Category Archives: Barack Obama

To Trump or not to Trump – Notre Dame’s Question

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I have a few thoughts regarding the issue about Notre Dame publicly considering not inviting Donald Trump for a commencement speaker.   Here’s a link to a Washington Post article.

Here are a few excerpts from the article.

Notre Dame University may not extend an invitation to President-elect Donald Trump to this year’s graduation, a move that would break with a decades-long tradition of inviting presidents in their first year to deliver the main commencement address at the South Bend campus…

University President John Jenkins said the 2009 commencement featuring President Obama was a “political circus” that he is loath to repeat at this year’s ceremony…

“My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus,” he added.

This is the strongest valid point I believe Notre Dame has in taking this position.    I think it’s proper and valid to assess whether or not the speaker is being a major distraction and somehow affecting what should be a celebration of the graduates.    With as politically divided as this country is, it is probably reasonable to believe that people would not be so courteous as to not protest or take the new President’s presence as some personal affront to them.

I have a couple issues with this, but I also understand the reality.   My issues are (1) people should grow up and be respectful, and this shouldn’t be a concern to begin with, (2) I have a real question as to whether or not this is really an honest conclusion on the part of John Jenkins.    Is he prepared to say that, going forward, no Presidents will be invited under the current political environment?    If so, then fine.   But I can’t help but suspect that had Hillary Clinton won, she would be invited to speak.   I can’t know that, but I strongly suspect it.  (3) Why did Notre Dame so adamantly stick to their guns on this in Barack Obama’s first year?    They knew it would be a circus, at least from the standpoint of being a Catholic Institution.    Now, having said all that, if this is a new policy where Notre Dame says that going forward, we just want the day to be about our graduates and our politics are toxic and from this day forward no President or President-Elect will be invited, well, then that’s not a problem.

 

And then there is this:

“I do think the elected leader of the nation should be listened to. And it would be good to have that person on the campus — whoever they are, whatever their views,” Mr. Jenkins told The Observer, the student-run publication of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.

 

This is hogwash.     At least the “whatever their views” part.   This is an academic institution, but it irks me to no end that these Catholic higher institutions consider discourse of ideas to be a higher calling than their own Catholic identity whenever that discourse of ideas runs afoul of Catholic teaching.    I have no idea with the idea that we should listen courteously to Barack Obama talking about general topics, or religion-neutral policies, whether I agree with his perspective or not.    I take great issue with having Catholic doctrine openly challenged on a Catholic campus.   And it is a perfectly reasonable position, if someone holds very public views expressedly contrary to Catholic Doctrine (not just differences in preferred opinion), to not invite any person – regardless of status or position – who holds those views.

 

Finally:

Conservative cardinals and bishops opposed the invitation of Mr. Obama at the time, citing his views on abortion which run contrary to church teaching. Prominent alumni also lobbied the school to disinvite the president.

Mr. Jenkins has expressed disapproval with the president-elect’s stance on immigration.

 

Eight years ago, Notre Dame ignored Bishops and Priests and expressed that the god of Academia reigns Supreme, and they had to know it would rankle people.   But now, there is no such dilemma.   Yes, it’s true that Trump is controversial, has said some things that are not all that nice, and has in the past held views contrary to Catholic views.   But as a candidate, and so far as a President-Elect, he has taken positions that can only be described as pro-religious freedom, pro-life, and simply not contrary in any way to Catholic doctrine.     Yes, it’s true that there is all sorts of disagreement about how to deal with immigration, and we need to have that debate.   And there is a real moral component to that, but there is room for disagreement.

In the end, I understand where the folks of Notre Dame are coming from.    I just wish I could really believe them.   They do not have a history where I trust that this isn’t just another response by sore-loser, snowflake-ridden, progressive academia presented as something else.

 

 

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The Remaking of America Live and in Color!

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Just a reminder:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jan/20/obama-inauguration-speech-ceremony

The 44th US president, speaking in front of the biggest inauguration crowd in US history, said: “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America.”

I’ll give the man credit.   He kept his word.    I have to say that eight years ago, I didn’t think he was ambitious enough to not only remake America, but also lead the charge to remaking the entire concept of family, held since the beginning of human existence.   He’s an overachiever, our President.

