Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Will Those Catholics Who Voted for Obama Have "Second Thoughts"?

Many Catholics were amazed, even appalled, when they discovered that a large percentage of Catholics voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States. It was startling that fellow religionists would support a candidate who so clearly ( even if with clever and studied ambiguous rhetoric) advocated positions antithetical to Catholic teaching and tradition. His first few days in office saw him shedding his planned cloudiness to blatantly (by Executive Order) implement some of the most “far left” political, cultural and moral stances in the country’s history. Some of his “vision” seems exciting and right. But others are frightening and dangerous.  The new President approaches his role with a quasi majestic, almost canonized tilt of the jaw, slightly reminiscent of Il Duce in Italy. His self concept conveys a sense of an all knowing, superior, all powerful, benign, elitist Father Figure. It seems that he, in his own mind, knows what is best for the rest of us (the masses?). Perhaps, this is the earmark of History’s successful Dictators.

Obviously, the chief concern for practicing Catholics would be Obama’s position on abortion. During the Warren debate in California he did a verbal tap dance which could make Professor Irwin Corry[1] jealous. He was responding to the question of the beginning of “life” but gave us the old routine of “Some say this and some say that” never pointedly saying what he really believed. To those, however, who listen well and who can read between the lines, the message was clear. He was not Pro-life. Politically and culturally, he is the opposite. Such a conclusion is easily reached when one reads his statement to NARAL prior to the election, promising that one of the first things he would do, on assumption of office, would be to abolish and abrogate all restrictions on abortion.

A 13 year old girl needs no longer to get parental permission to “terminate” her pregnancy. Botched abortions will legally allow the child to die without help. The barbarism of late term abortion is to be fully lawful. The inconvenience of an unborn child can now easily be handled by quick and available recourse at all institutions funded with Government monies. There is now no limit to what one wishes to do relative to abortion. Kill the unborn child with impunity. “It” is not a person legally but only some kind of cluster of blobs and cells. Further, in effect, Obama and his policies will mean the probable closure of all Catholic hospitals and medical facilities. If Catholic hospitals cannot, in conscience, provide abortion services, they will then be ineligible for government funding without which the facility cannot continue. Did Catholic voters know this?

One concrete example of the force of “funding” is that of the Archdiocese of Boston, where adoption agencies which refused to provide adoptive children to same sex couples, were denied public funds for their religious beliefs. There was no option for the Archdiocese but to close the facilities thereby depriving the Public of the valued services previously supplied by Catholics. How can any Catholic square his euphoria at Obama’s election with the recent Vatican statement certainly implying that the American political scene is one of the most perilous situations ever. The assumption that Obama will support embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) is widespread. Cloning research is not far off.

Further for decades the Catholic Church has stood hard and fast against the political philosophy called “Socialism” because it devalues the human being. If one digs deeply enough, one finds the Nazi horror to be, at base, a Socialist society. Such a society, in effect, owns all modes of production and, practically, controls the lives of the members of that society on most levels of function. The many faces of Communism have frightened us for years as they devoured more and more of our individual freedom. To Catholics this philosophy is inimical to our Faith. It assaults our key notions of unique human value and the free will to make decisions for ourselves.

The seasoned political commentator, Dick Morris recently likened the Obama victory to a “Trojan Horse.” The application to modern politics is that, like the huge legendary animal which contained a hidden group of Trojan soldiers who would leap out (once the horse is within the walls) and destroy the defenders, Obama might have pretended that his interests are just for the common man and for a more equitable redistribution of wealth. But once inside the ‘walls’, he will drop the mask and expose his full program of total control and loss of freedom. He did subtly warn us of an intent take over our lives but few heard him. An end unattainable by millions of sophisticated and deadly foreign military but reachable by the art of rhetoric and political dexterity! This was and will be done, however, on an incremental basis with the public being relatively unaware of what has happened. Recall the story of the frog and the boiling water? Put the frog in lukewarm water first. Then increase the temperature gradually and soon the poor little frog doesn’t even know he is being boiled alive!

