For decades I figured people would wake up and raise hell before things got this bad, but I’ve been wrong. Last summer, however, I noticed stirrings and wrote “Something Big is Brewing Out There.” Democrat congressmen were shocked by constituent anger when they returned to their home districts during the August recess. Citizens back home knew more than their congressmen in Washington did about the various versions of the Obamacare bill under consideration and they were ripped. Our congressional representatives became so afraid, they wouldn’t meet with people except in the most controlled environments. Now something else is brewing that could be just as troubling for big-government liberals who are running our country into the ground.
When Speaker Pelosi cracked the whip on Democrats during the late-Saturday night vote on the multi-trillion-dollar Obamacare bill, an unforeseen element presented itself: Pelosi got her arm twisted by representatives of the American Conference of Catholic Bishops. She was told that unless she took taxpayer funding for abortion out of the House bill, the Catholic Church would actively oppose it. She buckled and pushed through the Stupak Amendment. Since then, Catholics have teamed up with Orthodox Christians and evangelical Protestants to file the “Manhattan Declaration” just two weeks ago, which declares in part:
We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:Catholics are teaming up with conservative Protestant Calvinists? Who would have predicted this twenty years ago? It’s happening because they’re both “under assault from powerful forces in our culture” and in our government - like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi - two of the most pro-abortion and pro-homosexual politicians ever to hold office. When they and their ilk pushed the disingenuously-named “Freedom Of Choice Act” or FOCA that would force conservative Christian doctors, nurses and hospitals to perform abortions, that was bad. When Pelosi, a Catholic, said the Catholic Church isn’t sure when human life begins, she was not only stating a falsehood, she was throwing down the gauntlet to the bishops. They could either slink away as they have been for decades in the face of leftist “Catholic” politicians, or they could accept the challenge. I’m very pleased to see that they’ve summoned some courage at long last. Now, leftist Democrat Senators promise they won’t sign an Obamacare bill with the Stupak Amendment in it. Moderate Democrat Senators say they won’t sign a bill without it. President Obama went up to Capitol Hill last weekend to try to work out what would seem to be an impossible impasse. I hope he fails.
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them.
The downside of the Catholic bishops’ position is that they would support Obamacare absent the abortion funding, even if it’s going to cost $2 trillion we don’t have. In that, they’re not on the same page with the Tea Party protesters. Both groups are against Obamacare, but for different reasons.
As a young Boston-Irish-Catholic-Democrat I was foolish in many ways, but my opinions about what are now called “social issues” of abortion and homosexuality were the same then as they are now: Abortion killed babies and homosexuality was a perversion. Neither deserved sanction by government. Though I was liberal on other issues, I’ve never been convinced that either abortion or homosexuality warrants government protection. The Democrat Party had a strong conservative wing in the fifties and even in most of the notorious sixties. There were lots of members with views like mine, but then Democrats moved hopelessly leftward on every issue. Now it barely tolerates any members who oppose abortion or homosexual “marriage.”
Unduly influenced by homosexual priests and bishops for the past thirty or forty years, Catholic leaders in New England and elsewhere shrank away from political battles against “gay rights” legislation - even after being ripped apart by the altar boy rape scandals of 2002. I was disgusted, and like many Catholics, cut back drastically on my donations and even considered leaving the church. Recently, however, the Portland Diocese led a successful fight against homosexual “marriage” here in Maine this year, and that defeat of the “powerful forces in our culture” caused a domino effect in New York and New Jersey immediately after.
Neither Tea Party activists nor signers of the Manhattan Declaration were foreseen by the liberal Democrat machine when they swept to power late last year, but both will be formidable enemies in 2010 against Democrats and the “powerful forces in our culture” with whom they’re so closely allied. They’ve seen their enemies lately, however, and that’s why they’re trying so hard to jam through Obamacare and Climate change fixes before too many more people wise up.
The 2010 election will be very interesting.
Addendum: The Senate rejected an amendment last night that would have blocked abortion funding from its version of the Obamacare bill on a vote of 54-45. Let's see what the Catholic Church does now. Time is very short.