Most disappointing are those Catholics who pair their acceptance of torture – which in the case of the CIA’s operation resulted in the death of at least one innocent man – with an assertion of their impeccable pro-life credentials, as if their condemnation of one intrinsically evil act cancels their embrace of another intrinsically evil act, sort of a moral “buy one, get one free” deal. If nothing else, this response demonstrates once again the appalling state of catechesis in the American Church, where members, lacking deep formation in the Gospel, interpret the world through the lenses of ideology and party affiliation.
Sadly, none of this is really any surprise. Most Americans think of themselves as good Christians. Many consider the United States to be a Christian country, founded on Christian principles, and the preeminent defender of Christian values in the world. But our comfortable attachment to violence gives the lie to all of that.
How can it be that the greatest champions of “ends justify the means” thinking in the US right now are “faithful” Catholics? How can it be that “prolife” Catholics are the loudest champion of anal rape and threats to murder children in order to save one’s own skin? How can it be that “prolife” Christians are daring to suggest that opposition to such crimes is somehow tantamount to support for abortion? I cannot find any other category than “demonic” to describe the use of the unborn as human shields for enthusiasm for torture.
Therefore, I would like to propose a novena for the purpose of breaking this spiritual stronghold of panic and the embrace of evil that seems to imprison the hearts and minds of so many Catholics who appear to be stone blind to the radical contradiction between approval of torture and opposition to abortion (and, of course, approval of abortion and opposition to torture).
I think I will start it on New Year’s Day. Seems like a good time for turning over new leaves.