The Party is Victor; Time to Save Souls and Churches – UPDATES!

Perhaps because I had been away from news consumption for the past week, yesterday’s headlines seemed ominously full of arrogance but also, conversely, refreshingly honest. It seems to me that the way the administration, its presumed successor, and their legislative henchmen and media minions were (almost merrily) staggering forward means this thing I wrote in October has essentially met its day:

Between the compliant, incurious and obsequious press, a cadre of fully-established-and-in-place White House Czars, continual “flick of the wrist, law of the land” Executive Orders, a noodle-spined congress, a senate controlled by a man who feels no compunction about stopping any-and-all-legislation not completely to his liking, and a couple more Supreme Court Justices?

“Hey, transmit to Vladimir (and Chavez, and Ahmadinejad and who-all else) that if they can just wait until after the election — then I can do as I damn please. I’ve got the precedents. I’ve got the tools, I’ve got the talent; I’ve got the drones, foreign and domestic.

And I’ll never have to answer to the press, the congress or the American people, again.”

We’re heeeere. Yesterday, a president stood up and told the country he’s making an end run around a co-equal branch of government and not an eye seemed to bat. The Party has won, and we will quickly watch everyone rush to insure that they are members-in-good-standing of The Party. They surely don’t want to have to stand on line with the proles.

The press cannot help itself, it is still mad with love, if not for the administration, then for The Party. Who is not in love may still be willing to fall in line, for a variety of reasons. Some of them may be looking at the death of Michael Hastings and thinking, “even if it really was just an accident and not — as some conspiracy theorists are trying to argue — a car-hacked-take-out (which would be breathtaking but still seems too outlandish to consider), there is no reason to put anything at all at risk. Just hang on and enjoy the ride…” and they’ll get everything they think they want, politically.

In pursuit of utopia there is no boat so terribly worth rocking in this administration, anymore.

Benghazi? “Hey, wasn’t Hillary great, telling off Congress? Only partisan freaks think that’s a real story! What situation room pictures, what orders? You’re just a racist partisan!”

AP Phone records and criminalizing journalism? “Aw, they admitted things got ‘a little out of whack, there.’ They’ll never, ever pick on us journalists, again! We’re having special off-the-record meetings again! He loves us, again!”

Sharyl Attkisson’s computer tampering? “That could have been anyone! We don’t know for sure that it was the government! And hell, if it was the government, she might have had it coming! She was practically being a partisan advocate by asking questions!”

NSA Excesses and the expansion of the hated Bush policies? “All perfectly legal, and we must need it or Obama wouldn’t be doing it. Come on, privacy is a fake issue. If you have nothing to hide, you have no problem. Shouldn’t Greenwald be in jail for making such a fuss and uncovering our secret totally legal secrets? And besides, who knows if Snowden isn’t doing the government’s bidding by letting everyone know that it’s better to lie low than be singled out, anymore? All Snowden has done, really, is facilitated the utter collapse of the GOP. And they were stupid and corrupt, anyway, which is why they have so much to hide, and why they’re just shutting down on every issue.”

IRS story? “No, that story is over. A few bad apples. Clearly the government was using a very broad list of cues! Look! A filibuster is happening in the Texas state legislature! It’s AWESOME! Not like that stupid, showboating one on the floor of the senate earlier this year! She’s wearing pink sneakers! She’s totally blowing us away with her substance!

Truthfully, it’s very easy to succumb to the shiny-things shout-out. Even as a news-junkie, I have trouble remembering all the stories and all the questions. They disappear so quickly — often within a news cycle — because the mainstream press, which still controls the national dialogue, has been reminded to stay on message.

In October, I wrote:

A republic cannot withstand the loss of an unencumbered press, and our press wasn’t even pressured into its encumbrances; it took them on willfully, carried Obama into the White House on its shoulders and then bowed out of the Oval chamber, ass-first and with besotted trembling.

For a few weeks, this spring, it looked like a few reporters might actually want to be journalists again, might actually want to regain some of the credibility they’d shredded in service to their beloved, but that seizure quickly passed. All it took for Obama to get the press back on their kneepads was a short “off the record” meeting, high above the clouds, where he assured them that they really are just as special, just as elite, as they’ve believed, and that he loves them and will give them the things they want. Like battered children with few options, they’ll believe him.

