Feb 15 2012

American Catholicism’s pact with the Devil?

In this article at ToRenewAmerica, I wrote about the failure of the “Seamless Garment” perspective of Cardinal Bernadin to provide a proper moral compass for Catholics and other Christians by equating the moral necessity to resist abortion with the promotion of essentially socialist perspectives on society and government, making resistance to abortion the hostage of socialist policies.  Bernadin’s positions on this have provided cover for way too many Catholics to support leftist, pro-abortion politicians, in the name of vague sounding concern for the poor, politicians whose policies and enacted laws have had a distinctly non-vague, and very negative impact on life in these United States.

And now the comeuppance of these very confused Christians and Catholics has arrived, in the form of a President Obama whom they helped to elect, a president whose plan all along was to find a way to force all Americans to pay for abortifacient birth control, even if it is against their religious beliefs.

Now, Professor Paul Rahe has written on American Catholicism’s Pact With The Devil.

….the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States, the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity, and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism, the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.At every turn in American politics since that time, you will find the hierarchy assisting the Democratic Party and promoting the growth of the administrative entitlements state. At no point have its members evidenced any concern for sustaining limited government and protecting the rights of individuals. It did not cross the minds of these prelates that the liberty of conscience which they had grown to cherish is part of a larger package, that the paternalistic state, which recognizes no legitimate limits on its power and scope, that they had embraced would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate whom it chose to teach its doctrines and how, more generally, it would conduct its affairs.

I would submit that the bishops, nuns, and priests now screaming bloody murder have gotten what they asked for. The weapon that Barack Obama has directed at the Church was fashioned to a considerable degree by Catholic churchmen. They welcomed Obamacare. They encouraged Senators and Congressmen who professed to be Catholics to vote for it.

I do not mean to say that I would prefer that the bishops, nuns, and priests sit down and shut up. Barack Obama has once again done the friends of liberty a favor by forcing the friends of the administrative entitlements state to contemplate what they have wrought. Whether those brought up on the heresy that public provision is akin to charity will prove capable of thinking through what they have done remains unclear. But there is now a chance that this will take place, and there was a time, long ago, to be sure, but for an institution with the longevity possessed by the Catholic Church long ago was just yesterday, when the Church played an honorable role in hemming in the authority of magistrates and in promoting not only its own liberty as an institution but that of others similarly intent on managing their own affairs as individuals and as members of subpolitical communities.

In my lifetime, to my increasing regret, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has lost much of its moral authority. It has done so largely because it has subordinated its teaching of Catholic moral doctrine to its ambitions regarding an expansion of the administrative entitlements state. In 1973, when the Supreme Court made its decision in Roe v. Wade, had the bishops, priests, and nuns screamed bloody murder and declared war, as they have recently done, the decision would have been reversed. Instead, under the leadership of Joseph Bernardin, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago, they asserted that the social teaching of the Church was a “seamless garment,” and they treated abortion as one concern among many. 


There is more at the link, all worth reading, and pretty forthright in its condemnation of the Catholic church leadership’s “deal with the devil,” that is, its deal with the powers of the state.  Basically, it failed to render unto God what is God’s, and gave way too much away to Caesar, and was aided in this by liberal Christians of all stripes.

Jul 30 2009

The Left At Christian Universities, Part 13: Infiltrating, or enabling?

Category: abortion,Catholic,church,higher education,left,religion,societyharmonicminer @ 8:24 am

The previous post in this series is here.

From the Cardinal Newman Society

A national Catholic higher education organization has identified 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, including on fundamental issues such as abortion and marriage.

“This discovery validates the concerns of so many thousands of faithful Catholic parents and students, that public scandals at Catholic colleges are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?”

Last week, CNS wrote to the presidents of these colleges and universities to inform them of the problems with their internship programs. None have yet indicated that they will take steps to remedy the problems.

The internship programs—along with concerns about theological dissent, weakening academic standards and declining campus culture at many Catholic colleges and universities—help explain why most students and recent graduates of Catholic institutions believe that abortion and gay marriage should be legal, despite the Church’s clear teachings to the contrary. That was one of the disturbing findings of a November 2008 study published by the CNS Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education and titled “Behaviors and Beliefs of Current and Recent Students at U.S. Catholic Colleges.”

