Goerge Weigel: The Betrayal of Religious Freedom by Liberal Catholics

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George Weigel has a post on National Review Online regarding the betrayal by some liberal Catholics of religious freedom in regard to the HHS Mandate:

Thus “liberal Catholics” who refuse to grasp the threats to religious freedom posed by the Obama administration on so many fronts — the HHS mandate, the EEOC’s recently rejected attempt to strip the “ministerial exemption” from employment law, the State Department’s dumbing-down of religious freedom to a mere “freedom of worship” — are betraying the best of their own heritage. And some are doing it in a particularly nasty way, trying to recruit the memory of John Courtney Murray as an ally in their attempts to cover for the Obama administration’s turning its de facto secularist bias into de jure policy, regulations, and mandates. More than 50 years ago, Murray warned of the dangers deracinated secularism posed to the American democratic experiment: a warning that seems quite prescient in the light of the Leviathan-like politics of this administration, aided and abetted by baptized secularists who insist that they are “liberal Catholics.” I daresay Murray, who did not suffer fools gladly, would not be amused by those who now try to use his work to shore up their own hollow arguments on behalf of the establishment of secularism.

The HHS-mandate battle is bringing to the surface of our public life many problems that were long hidden: the real and present danger to civil society of certain forms of Enlightenment thinking; the determination of the promoters of the sexual revolution to use state coercion to impose their agenda on society; the failure of the Catholic Church to educate the faithful in its own social doctrine; the reluctance of the U.S. bishops’ conference to forcefully apply that social doctrine — especially its principle of subsidiarity — during the Obamacare debate. To that list can now be added one more sad reality, long suspected but now unmistakably clear: the utter incoherence of 21st-century liberal Catholicism, revealed by its failure to defend its own intellectual patrimony: the truth of religious freedom as the first of human rights. That liberal Catholics have done so in order to play court chaplain to overweening and harshly secularist state power compounds that tragedy, with deep historical irony.

Go here to read the devastating rest.  The besetting sin of the Left in this country has always been a fondness for, and a reliance on, the power of the State to carry out their political agenda.  That would not be so bad except for the fact that the agendas of the Left encompass almost all  human activities.  It is very difficult for liberal Catholics to oppose Obama on the HHS Mandate, as that opposition would implicity call into question many interventions by the State that infringe on traditional American liberties.  The Church has always viewed Caesar with a jaundiced eye, recalling the many times that the power of Caesar has been used against the Church.  Unfortunately Catholics on the Left do not share this opinion of Caesar, at least so long as Caesar has a D after his name. 

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  1. Excellent Marc,

    I think they would declare, “We have no religion but socialism.”

    Judas hanged himself.

    Hanging is too good for them.

  2. If you have the stomach, check out the commenters at HuffPo and Daily Kos on any subject pertaining to Catholicism (or Christianity as a whole, for that matter). The Catholic Left managed the feat of overlooking and ignoring the demented, raging hatred the secular Left has for all Western religions for many years, although doing so is akin to eating a popsicle while sitting next to a wasp’s nest and imaging that you will be left alone because you’re not poking the nest with a stick. Just being there is going to get you stung. I would commend them for being charitable (if naive), but I noticed quite a while ago that that leftist Catholics never display the same charity to conservative Catholics that they to toward Obama, Pelosi, Hugo Chavez and any other tyrant who uses the term “social justice.” Those 2 magic words absolve all sins, it seems.

  3. Sadly, I recently talked to someone I knew in high school– their mom was the “Sunday school” teacher. (folks who’ve heard me complain about my education in the faith know she was…well intentioned, and that’s the biggest praise I can offer)

    Basically: they love the idea of forcing someone else to buy their free-sex supplies, and can’t see how there’s any issue with it. Anything that gets trampled in the rush wasn’t worth saving, anyways.

    There’s a reason I don’t socialize with my generation all that much, and haven’t since I was forced to share a room with them for hours a day.

  4. The polestar of liberal American Catholicism is opposition to Humanae Vitae. Full stop.

    They’d sacrifice social justice on that altar in a heartbeat.

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