Group called “Catholic Democrats” embrace polls rather than the Faith

A group called Catholic Democrats has been defending the University of Notre Shame and now is defending Georgetown University’s willingness to cover over the name of the Lord so as to placate the present administration in the White House.  They put out a release, below, with my emphases and comments.

Catholic Democrats Decries Attacks on President Obama and Georgetown University
 
Cites Poll Showing Increased Catholic Support for Obama 

Boston, MA -  Catholic Democrats  denounces the latest round of right-wing attacks on President Obama and Catholic universities that surfaced after the President delivered a major policy speech on the economy at Georgetown University this past Tuesday.  Critics falsely claim that a cross and a Catholic Christogram on a pediment were purposefully covered to "deny" or "nix" ‘Jesus’ during the President’s speech.   [Well... those are the facts, right?]
"This is just another desperate attempt by a vocal minority on the far Right [
[If this a movement from is such a tiny fringe, why are they getting so worked up about it?]
to create a false narrative intended to divide the Catholic community and President Obama," said Steve Krueger, National Director of the Catholic Democrats.  [!!?  How much unity is their with the Catholic "community" on the part of President Obama?] "They should know that the White House and Georgetown followed a standard operating procedure for setting a backdrop for a presidential address. [So, covering the Holy Name is standard operating procedure.  Got it.] At a time when millions of people are struggling to pay the rent, these increasingly irrelevant [sounds hysterical, doesn't he...] critics don’t realize that they have bigger concerns than the stagecraft of a presidential speech or being the watchdogs of Catholic identity for laudable Catholic universities.  [So, they do place worldly concerns before their reverence for the Lord.  Got it.  Also, even if we were to stipulate that there are "bigger" concerns, it is no problem for us to think about more than one issue at a time.  We can consider both the stagecraft and the social issues and don't have to choose between them.] Coming on the heels of fueling a politically motivated controversy at Notre Dame, [Here is that fatal flaw we have seen in so often.  They are politicizing these events.  They are dragging politics.  They are reading everything through a political lens.  The Catholics who protest against a Catholic University honoring the most actively pro-abortion President in American history, or covering over the Name of the Saviour in acquiesensce to his desires, are protesting because of their faith not because of their political affiliations.] this pattern of attack [Actually, it is a pattern of defense, defense of a faithful Catholic identity.] is the reason Catholic Democrats has recently launched an on-line statement of support for Catholic colleges."
The White House issued a statement this week saying, "Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events.  Any suggestions to the contrary are simply false." [Surrrrrre.]  The Rev. Thomas Reese, S.J., [No surprise that he would chime in to support this manifestly political group.] a Jesuit and a senior fellow at the Woodstock Institute at Georgetown University, stated earlier this week that he doesn’t "think this [was] motivated by theology.[But... what is motivated by theology there?]  A Georgetown University spokesperson, also on record, stated that the White House’s request was "consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches." [Sure.  We already got that part.  It is standard operating procedure to cover up the Name of Jesus at that Jesuit University in favor of a secular leader with values antithetical to the Catholic Church's teachings.]
"President Obama’s approval rating remains high among Catholics for good reason," [I think it is called "scandal".] said Dr. Patrick Whelan, President of the Catholic Democrats.  "The Catholic sensibilities he developed as a community organizer in the parishes of Chicago [Those were "Catholic sensibilities"?] are reflected in the policies of his presidency – from putting a halt to torture and passing a health care plan for vulnerable children (S-CHIP), to providing critical services for the poor in the Stimulus Package and in calling for an end to nuclear arms."  [So far no mention of abortion or of causing children who survive abortions to die.]
Last November, the majority of Catholics voted for President Obama by a margin of 54% to 45%, a rate higher than the 52% to 46% margin among non-Catholics.  Earlier this month, The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released a new poll showing that the President’s favorability ratings among Catholics had risen to 65% favorable vs. 23% unfavorable, exceeding both his election margin and his current favorability ratings among the general population (63% vs. 25%).  [Nope... still nothing.  Numbers really impress these people... more than the Church's teachings, apparently.]

 

These politically motivated defenders of the pro-abortion President choose polling data, at least when it suits them, as the measure of their convictions rather than the teachings of the Church.

In the meantime, they are unruffled by the covering over of the Holy Name.   Indeed, they seem to be pleased about it, since it gains for them another opportunity to slide onto the radar screen of this administration.  They are fine with giving honors to President Obama, since they will share his stage when he receives them.

What was it St. Thomas More said?  

"…. but for Wales?"

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74 Responses to Group called “Catholic Democrats” embrace polls rather than the Faith

  1. John Enright says:

    Absolutely appalling.

  2. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    I wonder how many good Catholics, but still wary of the intolerant world around them, simply told the pollster that they support Mr Obama? Classic polling problem…people are less likely to admit to unpopular choices. Like university campuses…how many students ADMIT to being Conservative/Republican/right-of-centre?

  3. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    The worst part about it is the White House’s admission that they were simply following SOP in setting up a backdrop for a major presidential speech. As I said over at mine (v.s.), they could have used the Oval Office or the Press Room for the speech, if they wanted a familiar setting.

