Posts Tagged ‘Catholics’

Some Unsolicited Advice for the Catholic Church and All Christian Clergy

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Time to Surrender?

Being a long-lapsed Catholic, it is questionable whether the Church will heed my warning, but I believe that I must offer it out of an abundance of concern and fondness for so many of its parishioners, and out of a respect for all the good deeds the Church has done among men.   This is aimed at you, the clergy, and the administrations of Catholic institutions.  The Obama administration is now at war with the Catholic Church, and indeed with all Christendom.  Our First Amendment protections are under open assault, behind the veil of a “womens’ health issue.”  Every member of clergy, from the smallest parish all the way to the Vatican must understand, but if you fail to recognize it, we will see the Church replaced by the State in all things.  What you are witnessing is the start of a transformation into a tyrannical state, and it is time now for the Church to consider what John Paul II had done when he assisted with the overthrow of the despotic Soviet regime.  To protect your flock, you face now a choice, and that is whether to act while you can, or abandon them by your silence, delivering them to servitude at an altar of State.

Church is not a military organization, and will not have the force of arms to liberate its flock.  Instead, the arms will be turned ultimately against the Church, as has been the case so many times before.  The Church has one distinct advantage if they will press it, and the time to exploit this is now:  You have the advantage of a long history, much longer than the history of any of the particular oppressors, and your frame of reference is generally much longer in view.  While history is not always kind in its judgments of the Church, when it has taken less enlightened directions, still the institution that is the Church must be able to know and to see that the course now in front of us is far from unprecedented.  One need only view what happened to the Church in Poland, or Germany, or in a host of countries in which it was in various forms chased from the lives of its parishioners to understand that there is nothing new under the sun, and that as an institution, the Church has seen all of this before.  This being the case, you already know how to defeat the State.  It is merely a question of the moral will to do so,  but if the Church cannot muster this now, then the Church will have lost all moral authority, and will be displaced.

Easter is just more than a month away, and it will be your best opportunity to speak to the whole body of the Church in one time for months. as despite what we might like to think, twice yearly you see greater attendance and adherence than in the rest of the year, so let you not squander this opportunity.  You will celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and this is an appropriate time to remind parishioners of what the Church exists to do.  Your cross to bear is in opening the eyes of your parishioners, each and every one, to the scourges being heaped upon the Church, and upon them, by the encroachments of the State.  The subtle lie taught to your parishioners, so many who have been indoctrinated in the governments’ schools, is that the notion of a “wall of separation” between Church and State was placed there to protect the State.  This is not true, and has never been true, for the State has nothing to fear from the Church, but the Church and its flock should tremble at the threat that is the State.  So it was throughout all of the twentieth century, and so it is today that the Church must cling to this separation as a firewall to protect it from governments.  Indeed, his applies to all Christianity, and not only the Catholic faith.

This is also an opportunity to mend fences.  Christianity in America is remarkably diverse, but in the main, they share certain basic truths.  Cling to these as one clings to one’s shared interests with an ally in war, because while there are no arms apparent, you are now battling for the survival of Christianity and the Church in America.  As this battle intensifies, you have just a few ways you can go, and because time is short, and since you will need clarity to choose, we must discuss them now while it still matters:

  • The Church may surrender and submit its conscience, and its moral authority
  • The Church may close down, sell or burn its assets, and withdraw completely
  • The Church may fight by open and willful disobedience against the State

These are the options.  In considering them, you will be forced to confront the whole history of the Church, from its greatest moments in the face of tyranny to its worst moments as a participant in it.  Let me make clear that the first option is and must be untenable to the Church, its parishioners, and the whole body of Christianity.  If you yield, this will have been the end of the Church, not only in America, but globally, and you must know by now that once you lose America, the cultural focus of the world, you will have lost the world.  If you surrender here, most of the other locales will go along quietly.  As the State now encroaches into every aspect of American life, so will it creep in everywhere it had not been in the past.

