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)

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.

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

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

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

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

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • TheodoreSeeber

    And now of course, a bunch of Catholics on the Supreme Court just thumbed their nose at the Church.

    It is no longer safe to be Catholic and American.

  • Manny

    Unless I skipped over it accidently you didn’t even mention that SCOTUS this morning approved gay marriage for the country. Very sad day. I said the following over at Rebecca Hamilton’s as a general comment to the state of our country, and perhaps more the state of our culture. It fits with the eneral tone of your post:

    “But on a wider note, I can’t help this recurring feeling I’ve now had for a few years, that is that I don’t recognize this country any more. It doesn’t feel like this is home any more. There were always left/right arguments and for most of my life Democrats ruled Congress and the city and state I lived in and won most of those fights. But it never felt like this. The right/left arguments today are not just about the reach of government. They are about the very foundations of western civilization. I don’t feel a connection to the institutions that are evolving. But then i look around the world and it’s basically the same thing, if not worse. I don’t feel western civilization exists any more. I’m becoming a man without a country. The deconstructionists have won. What I need is a time machine and go back into the past.

    A lot of the literature of the 20th century was about people alienated from their society. The literature of the 50′s to the end of the century was especially about people who felt alienated from tradition, people who felt they didn’t fit in. I can now sympathize with them. Today the opposite is the case. People with traditional values are the ones alienated. Perhaps I am a dinosaur, but I have never felt so alienated in my life.”

  • MeanLizzie

    Manny, a piece this long isn’t written in five minutes. It took me the better part of the morning and — as I noted in the updates — the SCOTUS news broke as I was writing it. I wasn’t even aware of it. But it doesn’t change a thing I wrote. It’s all of a piece.

  • Manny

    Oh I wasn’t criticizing. I suspected you had not seen it yet. I was just trying to say the news is even worse than you thought. I don’t know why I feel so down today. It started even before I saw any of the news. And the day seems to be getting worse. I just realized. I forgot to pray my prayer for religious freedom this morning. Maybe that’s what did it. ;)

  • Manny

    I haven’t seen the breakout of the vote, but I suspect Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts (all Catholics) voted against it.

  • Glenna Bradshaw

    Thx for telling it like it is, as usual. This is why we think we’ll probably end up losing our house etc. We ‘must obey God rather than man.”

  • Cincinnatus1775

    The ten hard hearted tribes are worshipping the calf again.

  • Kevin J. Jones

    On the plus side, if the government strips Catholic organizations’ tax-exempt status, they can organize for direct political action in an effective manner. Right now it’s all vague exhortation rather than practical, locally-relevant advice.

    Even the Knights of Columbus are heavily hindered from acting in an effective multi-partisan manner, like telling their members when party caucuses and party primaries are taking place.

  • MeanLizzie

    You seem to still be thinking that something “can be done” to stop The Party, turn the ship around and make everything as it was. IMHO it’s too late for that. Our salvation doesn’t come from policies or political engagement. And the thrust of narrative is always forward.

  • Nicholas

    DOMA went 5-4 with Kennedy writing the majority opinion. Prop 8 went 5-4 with Roberts writing the majority opinion and Kennedy + Sotomayor in the dissent.

  • crookedwren

    I’ve been saying for months we’re in the midst of a bloodless coup. I’ve seen how the Marxists have infiltrated all religions, all institutions, and individual liberty is coming to an unnatural end.

    Weeping for America.

  • Fiestamom

    I attended a baby shower this weekend with about 15 other Catholic women. A large topic of discussion was how concerned we are for our children’s future. All of us acknowledged that this country is over. The media and its bias was commented on numerous times. This was at a baby shower!

    I was reading an item about Mary yesterday, (can’t remember, maybe it was about Fatima?). But she warned that Hell’s legions had been unleashed on the earth. It sure feels that way.

  • Lydia

    Thomas and Alito voted for. Weirdly, Ginsberg and Sotomayor voted against.

  • janen7

    Once again, I knew I could count on you to say exactly what I was feeling and thinking. You’re right, it’s a downer, but it sure helps to know that I’m not alone in the world!

  • Gail Finke

    The Democratic Party has been rewarding “good” Catholics for some time now. The way to political power right now, for Catholics, is to be a Democrat and to support everything in the platform (but especially things having to do with death) while saying you’re doing so because you’re a good Catholic. There has been NO outcry from bishops against this, that I have heard. But I think it’s clear that the Democrats (I used to be one, so please don’t think I haven anything against them) have been trying to split the Catholic Church in two and may succeed.