.Of course one might note the incredible tax burden he is placing on the shoulders of future generations among other perceptions. But the personal concern raised here is the opaque (or puzzling) viewpoint of the American Catholic who voted for this man. But is he to blame? The American Catholic is not guiltless! How does one explain a Catholic Vice President who speaks not only with substantial ignorance of the Catholic Faith but who defends values utterly opposite to our Tradition? And who is applauded when he goes to Communion in his local church? Who is this Speaker of the House, allegedly a Catholic who blandly holds that the Catholic Church is unsure as to when life begins? Are we weasels that we grovel before political power and pretend that there is no disloyalty to the Faith? How do we explain anti-Catholic behavior of the Pelosis, Harkins, Leahys, Durbins, and that 50% of the Congress which is nominally Catholic? At least, Obama never claimed allegiance with Catholicism. These others indignantly profess deep love and appreciation of the their “Catholic” Faith while at the same time supporting, protecting and applauding positions utterly counter to our Identity. “My patriotism allows me to represent those who do not share my faith, standing with them in matters my Faith says are evil.”

How explain this strange dissonance? Immediately before the election in November of 2008, a Catholic magazine, run by a prestigious religious Order published an article which ought to create an uproar! It held that allegedly a Catholic can vote for a candidate who upholds intrinsically evil programs--- this was to be done by the great art of “Distinction.” It is moral “providing some essential factors are present.” It struck me as sheer balderdash and a lame attempt to persuade “undecided” voters to back the Radical. “See the other side.” In some situations, there is no other side! Nazi genocide, South African Apartheid, destruction of defenseless human beings in abortion! What other side?

Did Catholics not know this? Or is it that Catholics are ignorant of their own Faith? Apart from massive Diabolic intervention, massive ignorance seems the only believable answer.

It might originate with the foundational work of John Kennedy whose identity as Catholic seems much more cultural and social than spiritual and theologic. The “acceptable” behavior for the Catholic politician apparently means that one can jettison values when necessary. The goal is to win the campaign. No matter how one wins, one must win. Winning is everything! Does Right matter? Does Truth? Or does loyalty to a political party trump everything –including God’s Will?

Who is this “average and nominal” Catholic who while blaming others for the ills of the world, does not feel any obligation to articulate his Catholic Faith? Perhaps it is we who are really to blame. Perhaps it is we who have lost our identity as Catholics. The facile dismissal of Catholic thought as an attempt to ‘impose’ our values on the Country sounds hollow here!

My guess is that within one year into his presidency Obama will lose the support of those millions of Catholics who somewhat blindly jumped onto his bandwagon seduced by a strong speaking voice, rhetoric and the promise of earthly paradise. Let us hope that our country and our Faith will not be permanently devastated by an acted out fantasy! I hear as of date (2,3,09) a faint hint that the Honeymoon will dissolve faster than is usual.

[1] “Doctor” Corry made a fortune in show business pretending to be an intellectual by using a combination of nonsense syllables and meaningless word formations. He drew up a complete miasma of word fog and fast talk. He was funny but he was not running for public office.

1 comment:

Pastor Steve said...

Stories of the Street: Images of the Human Condition is a personal collection of stories I witnessed as a police chaplain on patrol with sworn police patrol officers.

The intent of this book is to amplify the variety of incidents to which police officers are dispatched and their encounters with tragedy, crime, and abuse. The focus is on the daily shift life and the human emotions of officers and citizens involved in significant and symptomatic events. Stories of the Street: Images of the Human Condition illuminate a normal police patrol shift that captures and personifies the realities of the street.

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The true-life stories demonstrate the real emotion officers and citizens feel when they encounter tragedy, crime and abuse. They capture and personify the heart wrenching realities of the street providing insights into an average day of service filled with honor, courage and integrity.

“As the wife of a veteran police officer, this book has opened my eyes and my heart to the emotional roller-coaster police officers are faced with every day they go to work.” Police officer spouse

Rev. Steve Best
Volunteer Police Chaplain (Ret.)