This makes the second option no more tenable than the first.  At present, however, the Church operates something on the order of one in six hospital beds in the United States, and some uncounted number of seats in schools and universities all across the land.  These are marvelous facilities and institutions, that have served so many millions, and indeed, I was born in just such a hospital nearly forty-seven years ago in Buffalo, NY.  In those days, the Church was a constant part of family life.  In its rush to modernize and follow trends, it abandoned its traditions in many ways, so that now, its moral authority and its involvement in the daily lives of its parishioners has retracted.  By the precedents of human history, this is the time to begin a resurgence.  The Church still touches the lives of millions, and yet they to frequently recognize it.  In doing the innumerable good deeds Christianity has done in America these last fifty years, too often, it has not been evident that Christianity had been the driving motive for them.

It is time to begin to withdraw them.  The Church is being told by the State that its services are no longer welcome, and that its influence in the lives of people is not to be admitted, but I say this is a lie, but to show the truth, the Church is going to have to show it.  The flock has lost track of the good that is done under the umbrella of the Church, and this applies not only to Catholicism, but also to all Christian institutions of any description across the country.  It is time to remind the flock of what they will lose when the State supplants the Church in their lives.  The State knows no compassion, and it functions as an automaton, but every Christian endeavor in the country is founded with an institutionalized voluntary human compassion.  Cardinal George of Chicago said it best when he warned what would become of Catholic institutions, but what you must now do, all of you, whether Catholic, or another assembly of Christianity is to unite in a refusal to bow before the State, and in order to do so, you must tell the State that you will not comply with any rule that abridges your faith, but more, that you will not pay fines levied and imposed, and that you will openly disregard them.

You must prepare your flocks to see this enacted.  More, you must do so in such a way that it permits them to choose and decide whenever they have that opportunity.  I would strongly suggest that on some day in the future, unannounced until the very last moment, that the institutions of faith close its doors, all of them, at once and without public remark upon re-opening:  “This is what things will be once the State commands all matters of conscience.”  This is stern medicine.  It means that there will be some who will die, who had depended upon these institutions.  It means that some will go unpaid in their employment on that day.  It means that on one given day, and for the space of time of one day, the Church will show what is being demanded by the State.

Of course, there are people wiser and smarter than I among the clergy of the Church.  I realize what I propose now is a grave action.  I realize that it will require great planning, and due care and diligence to stave off the worst consequences.  Despite this, I also know the Church is able.  Christianity at large is able.  These are competent institutions that have been ministering to mankind for generations and longer.  The Church also knows about strikes.  In Poland, under the banner of Solidarity, the Church quietly participated in aiding the strikers.  The strike I propose is of a different character, however, and it consists not of making demands of the State, but instead, merely of temporarily complying with them.

Barack Obama and his administration want to quietly remove all Christendom from the public square, as they do not hold the view that one’s faith should guide one’s actions when one emerges across the threshold of the Church into the public sphere.  Just as in the old Soviet Union, where one’s freedom of religion ended at the church doors, so the Obama administration wants to cause the reach of the Church to contract.  It is into this vacuum that the institutional left will pour its own influence.  They hope to accomplish this slowly, with your surrender softening the blow at each step along the path.  They are counting on the Church and all Christendom to help disguise what is happening.  You must unmask this procedure, and you must not let them soften the blow.  If you do permit it, you will lose the whole of your flock in due course.  You will be barred from all public discourse.  You will be made slowly irrelevant in the lives of Americans until they will no longer miss you.  Churches will become empty, lifeless edifices of a faith no longer practiced and a belief no longer important.

This has been the goal of every statist revolution in the last two-hundred years or more, and you have witnessed it.  This is not the time for timid clergy, or appeasement.  This is not the time for shrinking from the articles of your faith.  This is the time to remind your flocks of the importance of the Church in their lives, not merely at worship, but in all their endeavors.  It is also time to let the State know that this will not end quietly, or with your surrender.  Presidents and their administrations come and go, as do the laws of men, and it’s time you placed this in its proper perspective for all concerned while you maintain the ability to do so.  Religious liberty and the rights of conscience do not arise from the State.  The founders of this nation knew this even if our present leaders do not, and they enshrined the matter in our Declaration of Independence. Let none pretend we hadn’t known the source of our rights, or that the Church answers to men.