  • jaybird1951

    “…you didn’t even mention that SCOTUS this morning approved gay marriage for the country.”: With all due respect, that is not what SCOTUS did today. The Prop 8 decision remanded the case back to California but made no ruling that the entire country must adopt gay ‘marriage’ which is what your comment definitely asserted. The DOMA decision, which I disagree with, ruled that the federal government cannot deny benefits to gay couples ‘married’ in those states that permit it but it did not apply it to the entire country. That is how I read both decisions.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Four against. We currently have SIX Cradle Catholics on the Supreme Court- Sotomayor and Kennedy are likely the two that voted against marriage (Sotomayor is divorced, so her view of the sacrament is questionable to begin with, Kennedy has a real mixed bag and was likely once again the holdout that prevented this from being worse).

  • Mandy P.

    “Yesterday I was so overwhelmed by the sense of centers having not held…”

    Funny that you should phrase it that way. I was thinking along the same lines this morning and published the Yeats poem (The Second Coming) on ye olde Facebook page. It seems like our nation, as a whole, has let the voice of God be drowned out by the screeches of feeeeeelings, and we are already across the Rubicon and on our way to genuine tyranny; although I think it will be a softer kind of tyranny that folks give in to rather than a hard, enforced at the point of a gun, Hitler/Stalin/Moa kind of thing. For now, anyway.

  • MeanLizzie
  • MeanLizzie

    Yes, of course. As I wrote here, “a Rubicon has been crossed.” They won’t need guns. They’ve gotten the minds and hearts.

  • Manny

    What???? Now I’m completely baffled.

  • Manny

    I just looked it up. That is not correct. It was the typical Conservative/Liberal split with Kennedy joining the Liberals.

  • section9

    The Party won’t win. They never do.
    Oh, in the short term the State always wins, but in the long run, the Body of Christ always stands triumphant.
    It has always been thus.

  • MeanLizzie

    But we can’t know the mind of God or what the triumphh will look like. Very often what is a triumph of heaven looks like a defeat to the world. That matters.

  • AD_Rtr_OS

    “When in the Course of human Events….”

  • subotaibahadur

    Anchoress, I am not Christian. Not anti-Christian, just don’t have the faith myself. So I will not speak on the theology. I will say that as a historian and political scientist, we are in the beginning of a very hard time. Think Rome from 44BC-69AD.

    I would like to make a note on your “too outlandish” comment re: Hastings. Yesterday, I was talking to a retired engineer friend, who worked on the early onboard car computers. He is absolutely sure that modern car computers can control speed and steering. And that they can be over-ridden from a distance. In fact, police forces have been asking for that capability for over a decade. The means are there. What is in question is whether they would do it. After what we have learned about government activities in the last two months, assumptions of ethical or moral purity are far less likely.

  • lmo

    Elizabeth, you always manage to articulate the mess of feelings and thoughts that I have been experiencing as I contemplate the future. Thank you!

  • Salt Lick

    “…we are in the beginning of a very hard time. Think Rome from 44BC-69AD.”


    I attended the “Audit the IRS” rally in DC last week. Glenn Beck, who I’m not real fond of, spoke about coming sacrifices in the fight against this thing that’s taken over our country, about how the Civil Rights movement of the 1960′s required sacrifice.

    I got a creepy feeling from his tone and delivery that Beck was thinking he might be assassinated like Martin Luther King, whom he speaks about often.

    But that would be small potatoes compared to the pogroms and murders and crucifying of Christians by Roman emperors. Those went on, and on, and on. IIRC, for over a 100 years.

  • Jeff McCabe

    They aren’t supposed to vote with the church. Supposed to vote with the constitution.

  • MeanLizzie

    I don’t listen to Glenn Beck but if he thinks this is all about God saving America, he ought to read my book. :-)

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Which even guarantees them freedom of religion. Of course, two didn’t vote with the Church, which should make those who believe that the Constitution mandates the destruction of humanity happy.

  • Wheat

    What I cannot come to grips with is that’s there’s really nothing we can do about this. Or perhaps more accurately, there’s nothing people will do.

    I keep asking myself at what point do I risk imprisonment (or my life), risk my family’s safety, risk my comfortable middle class lifestyle to stand up to what is essentially a dismantling of the American ideal and the U.S. Constitution?

    I fear that – like many Americans – by the time I realize I must do something radical, it will be too late.

  • punditus

    Hmmm, with there being no real alternative to the Demorepublicrat Party, this could give a lot of non-Catholics a home. Which is why the IRS will be told not to pull the exemption.

  • DaveO

    The RC Church provided topcover for the Party for many, many decades. The Party no longer needs the RC Church, so there’s no reason for the church fathers and mothers to maintain the fiction. Are Pope Francis and the American Cardinals strong enough to clean house? For every Archbishop Chaput, there’s a Father Fleger to spew hate and a nun willing to cast multiple votes in favor of pro-abortion candidates.
    With each passing headline, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and all those old evangelicals look more and more like Old Testament prophets.

