The contemptible U.S. bishops

See JC in Houston’s comment on the miserable Catholic bishops who supported and helped push through Obamacare, and now are upset about it, because it is forcing something on them that they don’t like. They didn’t mind subjecting the rest of the country to a nightmarish leftist tyranny. They didn’t mind helping the Democrats destroy the best health care industry the world has ever seen. But now that their precious territory and their precious rights are being impinged upon, suddenly they start whining. These men are contemptible. But that’s what liberalism does. It makes everyone who embraces it, and everyone who submits internally to its power, contemptible. (Many people are in positions in life where they have no choice but to submit externally to liberalism, but submitting internally is another matter.) Furthermore, there is no major institution in Western civilization—including its two most important institutions, the Catholic Church and the United States of America—that liberalism has not taken over and pervasively corrupted.

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By the way, did you notice, when the bishops got into their big argument with Obama over the birth control mandate a few weeks ago, how all the mainstream conservatives flocked to the bishops’ side? I’m not saying that the administration was not doing something terrible that conservatives needed to oppose. I’m talking about the fact that none of the mainstream conservatives pointed out how the bishops themselves had been strongly pro-Obamacare. Why did they not point it out? Because mainstream conservatives almost never speak of the liberalism of other conservatives (“conservative” being defined here as anyone who is opposing liberalism on a given issue at a given moment, as the bishops were opposing the birth control mandate). Why? First, because conservatives operate under the compulsion to maintain conservative solidarity on any given hot-button issue of the moment; and, second, because mainstream conservatives are themselves liberal on many issues and only conservative—i.e., anti-liberal—on a relative handful of issues. Therefore they never notice how the past betrayals and surrenders by their fellow “conservatives” have led to the current ascendancy of liberalism, because they themselves have repeatedly engaged in such surrenders and betrayals. Instead, to keep the myth of conservatism alive, they treat each instant controversy as though it stood all by itself, without any history or context, a simple fight between true-blue conservatives and those terrible liberals.

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LA writes:

It was Thomas Molnar, in his 1969 book The Counterrevolution, who said that the left had targeted for subversion and takeover the two main institutions in Western civilization, namely the United States of America and the Roman Catholic Church. Forty three years later, I think we can say that the left has largely succeeded.

Steve H. writes:

Rick Santorum is the only Republican that I know that came out immediately and blasted the bishops for their former support of Obamacare under the guise of health care being a right. He told them that when you get your rights from man instead of from God, you can expect your rights to be determined by man. It is noteworthy that when Santorum made this stance against Obamacare he catapulted ahead in the polls.

Jeff C. writes:

You wrote:

“I’m talking about the fact that none of the mainstream conservatives pointed out how the bishops themselves had been strongly pro-Obamacare.”

At least one, George Will, did.

JMC in Detroit writes:

It is interesting to note that the U.S. bishops consider it highly meritorious that since 1919 they have lobbied for universal health care. They did not see then, nor do they see now, that universal health care is the actual problem: it is part of the leftist effort to take control of society one institution at a time. Universal access means what it means: the residents of a country, utilizing public funds, will have access to whatever kinds of health care the system provides. I don’t think it takes a genius to imagine that one might find oneself in the position of having to pay for things that are ethically objectionable. Did the bishops honestly believe that abortion, contraception, and sex-reassignment therapy (just to name a few) would not be part of this system? Were they disingenuous or just naive? Or is this what liberalism does to the human mind: allow it all manner of self-deception and denial in order to achieve the goal of full social equality for everyone? The bishops demanded what they have now been given.

Here is Bishop Blaire boasting of this consistent policy of the U.S. bishops.

LA to JMC in Detroit:


JMC replies:

Thanks for the feedback. I think of myself as a conservative Catholic (but not obsessed with having Mass in Latin. I don’t mind it, but I don’t need it, either) who has over the last few years (decades?) become increasingly dismayed by the spineless pandering and sycophancy of the American bishops to the media and the political left. I would, of course, have to include the European bishops in this criticism as well.

Anyway, I read your blog with great interest.

Catherine H. writes:

As a faithful Catholic, it is with some reluctance that I admit the painful truth of much of what you say regarding the American bishops, liberalism, and the healthcare law. I must, however, take issue with the phrasing in your statement,

“Furthermore, there is no major institution in Western civilization—including its two most important institutions, the Catholic Church and the United States of America—that liberalism has not taken over and pervasively corrupted.”

