Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where’s a Millstone When You Need One…?

Source: CNSNews.com - U.N. Agency Calls for Teaching Children 5-to-8 Years of Age about Masturbation

1 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luke 17:1-2)

In what sounds like it belongs in the pages of The Onion, CNS reports that UNESCO is calling for the teaching of children that masturbation is good, contraception is good, abortion is good, homosexuality is good… calling for children as they get older to have more and freer access to these things.  It does not matter if the parents think such things are sinful.  It does not matter that such things are contrary to Christian teachings.  According to UNESCO, your children have a right to this knowledge.

The UNESCO report said it is:

“essential to recognize the need and entitlement of all young people to sexuality education.” An appendix backed that claim by pointing to a 2008 report from the International Planned Parenthood Federation that argued governments “are obligated to guarantee sexual rights,” and that “sexuality education is an integral component to human rights.”

Let’s review what the Catholic Church teaches about sexuality: It is intended for a man and a woman who bind together for life in marriage with the openness to raising whatever children come along.  It teaches that the unborn child is a human life with the inviolate right to life.

In contrast, UNESCO wants to teach 5-8 year olds:

“Touching and rubbing one’s genitals is called masturbation” and that “girls and boys have private body parts that can feel pleasurable when touched by oneself.”

It wants to teach 9-12 year olds:

  • “specific steps involved in obtaining and using condoms and contraception, including emergency contraception” and the “signs and symptoms of pregnancy.” That “legal abortion performed under sterile conditions by medically trained personnel is safe.”
  • Discussing the ideas of “homophobia, transphobia and abuse of power.”

It wants to teach 12-15 year olds “access to safe abortion and post-abortion care” and the “use and misuse of emergency contraception.”

Once you hit fifteen, UNESCO feels adolescents should be exposed “advocacy to promote the right to and access to safe abortion,” according to the guidelines.

Thus we see the dangers of separating sexual relations from reproduction.  Everyone has a “right” to pleasure, and a right to avoid the “consequences” of this pleasure.

In contrast, Pope Benedict XVI has laid out the difference between rights and license.  The difference is obligations:

3. “The reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty”[105]. Many people today would claim that they owe nothing to anyone, except to themselves. They are concerned only with their rights, and they often have great difficulty in taking responsibility for their own and other people's integral development. Hence it is important to call for a renewed reflection on how rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere licence[106]. Nowadays we are witnessing a grave inconsistency. On the one hand, appeals are made to alleged rights, arbitrary and non-essential in nature, accompanied by the demand that they be recognized and promoted by public structures, while, on the other hand, elementary and basic rights remain unacknowledged and are violated in much of the world[107]. A link has often been noted between claims to a “right to excess”, and even to transgression and vice, within affluent societies, and the lack of food, drinkable water, basic instruction and elementary health care in areas of the underdeveloped world and on the outskirts of large metropolitan centres. The link consists in this: individual rights, when detached from a framework of duties which grants them their full meaning, can run wild, leading to an escalation of demands which is effectively unlimited and indiscriminate. An overemphasis on rights leads to a disregard for duties. Duties set a limit on rights because they point to the anthropological and ethical framework of which rights are a part, in this way ensuring that they do not become licence. Duties thereby reinforce rights and call for their defence and promotion as a task to be undertaken in the service of the common good. Otherwise, if the only basis of human rights is to be found in the deliberations of an assembly of citizens, those rights can be changed at any time, and so the duty to respect and pursue them fades from the common consciousness. Governments and international bodies can then lose sight of the objectivity and “inviolability” of rights. When this happens, the authentic development of peoples is endangered[108]. Such a way of thinking and acting compromises the authority of international bodies, especially in the eyes of those countries most in need of development. Indeed, the latter demand that the international community take up the duty of helping them to be “artisans of their own destiny”[109], that is, to take up duties of their own. The sharing of reciprocal duties is a more powerful incentive to action than the mere assertion of rights.

It is ironic indeed that UNESCO is silent about the right to clean water, food and safety in the third world countries, while promoting that 5 year olds have the right to be taught about masturbation in a positive way.

It seems that when we see such proposals, groups like the UN stand opposed to what we hold to be good and decent.

I find it interesting that on Sunday (8/23) the first reading had Joshua challenging us, saying:

“If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Will we serve the Lord?  or will we bow the knee to the god of pleasure and self indulgence?

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