    They wanted the worldwide prestige of G’town; they wanted the Catholic cred that comes with G’town’s roots; they did not want the tradition or any part of it.

    The most confusing thing is figuring out who in this sordid business is the pander and who the…

  4. Patrick McNally says:

    Many people, for a variety of reasons, call themselves Catholics when, in fact they are not. They either do not practicde their Faith or they do but they do not fulfill the requirements of belief necessary to be in communion.

    A reminder from Cardinal Ratzinger in 2004:
    Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    When I was returning to the Faith a few decades back the priest assisting me laughingly replied to my unthinking remark that I agreed with the church on about 90% of what she taught, by saying, “You know, back in seminary, we learned a term for those who believe in 80-90% of what the Catholic Church teaches.” I was expecting to learn an obscure and arcane term, probably in Greek or Latin, when he continued, “Yeah, we call ‘em protestants! Think about it knucklehead.” Point made.

    My grandmother also had a saying; she was a tough old Irish matron, “You can call a turd a rose, but that doesn’t make it one!”

    On a more charitable note…let’s all pray for the non-Catholics…the bad Catholics (I’ve been one, hope I’m not anymore) and the good Catholics…that should just about cover it.

    May God richly bless you, those whom you love and those for whom you pray!

  5. Stephen says:

    Hhhhmmm…. I bet if you scratched you’d find George Soros under the Catholic Democrats veneer.

  6. As I read through your gloss, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, it struck me that you are taking the White House staff’s protestations to the effect that they were merely following SOP to mean SOP for when the President speaks at G’town. [I don't think I said that.]

    I do not see that.

    I understand their statements to mean that they set up the stage at Georgetown to look exactly like the stages they set elsewhere.

    Fine.

    Then why the desire to do it at Georgetown, and why in Gaston Hall, of all places?

    Just to be perfectly clear, I am not pointing this out to defend G’town or the White House.

    On the contrary, I think my reading strengthens the indictment against both.

  7. Max says:

    Krueger is (or at least was) executive director of Voice of the Faithful. Surprised?

    *yawn*

  8. Ricky Vines says:

    I emphatically agree with your comment on “Coming on the heels of fueling a politically motivated controversy at Notre Dame,” This is the LIE that the administration is selling i.e. that the defense for life is politically
    motivated. If so, they it would have the same value as their offensive against life. It diminishes a stand
    for morality with a political posture and just like an opinion would have relative value.

    The excerpt from A Man for All Seasons where St. Thomas pointed out eschatalogical realities vis-a-vis
    the glamour of the world fits like a glove.

    I think this Catholic Democrats are the disciples of Judas Iscariot and are related to Pontius Pilate. They
    sell out the Lord and have Him murdered for the same of expediency and political gain.

    And I am pro-life to the bone and I am opposed to ALL of Obama’s aggresion against the unborn.
    Just check my blog. The only item that I might add is that perhaps we need to choose our battles.
    If Obama used the religious backdrop and quoted Scriptures, then we might accuse him of hypocrisy and
    exploiting religious imagery and literature. So, what was done appears to be a more honest rendition
    of his irreligious posture.

  9. Bishop D’Arcy has asked the question a number of times now of Notre Dame: “Have they chosen prestige over Truth?” This is a relevant question in this case as well. To this I offer a new motto for the seal of the University: Honor Super Veritatem.

  10. TJM says:

    Actually Pew Research is a very liberal polling group. I would take ANY statistics they provide with a HUGE grain of salt. This poll is also contrary to most of the recent polling which shows overall support for Abortion King falling among Catholics. Moreover, if you look at polling of Catholics who go to Mass every week, Abortion King only got around 35% of their vote, which is still too high for people allegedly serious about their Faith. Make no mistake folks, Joseph Goebbels would be very pleased with the vast left-wing media machine’s constant onslaught and false facts to support their new Fuhrer. Tom

  11. Amy says:

    These people’s thoughts aren’t worth the imaginary ink you published this story with.

  12. Andreas says:

    Re: “click to play”

    Oh no, I don’t need to click anything: I know exactly what that is and what it says: Everyone should own a DVD of that.

  13. little gal says:

    Even the Nat’l. Catholic Reporter is running articles stating that Obama is in trouble with Catholics ( http://ncronline.org/news/politics/president-obamas-catholic-problem ):

    “President Obama has a Catholic problem. The vituperative attacks on him over his decision to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame are evidence of a deeper disquiet because they have not been restricted to the radical pro-life fringe.”

    And from Michael Gerson @ the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/31/AR2009033103201.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns):

    “And this may be one reason Obama’s support among Catholics has eroded. According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who disapprove of Obama’s job performance increased by nine points from February to March. Among Catholics as a whole, his disapproval rating jumped 14 points. And among white, non-Hispanic Catholics, the figure doubled — from 20 percent to 41 percent.”

  14. Dan says:

    “At a time when millions of people are struggling to pay the rent, these increasingly irrelevant [sounds hysterical, doesn’t he…] critics don’t realize that they have bigger concerns than the stagecraft of a presidential speech or being the watchdogs of Catholic identity for laudable Catholic universities.”

