Gloom & Doom

Just to get your Monday off to a good start, let me 'splain why I expect all the firm and wonderful statements from our bishops against the HHS Conscience Crusher not to amount to much.

You may recall from the last presidential election cycle my view that Obama's single biggest objective was and is to break the Catholic Church in the United States. (I know nothing is going to prevail against the Church in the long run. Let me be clear it is not the fate of the Church as such I'm concerned about, but the liberty of Catholic citizens of the United States.)

This objective (breaking the Church) is why from the very beginning his campaign relied upon Soros-funded  "Catholic" groups and useful idiots like Doug Kmiec: to sew confusion among Catholics. This is why he chose Joe Biden as VP and Kathleen Sebelius as Sec. of HHS (well, Sebelius because she shares his radical views, but it's her Catholicism that makes her useful and not just one more radical among many). It's why my in-box every day has a note from "Catholics for Equality," telling me how to elevate sodomy to a civil right in Maryland, because that's the Catholic thing to do. Early in his first term Obama met with Catholic groups to talk about conscience protections, and it was important to him to go to Georgetown and Notre Dame. All those moves were calculated and cynical, to lull liberal Catholics into believing they could find common ground with him. "You duped me, Lord, and I let myself be duped." It's a Psalm, but Catholics in the U.S. pray it to Obama.

In the words of the philosopher James Taylor, a king who would slaughter the innocent will not cut a deal for you, and now the usual suspects are shocked, shocked to find that President Saruman did not deal with them in good faith and does not think he needs them now that they've done their part to pass Obamacare.

The Conscience Crusher mandate's purpose is to compel the Church to bend --and if we bend on this, we will bend on anything, just like the broken Jesuit missionaries of Silence.

The bishops are urging us to write the President and Sec. Sebelius.

Excuse me, we already did that, all summer long, and they did not yield, they doubled-down. More letters to them are not going to accomplish one damn thing except make us all feel like we "did something," which for some reason is usually enough for social issues voters. This is the political result of the categorical imperative: every moral and political battle is lost, but hey, at least I feel clean and martyr-y!

Cardinal Wuerl in his letter to us yesterday talked about court cases. Whoop-de-doo, I'm sure we'll win. But is that all the life we American citizens who happen to be Christian are entitled to? Having to go to Court every damn day of our lives for the right to live like a decent person? A life where the basic rights guaranteed by the Declaration are not presumptive, but parcelled out to us in grudging teaspoonfuls after every dime of our resources are spent on lawyers? That's not liberty, and it's designed to break us: no one can keep up with that, out of sheer exhaustion. I can't. 

The only response worth having -- and God save me, I never thought I'd see the day where Michael Sean Winters had a better and more wholesome response than Cardinal Dolan-- is to vote against Obama, and write your democratic party reps at every level and tell them in no uncertain terms that you are taking Sebelius' totalitarianism out on them and will never again support that party at any level unless they, from within, raise holy hell about it, because you assume that if they don't they either agree with Obama that Catholics have no rights the state is bound to respect or are the sort of people who want their seats at any cost. 

That they will listen to. But one more letter or one million more or one billion more letters to the President on this or that specific issue will fall on deaf ears, and the fact we can't think of anything else is a sign of the very impotence that drew this attack in the first place.

He might even yield slightly, as E. J. Dionne signals in this mixed-up editorial. Which we will allow to fool us. "Victory," we will cry, as we accept some little fig-leaf and accept being boxed further into the Catholic ghetto, and go back to being the lap-dog of the zeitgeist, occasionally growling about abortion, but always happy to be fed a bone. "See, he didn't really mean it," we will assure ourselves. That is the game, and we just keep on getting played.

I would love to think that the bishops' hard-line letters and the support of people like the WaPo editorial board would awaken people to the real game and they'd be so mad they'd put their precious seamless garments and pet issues aside and say, "Enough. There is no reason, under the law of nature and of nature's God that the Constitution is supposed to serve, for Catholics ever to be in the position of having to choose between their Church and their country. But let me be clear. If you force me into that position, I will choose Church."

I would like to think for once we would awaken and not content ourselves with a tiny moral victory, but instead demonstrate with our vote that thinking it is okay to shrivel the free exercise of religion in the first place disqualifies a person from serving in public office.

I hope that will be the case. But frankly, as Mr. W. says, I wouldn't betcha a box of condoms.

Update:  I have to revise my opinion here somewhat. I wrote it in a bit of a fury over a couple of instances of what I consider to be clerical cowardice on the same-sex marriage front, which is the same front as the HHS Conscience Crusher, namely: American liberty. I was irked that people were spending all their time getting the rule overturned when the easy and only way to do that is vote Obama out, and meanwhile, the more difficult battle is the defense of marriage. Plus, as I write in the post on the topic above, I hate it with a passion when we get boxed into acting like an interest group.

HOWEVER, the bishops are right to make a big fuss and keep it up, because even though the actual problem is easily solved and doesn't require so much emotion, the furor keeps it in the news and forces people to think about the issue. The American people are big boys and girls just like me, and can draw the right conclusions. I still think there is grave danger for us if Obama swoops in from on high with a fig-leaf compromise: that folks will be gulled into thinking he's reasonable and go back to trying to "work with him." But the bishops are doing something important politically.

Moreover, there is grace behind the teaching office. Remember the 2004 campaign and the huff over giving communion to pro-abort politicians? The bishops couldn't even agree amongst themselves on the topic, but still cut Kerry's Catholic % down sufficiently to throw the election to Bush. Had Kerry gotten Obama's percentage of Catholics, he'd have won in a landslide.

Deep breath. I calm now.