This fall all of the hopes and dreams of those who have detested Middle American values stands in the balance. Those values are best exemplified in religious beliefs shared by many faith traditions. However, Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox Christians and Orthodox Jews are those to which the angry Professional Left, to use Robert Gibbs (President Obama’s Press Secretary’s) term, will most turn their anger. Some may say this seems a little far-fetched, after all aren’t some of those people from the “Professional Left” religious themselves? Yes, some on the “Professional Left” are religious, but they often go to great pains to say they are not affiliated with any faith tradition. They often classify themselves as “spiritual.”
During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, then Senator Obama made by his own admission his biggest gaffe. The future President, speaking in San Francisco, called those middle Americans of western Pennsylvania, “bitter clingers.” In his own words, the future President described western Pennsylvania residents as hard working salt of the earth folks who clung to “their guns and religion,” presumably because they weren’t enlightened enough to understand the modern world.
While President Obama apologized and his advisers scrambled to put the best face on this invitation only speech, many on the “Professional Left” cheered. They could hardly contain their joy as they finally saw a comment from the realm of religion they could whole heartily endorse and coming from a candidate of a major political party at that.
A few years ago while attending a book fair in New York City, the late great Catholic writer Michael Dubruiel relayed to me an amusing anecdote about the burgeoning “Professional Left.” The famed atheist Richard Dawkins was speaking to an assembled crowd and Dubruiel noticed a few well known media celebrities, lurking in the shadows. As Dawkins bullied and belittled religious believers, the crowd snickered and guffawed as if they were a bunch of eight grade boys gawking at an adult magazine that they somehow found.
In 2010, they don’t have to snicker and guffaw in the shadows; they can take out their animosity out on religious believers and those who hold high positions, in a public setting. Catholics and Evangelicals better brace themselves for more scandal headlines if the House of Representatives turns over to GOP control. For it was only a few months ago that the Professional Left had celebrated what they thought was an historic shift in American electoral politics.
Earlier this year, the western world was given a taste of the mainstream media’s venom against traditional believers when Pope Benedict XVI was mercilessly sullied with the dirt of the Abuse Scandal. A few short years earlier, then Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was hailed by the New York Times as the man who was making headway in sorting out the horrible abuses that had taken place, now that he’s in power he’s the villain. Even former Newsweek Editor, Ken Woodward, no natural ally of the faithful said he was disgusted by the New York Times vendetta against Pope Benedict XVI. Sadly, this was nothing new for the Times. For it jumped on the bandwagon to persecute Pope Pius XII for complicity in the murder of Jews in Italy during the Holocaust.
Yet, the Times often fails to mention that the origins of this myth to pin the complicity of the murder of Italian Jews on the papacy lies in the halls of the Soviet KGB. The Soviets perpetrated this canard to damage the Church. Many Jewish figures like former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir praised the pontiff, and the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to Catholicism largely because of Pope Pius XII’s humanity in saving countless Jews.
The Old Gray Lady and her associates in trying to smear the Catholic Church over the Abuse Scandal, rarely if ever mentioned that most priests defrocked for their evil deeds were those who wanted to change the Church. Father Marciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, not withstanding, they were far from your Bells of St Mary’s type of parish priest.
Attacks against the Catholic Church are the tip of the iceberg. Popular entertainment shows like South Park routinely make fun of not only the Catholic Church, but the core of the Christian message. Young stars like the teenage sensation the Jonas Brothers, who espouse chastity as well as the football sensation Tim Tebow who takes on the pro life mantle, as well as speaking out about his faith, are routinely mocked in newspaper columns.
Years ago, many stars of the stage and screen, as well as the gridiron would speak out about their faith, because they personally saw the hard road that some of their colleagues were treading due to their relativistic ways. Now it seems they are often belittled, which is what prompted George Diaz, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel to write a column about the Tebow haters. He wondered why a young man who espouses wholesomeness, faith and chastity, not to mention a young man who doesn’t turn his body into a hideous canvas of tattoos and piercings, is so hated. It apparently wasn’t read by of the Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan whose column about Tebow entitled, Better A Super Freak than Jesus Freak says it all.
While working as a missionary in the Philippines, Pam Tebow was told once she came back to the United States, she needed to abort her unborn baby. She would have none of it and returned to the United States to give birth to a healthy baby boy, who would rewrite the college football record books at perennial power Florida. Yet when she appeared in a pro life Super Bowl ad with son Tim, they were both labeled by some on the “Professional Left,” as “hateful,” and words I won’t repeat in a family forum.
When the left does embrace religion it does so on terms that would satisfy the likes Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Saul Alinsky. During his presidency and even before, President Obama has brought up the notion of collective salvation, where one’s eternal salvation is dependent on getting others to buy in to your own ideology. This is a form of Liberation Theology. One would immediately surmise that one is treading on shaky ground when theological virtues are used combining the likes of Marx, Engels and Alinsky. Marx and Engels had no use for God, while Alinsky seems to have hated the Almighty.