    It’s OK for the president to concern himself with having ‘IHS’ covered up (don’t forget it was his request) but for us to notice is a problem because we should be looking at the bigger picture. I think we see the big picture a lot clearer than those who look to the world.

  15. Jason Keener says:

    We Catholics should stop letting Obama make fools out of us. We invite Obama to Georgetown and then let his staff redecorate the place to cover up Christian symbols. We invite Obama to Notre Dame to receive an honorary degree when Obama flouts both the natural moral law and the Catholic Faith.

    I also find Obama’s use of religion for his own purposes quite debased. A few weeks ago, Obama was bowing to a Muslim king and touring a mosque in Turkey to kiss up to the Muslims. Did Obama ask the mosque to cover up all of their Islamic art, or is it just the big bad Catholics who have to cover up theirs? I thought liberals were so open-minded. That’s right. Liberals are only open-minded when it suits their agenda.

  16. Andreas says:

    In some level I am glad to see that all of this is happening because we are going through a process of separating what is genuine from what is fake. The Church is starting to loose some of the fat and it will be trimmer and stronger as a consequence. It is becoming increasingly more clear what is and what is not a Catholic position.

  17. JohnE says:

    Obama may have requested it, but Georgetown would’ve covered up Jesus’ name for anybody or for any context that has nothing to do with Christ, which for a progressive “Catholic” university like Georgetown is just about anything. They’re probably kicking themselves now. None of this would’ve been a big deal if they would’ve removed his name long time ago.

  18. mpm says:

    “They wanted the worldwide prestige of G’town; they wanted the Catholic cred that comes with G’town’s roots; they did not want the tradition or any part of it.”

    When I went there (68-72), they had worldwide prestige: there was the Sheiks’s
    son with the corvette that had a bar in it, stuff like that…

    As to “Catholic cred”, I’m at a loss. I doubt that G’town, as you call it, had
    feelings any different than the Obama adiministration’s, as you describe them. A
    match made in ???

  19. tertullian says:

    I wish the Holy See would instruct it’s lawyers to send a cease and desist letter to these frauds and prevent them from using the name ‘Catholics’.

  20. Between Kmiec and the debacles at ObamaGeorgetown and Notre Shame, that clip from A Man For All Seasons is getting a lot of play this week.

  21. Thomas says:

    Andreas, is it a little over the top that I can quote virtually that entire movie (and frequently do)?

  22. ED says:

    This out in the open apostasy fueled by Barack Obama has been a long time in coming due to Bishops allowing these heretics to work in their chanceries and other church jobs, only faithful Catholics should be in those positions. This out in the open is what faithful Catholics knew for years was going on at their local parish. I recently saw an article in Homeletic and Pastoral review written by a good priest from the Lincoln diocese, he was writing about what qualities a church worker must have. As usual he stated all their academic achievements (The Church in America was Built by the factory workers pennies and after Vatican 2 destroyed by their heretical “intellectual” children with their college degrees) He failed to state the workers love for JESUS and the Mystical Body. Maybe good bishops should hire less skilled workers but more CATHOLIC ones.

  23. Rev. Dr. Mik says:

    please, read what the university said…..the shame how stories go and change and make others bad or wrong…there is a Divine Commandment dealing with false statements made about others…
    the government did NOT direct or order any cover up… of any kind….they asked for a clear plain space….please do not use this space Fr. Z to spread falsehoods. Would any university want all government statements made in front of the logo of the college, or is it correct behavior to have IHS or cross or religious sign with a government statements. Some folks just can not get over the FACT they LOST the election. [Another person who has fallen into the trap. It must be getting pretty crowded in there! Nobody is surprised that this administration would want to cover over the Holy Name.. for whatever reason. The problem is that
    Georgetown actually did it. It isn't a matter of politics unless that is where you live and breathe. This is a matter of public witness to your faith and your Catholic identity. There. Get it yet? Our being upset is not about the politics.]

  24. paul says:

    I think these “Catholic democrats” are revealing so much about themselves it is truly disturbing…

  25. Joe says:

    Rev. Dr. Mik……

    The unborn, and crisis pregnancy centers, are the big losers in the last election.

    You sound like an obamabot. Pro lifers will not rest until this man and his ilk are gone from Washington.

    Does that bother you?

    Maybe you can volunteer to pay the federal income tax that will pay the interest on Obama’s debt, instead of myself and my son.

  26. Dominic says:

    “Some folks just can not get over the FACT they LOST the election.” — Mik

    “The unborn, and crisis pregnancy centers, are the big losers in the last election.” — by Joe

    Joe, very well said!

  27. Latekate says:

    The “Catholic Democrats” are wolves in sheeps clothing. They portray themselves as Catholic to try to mislead real Catholics and the rest of the world.
    Obamas Georgetown antics appear to be primarily to present a message: the state trumps God. You are free to believe in God or practice your religion but if the government messiah shows up or makes conflicting rules the government supercedes and reigns supreme.
    Which is, of course, idolatry.
    Pray for them.

  28. therese b says:

    Careful now, Fr Z, when posting defamatory film clips about the Welsh.
    Look what happened to the Ginger Snap when she criticised them …….

