In a bizarre way President Barack Obama, through his Health and Human Services Mandate (HHS) has united religious orthodoxy across the spectrum as never before. In its wake liberal religiosity is going the way of striped pants, bell bottoms and lava lamps; something that is only seen on rare occasions usually when too much alcohol is flowing. At the precipice stands liberal Catholicism, for soon there will be no need for them to retain any religious presence. Liberal Catholic mouthpieces like the National Catholic Reporter are destined to go the way of so many other products whose users outgrew the usefulness of what they read and believed. Mainline liberal churches have imploded all the while the numbers of Catholics and Evangelicals continue to grow. Apparently the liberal religious elite are so smart, they have disappeared into the mists of history. Even if the current baby boomers remain religious, their liberal minded children have by and large abandoned the faith to the whims of Hallmark and Deepak Chopra styled spirituality.
In my last book The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I noted that having worked in the Church with a good deal of liberals I cannot think of a single instance in which their children retained their liberal views and also practiced their Catholic faith. I have met their children and while some have become Evangelicals and others have seen the light and come over to orthodox minded Catholicism; those who have remained liberal would only darken a church door if a close relative passed away. Sadly not only have they left their faith but many can’t find a single good thing to say about it. Their compliments are reserved for Big Government and Libertinism.
I am not writing this to sound clever or flippant or negative, simply to relate what I see. In many ways, the tide is turning like never before, and we can’t say that Jesus didn’t tell us that wheat would be separated from the chaff. Indeed we can’t serve two masters and the liberals by and large have thrown their lot in with the Herod’s of the world. While the liberal elite pretend to live oh so sophisticated lives; they in reality are nothing more than a fallen character in a 1980s hair band ballad video, succumbing to the vices on Sunset Boulevard that the liberal elite relegated to some degenerative red state tourist. As angry as we may be at the religious left’s venom and their apostasy, they most certainly need our prayers and we should never forget that supposedly wise people can be fooled as much as anyone by the dark side.
In my previous article, I noted the striking metaphor of the pall of smoke hanging over the Acropolis in Athens caused by rioting Greeks who could no longer pay for their extravagant lifestyle. They are merely the first example of a culture that has aborted and contracepted itself into oblivion, prophetically predicted by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae. For the Greeks, Big Government had the answers and their Epicurean ancestors had the lifestyle that seemed oh so appealing. However in reality they couldn’t pay the bills because charged with the simple mission of reproducing they felt it too complicated of a task.
With the Big Government safety net ever perched before the western world’s feet, too many gifted and talented individuals are not even attempting to dip their toe in the waters of entrepreneurialism because it may be too much work. Ever wonder why there are so few good up and coming rock bands? Ever talk to club owners in your area and ask why even a simple competent house band is hard to find? I also can’t help but think of Mark Steyn’s hilarious illustration of walking in a Quebec park with his wife and noticing the plethora of highly attractive female park rangers. When queried why this was so, one of the female rangers stated that a good government job in Quebec is a lifelong proposition. Besides working as a model in Montreal is hard work and they aren’t the only beautiful women in the province. Big Government is the ever present python that squeezes the oxygen of creativity from a culture and leaves it to die a slow death. (You may also enjoy my article; If You Want The Left To Run Government, Look At What They Have Done To Religion, Left It In Tatters.)
Thankfully the leadership of the Catholic Church is beginning to connect the dots on not just the HHS Mandate but the entire panoply of Big Government’s lies. Recently Rush Limbaugh quoted an article from Hillsdale College Professor of History, Dr. Paul Rahe. The article was entitled; American Catholicism’s Pact with the Devil. The article talked about the Church Hierarchy being suckered by 80 years of Big Government lies. While there was certainly a great deal of truth to what Dr. Rahe was writing, I did e-mail him to relate the good news in the Catholic Church. There is a growing number of orthodox minded young seminarians and newly ordained priests as well as women religious, not to mention the new crop of Catholic bishops, archbishops and cardinals. The seeds planted by Pope John Paul II and especially now by Pope Benedict XVI are certainly turning into shoots and blossoms. If the HHS mandate had happened 30 years ago, a small kerfuffle might have occurred only to have been quickly forgotten. (UPDATE: Dr. Rahe has written a follow-up article entitled: American Catholicism, A Call To Arms. It is well worth reading.)
The same cannot be said today when nearly every US bishop has spoken out against the HHS Mandate, and many Catholic institutions like EWTN have filed lawsuits. Dr Rahe and I exchanged e-mails and he seemed very interested in the information I provided. In May the Catholic Word Publishing Group should have my book; The Tide Continues to Turn Toward Catholicism out and in it I will chronicle not only the good news that is happening but how we got into this mess in the first place. Thankfully we are headed in the right direction!