It seems someone may have slipped a red pill into the DC water system. Politico reportsthat DC is turning on President Obama in light of several scandals, including revelations that the IRS has targeted groups that disagree with the president on issues and that the Department of Justice seized the phone records of Associated Press reporters. It is becoming clearer even to people on the left who have rabidly defended the president that the idea of an all-powerful government that can target you, or anyone, may not be as great as they thought it would be. This morning at Politico, this larger picture is mentioned in terms of Obamacare, and rightly so.
“If you spend most of your time on politics, the tone that’s set throughout the federal agencies really is, politics is paramount,” continued Holtz-Eakin, who heads the nonprofit American Action Forum. “If you think about a generic argument about Obamacare — which happens to be true — is that it’s going to run an enormous amount of American insurance and health care decisions through D.C., that no longer sounds benign.”
(In a Monday MSNBC appearance, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made the argument like so: “Why would you trust the bureaucracy with your health if you can’t trust the bureaucracy with your politics?”)
Sadly, the article ends with the argument that the fear of government will blow over just as other scandals (like Solyndra and the Ground Zero mosque) have blown over.
The surer bet, said Matt Bennett, vice president of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, is that the party will have even more ground to make up when it comes to persuading Americans to believe that government can be a positive good.
“My view is that when Obama said, we’re going to have the most open and transparent and ethical government in history, he absolutely meant every word of that and means it today. But the government is a gargantuan, sprawling enterprise that does stupid things every day and some of that comes to light. Because all big enterprises do stupid things,” Bennett said.
They still prefer government control to freedom. They are still okay with the idea of people suffering greatly (as long as they are a minority) to bring about a “greater good.” This is one of the main errors of the ideology of the radical left, that somehow the end justifies the means. In order to make an omelet, you have to crack some eggs. The problem is that elites run all of this, and they protect each other. It is the guy with the minority opinion, who objects to this control by elites, whose eggs are cracked, ultimately. That is why it took the story about the Associated Press and the Department of Justice to make so many in Washington rethink President Obama. “How dare he do that” to the press who defends him at every turn. How dare he use his power to attack fellow elites.
Bucks County Courier Times columnist J.D. Mullane reports from the courtroom via Twitter that Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been found guilty of murder in three of the four 1st degree murder charges against him. Gosnell murdered three children, according to the jury, that had been born alive during the course of separate abortion procedures.
Courtroom fell silent as #Gosnell found guilty of murdering babies A, C and D. He faces death in each case.
The pro-abortion fake Catholic group “Catholics for Choice” has long sought to spread confusion among Catholics by claiming that it is “Catholic” to be for abortion and contraception. In Kenya, they are using a billboard campaign, which they have ludicrously dubbed “Condoms for Life,” to do just that. John Cardinal Njue and other Catholic bishops in Kenya are having none of it, though. In a press conference, they slammed “Catholics for Choice” and called on all Catholics to “ignore” these billboards. Thanks be to God for their stand against “Catholics for Choice.”
Never mind that Catholic hospitals are more committed to serving the poor than other healthcare institutions. Liberals in Washington are opposing Catholic healthcare because it doesn’t include abortion, suicide, and support for homosexual lifestyles. These things, for the liberal, trump care for the poor.
Catholic hospital leaders said that changes in the medical and economic landscape could threaten service to millions of Americans in rural and suburban areas who might have no choices at all if their local hospital closed or shrank, and that Catholic partners — driven by a mission to serve the underserved — are uniquely fitted to help. The issue is not availability of abortion or consult to the dying, they say, which will still be available in secular institutions not that far away, but access to care at all.
“The Catholic health system is in many of the communities we’re in because other health care providers have not wanted to serve those communities and have not had a commitment to serve every human being,” said Peter Adler, a senior vice president at PeaceHealth, a Catholic hospital system based in the Pacific Northwest that is one of the bidders for the three hospitals in northwest Washington.
But critics said that Catholic hospitals do not, in fact, serve every human being because they deny certain reproductive services or end-of-life care that could help a dying patient end his or her suffering.
The “critic” they quote to convince you that Catholic healthcare must be stopped is a “Catholic lesbian” which is kind of like quoting Martin Luther, the German monk who led the 16th century protestant revolt in Germany, to ask his thoughts on Catholicism.
“It’s a collision course,” said Suzanne Holland, a science and values professor in the department of religion at the University of Puget Sound, referring to the potential of constriction in health care options from economic change, and at the same time restricted choice on moral grounds at hospitals operated through a lens of religious doctrine.
Professor Holland, a Catholic and a lesbian, said she already tried to avoid going to a Catholic hospital near her because she was concerned that administrators there would not recognize the rights of her civil union partner.