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1216455.stm

  29. Indelible Inkstain says:

    Rev. Dr. Mik,

    If the University had misgivings of what Pres. Obama would say, or what he stands for (in terms of policy positions) they should not have invited him in the first place. Having invited him, they should not have shamefacedly hidden the symbol of Our Lord.

    If you read any of the commentary on this blog at all, you will realize that the outcry over the sycophantic approach of certain “Catholic” institutions to the Obama adminitration is driven by the horrendous advocacy of crimes against the unborn by this administration, not by party affiliation. (Although, of course there is some overlap)

  30. Bill in Texas says:

    Dear “Rev. Dr. Mik” (whoever you are):

    Pro-Life is not a political statement. The sanctity of life is an article of faith that Catholics are bound to uphold, regardless of their political beliefs.

    Winning an election does NOT give a politician the privilge of receiving honors from those whose religious beliefs and rights under the Constitution he has promised to trample and ignore.

    Who am I? A faithful Catholic Christian, a dedicated parent who cares deeply about the innocent and the defenseless from conception to natural death, a faithful American who has served this nation in war and in peace, and a life-long political independent (in that order).

  31. Supertradmom says:

    I am still hearing from Catholic Democrats who voted for Obama that he is concerned about many issues which are in alignment with the Church’s teaching on social issues. And, I cannot believe that these people are so blind to the inconsistency of Obama’s positions regarding Life from womb to tomb. My question is this: Why are so many seemingly good Catholics, who go to adoration, and even daily Mass, supporting this president? I can no longer discuss any of these issues outside my immediate family, as so many people are mesmerized by this man and are clearly irritated by what they call a “highly divisive position” of conservative Catholicism. .

  32. In one sense we are “right wing” – because we are right! And numbers do impress these people and those who voted for Obama. We all know the choice between mammon and God, that one cannot serve two masters. Most English Bishops caved in too, so “Catholic” Democrats are doing nothing new.

  33. Patrick McNally says:

    So-called Rev. Dr. Mik…this is an internecine and intra-family debate. You are so obviously not a Catholic. You certainly have the right to your freedom of expression. I suggest you direct and confine it to your own blogs or wherever non-Catholics go to criticize and insult earnest Catholics.

    Supertradmom…I understand your consternation, but there is no such a thing as a conservative Catholic. There are Catholics and there are non-Catholics. Sadly, all too often, the latter masquerade as the former for cynical, politcal and selfish reasons. Keep the faith, sister.

    May God bless everyone reading this, even and maybe especially those who come here to stir up mischief and only seek to insult us or obfuscate the truth. You deserve our prayers too…and you need them more!

    As ever, forgive me for my momentary lack of charity, but the cynical and artful (perhaps self-deluded) liars are beginning to irritate me.

    Thank you…

  34. Paul J. B. says:

    All this can serve as yet another reminder of the need to support morally and financially the few Catholic institutions of higher education that are consistently faithful to the magisterium–as well as the need to increase there numbers! This “Catholic Democrat” position is the default one on most of the older and more established Catholic universities these days, and will remain so because most faculty, administration, and staff, (and often governing boards?) want them to stay that way.

    If anyone has the ear of bishops this is an issue that really does need attention, since it’s precisely in college that young people often lose their faith.

  35. Ricky Vines says:

    1.) Was it Mark Twain who wrote, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Those numbers can’t be right. But suppose they were, why does the POTUS continue to woo Catholics? I think we have more power than before the elections. Or people just want us to condone the slaughter of the innocents. The voice of prophets can be irritating or even haunting.

    2.) The conflict about right to life is not a political one – even if the Democrats spin it that way. Perhaps that what they say to themselves to sleep at night.

    3.) Re: “Jesuit and a senior fellow at the Woodstock Institute at Georgetown University, stated earlier this week that he doesn’t “think this [was] motivated by theology.” There are good Jesuits and there are those who need to be disciplined by their superiors or the local ordinary. But in spin city, the superiors and local ordinaries may care more about being graced by presidential visits and parties.

    4.) I am waiting for some commentator to play the race card. And I’ll preempt that right now by saying, “Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry et. al. did not go after the unborn with the ferocity as you know who.”

  36. Sandra in Severn says:

    So it’s NOT Catholic Democrats it is really Democrat catholics (small “c” intentional). And putting political party ideology before all else, sounds like a few other groups from the ruins of human history.

    I’m reading “Benedict of Bavaria An Intimate Portrait of the Pope and His Homeland” and a couple items about the Holy Father’s childhood seem to echo in the present times.

    One question, exactly how many are there of this “so-called” group of Catholics?

  37. FXR2 says:

    Steve Krueger and the rest of the “Catholic” Democrats miss the point entirely. No one is upset that the POTUS would want a uniform background for a policy speech. The problem is entirely with Georgetown. That a “Catholic” University founded and administered by the “Catholic” Society of Jesus would obscure the Holy Name of Jesus for anyone or anything is the problem. I was named for St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit, and I am sure he and the other Jesuit Missionaries are spinning in their graves. I can only recommend prayer.