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Flash: Obama to Push Fake Accommodation to Religious Institutions

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Jake Tapper, ABCNews

In a move that is clearly aimed at lessening the political damage to his administration, but will factually do almost nothing to address the issue, ABCNews is reporting that Barack Obama or some spokesman will reportedly make a statement Friday on an alleged concession to or accommodation of religious organizations on the contraception coverage  mandate.  The proposed “solution” would mere shift the responsibility under the edict to  insurers.  All of this is an attempt to satisfy his leftist base, while making it appear that he’s substantially changing his position where the rest of us are concerned.  Shifting the object of the edict from religious institutions to their insurance providers is not really making a factual change in the results, but it changes the way it will operate, giving the President political cover.

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be fooled: Obama still intends to shove this down the throats of people of faith, and the fact that they’re going to put the onus on insurers does nothing to alleviate the concerns.  It simply means that religious organizations will have no choice except to insure people on policies that will have federally-mandated coverage requirements, because what the administration will now do is bully insurers instead of religious entities.  That’s not a concession, and it’s not an accommodation, and while it may offer a technical out for Obama to claim he hadn’t been oppressing the religious freedoms of Americans, it merely means that he will oppress their religious free exercise indirectly.

The insurance mandate will remain.  All that will change is who will be compelled to enforce it.  At that point, what you must admit is that Obama is accommodating anything, but merely shifting the means by which his goal will be obtained.  This is the typical leftist approach: When caught with your hand in the cookie jar, quickly withdraw it, while merely reaching with the other hand into the same jar, hoping you will not notice.  Expect the media to portray this as “Obama caves,” but that’s a lie.   He isn’t caving.  He isn’t changing his objective.  He still intends to force Catholics, and other Christians to comply with the goal of seeing to it that all contraceptive measures are available to all women through health-care insurance.

Don’t fall for it.  It’s a political show, but the net effect is meaningless. He isn’t surrendering the idea of coercing people of faith, but merely trying to convince them that his coercion is aimed at insurers.  You can watch Jake Tapper’s report on ABCNews here:

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This isn’t even accommodation. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that Obama is still going to shove this down the throats of faith-based organizations, and there is no way around it. This may fool some people into believing that Obama has made an accommodation, but at the end of the day, this still results in a government edict on how money from people of faith will be spent.  So he shifted responsibility to the insurers, but this changes nothing about the results. Nothing.  Don’t let up.  This isn’t Obama surrendering on the issue, but instead  merely trying to re-frame the issue to his advantage.  It’s still a dictatorial action, no matter how we slice it.

 

Media Revealed: Clueless About Religion

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Imposing His Morality

Watching some of the coverage of Barack Obama’s edict issued to Catholic organizations, it’s become painfully clear to me that many so-called “journalists” don’t have the first clue why this is upsetting.  They simply don’t understand it.  In their thinking, this isn’t a religious issue at all.  In their view, matters of conscience begin and end at the steps of the church, demonstrating that they not only believe in a separation of church and state, but church and life.  What they admitted in their shocked confusion over the back-lash is what I have always known, and you have likely suspected too:  To these people, religion is a belief system that is practiced behind the closed doors of a church, and the very notion that your beliefs extend to the rest of your life is foreign to them.  While many in the media claim to be members of various churches, one clearly gets the sense that many are not all too serious about it, and this issue has revealed them as insincere.

After all, if you’re a committed and observant Catholic, you hold with the teachings of the Church that contraception (never mind abortion) contradicts God’s will.  These people in media understand this about Catholics, but they are astonished when Catholics and others react badly against a governmental edict that requires them to support contraception through compulsory add-ons to insurance plans, or through tax dollars.  For them, the issue is your private faith, to which they will agree you are entitled, versus your adherence to it in all facets of your life.  In effect, what they suppose is that while you may rightly hold your own beliefs, that when you exit the church you must set aside your beliefs in all the rest of your daily life.  In essence, they believe in a separation of your religious beliefs from practical life.

