Pelosi Tries to Give Talking Points to Catholics – UPDATED

Right on schedule, Nancy Pelosi tries to do what Ted Kennedy and Mario Cuomo have done before her: give talking points to Catholics who wish to hop on to policy that flies in the face of church teaching.

You’ll recall it was Kennedy (and later Cuomo) who gave voice to the corkscrew notion that one could be “personally opposed” to abortion but too broad-minded to “impose my views on others.”

Because, as you know, modern-day liberals would never presume to impose their views on others, not at all. The HHS Mandate? Pffffft!…it’s not imposing anything on Catholic institutions! It’s just making them do the right thing!

Kennedy’s duplicitous language was effective, though. It informed whole generations of very cowardly Catholic politicians and others.

[It] sounded so reasonable and tolerant that it simplified the abortion debate for people who did not care to consider how nonsensical it was. Being “personally opposed” to the death penalty, would Kennedy have tried not to “impose those views” on states, had he the chance? Had he been “personally opposed” to slavery 150 years ago, would he not certainly have tried to “impose” his views on others?

In this case, Mrs. Pelosi is attempting to impose her views, and the views of the NY Times on others, but she’s not “personally opposed”, so she can’t mush-mouth like Mario; instead, she tries to suggest — in the face of the entire teaching body of the church and thousands of years of understanding and reason, that say differently — that her Catholicism compels it.

“My religion has, compels me–and I love it for it–to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination. I think it’s unconstitutional on top of that.

You know, I don’t think Dorothy Day — who was a lot smarter than Pelosi — would have agreed. Day was both a social-teaching zealot and — by her own admission — “an obedient daughter of the church.” She might have seen the incredible political theater of the past week as “. . . a great defeat for Christianity. It is an acceptance of the idea of force and compulsion.”

Day would be right.

Oh, I know, you’re about to tell me that gay marriage is not about forcing anyone to do anything. But we all know that’s not true, because we’ve already seen that gay marriage very quickly becomes all about forcing churches (or small business owners) to betray their own consciences or face civil lawsuits, activist judges, huge settlements, quite possibly civil fines and so forth. That’s certainly “force and compulsion.” Which is why I wrote back in 2008:

“. . . the churches should reconsider their roles in authenticating marriage. Governments issue birth certificates; churches issue baptismal certificates. Governments issue death certificates; churches pray the funerals. Governments issue divorces; Churches annul. Both work within their separate and necessary spheres, serving the corporeal and the spiritual. It is only in the issue of marriage that church and state have commingled authority. That should perhaps change, and soon. Let the government certify and the churches sanctify according to their rites and sacraments.”

The handwriting was on the wall, even then. At the very least, those churches who will not capitulate and permit gay marriages in their buildings (or recognize them in their institutions) will be forced out into the periphery of the public square, as the HHS Mandate is already trying to do.

Worst case scenario? Well, I get yelled at when I say this but the worst-case scenario — and I think it’s inevitable — will be a schism and the creation of an American Catholic Church, one that works very closely with the government to “do the right thing” and reaps its worldly rewards, both material and elitist. It will claim apostolic succession as I have no doubt at all that some bishop in the US will be willing to act as titular head, and it will likely — with the help of the government (via fines, settlements, levies) — quickly lay claim to (or be awarded) Roman Catholic properties.

You think this cannot happen? Why not? It’s happened before:

. . .their resentment builds; they mark every sin within the church, all of its human faults and deep failings, and slowly they convince themselves that their ardent desiring is not objectionable, but the sin-riddled church clearly is. And so they break away. With astonishing speed, a new church is formed in authority, trained in tolerance, unified in purpose and installed within sacred structures confiscated by law, while the disgraced and rigid old church and her clergy are hounded underground.

. . .consider that such a scenario has already taken place in history — right down to the confiscation of properties and the hiding of clergy — and is in fact considered . . .to be one of King Henry VIII’s great “achievements.” . . . All of this speaks to our own era of material abundance, instant gratification and what our good Pope Benedict XVI calls “the dictatorship of relativism,” wherein we create our truths and then drown them in a syrup of sentiment disguised as justice: I like her and she wants to be a priest, so she should be. Divorce doesn’t matter. They’re so nice, why shouldn’t they marry? It’s not fair; the Church is cruel! [As with Henry]…Personal autonomy seeks greater freedom and worldly wisdom encourages self-actualization above all.

The American Catholic Church will quickly become mainstream because it will be seen as victorious over that stuffy old Roman church, and people want to be on the side with the “winner.” It will look a little different than Henry’s, but not by much:

. . .rites, rituals, “sacraments” etc, and it will even have the imprimatur of the government insofar as it may – and it will be a church that the majority flock to . . . People will go on Oprah and say “I always loved God but I never felt accepted, but this enlightened American Catholic Church tells me what I need to hear, that God loves me and that divorce, abortion and all that stuff doesn’t matter as long as I am a good person, and I AM a good person, Oprah, I AM, and now I am accepted, and (weep, weep) I feel like God finally makes sense in the world!”

“That’s right,” Oprah will declare, “there is no sin, except the sinfulness of not loving the self! God doesn’t make junk!”

Applause, applause. The only ideal that matters is the one that makes you happy and doesn’t challenge the status quo . . .and the church of Rome will probably be sued into seeming non-existance, too, for one political point after another. The church will be declared in extremis. And that is when the remnant will kick in.