    FXR2

  38. Herbert says:

    Popularity polls are nothing in the Eyes of the Lord. The Lord does not look into the outside nor to popular sentiment. I am saddened that some Priests in the academe can deny Our Lord and exalt an earthly leader. I remember the countless saints and martyrs of the Roman Colosseum who were mangled by wild beasts and died a martyr’s death because they wont serve or offer incense to the Emperor. For they confess that there is only One God to whom they should pay homage. That there is only one Name to which all knees should bow – JESUS CHRIST, the Son of the Living God. Obama is not God. No matter how popular he is, the fact remains that some of his policies on birth control and reproductive health are contrary to the fundamental teachings of the Church. I hope Christians will not be impressed by pride and vainglory. Let us look up unto Jesus, crucified on the cross, let our Glory be on the Cross as St. Paul said.

  39. Great article as usual. It reminds me of the lectures about how polling doesn’t show a true reflection of anything but what the pollers want to see, from my communications classes back in college.

  40. RichR says:

    I love the video quote of St. Thomas More.

    It always reminds me of a comment made by my favorite Welsh peasant, Mr. Michael Davies. He was talking about his national pride and mentioned this movie scene where Thomas says, “It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world, but for Wales?” And Davies replies, “What else on earth is there worth giving up your soul for?”

  41. I was taking my reading from the following part of your gloss:

    \”They should know that the White House and Georgetown followed a standard operating procedure for setting a backdrop for a presidential address. [So, covering the Holy Name is standard operating procedure. Got it.]

    I see how this may mean that it is White House SOP to cover the Holy Name wherever they find it. I also see how it may simply mean that the White House staff came in and set up its standard presidential stage, taking the extra step of covering the Holy Name in order to ensure \”aesthetic continuity\” with the sets erected for previous speeches.

    This second reading makes the question, \”Why GU?\” and its sister, \”Why did GU lie down for the President?\” press upon us with greater, not lesser urgency.

  42. fortradition says:

    In the spiritual rhelm, our dear Lord is now separating the sheep from the goats.

    Ah, those last scenes from “A Man For All Seasons”..my favorite movie from which we can all draw strength.

    St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, pray for us.

  43. Mark says:

    I’ve always thought that the progressives, or more precisely, their leaders, being thoroughly political, are much better at organizing and strategy than the conservatives or traditionalists are. Progressives have sucessfully encapsulated the new Mass within the well crafted “Liturgical Councils”, to exercise their control over it. They dominate many formerly Catholic institutions of higher learning. For a time they’ve operated effective filters that restricted access to seminaries to only those they’ve smiled upon.

    Now, it seems, they are playing for larger stakes on the national political arena. I think that the overall effect of front groups like this one may be the creation of an alternate magisterium in the mind of an average Catholic. On one hand we will have the USCCB and the Vatican, producing their documents, and on the other this alternate magisterium will “interpret” them to align them in a politically correct direction, or outright produce “teachings” of their own. I must admit that this is a very coherent strategy of total control on all levels, from the new Mass, to the Universities and Seminaries, and now, the public voice of the Church in our country. The only weakness is, as I see it, is that this strategy of this world only, and like other such grand attempts at total control, will ultimately fail.

  44. Simon Platt says:

    On a related note, readers from the US might like to hear the BBC correspondent Justin Webb’s report on the Church and US politics, as broadcast on Radio 4 this morning. It’s available online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00jq0pk/From_Our_Own_Correspondent_18_04_2009/
    beginning at 12.13.

  45. Latekate says:

    Well put, Mark. That is exactly what has been going on for quite a while now, the “redefining” of Catholicism into toadie of the state by infiltrating progressives. They gain control of collectives (and the Catholic Church is one mighty collective) using the Alinsky methods, the delphi technique and “lead” them down statist pathways. Collectives are dangerous for this reason, it is one of the reasons I took so long to come to the Faith. They are being exposed via the internet and blogs like this one. Their lack of principle, the “sand” upon which their arguments are built will be their undoing. Let’s pray they don’t drag the entire Church down with them.

  46. Rancher says:

    54%, 65%, what if it were 75%? The numbers only indicate the percentage that are wrong and nothing more. But those percentages can serve one valuable purpose—to let our Bishops know just how much work remains to be done in terms of educating Catholics regarding Church teaching, the requirement to conform our actions to that teaching, and the consequences we will ultimately face on judgement day for our failure to abide by that teaching.

  47. Gail F says:

    I do not see that it’s necessary to impute as much of a conspiracy to this as many people do, although that letter is truly horrendous. The question I want answered is, is this really “standard operating procedure for the White House”? In other words, does the White House always want university logos, etc., covered up so that there is a “consistent backdrop” for the president? If so, do they usually succeed? And if so, is this new to the Obama administration? (I saw a photo on another blog of Laura Bush speaking at Georgetown, with the IHS covered by a banner and large banners set up on either side of her.) What is the rationale either way? Is it to be less distracting from the speech’s message? Is it so that the films of the speeches can be viewed any time without the viewer worrying about where it was delivered? Is it to avoid Obama looking like a “messiah,” as the president is often accused of trying to do? Those are all reasons that, speaking as a former liberal, I can see liberals finding perfectly reasonable and non-threatening. And in the liberal camp’s defense, let’s admit that if President Obama spoke in front of or behind a lot of Catholic symbols, people would accuse him of trying to imply that the Catholic Church agreed with him.