News of the Day, 9/28/2012

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Occasionally I just feel like commenting on the news of the day with brief little snippets from my Catholic and personal worldview. Today is one of those days.

We start in France: Tax hikes and spending cuts.

75% tax rates on the rich as they are on the brink of recession? Huh. Can’t think of anything that could go wrong there…

We move to Spain: Spending cuts and increased taxes.

Spain’s on the brink of disaster, and there are rumors of secession of provinces and a rise in the power of Basque separatists. Increasing the Value Added tax isn’t as extreme as France’s move, and the government spending is going down 7%. At least they’re trying.

There’s no way that the Jewish vote can go Obama’s way after being the most anti-Israeli President since the establishment of Israel, right? Wrong. Jewish support for Obama is at 65%.

I fully confess that I can’t wrap my mind around this one. I guess since I’m not a Jew, I don’t appreciate how the American Jew weighs the different issues when determining who to support for President. But quite honestly, on just about every issue I can’t figure out how they weigh Obama higher than Romney. But I guess my bias is showing.

In a sad commentary of our times, an offensive, anti-Catholic work of ‘art’ is back on display.

Do Christians and Catholics storm the museum and vandalize it? Do we call for the head of the artist? No. And we should not. We should pray for conversion. We can take proper action: peaceful protest with proper license, letters to appropriate people to discourage display, and voting with pocketbooks is always an option. Prayer for conversion of those who would create this and display it is simply best, though. But, to be blunt, seriously… what idiot considers this kind of thing, in any way, artful? Art used to be for the purpose of beauty. When that is not its goal, it ceases to be art and instead simply becomes a political or religious statement.

Those who lament the mixture of religion and politics aren’t paying attention. Politics interjects its way into religion and morality and then those who do so pretend to be aghast at the response of religious individuals. But can the Democratic campaign be any more morally unconsionable? Obama e-cards about birth control.

It is worth quoting one of the e-cards here: “Dear Mom,” the card reads. “Mitt Romney says he would repeal the Affordable Care Act. So here’s a quick question: Can I borrow $18,000 to help pay for my birth control? Thanks!”

Wow.

I read all this and see a world in trouble. I see America in trouble. And this is exactly why our hope ultimately lies in something beyond men, politics, and even our own comfort and personal freedoms. We fight for these things because it is good and right to fight for them. We get involved in politics because it is our obligation. But when the tide of society is against you, there is one place to turn. And A LOT OF US need to be doing some turning!

The Diabolical Nature of Promoting Gay Marriage

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This post is not a point by point argument against the idea of gay “marriage,” nor is it a defense of traditional marriage. Many, many posts and articles have been written on the topic and will continue to be written on the topic. This post is, at its root, about something else.

The debate is not a new one, as we all know. It has been bubbling and bursting in all sorts of places over the last couple decades, and the pro-gay-marriage side has to be recognized as gaining traction, of influencing the minds of many who previously were against it. Although most states that have taken the issue to ballot have succeeded in keeping marriage defined as between a man and a woman, it must be noted that the margins have declined and the proponents are ever more vocal.

We have now reached a time where it seems that any public figure speaking against it is publicly chastised for intolerance. It is no longer a debate about two philosophies or matters of opinion. The one side has now successfully entered the arena of political influence, public pressure, and political correctness to an extent never seen before.

We saw it coming. Even as ballot measures for same-sex marriage were being defeated in elections and in the courts, more and more companies started to provide “diversity training” related to sexual orientation. Our Universities and Public Schools found new and innovative ways of introducing the same-sex relationship as normal, and warnings that this was part of the slippery-slope were met with scoffs and ridicule of paranoia and prudishness.

Within Hollywood, more and more stars “courageously” came out of the closet, and within a few short years such pronouncements went from being a shocking revelation to a badge of pride to be celebrated.

And then came Massachusetts, where the courts famously legalized same-sex marriage. From there, both sides moved quickly and each had victories they could hold up as emblematic of the way Americans feel about the whole thing. But it was still rather taboo in the political arena to be too vocal about it. We had reached the stage of “respecting” individuals and trying to compromise with the concept of civil unions. Civil Unions seemed like the political dream position, in that they could take both sides of the issue. Support same-sex unions, support marriage – a win-win!

