Barack Obama: Tearing Catholics to Pieces
What is a liberal Catholic -- and especially a minority liberal Catholic -- to do? Personal corporeal subdivision is just not an option, and even if it were, which parts would be minority, which liberal, and which Catholic? Alas, the challenges to the integrated human posed by the president's dehumanizing and divisive class/race/gender/religious warfare!
Jack Welch recently summarized President Obama's bad behavior:
It was the insurance executives in health care. It was the bankers in the collapse. It was the oil companies as oil prices go up. It was Congress if things didn't go the way he wanted. And recently it's been the Supreme Court. He's got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.
Jack charitably omitted the president's attacks on the Cambridge Police and those making more than $200,000 a year. He also forgot about Obama's taking sides in a racially charged criminal investigation and his obnoxious campaign against Susan Pine, the sidewalk life counselor. Ever adding to his enemies list, Obama recently targeted stay-at-home moms:
Speaking Friday at what the administration called "The White House Forum on Women and the Economy," President Barack Obama said that after his two daughters were born, he and his wife -- both Harvard Law School graduates -- could not afford the "luxury" of having her stay home with the children.
Normal people seek first understanding, compassion, consensus, plurality, and mercy. Recall how "[l]ove is patient and kind ... not arrogant or rude ... does not insist on its own way ... not irritable"? Instead, Barack Obama unlovingly seeks first division and elimination -- bad things that will make the president anathema to the good people who see him as low, mean, weak, uncharitable, simple, selfish, and juvenile.
Real leaders build up. Barack Obama tears down. It's what he does. Perhaps I am biased, but I find the president's goal of splitting Catholics over their own teaching one of the worst of his divisive offenses.
Catholics are united over very big things, things that should bind through adversity. Catholics believe in one God, the Creator. We believe in Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, true god and true man. We believe that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, rose, and ascended, and that in doing all that, he saved us. We know we are sinners, but more importantly, we are adopted sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters.
Almost out of the blue, cracks of Catholic disunity and discord have appeared. I recently heard the incredible story of a man who stood up during a homily, yelled at the priest, and then stormed out of Mass. Likewise, consider this from one progressive Catholic website:
It makes no sense to say that the bishops themselves can decide this, that we should accept their religious authority because they say God has given it to them.
And this from a recent letter to the editor:
In fact, I see the Conference of Catholic Bishops as essentially the right sectarian arm of Republican conservatives.
Viewpoints and attitudes like these have become increasingly common, brazen, and disrespectful following President Obama's HHS contraception edict and his much-publicized comment that "[m]ost women -- including 98 percent of Catholic women -- who have had sex have used contraception[.]"
This 98% statistic has been debunked many times over, but what business is it of the president, anyway? A politician who inserts himself into family matters, particularly faith family matters, is overstepping his bounds. Outrageous as it sounds, Planned Parenthood is also a teacher of the Obama catechism, offering similar unsolicited theological advice:
Tricia Wajda, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, said the Catholic Bishops are a small but vocal group out of step with mainstream values -- including for Catholics.
We adult Catholics know that by our free choice of continuing membership in the Church, we consent to and trust its apostolic succession and governance, even if we struggle with certain teachings. We know and are thankful that the Church is not a democracy. We don't reduce the pontifical Magesterium to a vote of the faithful. We don't take votes because we know ourselves not to be God. This is humility, and it is a virtue. As a corollary, none of the faithful, whether Democrat or Republican, will ever seek or consent to replace our shepherd with a politician or Planned Parenthood.
The president -- a non-pope, non-cardinal, non-bishop, non-priest, non-Catholic politician -- has taken action and made comments that divide us. He has done this despite the facts that many studies demonstrate that increased contraception does not decrease pregnancies -- it increases them -- and that contraception is already plentifully available in the U.S. at little to no cost for women of even modest means. Target offers the pill for $9/month. Planned Parenthood offers free birth control pills, distributing contraception almost 4 million times a year.
Contraception's cheap and plentiful availability makes President Obama's policy just a falsely premised political attempt to upset women and gain voters in an election year. Such a strategy targets the Catholic faith community and hopes disunity in that body. It attacks the right to practice faith without state interference.
As just a crass political move, the sowing of such discord is a manipulative, inappropriate, and awful use of the office of the president of the United States. It is uncharitable to all Catholics, because we believe that the Church is the body of Christ. No one of any political party should ever try to tear away pieces of Christ's body for political gain.
Black versus white, rich versus poor, Catholic versus Catholic, and everybody versus everybody -- all so Barack Obama can get re-elected? The costs clearly outweigh the benefit. Pity the liberal, wealthy, black, female, or anything Catholic, who must be undergoing a pretty severe identity crisis right about now -- all because President Obama is a self-obsessed one-trick act. His disdain and lack of charity are evident in every attack, but his presumptuous arrogance is at its maximum in his attempt to sow discord among Catholics by challenging the teachings of their faith.
Jeremiah (23:1), whom the president should heed, is very clear on this: "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord."
Canon law (1,700 years, 21 major councils), the primacy of Peter (2,000 years, Matthew 16:18-19), apostolic succession (2,000 years, Matthew 28:20, 2 Tim. 2:2, Church Fathers, and the Nicene Creed), and religious freedom (220 years, the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights) are all significantly more meaningful than one man's selfish ambition.
I've heard it said that the key tenet of Catholicism is "Get over yourself" -- after all, consider the Cross. Said differently, humility is a virtue. Perhaps the president, a man of two autobiographies, should give it a try. It is the first step in self-sacrifice, which must happen if a leader is to stop dividing and start uniting.