And since it looks like Hillary will have no serious competitor from either party in 2016 — in any case no one whose past and reputation cannot quickly be put through the shredder and strewn about (with a confetti spray of over-emphasized gaffes a-plenty for that all-important “look how stupid/crazy he-she is!” endnote) — there’s really no reason for the press to rehabilitate itself, after all.

Yesterday, the collection of headlines I looked at, from the climate/energy fakery to Mrs. Pelosi’s spooky near-hysterics in support of a late-term abortion filibuster rang like this in my head:

Lies = Truth. We laugh at opposition, because there really isn’t any; not from the political side, not from the church side. We own the media; we own the academy and labor; we own the White House. Soon will own the courts. Half the country isn’t paying attention and the other half has been successfully demagogued and discredited. They’re only talking to themselves.

Even dull old, spiteful, I-can’t-believe-I-voted-for-him Jimmy Carter knows it; The Party has become untouchable. he’s letting his hateful freak flag fly by raising it against the easiest, most-permissible target — the one entity that The Party, now having insured its control over everything else — will soon turn every cannon toward:

Just as that fuss [about Obama's remarks in Ireland] was dying down, though, with a few “But I still say he was anti-Catholic”s sputtering over the interwebz like the last kernels of corn popping in a microwave, along comes the dark horse to show ‘em what anti-Catholic sounds like. Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy.

In a TIME Magazine interview with Elizabeth Dias published Sunday. . .former President Jimmy Carter blithely blamed the Catholic Church for the abuse and oppression of women throughout history and across cultures. No veiled hints here…

Joanne McPortland does an absolutely beautiful job of schooling Jimmy Carter. Go read it all. Send it around, particularly to people who he’s got a point.

Like it or not, this is where the end-game is leading:if the Church won’t obey The Party; if it will not acquiesce to The Party, it will have to be dismantled, bit-by-bit.

While everyone else is tilting at windmills, insisting that “if we just work hard, keep telling the truth, keep repeating ourselves in our echo chambers, we can still win” (an insistence that assists The Party by keeping most folks distracted and divided, by the way) The Party is intent on accomplishing a kind of coup against the Catholic church and all believers of “orthodox” stripe. Tax-exempt status’ will soon be stripped. Lawsuits will be filed. Properties will be confiscated and awarded elsewhere. A Carter-ballyhooed “enlightened” American Catholic Church will quickly emerge — one happily in tune with the secular government and all of its social pronouncements; one that can “partner” with the government in a way the stubborn old Roman church never would. Its pews will fill early because its message will resonate with the Oprahesque and shallow Gospel of Feeling Good About Ourselves that we have been so attentively tutored-to these past decades.

There will be bells; there will be smells; there will be rites and rituals and it will all seem like the Catholic church, but it won’t be. It will be the Church of The Party.

China has one, too. The Roman church, the remnant, lives underground.

And then our idolatry will be fully accomplished, as we look at that shiny utopian feel-goodism and see nothing greater than ourselves, reflected back.

Our bishops fully understand this, which is why they are emphasizing the role of Christian martyrs in the history of the church during this Fortnight for Freedom

I’m sorry; I know this seems like a downer to read. Yesterday I was so overwhelmed by the sense of centers having not held that I had to go back to this First Things piece from last November to remind myself what I know to be true: that in the end, our interior lives will be our most subversive tools.

The Fortnight for Freedom is a good time to read about the lives of the Saints. Read about Thomas More. Read about Dorothy Day. Ponder John the Baptist.

Read about the people who understand that governments and nations come and go, and that Eternity is all we ever actually are meant to serve. As Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton put it: “we were born for Eternity.”

I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ – though it contains some samples or glimpses of final victory. — J.R.R. Tolkien (via)

UPDATE I:
The SCOTUS unsurprising and quite expected rulings came down as I was writing this. Just wanted to note that nothing I wrote above had anything to do with today’s news. I was still working on yesterday’s headlines! That said, the DOMA ruling doesn’t change anything I wrote above. It’s all of a piece. Here is the USCCB response to it, though.

