Column: Opposition to HHS mandate is a matter of stewardship

Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org
Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org

by Lesle Knop

In spite of my Catholic upbringing, in my young adulthood I was indoctrinated — or, as they say, my “consciousness was raised” — with concepts of “women’s liberation.”

This was when my hair was long, my jeans were bell-bottomed, and my shoes had the word Earth emblazoned upon their soles.

I didn’t yet recognize the inherent contradiction between shopping at the natural foods co-op for granola ingredients and at the pharmacy for chemical contraceptives. I wasn’t smart enough at the time to realize that the “sisterhood” was telling me, “You’re free to “love,” while also telling me, “You’re free to kill.”

While earning a graduate degree and professional status in the workplace and raising my beautiful family, part
of the time as a single mom, I began to question the logic of the culture of death. Only as a mature adult did I fully understand that what I had been taught as a child, in the Baltimore Catechism, was the real truth.

I experienced a conversion. That’s the only way I can describe it. If I am a steward of all that God has given me, am I not also steward of my body? Is my daily quest one of holiness or self-satisfaction?

My sisters and brothers in Christ, if a human being is conceived, is that human being our subject, our slave, to be disposed of at our will? Whose responsibility is it to know how life begins and to protect new life? Is the act of love a sacred act between a man and a woman or Internet entertainment? What is adultery? What is marriage? What do we teach our children? What does the church teach and why?

Very simply, truthful answers can be found in the catechism. At the end of life, there would be far fewer regrets if we lived naturally (organically!) in harmony with God. There is no time like the present to allow grace into our hearts.

Recently, I have been embroiled in discussions with people I care deeply about regarding the unconstitutionality of the HHS mandate issued by the president of the United States of America and the Secretary of Heath and Human Services that will force citizens to act in ways that are in opposition to their conscience.

For ethical reasons, in my opinion, it is wrong that any nation, state, or public health department should be involved in the birth control of its citizens. Citizens should be able to disagree as a matter of conscience. As a steward of my citizenship, it is my right to express my disapproval. In fact, this June 29, I plan to participate in a rally in Topeka to raise my voice along with the voices of many others.

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