I read something I really liked this week, by a writer named Margaret Rose Realy, who is a master gardener; she has a wonderful way of taking what she’s learned amid the turned earth and seeds and applying it well. In line with our stormy times, Margaret writes:

All storms end and after the big ones there is usually the fall-out and debris of broken branches littering the street and lawns. The weakest limbs, those that have declined from the lack of nourishment, have snapped off during the turbulent downpour. It is usually those branches that had grown farthest away from the trunk that have fallen away.

Energy was not drawn up from the root; the branch no longer has life within it. It is no longer able to withstand the storms. A pretty clear analogy of how I should live: Drawing life from His strong roots, developing a living faith so I won’t break apart in the turbulent storms that come.

A good analogy, too of how things will fallout within our church and our country. And, too, how the church will remain who and what it is. As she is tossed, she will draw energy from her root. And when all of the movers and shakers have had their way and perished, she will remain. And she will still be the most radically counter-cultural entity the world has ever known.

UPDATE: Francis Beckwith thoughts on Obama, Jesus and the Golden Rule

So does: Msr. Charles Pope

Ed Driscoll links from Instapundit. Thanks, Ed!

Freedom of Religion: Comparing Obamacare’s selective first amendment deferentials

NOTE: I am traveling and unable to monitor comments. Writing late last night I forgot to close comments, so some have been released. They are closed, now -admin

Anchoress Shows Up to Give Homily at Mass! Also, Fatso!
From the Chapel Hill Murders, an Opportunity for Real Tolerance
5 Reasons Why Brian Williams Will Not be Hillary’s Veep*
Anchoress is CPAC “Blogger of the Year?” Get OUT!
About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Mal

    Everytime we choose between one or the other we discriminate. Judges discriminate in favour of justice, the law or the constitution. Christians are expected to choose the teachings of Jesus. When asked a question relating to marriage Jesus said that it was for this – marriage – that God made us Male and Female at the beginning. All cultures and resligions believe the same. I haaave no idea what this woman is talking about!

  • David Paggi

    While I hope & pray that “anchoress” does not prove to be synonomous with “prophetess”, at least with respect to this awful prospect, it has an eerie similarity to the sinister dual system maintained by Communist China. Here it could be far worse.

    When prayer and the Bible were kicked out of schools in the 60′s, atheistic or secular humanism became the state religion by default, and has been growing in mind-share ever since. Under the present Administration (which posits that sexual gratification, unhindered by procreation, marital status, or gender, is a Constitutional right) it has morphed into what could be called secular hedonism, rplete with human sacrifoce.

  • Peggy Bowes

    [Long sigh] So discouraging to read with my morning coffee. We must all pray, pray, PRAY– especially the Rosary. Countries have been saved when millions pray the Rosary for reparation– Rosary prayer turned the tide of the battle of Lepanto and saved Europe; both Austria and Brazil were preserved from Communist takeover when millions prayed the Rosary. I have hope that the United States will be added to that list when we turn back to God as a nation and ask Him to heal our land through Mary and the Rosary. Mary, the Immaculate Conception, patroness of our great nation, pray for us!

  • MTD

    Walker Percy, anyone? I keep having this feeling that the only thing wrong with Love in the Ruins was the chronology. And maybe the cars with one moving part.

  • 90Domer

    What a beautiful and precisely written article illustrating the dangers of sentamentalism, especially as it applies to President Obama’s recent announcement. I have wept at how this “belief” has played out in my extended family, and now I fear how it will play out throughout our country. My rosary beads will be putting in overtime indefinitely!

  • Peggy Bowes

    Sorry! Didn’t realize comments were closed. Have a fun and blessed weekend!

  • KW

    I thought this quote sounded like something from The Onion:
    “Hunter, who leads the 15,000-member Northland church near Orlando, said it is now harder for him to support Obama, but that he would continue to do so. He said the president reassured him that he would protect the religious freedom of churches that oppose gay marriage.”

    Wasn’t there a president who said, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool can’t get fooled again”?

  • ahem

    Priests should immediately stop giving communion to fake “Catholic” politicians.

  • Anne

    Well said! I will NOT yell at you for mentioning schism because while it is not yet “formal” I think it already is here, in many ways. The danger is that things look normal in the average parish and the incremental or not so incremental watering down by omission or outright commission over the past several years has caused a collapse of spiritual life.

  • Sherry

    You forgot to mention that the American Catholic Church shall have “living saints” whose words should be taken as even more authoritative than the gospel –Nancy being premier amongst them….and we will be asked why we resist so…when they’re Good Catholics.

    It’s like she was a victim of a clown ministry liturgy once and never recovered.

  • Stephan

    Actually, I think Nancy Pelosi makes more sense than the bishops.

  • Maria

    It is spring. The remaining leaves of last fall that clung to the branches are now falling and blowing around in the cool breeze, making it feel like autumn. But it is spring.

  • Sean O

    Schism. We could have 3 Catholic Churches in the US. The liberal church libertine in all sexual matters. The Mammon church which is devoted to laissez faire Capitalism above all. And finally a remanant Church remaining loyal to the full Tradition and teachings of the Catholic faith. The first two are expressions of ill ordered & excessive libertinism or Americanism.

  • Rita

    Wow! Telling it like it is. Super article and very thoughtfully written. I sincerely pray it doesn’t come to that but, sadly, can see where it might.