I understand you to say here that the institution which is the Roman Catholic Church has been taken over and pervasively corrupted by liberalism, a categorically false assertion. The Bride of Christ is not a human institution and cannot be corrupted by any means. Forgive me if I am nitpicking unnecessarily; perhaps you mean to say that the Church’s hierarchy has been taken over and corrupted, in which case I would have a hard time disputing you.

LA replies:

You are not nitpicking. Yes, of course, I meant the human institution. Still, in ordinary speech, people often use the name “the Catholic Church” to refer to the Church as an actual institution existing in this world; they are not necessarily thinking of the spiritual community formed by and under Christ.

Also, frankly, Catholic clerics often use the distinction to evade responsibility for wrongdoing by the human hierarchy, i.e., by themselves. Their view is that “the Catholic Church,” formed and led by Christ, can do no wrong, but then they let that pristine spiritual idea of the Church merge insensibly with the concrete human institution consisting of priests, bishops, and Papal Committees for Global Socialist Government, so as to suggest that the Church (the human institution), has done and can do no wrong.

The Church (meaning the hierarchy) could perhaps lessen these suspicions if it stayed out of politics and devoted itself solely to its spiritual mission of bringing men to Christ.

Also, I was disgusted some years ago, when the sex abuse scandal began, and the attitude coming from the priests and bishops was not, “A terrible thing has happened here,” but, “The Church will survive; nothing can harm the Church.” Their whole concern was not with the wrong that had been done to individuals, not with truth and the right, but with protecting the Church. And in the word “Church” as they used it, I did not hear a distinction between the human and the spiritual. They were trying to get the human institution off the hook.

Tiberge of Galliawatch writes:

I’m sorry but not surprised at all that American bishops have been “corrupted” by liberalism. In France, one of the most inexplicable features of religious life has been the open support of the bishops for Islam. Not inexplicable, of course, if you assume that leftists have infiltrated the Church, and set about to liberalizing the clergy. It is hard to prove, but I have seen it suggested at French Catholic websites, that there was a definite infiltration by Communists into the French Church.

The bishops defend their pro-Islam position on grounds of Christian charity, on Vatican II, but also on grounds that Allah is better than atheism. Some European priests have been deeply troubled by the hedonism and promiscuity of our times, and feel that Islam is bringing God back to the people. But it is hard to see how they can justify this. They are supposed to work on behalf of the Christian God, not Allah.

Unfortunately, the grand rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has followed their example. Recently he warned that Marine Le Pen is the enemy of France, and that her attitude towards Muslims is unacceptable.

The religious leaders have been less than useless in Europe’s struggle against Islam. They have been collaborators, which seems to confirm the suspicion of active infiltration.

French bishops rarely march in pro-life demonstrations, much to the dismay of the traditionalist Catholics. Their excuse is that demonstrations are a type of showing-off and not dignified for an issue such as this one. However, this year, there were a few in the pro-life rally in Paris, to the relief and surprise of some Catholics.

Long ago, a reader of mine who is a Protestant pastor explained that infiltration began slowly in the Protestant church. People were afraid to denounce those who were liberals, because very often they were friends. And people were reluctant to denounce their friends, so the liberal “friends” went unchallenged. Their numbers grew, until it was too late to expel them.

Finally, regarding health care, not only will you have to pay for procedures you object to, but you will not be allowed to pay out-of-pocket for a procedure that you want, that is suitable for your condition, but that is not covered by Obamacare. This is already true of Medicare. If Medicare won’t pay for it, then you can’t pay for it, even if you’re willing, even if it’s a procedure that may benefit you. Socialized medicine wants you dead ASAP. French Socialist economist and adviser to Presidents Mitterand and Sarkozy Jacques Attali has come out for euthanasia for all those over 65:

When he is over 60-65 years of age, men live longer than they produce. Old age is now a market, but it is not solvent. For my part, as a Socialist, I am against life extension. Euthanasia will be one of the essential instruments of our future societies.

From his book L’Avenir de la Vie, 1981.

Elsewhere he has said:

In the Socialist logic, to begin with, the problem is the following: Socialist logic is freedom, and the fundamental freedom is suicide; consequently, the right to suicide, direct or indirect, is an absolute value in this type of society.

Euthanasia will be an essential instrument of government.

So far, euthanasia is still being debated in France. I’m not up to date on the situation in America. But I doubt very much that the U.S. Bishops would ever approve of it. It’s just one of those predictable outcomes of liberalism that you often talk about. Obamacare may move in this direction if it isn’t stopped.

BTW Jacques Attali is past 65. Time to go …

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 17, 2012 12:40 AM | Send

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