  • rbeccah

    I am not Catholic, nor do I agree with the Church on some matters (transubstantiation, birth control, and in some extremely rare cases, abortion), but I do respect our Constitution and Bill of Rights. This administration (by extension, the Democratic Party) have been disasters for our Constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of religion. The Democrats must be taken back by those members (if any who still exist) who believe in the Constitution, or it must be replaced by another political party that does. Our country cannot be governed adequately by one party alone, but it cannot be governed by today’s Democrats at all.

  • TMLutas

    There is a dedicated band of car enthusiasts out there reverse engineering the things in order to tweak performance. If these capabilities are in them, they haven’t been found yet.

  • Austin Sims

    We already have a catholic lite denomination and it is losing members. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” We just need a few elves and hobbits to carry the ring to Mount Doom. The rest of us can hold on!

  • werewife

    Our “compliant, incurious and obsequious press” always brings me back to the same sad thought: G-d, I miss Andrew Breitbart.
    Thank you, Anchoress. Like many of your readers, I’m not a Catholic. But as an Orthodox Jew and religious Zionist, I find you a great comfort when you remind all of us of the difference between the eternal and the trivial…

  • The Sanity Inspector

    A rare day, when you can practically hear the wheels of history creak.

  • elHombre

    We are facing a “battle” between The Evil Party and The Stupid Party who occasionally meet on their common ground: corruption.
    The people are the losers – but some of us only in the short run. The Tolkien quote was dynamite on that point. Tolkien notwithstanding, it’s pretty shocking isn’t it?

  • jetty

    Our Kingdom is not of this earth, it is not bound to politicians or economies. Never forget, to pick up a political banner, one must first lay down the cross. That is not our calling.

  • God loves the children

    YOu are right. I do not see the reason for the despair though. How COULD this decision have gone our way when the bulk of the country would have just spiraled further into self-absorbed complacency?
    THere is no outrage still and whether the time is now or back when they were worshiping golden calves, the indifference is uncacceptable. Why would God allow the court to rule justly when most would not see this as a second chance to come back, but merely as a reason to yawn and move about inn their pursuit of gadgets and comfort and self-deification.

    Suffering is the path, we know that and this country has to learn that the cross must be accepted.

  • God loves the children

    We are to see that there is nothing we can do so that finally people will turn back to prayer, admitting it’s beyond them. We are not the universe’s designer, just God’s beloved creatures, made in His image, loved beyond all understanding.
    Humility. Hope. Charity. Love.
    THAT is what we can do and when we do, we shine like a million candles against the despondent darkness.

    Be of good cheer and realized that you were born for this time.

  • Aaron1960

    The Boy Scouts door is ajar, Mission Accomplished. Who’s next?

  • Ritchie The Riveter

    Both parties need to be taken back by those who believe in the Constitution … the GOP isn’t much better than the Dems these days, in that regard.

    I am quite ready to primary some of the dinosaurs out, this time around.

  • Ritchie The Riveter

    As the poster children for Romans 1:22 continue their Long March towards an Utopian mirage, let us examine our principles, than support – in word and deed – the principles our faith, our reason, and objective fact show to be sound.

    Our fellow citizens are going to need such consistent, uncompromised voices, to lead them back up the hill after this society goes off the cliff like a herd of lemmings, as it chases that mirage.

    From an evangelical Protestant, who stands with y’all on the same foundation.

  • Overheated

    You’re right, they aren’t necessarily supposed to vote with the Church, but they ARE supposed to vote their conscience, in accordance with Truth, and if their consciences are properly formed, they would have voted in favor of marriage being a lifelong union between one man and one woman. So, either the Catholic justices who voted against DOMA have malformed consciences or they indeed thumbed their noses at the Church, and Truth, didn’t they?

  • Damian DeWitt

    Cardinal Pelosi as Pope for the American Catholic Patriotic Association!

  • S Dunn

    I cannot and I will not believe that God has abandoned the United States to the wreckers and grifters of the political class. It’s time to get militant and if the American bishops will not lead us, then we shall have to look elsewhere. Though our kingdom is not of this world, we and our posterity must live in it until the true kingdom comes. When Christ commanded us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s I believe meant us to render only that much and no more. This Caesar is due only contempt and resistance. Take Ephesians 6:10-19.

  • Tom of the Missouri

    Ms. Scalia, In reference to your reply to Glen Reynolds, I think I may understand how you feel pretty good despite all that has happened. For me it happened after the election. At that point I understood our old country was never coming back. It was a kind of a letting go and refocusing on myself and my family. Like you I see recent developments as a simple continuation of the unstoppable (at least by me) flow of the rapid destruction of our country. It is almost a relief to know that it can’t be stopped. Stopping it was going to be such a long struggle and that struggle is no longer necessary. I just await the collapse and hope to be ready if possible in my lifetime to help pick up the pieces and look out for my family. This is nothing new in the long march of history. The American experiment was great while it lasted and I was fortunate to be able to participate in its twilight years.