nothing-in-the-world-is-more-dangerous-than-sincere-ignorance-and-conscientious-stupidityAs the Komen walk for the cure nears, I am once again confounded by a somewhat black and white position religious affiliates craft.  Specifically, I read with interest the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has taken:

The Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis acknowledges the beneficial work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, in the area of breast cancer detection, prevention, research and treatment. Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion providing facilities and its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, the Respect Life Apostolate neither supports nor encourages participation in activities that benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.”

I contrast the above position against the backdrop of Bishop Robert Lynch, who wrote in 2009:

“… Nancy Brinker, former ambassador to Hungary and then Chief of Protocol for the United States during the last Bush Administration. Ambassador Brinker is also the sister of Susan G. Komen who died at age 36 of breast cancer leaving a husband and two young children. The day before she died, Susan asked Nancy, her sister, to devote her life to seeing that fewer and fewer women die of this disease, through early examinations, medical and scientific research and education programs. Nancy said that after her sister’s death one night in her sleep she had a dream and saw hundreds of people dressed in pink dancing and upon awakening she knew that her contribution would be to start a “race for breast cancer cure.

I was impressed by her vision and captivated by what might be done if others would join in the effort against breast cancer. On occasion someone will mention that the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure gives money to Planned Parenthood and they do. But the money is earmarked solely for mammograms and nothing else and is monitored closely for this. Some people spend a lot of time and energy shadow boxing with friends.”

While I find the salary Nancy Brinker abhorrent, a lot people count on both the Catholic Church and Komen. Yes Planned Parenthood provides abortion services. However, they predominately serve several million people a year; mostly women, but also men and much of their activity is focused on contraception, STI screening, and cancer screening, and providing reproductive health care to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access.

Paraphrasing a speech from President John Kennedy just before his death, I currently believe that no social system or religion is so evil that’s people must be considered lacking in virtue. We can still honor the man, woman or child who has an opposing view, their thoughts and their individual acts of courage.

In this day and age, there is more which connects us than separates us. Yet we focus solely upon that which divides us. Our humanity and love for another should trump our differences. I honor the men and women of the Catholic Church and the Respect Life Apostolate, but I liken this whole debate to moral insanity.

I have seen the enemy: it’s our ignorance within.