For the liberal, it’s more important (or, at least, just as important) that homosexuality be deemed sacred than for a child in poverty to get treatment for an illness like influenza, or for an injury like a broken femur from falling out of a tree. If homosexuality, abortion and suicide are not deemed to be sacred by a hospital, then that hospital must not be allowed to expand, according to Washington liberals.
Personally and spiritually speaking, Rick Santorum is quite the Passionist. What I mean is, he has a keen awareness that our sufferings have value to God and that we all have a share in the Cross of Jesus, with each other and for each other, out of love for each other and for the purpose of giving thanks and praise to God, Who is the source of all of our blessings. This is crystal clear in his article about Brendan Kelly.
When he writes things like this, I wonder what people who are not Catholic will think about it. Barack Obama speaks of God and faith frequently, but he is not criticized for it as Rick Santorum is. When a Democrat speaks about God and faith, it is either yawned at or considered a good thing. When Republicans like Rick Santorum do it, there is undeniable panic. (The same holds with Governor Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Tony Perkins, and other politicos who are people of faith.) People accuse Republicans of “theocracy.” There is a word for people who claim Republicans want “theocracy” when they speak as openly about God as Democrats do and when the same criticisms are not directed at Democrats. That word is “hypocrisy.”
So, what is it, exactly, that makes Brendan Kelly saintly? It is primarily that he is an innocent who made the choice to offer up his sufferings for others, in an act of love. Would that we would all do that, in our sufferings. America would surely be a better place in which to live if we would put the needs of others before ourselves, especially when doing so may cause us some discomfort.
What do I mean by “suffering offered for others?” It can be any kind of suffering, actually. I’m reminded of a video tweeted recently by Patricia Heaton.
While he was imprisoned in Rome, St. Paul wrote to the Church at Colossæ:
I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.– Colossians 1:24
Rick says that he believes Brendan Kelly is a saint, and the basis he offers is sound, at least for us Catholics. My greatest sorrow is that so few people, even many Catholics who were poorly catechized, realize that our sufferings may have graces attached to them if we offer them up in union with the sufferings of Christ. The Santorums understand this, and I am grateful that they do. That they do shows their genuine compassion for those who suffer, because they see that each of us has this role in God’s plan of love. In this, their Catholic Faith is truly authentic.
How might all of this translate to policy if Rick Santorum were to become president? It doesn’t really have a translation to policy except in the context of freedom. You read that right. Freedom. There is a very good passage on suffering in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that speaks of the inherent “mystery of lawlessness” and the “mystery of religion.”
God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? “I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution”, said St. Augustine, and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For “the mystery of lawlessness” is clarified only in the light of the “mystery of our religion”. The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace. We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.
It is only in the “mystery of religion” that the “mystery of lawlessness” is “clarified.” A moral society does not need as many laws as an immoral society does. Further, we are not going to have a moral society as long as we keep propping up people who insist that it is the role of government to “end suffering” for us. While it is true that there is a collective responsibility to bring healing in society, the more religion is removed from that role, the more lawlessness there will be, because, as the catechism rightly says, it is through religion that we understand lawlessness with full clarity.
Where morality is unwelcome or illegal, immorality will automatically rule. Where immorality rules, lawlessness (in God’s eyes) becomes the law of civil government. That is how we end up with unjust laws. On the other hand, the more freedom people have to do what they believe to be God’s will, and of course, the more committed they are to doing God’s will, the less need there is for government. This is why it is important for our leaders to speak openly about faith in God. It is God who will bring healing to America, through His love and through our love for each other, not government. Certainly, there must be laws to protect the innocent from the corrupt, but those laws must be just laws. Otherwise, the innocent become criminals.
Rick Santorum gets this, I know, because he speaks so frequently about the importance of our mediate institutions in society (non-profits of all kinds) in ministering to people in need. It is the “mystery of religion” that relies firmly on freedom of conscience which brings light to society. The “mystery of religion” is the “clarity” that shines light on the “mystery of lawlessness.”
Just as Brendan Kelly’s free choice, as a matter of conscience, to offer his sufferings for Bella and others was truly redemptive, so will our efforts on behalf of each other in a free society be redemptive for our country. It is not “theocracy” to simply allow people to do what they believe to be God’s will. It is tyranny, though, for the civil law to prevent people from doing what they believe to be God’s will.
I hope some of this makes sense. If you don’t understand, feel free to ask for elaboration in the comments.
Thank you, Rick, for understanding the Passion…and for everything that you and your family do to make it known. If any Santorums are reading this, I hope you approve of what I wrote here. I never seem to get this right enough to suit myself.
It is being reported by her brother that Michelle Knight wishes to be reunited with the son who was taken from her by authorities before she was abducted by Ariel Castro. Her son was conceived as a result of a gang rape that occurred before she was abducted. Ariel Castro is being charged with killing five of Michelle’s children conceived in rape during his imprisonment of her and two other women, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
Today, I’d like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to Michelle Knight. I pray that she is reunited with her son.