I know that there are those among you who do not like harsh rhetoric. Heck, one of my most recent posts was about the militaristic rhetoric of the president. Yet, sometimes we need to take a look around at what’s happening and realize that something like a culture war is truly raging.
There was no clearer demonstration of this fact than the HHS mandate regarding health insurance coverage of abortificants, contraception, sterilization, and other grave evils. The impact of this ruling has been stunning. Not only has the decision outraged conservative Catholics, but even erstwhile left-wing Catholic defenders of the president have taken this decision to be the last straw. Bishops, often reticent to enter the political fray, have issued clear condemnations of this decision, even suggesting that Catholics engage in civil disobedience. The mild-mannered visiting priest at our parish offered a blistering homily, discussing how this mandate violates the very principles that this country was founded upon. Like the ents awakening from their slumber, Saruman and his orcs – meaning President Obama and his allies – have awakened a sleeping giant.
But our anger is not enough, nor are our prayers. Patrick Archbold puts it all in perspective today.
As I said, this is just the latest battle, but it’s one we must win. We can’t win the war here, but we can lose it. And to win a war you don’t just need chaplains, you need generals.
In the wake of the Obama Administration’s decision to force contraceptives on Catholic institutions many Bishops have been calling for prayer and fasting, and that is right and just. But when faced with an existential threat, you don’t just pray the Nazis away, you have to fight on all fronts.
It is fine to pray that the Nazis will stop being Nazis, but it is also right and just to pray for good aim.
Our Bishops need to realize what is at stake here and act accordingly. Many Bishops have already written letters and made videos condemning the unconstitutional actions of the administration. That is good, but more is required. Open and vocal defiance is required. The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin issued a letter this Sunday in which he proclaimed “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens.” That is a good start. Every Bishop needs to do the same. It must be made clear that we WILL NOT COMPLY.
Yet even more will be required. Some have called for very visible civil disobedience by the Bishops to the point of getting arrested. I think this may be a good idea. Yet even more. Kathleen Sebelius is at the spear point of this war on our Church promoting and now forcing abortion and contraception at every turn. If the scandal caused by this “Catholic” woman does not merit excommunication, the remedy is meaningless. Any Catholic who is complicit in this war must be held to account, publicly. This is a war.
We will not comply. We should never have to choose between being a Catholic and being an American. This is an existential threat for the Church in this country as well as for the life of the country as a whole. If we are to win the war, we must win this battle and we need generals willing to fight to the last.
If you are not convinced that we are in the midst of an all out assault on religious values, here’s another story to consider.
Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street movement threw condoms on Catholic schoolgirls, refused to allow a Catholic priest to give a closing prayer, and shouted down a pro-life speaker at a Rhode Island right to life rally on Thursday, according to its organizer. The event marked the third time protesters associated with the movement have disrupted a pro-life meeting in a week.
About two-dozen members of Occupy Providence hiked from Burnside Park to the 39th Annual Pro-Life State House Rally organized by the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee on Thursday.
The pro-life organization’s executive director, Barth E. Bracy, told LifeSiteNews.com that, near the end of the rally, the Occupiers “strategically fanned out with military precision.”
That’s when they “started showering condoms down on some of the girls from a Catholic high school.”
They threw condoms on Catholic school girls. This is what passes for civilized debate for a portion of our country. Not only do they contemn religious values, these individuals have absolutely no regard for the human beings on the other end of their temper tantrum.
And this is not a mere partisan issue. Look at the comments on the National Review Article about Chris Christie’s appointment of a gay marriage advocate to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Take a gander at some of the vitriolic rhetoric being spewed against proponents of traditional morality. And many of those commenters are people who consider themselves to be right of center. Here’s somebody calling himself “FAR52” laying down some logic.
My guess is that Christie will be defiant and call out homophobes like Maggie for what they are — hopelessly stuck in the past.
Who can argue with such well-examined reasoning?
One of the unfortunate lessons of this primary season is that there exists, even within the conservative movement, people who are either contemptuous of or who fear those of us who stand up for traditional morality. They see us as proponents of big government on the right. What they fail to appreciate is that conservatives are often fighting a rearguard action. We’re the ones trying to prevent government interference. We’re not looking for more government intervention in our daily lives, because often that intervention is done to the detriment of traditional values. The last thing we need is more government interference, and yet we are painted with the brush of being advocates of expanded government in social affairs. In almost all cases, the opposite is true. We’re continually fighting various encroachments against religious liberty, and the HHS case is but the latest example.
This is not about elections, at least not primarily. This is about preserving our cultural heritage. This is about fighting for the religious liberties that are the absolute bedrock of our civil society. Truly, enough is enough.