This is not only a Catholic problem, of course.  Many evangelical colleges and universities bring speakers to their campuses who undermine the central missions of the institutions, as well as encouraging student participation in organizations that support pro-abortion and anti-family public policy.   Certainly, there will be times when a “professional internship” may require a student to participate in or with an organization whose ethos is questionable in these matters.  (Student teaching comes to mind.  The NEA is pro-abortion and anti-family through and through, and indirectly controls a great deal of American public education.)  But there seems to be an unfortunate pattern at some Christian colleges and universities of encouraging student participation in essentially leftist organizations promoting socialism, abortion-on-demand, leftist public and foreign policy, etc., such as CLUE, Progressive Christians Uniting, NAACP, Faith Voices for the Common Good, etc.  Such organizations may even be invited to campus to recruit students with week-long workshops.

Some of these organizations take moral stances at odds with Christian tradition, but may nevertheless do some good work.  Even Hamas hands out food and clothing in Gaza.  Not that these are “terrorist organizations” (although Progressive Christians Uniting seems quite fond of CAIR, which is a HAMAS supporter), but the point is that “doing good” is not a sufficient cause to place students with organizations that support evils like abortion and the destruction of the traditional family, or simply deafeningly bad ideas like socialism and pacifism, which generally lead to evil down the road.

At a minimum, if Christian universities/colleges are going to place students in internships with left-wing groups such as these, part of the “critical thinking and evaluation” exercises surrounding the intership should involve challenging the underlying assumptions and associations of the groups where students are placed.

Christianity is not distilled essence of leftism with scripture quotations.  The book of Luke is not a license for the government to play the role of Robin Hood, even if “red-letter-Christians” might wish otherwise.  And our failure as a society to protect the unborn remains the single biggest moral divide in our nation, much as slavery was 200 years ago, even if “enlightened evangelicals” are embarrassed to stand up against abortion-on-demand, when the cost is the good regard of the secular world with which they want to be friends.

If an organization passes out food to the hungry, and then supports politicians and policies that promote easy access to abortion, exactly what is that organization’s moral status?

Before we place our students with organizations whose values are divergent from Christian tradition (regardless of the religious clothing these organizations may wear), we’d better seriously consider what other options we have, and we’d better be certain we have prepared those students with sufficient intellectual and spiritual armor to resist the values-bending pressures they’ll have to endure.

There is a followup to this post here, about CLUE and the agenda they pursue.

H/T:  Christiansagainstleftistheresy

The next post in this series is here.

Mar 08 2009

Catholics under attack in NY

Category: Catholic,churchharmonicminer @ 9:27 am

Newsmax.com – N.Y. Catholics: Dems Trying to Bankrupt Church

Democrats have declared war on the Catholic Church, with new laws that threaten to bankrupt Catholic schools, hospitals, charities and parishes. Thus far, the worst attacks have come in New York.

“We’ve taken a lot of hits this year,” Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, the policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, tells Newsmax. “Outside the government, the Catholic Church is the largest provider of health, human services and education in [New York]. But some legislators are so driven by malice that they’re willing to see our charities and schools go under.”

The Empire State’s Democrats are attacking on three fronts.

# A proposal to require all hospitals to perform abortions, or lose their state license would put Catholic hospitals out of business.

# Major funding cuts for Catholic schools by Gov. David Paterson, who continues to force the parochial schools to run state-mandated programs at their own expense.

# An effort by Democratic lawmakers to abolish the statute of limitations on sex abuse lawsuits against the Church, allowing people to sue over decades-old cases in which the alleged perpetrators are dead.

The proposed sex-abuse law applies only to private institutions such as the Church and the Boy Scouts. Public schools are exempt. Yet sex abuse is more common in public schools than in private institutions.

Read the whole thing.

But consider:

1) The Freedom of Choice Act, if passed by Congress and signed by Obama (who has already promised to do so), would institute even greater assaults on the freedom of Catholic and other religiously founded hospitals not to do abortion, nationwide, not just in New York. And it would create a situation where no medical personnel would have a “freedom of conscience” protection so they would not be forced to participate in abortions of convenience.

2) The current budget proposal in Congress, favored by Obama, removes the charitable giving deduction from the tax code, which would surely significant reduce giving to all kinds of charitable organizations, hospitals, churches, relief organizations, orphanages, schools, you name it.

So New York State is just a little bit ahead of federal policy… but only a little bit.

The all out assault on the church, which has been gaining steam for awhile now, is on with a vengeance. And make no mistake, vengeance is the intent of the perpetrators.

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