the high priority in the school. And today, in the foundation’s work, I believe I’m applying the lessons that I learned in high school. (April 5, 2012, remarks before the TEDxChange)
Without a doubt, Gates should be a poster child for the consequences of poor catechesis, In the same speech, she went on to say:
In the tradition of Catholic scholars, the nuns also taught us to question received teachings. And one of the teachings that we girls and my peers questioned was, Is birth control really a sin? Because I think one of the reasons that we have this huge discomfort talking about contraception is this lingering concern that if we separate sex from reproduction, we’re going to promote promiscuity. 
(Question for Melinda Gates:  what has happened since the widespread availability of contraception in the West?  Exactly what Pope Paul VI predicted would happen in Humanae Vitae).

What Gates failed to learn from her Ursuline sisters, apparently, was that the Church only opposes artificial contraception,; the Church does not prohibit all means of family planning.  The Catechism itself teaches:
2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.
Natural Family Planning   is perfectly in accord with Church teachings; it achieves the goal of family planning advocates of regulating the number or spacing of children without separating sex from reproduction.  Add to that the fact that modern methods of NFP are as effective as artificial contraceptives without the potential side effects or the cost, then any reasonable person should conclude that the dichotomy of either artificial contraception or uncontrolled birth rates is false.

But the advocates of artificial contraception such as Gates are not reasonable.  The are zealous in their advocacy of their goal to innundate the developing world with pills, IUDs, implants, and injections.  They cast those who question the wisdom or morality of such a policy as either unreasonable or unfeeling.  The Gates Foundation website has this video that gives all their arguments in favor of their plan.

Carrying the banner of compassion into the London Family Planning Conference, Gates was able to use her considerable charm (and the catalyst of Gates Foundation's considerable resources) to get sizable financial commitments from countries around the world.  As detailed in this excellent article by Celeste McGovern on National Catholic Register Online, the conference succeeded in obtaining commitments totaling $4 billion dollars to spread, in the words of Gates, “affordable, life-saving contraceptive services to an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.”
Pledging to the effort were the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Senegal, Indonesia, and others. In addition to representatives of the world's major powers were
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and abortion groups, including International Planned Parenthood Federation, Population Services International and Marie Stopes International. Also on hand were representatives from pharmaceutical giants Merck, Pfizer, Bayer and others most involved in chemical contraception.
So, who was missing?
there were no pro-life organizations, no Catholic Church representation, and no declared Christian delegates.
That's right--no representation from the Church whose social justice teachings Gates credits for her views.  In fact, the Church was singled out by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, not as an aid in helping to relieve suffering in the developing world, but as an obstacle to be overcome.
“How are we going to pressure the Holy See to stop influencing Africa not to allow contraception?” the delegate demanded. “I think it is an outrage that we still have to put up with these totally unnecessary, outdated and unacceptable practices.”

Cameron had to wait for applause for the delegate's question to die down before responding, “Make the arguments that we have what works in the world and nothing will be able to stand in the way.”
So it would seem President Obama's war on the Catholic Church in America has become a world war.  Melinda Gates and her allies in Planned Parenthood and other such organizations are not really interested in helping save the lives of women and children and solve world poverty; they are interested in pushing a radical agenda that has as one of its primary goal the defeat of the Catholic Church.  The same people who accuse the Church of forcing their morality on others is trying to force their morality--a morality based, not on life, but on death.

What is the future of those countries in the developing world who are now at the mercy of Melinda Gates and her philanthropy of death?  To find out, look at the West over the last fifty years.  Increases in promiscuity; familial breakdown; rising STD rates; rising abortion rates because of contraceptive failure; the spread of pornography; the sexual explotation of children.  All of this awaits the poor, desperate people of the underdeveloped world.  What does not await them is the promised prosperity.  In fact, in their attempt to solve their problems, Gates and her accomplices could leave the countries they want to help worse off.

Blessed John Paul II  in Evangelium Vitae pointed to the ultimate consequence of promoting a "culture of death":

....we are confronted by an even larger reality, which can be described as a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable "culture of death". This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency. Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of "conspiracy against life" is unleashed. This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States.
While the effort to improve the lives of the living by making sure more people do not come into existence may have some marginal success, I have a message for Melinda Gates, President Obama, Prime Minister Cameron, and others:  you will not succeed in defeating the Church.   Remember that Our Lord told Peter
  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18, Douay-Rheims)
Joseph Stalin famously asked the question of Winston Churchill,  "How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?"  What is not well known is Pope Pius XII responded, "You can tell my son Joseph that he will meet my divisions in heaven."  Those who are now rallying against the Church may want to consider that the Church outlasted Stalin and the Soviet Empire he built.  The Gates Foundation will one day be in the dustbin of history; but the Church of Christ will still be standing.

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