UPDATE II:
Golly, Joanne started writing again at just the right time: “Keep Calm and Catholic On”.

UPDATE III:
Seems we’re on a similar wavelength: Fr. Dwight is feeling very concerned.

UPDATE IV:
Glenn Reynolds links, says I’m not enjoying the party!. Clever line! I’m actually having a pretty good time, all things considered!

Related:
Broken Branches
The Move to Control Churches
Pols give talking points to Catholics
Live Free and Die

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • subotaibahadur

    Here is an article from Car and Driver Magazine on just that threat.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/can-your-car-be-hacked-feature

  • S Dunn

    I don’t believe there is nothing to done. Meditate on Ephesians 6:10-20 and take heart.

  • S Dunn

    I think there IS something to be done and it’s right here:
    10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[a] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these,[b] take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,[c] 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

  • Thomas Gallagher

    “Section 9″ has touched off a smoldering wick of Pietist nonsense. The notion that Catholics must keep their heads down in the political storm, consoling themselves with the future triumph of Heaven, take no part in the sinful world of politics–is simply bad theology. We have a moral obligation to get involved, as citizens, in the political arena, as our American Catholic bishops have been pointing out repeatedly in the past few years. We have a moral right to express our political views–though gently and without threats to be sure. More importantly, we have no right to expect that Heaven will triumph in the end without a great deal of human suffering–preventable human suffering–in the meantime. To lie down in the path of evil secular regimes and secular policies is to take the path of Quakerism–which renders itself irrelevant–and Lutheranism–which voluntarily acquiesced in the monstrous evil of National Socialism. Hans Adolf Jacobsen and other German historians of this generation have pointed out that the politically quiescent Pietism of the Lutheran Church neutralized popular opposition to Hitler, so that Lutheran regions gave him his strongest popular support. Lutheran- and Quaker-style piety, the notion that all will turn out okay if we simply lead our quiet lives and try to be good examples to our neighbors, has allowed evil to triumph in the past and it can certainly do so again in this new era of moral crisis into which we are now entering. We Catholics are citizens, and we must redouble our efforts to work for the political good and to join with Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians who think as we do on political matters.

  • Ron Turner

    You wrote “Yesterday, a president stood up and told the country …” without telling us what this is about!

  • Dave

    An American Catholic Church already exists. It is called The Episcopal Church, and it has all of the vestments, all of the liturgy, and none of the beliefs. TEC accepted the agenda a decade ago and is merely a shadow of its former self. Let’s face it: those who want gay marriage do not want church, and the children of their supporters in the Church won’t be in the church, so they will wither away.

  • craig

    They’re still providing aid and comfort to the Party. Most American Cardinals are working for the other side, objectively speaking. For every Chaput, there are ten Gomezes who keep mum on life and marriage issues but shill openly for unlimited immigration, welfare, and the enlargement of state power. And for every Gomez, there are ten Dolans whose tribal affection for the Party is strong enough that they gladhand with open enemies of the faith and freely offer them Holy Communion.

    No help is coming from Rome or any of the Church hierarchy. We are utterly cut off and routed until Heaven chooses to intervene.

  • Roger in Walla Walla

    For a landscape of what is forthcoming read Michael D. O’Brien’s ECLIPSE OF THE SUN. Particularly Father Andre’s incarceration, interrogation and his forced journey to the cathedral with its new and State-compliant “liturgy.” Prescient by a great contemporary author.

  • David

    Catholics have no one to blame but themselves when it comes to these matters. For every Pelosi, Biden, or Kennedy there’s a priest and a set of parents who have failed not only their children (figuratively in the case of the clergy), but their Church. Catholic tradition had lost it’s connection to the daily life of the laity.

    It’s now been almost 50 years since the cultural revolution and it seems that when the Church needed her bishop’s most to snip this disease in the bud they were left toothless in wake of the Second Vatican Council. Many of those lost to the “spirit of the times” in the 1960′s are now grandparents, meaning the current culture’s anti-Churchism has had two generations to fester and grow in plain sight.

    Take heed from the resilience of the Orthodox under Soviet persecution. At best (like most of modern Europe it seems) the masses will simply ignore you, believing the Church to be a forgone, yet lingering relic of the past that can be easily dismissed.

    God bless.


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