But that still was not good enough.

And here we are today. With a President who not only voiced support for it, but then proceeded to go all-in at the convention to promote it as good, moral, and right. And anyone who dares disagree is not only intolerant, but a bigoted and hateful person.

Of course, we know that is not true. But the idea has grown, and as evidence I challenge anyone to state – in the most benign way you can think of – the fact that you are not in favor of same-sex marriage in almost any social situation. Unless you’re surrounded by entirely like-minded people, there is almost sure to be a very swift reaction. Not a discussion. Not a series of questions to try and gain some insight about your thinking. There will almost certainly be anger, accusation, and dare I say hate. If you are fortunate, you’ll avoid blasphemous charges against religion and Christ, or denigrations of the Bible. You’ll probably be mis-classified as an evangelical or fundamentalist and probably anti-science. It is not at all unlikely that there will be a very quick leap to comparisons to Hitler or Nazis. It all depends on the person.

There is a particular verse of Scripture that I think of nearly on a daily basis. It is not my “favorite” verse. In fact, it’s a somewhat sad and depressing verse. Isaiah 5:20 reads “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and clever in their own sight! (NAS, Isaiah 5:20-21)”

Every day I see around me the evil that I know to be evil (based on the Bible, Church teachings, and my own conscience) being presented as good, and vice-versa.

But why do I use the term “diabiolical?” To be honest, I am borrowing it from a recent conversation my wife had with a Priest.

It has not gone unnoticed by those of us watching the Democratic National Convention that the issues of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage have emerged as prominent positions. And while we always knew that the Democratic Party platform always alluded to such things and gave support to them, there was at least in the past some attempt to do so at arm’s length. The balance was to keep the support of proponents while recognizing that they needed to keep opponents happy enough to not be bothered by it.

This has changed. And it does show the amount of progress those who favor socially liberal policies have made. Even if it is a failed assessment, the Democrats are now willing to – and betting that – a full embrace will not hurt them, and possibly even benefit them. It’s the frog in the boiling water syndrome, and it appears to have merit. After all, to the extent that I have seen some African-American pastors take issue with the emnbrace of same-sex marriage by President Barack Obama, it does not seem to be enough to keep them from selling out to politics due to whatever issues they have convinced themselves are – in the end – more important than what they know in their herats is a moral deception. They recognize the moral problem with it according to their own statements, and yet are still willing to offer their support to the candidate and party. Why? You’d have to ask them. I’m sure they’ve rationalized it to their satisfaction. Whether it’s to God’s satisfaction will have to be between them and God, I suppose.

But I digress a bit. Back to this conversation with the Priest. My wife noted correctly that we are not hearing about “same-sex marriage.” We are being given phrases that everyone knows applies to that, but in ways that are meant to defuse any possible objection to it. Three times Michelle Obama used a phrase along the lines of “Should be able to walk down the aisle to marry the one you love.” This was, in its context, a clear allusion to same-sex marriage. The language is not an accident.

This Priest pointed out something else, and here’s where the word “diabolical” enters the fray. He was not using it to describe the person of Michelle Obama, nor of anyone else. He was using it to describe how Satan works. And Satan is the great counterfeiter. And the use of 3 is his great tool.

Yes, we are getting into that whole “spiritual warfare” thing that us Catholics start feeling a bit uncomfortable about. But what else can it be called when obvious evils to the lot of us start being promoted as just the opposite?

Anyway, you may or may not know that 3 is a very important number in our Catholic life. Most obvious is the representation of the Trinity. But you may or may not know that when a Priest blesses an object or your house, they will often sign it three times. It is a very powerful thing. Christ died at 3:00. With God, there are no random coincidences that are meaningless.

Not to be outdone, the devil counters with his own sets of 3. Now, this Priest would know much more about this than I do, but he immediately caught the fact that Michelle Obama presented this evil as good three separate and distinct time within her speech. He went on to point out how often, if you pay attention, you will notice the diabolical as being presented in threes. It is not by accident. Now, I have not studied the issue, but I felt it a very powerful observation.