    Now, I think it’s pretty clear that the administration DOES want to imply that the Catholic Church agrees with him. I really can’t see any other reason for so many prominent appointments to pro-abortion Catholics. I think there is an orchestrated campaign to discredit orthodox Catholics and lead people to believe that “pro-choice Catholics” are the majority, because that way the administration can claim religious and moral authority from “the biggie” when it comes to religious and moral authority. And also because it encourages more Catholics to adopt their stance. The Catholic Church is the largest group standing up to the administration on a host of moral issues, so they are doing their best to make the bishops (!) and the orthodox faithful look like the unreasonable ones, and they are having quite a bit of success at it. But in this case, I think a blue backdrop with flags is really just a blue backdrop with flags. My gut reaction is that people working on the speeches are concerned with “branding” the president by always give the speeches a consistent look, and they are completely indifferent to the symbols. We’ve got to be as wise as serpents these days.

  48. therese b says:

    Late Kate
    Thank you for your fascinating insight about the Alinski method. I just looked it up and found this.
    RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    This is exactly what they have been doing to the Holy Father. I think all Catholics should familiarise themselves with these methods to refute them. [Good points!]

  49. Andreas says:

    Is this a case of separation of Church and State or is this a case of the State rubbing out the Church?

  50. EDG says:

    I think Mark is right about Obama’s trying to set up an “alternate magisterium,” or at any rate, encourage the perception that such a critter really exists.

    I haven’t seen much comment on the quasi-religious tone of his speech, btw. Not only did he ludicrously twist the parable of the house built on sand to make it seem as if the “rock” refers to the state, he also invoked Islam by invoking the “five pillars,” which he then went on to say represented his economic solutions. Of course, in Islam, the first of the five pillars is the recitation of Shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.

    As for whether the removal of the IHS was intentional, I think that with Obama, it’s all about symbolism and nothing “just happens.” Not a thing is done without having been considered and examined from every angle for its symbolic significance. Obama’s success is the product of the workings of the most sophisticated image machine in the history of time, that is, good old fashioned American advertising and marketing. And behind the advertising campaign lurks a truly ruthless person who probably actually does believe himself to be the new world savior.

  51. TJM says:

    Andreas, this has nothing to do with the separation of Church and State. This is the case of the Church serving the political ends of the State which is abominable. Americans seem to forget freedom of religion in the Constitution confers freedom of expression and freedom to exercise one’s religion without interference from the State. Georgetown has everything backwards here. Tom

  52. Barb says:

    They covered it up because the white house told them to? This reminds me of what my mother used to say
    when we did foolish and bad things our friends talked us into doing. “If they asked you to jump off of
    a cliff would you do it?!” The cliff that these people at georgetown are jumping off of has an eternal
    fiery pit at the bottom of it. Scary to see so many lemming-like cinos taking that plunge.
    All of these controversies are a sifting of the chaff from the wheat.
    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  53. Frank H. says:

    Gail F – The IHS was NOT covered when Laura Bush spoke. See this link…

    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=46769

  54. Tom says:

    Similar to the New York Times’ “Only the news that fits our views,” they only quote the polls that support their views. A recent Pew poll shows that between February and March of this year Obama’s disapproval rating among all Americans rose from 17 to 26 percent, but among Catholics the figure shot up from 14% to 28% and from 20% to 41% among white Catholics.

  55. RBrown says:

    As for whether the removal of the IHS was intentional, I think that with Obama, it’s all about symbolism and nothing “just happens.” Not a thing is done without having been considered and examined from every angle for its symbolic significance. Obama’s success is the product of the workings of the most sophisticated image machine in the history of time, that is, good old fashioned American advertising and marketing. And behind the advertising campaign lurks a truly ruthless person who probably actually does believe himself to be the new world savior.
    Comment by EDG

    I don’t think Obama’s election had much to do with a sophisticated image machine. There were many reasons, among which are:

    1. Bush was not a good President. Like his father he lost his political base. Of course, he was right that he would be a uniter not a divider–he united the Dems. Unfortunately, he divided the Repubs.

    And he turned the foreign policy over to a bunch of chicken hawks who were brave with someone else’s blood.

    2. McCain was not a good candidate. He didn’t lose the Repub base because he never had it.

    3. Americans like to vote for Presidential candidates about whom they know very little. Combine that with liberal guilt over segregation, and Obama has a head start.

    4. The Magical Negro archetype, which conceives a black character as wise because he has not been subject to white folly.

  56. RBrown says:

    please, read what the university said…..the shame how stories go and change and make others bad or wrong…there is a Divine Commandment dealing with false statements made about others…
    the government did NOT direct or order any cover up… of any kind….they asked for a clear plain space….please do not use this space Fr. Z to spread falsehoods.

    Implicit in their request for a clear, plain space was no reference to Christ.

    Would any university want all government statements made in front of the logo of the college, or is it correct behavior to have IHS or cross or religious sign with a government statements.

    Incredible lack of intelligence in that comment.

    If it is not correct behavior to have a religious sign with govt statements, then it is also not correct behavior that a President speak at a religious university. And so according to your own idea, Obama should not speak at Gatown or Notre Dame.

