Amy Welborn offers a Sed Contra to the constant charge that whenever Catholics speak out against some politician that they are playing politics. The anger a Notre Dame is purely political. Wanting pro-abortion politicians to not receive the Eucharist is purely political.
First. The accusation is faulty because it presumes American bishops are naturally sympathetic to the GOP. Anyone who is familiar with the American episcopacy knows how laughable an assertion this is, not only historically, but in the present as well.
Secondly, does anyone really think that if Rudolph Giulani or Arnold Schwarzenneger were invited to serve in the same role, that those protesting Obama’s role would be either silent or cheering?
The outcry might not be *as great* because neither of those guys are president (thank God) elected in a just-completed, very contentious election in which abortion was a prime issue.
But it would be there.
And then the whole Bush-gave-a-commencement speech thing is brought up. Well, first of all, there *were* protests when Bush spoke in 2002 from the ND community itself. Secondly, I’m going to guess that if George Bush were invited to give the commencement and were to be honored by a Catholic university today, there would be *plenty* of protests – from many of the same people objecting to Obama’s honor now. Not all. There are Catholic pundits who are openly and clearly sympathetic to the GOP for reasons beyond abortion. Just as there are Catholic pundits who are clearly sympathetic to the Democratic party. There are Catholic operatives and defenders on both sides. But somehow, only the Republicans are accused of “politicizing” matters of faith.
Sort of related: Pro-life activist Catholics are scolded at times for “being in bed with the GOP.” Well, I don’t know if Pro-life activist Catholics in California, New York, Massachusetts….etc…would agree with that assessment. There may be some ancient, lingering, instinctive GOP loyalties among some, but most of the pro-life activists I know are very realistic about the limitations of the GOP when it comes to life issues. They know the score.
And really – the only way that final accusation makes sense is if the Democratic party had, officially, welcomed those concerned with the abortion issue – on their own terms – which includes concerns about the legal status of abortion in this country. But that’s off the table. That’s anti-choice. When pro-life activists explicitly reject a Democratic party that is, at all institutional levels, open to their point of view, then you can accuse them of being mindless party loyalist hacks. But until then…it doesn’t stick.
Part of the problem is that it is often the case that the people making these charges are the ones guilty of just playing politics. If you see the world through a secular and political lens then it is easy to see others acting in the same light. Going after the motives of other people is often if not always a bad idea. If you disagree with someone challenge their arguments. But as is often the case when it comes to the topic of the Culture of Death they do not want to discuss specifics about abortion, embryonic stem-call research, etc. It is much easier to side-track the issue by discussing motives.
The very people who go on and on about dialogue often really want no such thing. If you are upset about President Obama speaking at Notre Dame you are either a racist, a Republican hack, or both. Of course there are plenty of party first Catholics who seem to see their party plank as the Catechism. The torture apologists on the right who think they can ignore the teaching of the papal magisterium and those on the left who think they can pretty much ignore all Catholic teaching except what they have defined as Social Justice.
One of the more dishonest articles to come along in recent years is Democratic operative Robert Shrum’s “Sharia politics at Notre Dame.” Apparently Catholics such as myself who see the President receiving a honorary law degree as scandolous are Neo-Caths. Oh well. I have been called a Neo-Cath before by the likes of the troll and priest “Spirit of Vatican II.” It seems such an odd label since Neo mearly means new. That somehow people who adhere to the ancient faith of the Church are the ones that are the new-Catholics. That Catholics supporting abortion, homosexual acts, contraception, etc are actually the normal ones and not new at all! The term neo-Cath makes no sense at all applied to faithful Catholics. Rather odd for a political group that identifies itself as progressive to use the term “neo” as a disparagement.
The fight against Obama is being advanced by a band of neo-Catholics who adhere to the radical notion that sectarian doctrine must be written into public policy.
This is a tactic often used. Though I wonder how abortion is a Catholic issue only? I was a pro-life atheist in my day and there are plenty of non-Catholics who recognize that abortion is wrong. “Thou shalt not kill” is accessible via human reason. Thou shall not kill is not some rule that Catholics cooked up and only applying to Catholics.
Some of the church’s politicking–including its opposition to stem-cell research, which hardliners absurdly condemn as murder in a Petri dish–wasn’t problematic for Kerry.
Yes there we go again. Defending life is politicking. Yes it is absurd to label the destruction of a human embryo as murder. So what if science agrees that life begins at conception. Well call me a hardliner for thinking that human life is sacred and should be protective from conception to natural death.
But the American people have already given Obama the world’s biggest platform, which he earned with the support of 54 percent of Catholic voters.
I am quite tired for this statistic that gets touted so often. Actually among Catholics that attend Mass weekly the number was 54% for McCain and 45% for Obama. Yeah the statistic is still sad, but if you are even going to talk about Catholics in the first place then Mass going ones would be the minimum requirement to go by.
In the article Shrum also mentions how close Sen Kerry was to Catholic Social teaching. I am extremely tired hearing about how Democratic policies are so close to Catholic teaching. Fr. Jenkin’s in his latest apologia for his blunder-headed move also said about President Obama that he had “deep residence with Catholic social teaching”
Excuse me! Is it not part of Catholic social teaching that we are all created in the image of God? Or can you kill children in the womb and in test tubes as long as you talk about helping the poor. Where the hell is it in Catholic social teaching that the best way to care for the poor and to provide medical care is via a bloated Federal government? Can’t seem to find that in an encyclical. Last I checked subsidiarity was taught in the encyclical Rerum Novarum which addressed this area.
CCC 1894 In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.
Yeah that sounds exactly like how Democrats plan to help those in need. Sorry charity starts in our own hearts and pocketbooks and we don’t give up our responsibility to a bloated government who takes a cut and then decides who to distribute funds to. The government deciding works out so well with the dismissal of the Mexico City policy and taxpayer funding for abortions in Washington D.C.
How to best care for the poor and to help with healthcare is an area of prudence and both parties have ideas on how to go about this. This idea that the Democratic Party is close to Catholic teaching on this I find quite laughable. Not that I would rubber stamp how those in the Republican Party would go about this either. We should just be honest here in saying that both parties want to achieve these goals and our arguments should be on the prudence of the policies and not blessing one party as being the closest on Catholic social teaching. Preferential love for the poor is about loving our neighbor and it is best done at the lowest level starting with our own actions.
Oh well I ranted enough, but so many stories touched on each other with a common thread.