I was driving home from the range yesterday afternoon and while I was making the transition from the 10 to the 215, I passed a van with the bumper sticker stating:
You can’t be both Catholic and Pro-Choice.
The message on that sticker caught my eye and has been lingering in my mind up until now. The reason being is because I am 1) Catholic and I am 2) Pro-Choice. When I say “Pro-Choice” I say that I respect a woman’s right to choose abortion. I do not believe in the act of abortion itself, but I do not believe in forcing my ideals onto another person, thereby taking away their belief system. I pray that every woman that comes to the crossroads of deciding whether or not to keep or abort her child decides to keep the baby. But in the event that she has the abortion, then I respect her right to make that decision and pray she doesn’t have to ever come to that crossroads again.
But I have been reflecting on that message quite a bit since I saw the bumper sticker on that van yesterday. So what is that message trying to say about me? Am I not a Catholic because I am Pro-Choice?
That message shows how hard it is for modern Catholics to identify and fit into the Catholic Church. I think a big reason on why many ‘leave’ the Catholic Church is because they don’t agree with a lot of the social and political issues that the Catholic Church has taken a position on.
Homosexual marriage is one issue that has become very prevalent in recent years. Christianity as a whole is against gay marriages. The Catholic Church has come out publicly denouncing it. Yet, I find myself siding with a person’s right to wed another person of the same gender. I remember there was a formal letter from the local diocese that was read aloud at my church at the tail-end of one of the Sunday masses denouncing gay marriage and it perturbed me to listen to the message. Not because I one day want to marry another man (Sorry, guys. I like women.). It’s because the letter essentially made me feel like I was less of a Catholic for not being against gay marriage.
So I guess the reason why am still pondering over that bumper sticker’s message is because I am perturbed by it. Perturbed because this person is saying I am not a Catholic because I am taking a stance that is not aligned with the Catholic Church’s position on a specific issue.
Am I Catholic? Yes. Am I Pro-Choice? Yes. Are other Catholics going to judge me because of this? Most likely, yes. Do I care? Ultimately, no.