Beyond the number 3, the entire process of “converting” minds and hearts to the acceptance of something that is against God’s design is intrinsically diabolical in nature. The word often conjures up images of demons and possession. You tend to consider the diabolical as menacing, scary, and heavy-handed. In reality, it’s a much more appropriate view to see it as the manipulation necessary to convince otherwise good and well-meaning people that bad is good in a way that isn’t any of these things. Through a combination of acceptance of general perversions as normal, desensitivity to a great many moral wrongs, devaluation of marriage in general (starting with easy divorce and use of contraception), devaluation of life and the beauty of child-bearing, language that suggests it’s all about love and goodness, along with a dose of intimidation, guilt and ridicule at just the right dose against any and all who oppose it… it has been a decades-long coercion to acceptance. The diabolical forces had a plan, were patient, and have greatly succeeded.

They will never fully succeed, regardless of what it seems. We know that the ultimate victor in all of this is Christ and His Kingdom. And we should never accept defeat, anyway, up to the last person standing who is willing to profess the goodness of God’s design for us and the institution of marriage. The question is not whether God will be victorious, but what our part will be in seeing that about. Will we be the instruments of victory by pushing back? Or will we allow this to become ever more pervasive and see the victory come about through, well, less pleasant means?

One final comment: the use of the word “evil” is difficult to soften. It is a very harsh word. It is natural to feel a bit uncomfortable or even verbally assaulted when certain beliefs and positions are challenged as “evil.” It is not my word, it is often enough used in Scripture, and is not limited to any particular kind of sin. Evil can be used to describe the general consequences of our fall. Natural evils exist that are not a particular judgment on any individual (war, famine, poverty, etc.). In addition, the source of evil are (generally speaking) not individuals who are sinning. ALL off us participate with evil whenever we sin. That does not make us evil. Satan and the demons are evil, and the source from which we defile ourselves through participation with them.

So, do try not to overreact with the usage of the word here. This being a particularly sensitive subject for many, it can be read incorrectly as a judgment of the person, as opposed to what is really intended – the overall movement in favor of it and the nature of the act itself. Any act that one considers a sin is by definition an evil act, despite the harshness of the word. Some things are more evil than others, and this post is not about the relative nature of our sins. The reason for pointing out the evil nature of this particular topic is not to suggest where such a sin lies on the relative scale of things, but to point out a situation where many are not only dismissing it as not being bad, but actually being good. There are other such sins in our culture as well (abortion and use of contraception are big right now).

It may be impossible to convince opponents of this, but there truly is no offense intended to anybody here, and some language is simply unavoidable in explaining my thoughts on the subject.

My Diatribe on the New Democratic Party Platform

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http://freebeacon.com/pro-israel-language-removed-from-democratic-party-platform/

For Jerusalem, the new platform has been brought into line with the Obama administration’s policy of not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and supporting its division. Jerusalem is unmentioned in the 2012 document, whereas the 2008 and 2004 Democratic Party platforms declared “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel…It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.” The Obama administration’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem has been a point of significant controversy in recent months.

On the issue of Palestinian refugees, the new document has removed language from the 2004 and 2008 platforms specifying that Palestinian “refugees” should be settled in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel.

The 2004 platform: “The creation of a Palestinian state should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.”

The 2008 platform: The peace process “should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.”

The 2012 platform contains no language on the matter.

Gone as well is the language from 2008 on the terrorist group Hamas, which currently controls the Gaza Strip. That platform declared, “The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.”

The 2012 platform contains no mention of Hamas.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/democratic-platform-endorses-taxpayer-funded-abortions_651589.html

According to a copy of the party platform, which was released online just before midnight on Monday, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

That last part–“regardless of ability to pay”–is an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortions, a policy that President Obama has personally endorsed. Obama wants Medicaid to pay directly for elective abortions, and Obamacare will allow beneficiaries to use federal subsidies to purchase health care plans that cover elective abortions.

http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2012/09/04/democrats-drop-god-from-party-platform.aspx

This is the paragraph that was in the 2008 platform:

“We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

Now the words “God-given” have been removed. The paragraph has been restructured to say this:

“We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/03/democratic-party-platform_n_1853120.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples.