This is a telling revelation, and it correlates well with this class of bloody hypocrites, who may profess this religious belief or that, but seldom adhere to it in their own lives.  To them, religion is about private professions of a belief in a crowd of like-minded people, assembled at best within the walls of a church, hidden from society and closed in from all the world.  They cannot conceive of the notion that you might adhere to a given church, accept all its teachings, and extend their practice into your daily lives.  You oppose abortion on the basis of religion?  Fine, they will say, but if you’re a doctor, that doesn’t relieve you of the duty to perform one if a patient demands it.  They demand doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists, and everyone else to abandon their faith once they exit their homes or churches.

In their view, religion is something dispensable, like deciding whether it is too warm for a sweater, or too cool for shorts on the way to a picnic.  They project their own loosely-defined, carelessly adopted choices of conscience onto every other man and woman in the culture, and expect that all others would so easily drop their beliefs at the command of a President, or any other dictatorial thug, just on his say-so.  It is much like the attitude of Romney over Romneycare in the debate with Rick Santorum: “It’s not worth getting angry about.”   This disconnect in their professed religious views from their daily lives is born of the fact that in the first instance, most of them are liars, and starting with the commandment to “not bear false witness,” they begin very early in their careers to do precisely that.

If you slant a story about a person to make his actions seem worse, or better, you’re bearing false witness.  What has modern journalism become if not a perpetual parade of people trotted out before some camera, or interviewed and quoted in print who bears false witness against somebody else?  When this becomes the touchstone of your profession, and the way to score the lead story, and the above-the-fold headline, you can bet the long-term affect will be to destroy one’s sense of what is a lie and what isn’t.  Mad?  Yes, of course we become angry!  This should offend you nearly as badly as the story in this case, because it reveals something else too:  It is reported that President Obama and some in his inner circle dismissed warnings from some others in the administration that there could be a back-lash, and that they are somewhat surprised now that the back-lash is well under way.   In short, the media is surprised, but so is the President’s inner circle, and for exactly the same reason:  Obama, despite his professions of a Christian faith and twenty years in Jeremiah Wright’s church, doesn’t take his faith all that seriously either.  Like many liberals, it was all about appearances.

This also explains something else, if you’re observant:  The same people who are shocked about this reveal why they hold such naive views about radical Islamists.  Think of it:  They don’t understand that Muslims motivated to terror by radical Imams might well actually believe every word they’ve been taught as they throw themselves into crowded streets with bombs strapped to their chests.  In short, they are willing to act on the strength of their beliefs, whether you and I agree with those beliefs being a separate matter.  In the worldview of the left, this is a confounding issue of politics gone haywire, and it is why they do not understand how the Arab Spring is rapidly undergoing a climate change of a different sort.  In the main, this is either because they don’t hold religious convictions, or at least not firmly, or because they believe that political expedience trumps all other causes.  Either way, what they fail to understand is that a Catholic doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology may have matters of conscience or faith that prohibit the performing of abortions.

To them, matters of faith are strictly personal, and should have no bearing on one’s dealings or relations with others.  These people have no understanding of committed, observantly faithful practitioners of any religion.  They think “free exercise” is a matter of speech at most, and even then should remain in church at its most public.  Their perspective is that of a shallow faith, not made of actions tied to beliefs, but of words tied mainly to doubts or dis-beliefs. They cannot understand why one’s religious beliefs should matter at all in one’s performance in the workplace, or why they might affect the diligence with which one adheres to the vows of one’s marriage.  In their view, these things are all superficial and transient, meaning that when they seem shocked and confused over how this could possibly be seen by Catholics, or Christians in general, as a matter of the interference by the state in the free exercise of religion, most are not faking it.  They really don’t “get it,” and it’s because they have no idea that faith and religious instruction actually informs the views of many millions of Americans.  They expect you to make professions of faith, but never to act upon it.

In short, they really are clueless.  And besides, “it’s not worth getting angry about.”