While using society as a foil, collective salvation practically raises the individual to God’s stature. President Obama has reiterated the belief that he can greatly help appease anti Americanism around the world by speech and personal persuasion. This sort of power of personality style thinking has caused individuals and the nation’s they lead much grief. In 1939 a Congressman lamented, after hearing that Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany had invaded Poland, “If only I had been there, I am sure I could have reasoned with him.” When religion is marginalized or ostracized, the person assumes they have the power of the Deity.
If the midterm election doesn’t go their way, the “Professional Left” may turn on some groups that some might think might be in their corner. For example, rank and file African Americans and the group Courage, whose members are same sex attracted but uphold the Teachings of the Catholic Church that they are not to act upon their homosexual feelings.
One might recall that anti Proposition 8 activists hurled out ugly racial and religious slurs at African Americans, Catholics, Evangelicals and members of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons.) All of these groups voted for marriage between a man and a woman, largely due to religious beliefs and the encouragement of the previously mentioned religious bodies. The racial and religious slurs were largely unreported by the mainstream media. The “Professional Left” has always hated traditional religion and when presented with an opportunity, either through strength or through frustration, they will inevitably show their true colors.
One of the common ploys of the “Professional Left” is to appeal to their inflated sense of ego and intelligence, as if their intellect could save themselves and the world. This is a common ploy used to attack the likes of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. All too often, it leads to disaster which is why William F Buckley wryly noted that he would rather be governed by the first 3,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. The Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami, who grew up in the Middle East and saw too many Cult of Personality figures rise and fall, notes here and here the fallacy that personality can overcome systemic problems.
The world has been governed by far too many regimes who discarded religion and trumpeted their own intelligence, i.e.; the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Mao’s China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia; the result being tens of millions horribly murdered. It was Lucifer who first rebelled and trumpeted his intelligence and vain pride, not much has changed since, some on the left see him as a hero. It was the famed activist, and hero to many in Washington, Saul Alinsky who dedicated his infamous book Rules for Radicals to among others, Lucifer. Now to be fair there are plenty in the Conservative Intelligentsia who have problems with pride, however, they generally don’t openly try to take on God, or pretend He doesn’t exist.
Before his untimely death, Michael Dubruiel introduced me to the book, The Two Pillars, written by the Polish theologian, S.C. Biela. The book chronicles among other things the two pillars of truth and contrition, something our world has a hard time coming to grips with and internalizing. In our modern world we all want the truth to be our own, and contrition to come when we want it, not when God wants it. However, for far too many, especially on the political and religious left, truth is relative, which has led to this group being labeled the “Dictatorship of Relativism,” by Pope Benedict XVI. Needless to say these groups become nearly apoplectic at its mention.
Yet, they fail to see the trees for the forest; secular liberals are dying out because their birthrates aren’t keeping up with their rates of death, while at the same time the numbers of liberal religious, and the houses of worship they call their own, are falling faster than the 2008 Stock Market Crash. I have made this point before but it bears repeating. Some fifty years ago the Anglican Church was at the pinnacle of power, prestige and rates of church attendance. Then the 1960s Cultural Revolution swept in and their theology changed with the times. This resulted in plummeting numbers, so much so that in Britain today more Muslims can be found praying at their respective mosques on Friday than Anglicans in their churches on Sunday morning.
Today there are so many Anglicans, including clergy, leaving the Anglican Church for the Catholic Church that Pope Benedict XVI has had to establish a Personal Ordinate for them. Yet, barely a peep from the mainstream media on this positive development for the Catholic Church. The Anglicans are not alone in their troubles; many of the mainline liberal Protestant churches have seen their numbers plummet, some by as much as fifty percent. Yet, despite fawning media coverage of the changing theology of these plummeting churches and years of attacks from the realm of popular entertainment and the mainstream media, the Catholic Church and Evangelical churches have grown.
For Catholics, all of this is made manifest in ordination numbers. 64 to 6 and 14 to 4 stand out. What does this mean? In 2006 when writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I noted that even though the Diocese of Rochester had more Catholics than the dioceses of Lincoln and Omaha combined, Rochester had 6 men studying for the priesthood while Lincoln and Omaha had 64. That same year of 2006 Denver had 14 young men ordained to the priesthood (eleven in May and three earlier in the academic year) while Los Angeles had four; a staggering statistic when one considers that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has 4,300,000 Catholic residents compared to 385,000 Catholics for the Archdiocese of Denver.
In 2006 Los Angeles and Rochester were led by two of the most liberal prelates in the Church, while Omaha, Lincoln and Denver were led by three of the more conservative bishops in the US, a revelatory statistic to say the least. For more on this read my columns, If You Want the Political Left to Run Governments, Look at What the Religious Left Has Done to Religion, (Left It In Tatters,) along with my article, The Coming Open Rebellion Against God.
While liberal convents are strapped for cash because they haven’t had a postulant in years, more conservative orders like the Sister of Mary in Ann Arbor, Michigan are running out of room due to the large number of young professional women coming their way. They are not the only conservative order growing; the Nashville Dominicans among others are also experiencing growing pains.
The conclusions are elementary and yet the left refuses to come to terms with them, they continue their attacks on the orthodoxy of long cherished religious beliefs. If political opinion polls hold true, this fall we may face the left’s wrath again. However, we can rest in the knowledge that the tide is turning!