    Some folks just can not get over the FACT they LOST the election.
    Comment by Rev. Dr. Mik

    I can only hope that the “Rev Dr” title is a fiction. Such ignorance of common grammar and punctuation should never be found in someone who has written a thesis–or for that matter, finished high school.

  57. michigancatholic says:

    ED,
    There are a lot of good catholic-educated practicing Catholics. We *really* take a beating. Not only do we have to put up with the sneers of our atheistic/agnostic colleagues, but we have to put up with the collossal dumbing down of the church and everything in it, including the Catholic universities, to amazingly low standards.

    In most parishes (and sometimes in entire dioceses), the whole shebang is aimed at about a 3rd grade mental level, you understand. The Ordinary Mass in English isn’t even grammatically correct. The “pastoral” staff in many places is so inept it couldn’t man a McDonald’s. The music is disgusting and mundane. Patronizing talk is the order of the day. The whole thing is pathetic. I can’t recall the last time I heard Aquinas or Bonaventure quoted in a homily. Instead there are golf jokes. Grrrr. And on top of it all, the best universities are the public ones after all, because the Catholic ones have been playing Judas for years.

    And yet those of us who know the difference are told we are too picky and uppity. The church has no use for anyone with a greater than average ability level. WE are treated like crap. Give me a break.

    Mind you, ED, the Catholic church is not *only* the church of immigrants and factory workers. It is also the church of Thomas Aquinas, Bede the Venerable, Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Jean Buridan, Copernicus, Kepler, Cdl Newman, Bonaventure, and many more. All of these men and more were so great that even the secular universities must teach their intellectual products in detail.

    *Make a big neon note of this: The contention that intelligent people can’t live the faith as well as anyone else is a lie. The contention that intelligent people can’t be holy or understanding of others is a lie. That’s a stereotype and it should be beneath you. Rather, it’s ATTITUDE of soul, as reflected in unrepented bad behavior that will stop one from being faithful.*

    I have a prescription for you, since you were so free with one. Why don’t the parishes can their mediocre staff, and hire some folks with public college degrees who can demonstrate–on the spot–all of the following: academic excellence, a personal record of decency, achievement and caring for others, AND orthodoxy of belief and life? And then require them to keep learning–Scripture, philosophy, theology–while they work for the parish so they don’t get stale and revert to the current standard–winging it? There are people like that out here–people who could do that, but they’re not politically correct ANYWHERE–not even in the church.

    The major problem the church is having right now *at this minute* is that it has neglected its huge patrimony and is behaving like a Walmart to try to schmooz people in the doors. Apparently, the major paradigm in the church (on too many levels) is to sell the faith like you sell hot dogs. It’s a modern model that relies completely on emotion & utility. It doesn’t work for the Church because the Church isn’t Walmart AND because people aren’t really put together that way. To wit, Walmart’s checkout lane isn’t heaven. Duh. Maybe, just maybe, someday people will wake up to this. The sooner the better. It’s not credible and because of this, souls are being lost.

  58. TJM says:

    RBrown, interesting observations but you may want to look at Rasmussen and some other Polls which show Obama to be a far more divisive president at this stage of his presidency than Bush. Not very good news for the guy who promised “change, bi-partisanship, and a new tone” in DC. I think “The One” has messianic tendencies and some fascist ones as well. Not good. Tom

  59. michigancatholic says:

    RBrown,
    Your descriptions are spot on, however I wouldn’t neglect the power of the “image machine.” I don’t think (in your post with EDG) that you have an either/or situation there. I think all of those things contribute.

  60. RBrown says:

    RBrown, interesting observations but you may want to look at Rasmussen and some other Polls which show Obama to be a far more divisive president at this stage of his presidency than Bush. Not very good news for the guy who promised “change, bi-partisanship, and a new tone” in DC. I think “The One” has messianic tendencies and some fascist ones as well. Not good. Tom
    Comment by TJM

    Bush really didn’t get busy dividing the Repubs until later. Partly, it was over his refusal to fire Dumsfeld until it was too late.

    For comments on Bush41 I recommend Robt Novak’s memoirs.

  61. michigancatholic says:

    Thanks Therese,
    Everyone should know what the Alinski method is, simply so that they can avoid being blindsided. It’s effective, it’s fast and it works with non-thinking people (which is most of the population at any given time).

    http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/8925/alinsky.htm
    http://www.newtotalitarians.com/WhatIsSensitivityTraining.html
    http://www.amazon.com/Rules-Radicals-Saul-Alinsky/dp/0679721134

  62. michigancatholic says:

    The only real defense against this thing is NOT TO ENGAGE. The second best tactic is to stay in a group and comfort each other to block out the BS. Avoid all contradictions while this is going on. The goal is to get you riled up so as to force change by isolating you, confusing you and then cornering you.

    Variations on it are used by motivational speakers and educational specialists. It’s quite mainstream in some places. If you work in a troubled school district or you work for a very large publicly-traded company, you’ve probably seen a variation of it.

    Again, the best defenses are to go about your business, stay in a group, keep the main thing the main thing, and above all–DO NOT ENGAGE.