Platforms are only as good as the people who run, anyway, so none of these things really come as a shocker given the current leaders in the Democratic Party. But moves like this only further call into question how more and more people who claim to be Democrat and Christian reconcile the two. This is not a political blog. I have another one of those that I almost never post to due to time constraints. But as a Catholic, politics is part of the reality we live within, and it is potentially the greatest challenge to our faith. We are constantly being asked to move the needle on how our faith responds to the political world. Many good Democrats declared themselves members of that Party decades ago due to legitimately debated issues that did not run contrary to our faith. Over the course of a generation or two, they have held onto some of those issues and even elevated their importance while rationalizing away the importance of issues that are contrary to the faith.

Problem: Had people of faith long ago resisted these incremental moves and demanded that they keep what they like about the Democratic Party while demanding Pro-Life Candidates, among other things, then maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today.

But we are. And it is a sad state of affairs.

Thanks to the complicitness of people of faith in allowing these evil positions on moral issues to take root as valid politics in the name of protecting union interests, pocketbooks, and other potentially valid issues, the left has been emboldened to push the envelope. This year’s platform is as close to “all-in” on the immoral side of the issues of our time as any Platform has ever been from a major party. Even the “moral” arguments are done from a socialistic point of view. There is not a call to arms for family and charity to step up the aid to fellow human beings, there is a call for forced assistance through the centrality of government. Some may view this as a type of Christian charity, but when those who most promote it are loathe to do so in the name of Christian charity (with some exceptions where it is seemingly politically expedient to do so) then there’s a problem.

And in the end, here is my frustration… I STILL hear people – even those whom I respect and enjoy in the blogosphere or among friends – who will suggest that there is “no difference” between the two candidates. Generally when I hear this it’s because they are lamenting one particular issue. A couple examples would be as follows: (1) Everyone wants Osama dead and seems happy enough to brag about kiling him. No difference. (2) Neither party ever does anything about the Death Penalty. No difference. (3) Both parties overspend. No difference.

Sure, it’s true that on issue #1 we seem to have reached some strangely uncomfortable level of celebrating the death of an enemy. Probably not appropriate, I’ll admit. So, the one party led the assault and the otehr says they’d have done the same. If you find this lamentable, I get it. So we’ll call that issue a tie and they both fail. On issue #2, it’s pretty much the same. There may actually be a slight difference here in favor of the left, but for the life of me I can’t find any discernible evidence to suggest it matters. And this is a legitimate question for Catholics as well, unlike issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. So, the weight of any difference here is miniscule. #3 is absolutely true, but there is still a matter of degree and a matter of what the money is spent on, and as bad as the GOP record is, this Administration’s record is worse, and currently there is only one party that is at least talking about taking the hard steps as part of the campaign – something I’m not sure I ever remember before.

So I get it. But let’s not go overboard and stop thinking here. Read the Democratic party platform and then read the GOP platform. Look at the speakers at hte Democratic Convention versus the speakers at the GOP convention. Compare the openness of sentiments of (OK, this will be a judgment call) genuine allusions to God and faith as part of the construction of principles and policy between the two.

In my opinion, anyone really being honest with themselves will see that – despite some unfortunate similarities in areas where we wish there were not – there is still a huge difference. I am not talking about tax and fiscal policy, nor am I talking about foreign policy. Those are issues we can all discuss and disagree about without running afoul of Church teachings (though some will erroneously suggest otherwise). I am talking about the very moral fabric of our society being torn asunder.

Why Obama’s “Compromise” is a Shell Game: A simple Explanation

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On the immediate announcement, it sounded as if President Obama has given Catholic and other concerned people of faith a nugget of goodwill (or, at the very least, a recognition that political damage control was needed).

It is entirely possible that many people will continue to see it that way. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not only has nothing changed, but the reality of it is that this actually ends up being worse.

Allow me to provide an example or two:

Suppose you donate to the United Way, and you designate your gift to a particular cause or two. While it may appease your sensibilities that you are designating your gift, the reality of it is that the only way this matters is if the vast majority of other donors also designate their gifts. Since most do not, all that happens is that the United Way reallocates all the other fungible donations and the final allocations are exactly the same as if you had not designated your gift at all. Now, if there are no morally offensive programs being supported, you may be OK with that. But if there are morally offensive programs, then you are, in fact, contributing to them in an indirect way. You can appease your conscience by telling yourself that “if everyone else had done what I did, there would be no problem.” But reality being what it is, that is not the case. So, all that happens is that a higher percentage of non-allocated funds are provided for undesignated programs, while a smaller percentage of other peoples’ funds are used to support the programs you designated money to. This is colloquially referred to as a “shell game.”

