Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Difficult Days Ahead for Religious Freedom.

Msgr. Pope outlines the aftermath of the election from a Catholic perspective:

1. The strained relationship between the Catholic Church in the Democratic party will continue and the strain will likely grow. The reasons for this are that the Democratic Party is increasingly aligning itself with positions that are in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. More of this in the following points.

2. Largely unrestricted abortion will continue unabated, as will funding for organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the chief provider of abortion in this country. Possible Supreme Court nominations will also feature pro-choice jurists. Likewise many Circuit and other Federal District Court judges will continue to be appointed who favor largely unrestricted abortion.

3. The homosexual agenda will continue to grow and receive increasing legal recognition and protection. This includes not only gay “marriage” but also, other issues in the Gay agenda such as adoption, and the general insistence that the Gay lifestyle be promoted in schools and other public settings. This will require Church opposition and generally embroil us in many public disputes. This may have continued even with a Romney win, but there will be fewer political hurdles for such agendas and the pace will be quicker.

4. The HHS mandate moves forward, untouched. Our religious liberty is in greater jeopardy. We’ll have to meet the administration in court. And while the legal basis for our grievance seems strong, recent experience in the courts has demonstrated that nothing is certain. Civil disobedience may be in our future.

5. Extreme debt seems likely to pile up. Well this may not be a specific issue the Catholic Church has spoken to, it remains a fact that we spend money we do not have, and this has moral implications. Little change in a very divided Congress, means there will be likely little progress in arresting a runaway debt. This will become an increasing moral problem that the Church will likely have to address at some level. This too draws us into the morass of debates about spending priorities etc. and may divide us as a Church between fiscal conservatives and those who emphasize the Social Doctrine.

Thus, the next years ahead, will likely draw the Church into increasing conflict with the political scene in general, and the Democratic Party specifically.

One of the faults we can find in the Romney campaign was its failure to speak substantively and directly to the issue of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. It seems to have been an issue that was off the table, which is odd given the fact that there was a constituency that could have been persuaded by this theme. There were points in the second debate where Obama gave his patented lie that the issue was whether an employer would make the choice about whether women could use contraception rather than whether an employer's liberty of conscience would be overrode by a government dictate that it subsidize activity that violates their conscience. Romney never responded to this mendacious lie because, presumably, it would have led to rancor, or, perhaps, the carefullly poll tested campaign didn't think it would sell to independents.

Obviously, that plan didn't work.

Perhaps, we need rancor because we need truth.

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