punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Are We Surprised at the Obama Administration's Actions?

Here’s my two cents on the current war between the Obama Administration and the United States Council of Catholic Bishops.

When I first read that the Obama's U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Migration and Refugee Services decided not to grant money to the USCCB’s Office of Migration and Human Services, because the Bishops were faithfully adhering to the tenets of their faith and not referring victims of human trafficking for abortion and contraception, I was angry.  Objectively speaking, most of those victims are women and children and contraception and abortion harms and perpetuates crimes against women, not to mention, kills children.  In true justice the bishops cannot refer women to these ‘services’ anymore than they can forgo or deny the reality about their consequences altogether.

Now, before I continue, let me say that I am not a ‘blame the bishops for everything that’s wrong with the world’ kind of Catholic.  I am, however, a ‘blame the cradle Catholics for the state of the world’ sort of cradle Catholic (I am one myself) and many bishops definitely fall under that umbrella.  If you think I’m being unfair, please know that B16, would agree with me.  And so I am about to make a very broad stroke about who’s to be faulted for this current calamity, and I, myself, am included.

As infuriating as the decision to award the grant to another organization, the white elephant in the room at the USCCB headquarters is this: most Catholics voted for Obama and they did so without being deterred by a unified, vocal hierarchy.  I personally know how many, many, many were told from the pulpit and at their universities that he was their only moral option because of how he was going to care for the poor, environment, education etc., in short, that he was the only truly ‘social justice’ minded candidate.

It was therefore easy for many a well meaning Catholic, cradle especially, to ignore the greater concerns of social justice raised by the magisterium: the ones that hold moral and life issues as tantamount to all others. As such, Catholics then voted for the best version of “hope” that society can offer: one that requires the dismissal of the moral tenets of their faith.

And if Catholics are willing to do that, what can they expect others to do in turn?  That’s right, disregard and not hold any reverence for their Faith, no matter the good it does (e.g. aid victims of human trafficking).

What goes around…

At best the current administration is only acting exactly as loyal to our Faith as we ourselves have been. At worst, he is launching an all out assault and discrimination of Catholic conscience.

The USCCB is to be commended for calling out such a blatant miscarriage of justice and we need to support them in every way if they seek legal action against an administration so fueled with animus against all things Catholic

But there is a great lesson here: make decisions or vote based on a blasé attitude for the Church’s moral teachings and reverence only what is socially acceptable, and you will reap what you sow. At some point it all comes around back to you – watered down regard for your beliefs to match your own watered down example.  Call it logic, call it Karma, but don’t call it shocking or unexpected. 

And hopefully as Max Lindenman pointed out, Catholics who voted for Obama, who now may be feeling the alienation the rest of us 'radical' lovers of life, Church and conscience have been experiencing may just reconsider which side of the fence actually has their's and everyone's best interests at heart (read: the one not willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable for the sake of a political agenda).

It’s time for Catholics to start voting aligned with the Church’s teachings and to blaze the way of true justice by practicing it themselves first.    

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