Why am I talking about this example? It simply provides an illustration of how something can be presented as one thing, but in reality it is something else. In this example, the contributor is made to feel good about giving to a specific group that is meaningful to them, but everyone knows that in the end it really doesn’t affect overall funding by program.

So, let’s explain the new “compromise” in the mandatory contraception debate. Prior to today, certain faith-based groups were told they would have to offer health care coverage that covered the expense of birth control (some of the abortifacient variety). The religious freedom aspect of this aside, there is a cost related to this direct coverage. Let’s just suppose the cost for some employer would be $20,000. This $20,000 hits the health care losses of the insurance company, and the rates for the program are adjusted to reflect this cost. The employer now has a plan that costs more for which they are directly covering something they are morally opposed to.

The compromise presented today is this: Employers, you can opt out. Instead, we’ll make the insurance company cover this at no cost to your employees. Thus, the thinking goes, it is not directly covered by the employer. Unfortunately, this compromise is no compromise at all, and is potentially even more harmful.

1) There is still a direct linkage to the employer’s health care coverage. In other words, if the employer opts out of health coverage, they will get fined as before. If they opt in, there is automatic coverage for birth control services. Regardless of whether or not it’s directly under that plan, or dubbed as a “service” of insurance companies, it is exactly the same thing in practice.
2) The cost doesn’t go away. The coverage is only “free” to the employee (notwithstanding increased premiums) but there is still a cost of coverage. The $20,000 does not stay with the losses of the employer, but get shifted to the expense line of the insurance company. Expenses are built into the rates for coverage, so the employer ultimately pays for the coverage.
3) Now, suppose the insurance company doesn’t load expenses for birth control utilization directly back to the employer’s health plan, but just loads it in equally across employers. The impact of this is concerning: supposing a Catholic ministry with faithful adherents to the Church’s teachings as employees, and supposing they do not use birth control at all, then their health plan costs will actually increase to accommodate the costs of contraceptive utilization of other plans. Thus, this new compromise actually leads to a situation where not only are faith based organizations paying for contraceptive use, but the more faithful the employees are to Church teachings, the more they subsidize the use of contraception in other employee bases!

This needs to be opposed just as ardently as the previous proposal. We can’t petend that everything’s going away just because the administration found a way to better disguise it.

It Appears That I Am Not Alone in My Assessments of Catholics

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As it regards the most recent election results, anyway, the Bishop of St. Louis seems to think that Catholics bailed out on their faith.  Good for him.

Click here for the story.

In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.

Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!

After almost 50 years of having 50 percent of Catholics abandoning their Catholic identity, we cannot expect to turn this culture around by short-term political efforts.

Thanks, Bishop, for just saying it like it is.

And then, there’s the incomparable Archbishop Raymond Burke (my former Bishop – whom I almost trampled over in one unfortunate incident…) He shares the same point of view of the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s Document on Faithful Citizenship that I do… muddy, confusing, and a direct contributor to electing a pro-abortion President.

ROME, January 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A document of the US Catholic Bishops is partly to blame for the abandonment of pro-life teachings by voting Catholics and the election of the “most pro-abortion president” in US history, one of the Vatican’s highest officials said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.

The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of “other grave reasons,” as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position.

Archbishop Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louise Mo. and recently appointed head of the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, told LifeSiteNews.com that although “there were a greater number of bishops who spoke up very clearly and firmly … there was also a number who did not.”

But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.

“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”

Exactly.

And the fruits have started producing. Embryonic stem-cell research has already expanded and will continue to be expanded. Obama almost immediately lifted the ban on overseas abortion funding. This stimulus package contained millions of dollars for contraceptives to Family Planning.

I continue to hold out some glimmer of hope that Catholics who voted for Obama will not be afraid to stand up and fight against FOCA. But I’m not holding my breath.