  63. michigancatholic says:

    And of course, defensive action is good. Obama shouldn’t even be allowed to walk through the halls of Catholic institutions. He’s nobody as far as Catholics go. He’s not a member of this church and has no business hanging around. Ignore him. He’s a little unknown man as far as we are concerned.

  64. Dave N. says:

    I don’t think In Hoc Signo vinces is something we should be particularly proud of. Probably should be permanently covered up.

  65. michigancatholic says:

    Dave,
    What are you talking about? Have you never had a world history class or are you just talking out of your belly button?

    belly button,bel·ly but·ton • n. inf. a person’s navel.
    A term used to describe the human navel to a child.

  66. Mark says:

    Michigancatholic:

    Thank you for the links – I would say they are required reading for all those new to this. If the name Alinsky doesn’t ring the bell, read the links. Get educated.

    If I may propose, one effective defense against this thing, that also has a proven track record, is called SOLIDARITY.

  67. Rev. Dr. Mike says:

    first a thesis is for a masters degree
    I wrote a dissertation.

    Sorry, that RBrown does not stand for Rev. Dr. Raymond E. Brown (I had two Bible courses with him)

    16 years of my education; was in the Roman Catholic school system (including two Catholic seminaries)

    Wondering: if personal attacks against me, makes another feel better? I shall copy these posting notes and show them at the next clergy meeting, (showing how loving some folks are).

    arguumentum ad hominem (I do hope my Latin is correct; with a mere AA from CATHOLIC seminary in 1966 it is a long time ago, to recall the endings)

  68. “Wondering: if personal attacks against me, makes another feel better? I shall copy these posting notes and show them at the next clergy meeting, (showing how loving some folks are).”

    Show this one too: Supporting abortion is completely anathema to the Christian faith, and that is far more important than your hurt feelings.

  69. Sandra in Severn says:

    “Now, I think it’s pretty clear that the administration DOES want to imply that the Catholic Church agrees with him. I really can’t see any other reason for so many prominent appointments to pro-abortion Catholics. I think there is an orchestrated campaign to discredit orthodox Catholics and lead people to believe that “pro-choice Catholics” are the majority, because that way the administration can claim religious and moral authority from “the biggie” when it comes to religious and moral authority.” ~ GailF

    Gail, I think you are correct. but this is 2009, not 1969. There are many legitimate blogs and websites that are in full concert and communion with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Most of my parish are well aware of these and they are frequently listed on the Parish Web “Bill Board” and in the “attendance ticket” (a.k.a. “bulletin”) That was how I found Fr. Z’s site. In an article about TLM and how to prepare for one.

    I think that there is a reason in the last half of the last century, and the opening years of this, why the men; the priests, that are pastors AND educators, (not necessarily canon lawyers and diplomats), have been elevated to the chair of St. Peter.

    We (the Church) need a Shepherd, a Pastor, and a Teacher and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, such men are found.

    We need men and women religious, with and without vows to pray and do the Lord’s work. Great things are possible, even if we are only doing small things well.

  70. RBrown says:

    first a thesis is for a masters degree

    Sometimes that is true in the US–other places no. For example, not in Rome, where I wrote mine. There the work for the STL is commonly called the tesina (a little thesis), that for the doctorate the tesi (thesis).

    I wrote a dissertation.

    Who did the proofreading?

    Sorry, that RBrown does not stand for Rev. Dr. Raymond E. Brown (I had two Bible courses with him)

    I’m not.

    I heard him speak twice, and truthfully have never been impressed with his work. As a scholar he seems typical of the mentality that went into the Counter Reformation. He was locked into a method, and manifested no inclination to examine its epistemological value.

    A few years ago I read his essay on Christology in, I think, the new JBC. He makes a very good point: Early Christology is not necessarily Low Christology, and late Christology is not necessarily High Christology. He says–correctly–that there is early Christology that is High. The only problem is that for years he was a prime mover among those who–following Protestantism (and no doubt influenced by von Harnack)–insisted that High Christology was a Late addition to Scripture.

    You are no doubt familiar with Papa Ratzinger’s opinion that an anti-Hellenistic prejudice has no business in the study of Scripture.

    16 years of my education; was in the Roman Catholic school system (including two Catholic seminaries)

    Wondering: if personal attacks against me, makes another feel better? I shall copy these posting notes and show them at the next clergy meeting, (showing how loving some folks are).

    What makes me feel better is to know priests who have a command of something other than glad handing and offering one liberal cliche’ after another.

    arguumentum ad hominem (I do hope my Latin is correct;

    It’s not.

    Further, it was not ad hominem. You made some comments, some of which were insulting to Fr Z. I said they were dumb and said why they were dumb. Your reply was to play the innocent victim.

    with a mere AA from CATHOLIC seminary in 1966 it is a long time ago, to recall the endings)
    Comment by Rev. Dr. Mike

    Vat II said that priests are supposed to read the office in Latin. If you were true to Vat II, your Latin wouldn’t be so rusty.

  71. Rev. Dr. Mike says:

    spoken like a sophomore with an: STL
    and not a: doctoral STD

    a quick check with Rome I found, and the link.
    =========
    Questa sezione del sito consente di effettuare una ricerca nell’archivio degli argomenti delle dissertazioni dottorali e delle difese.
    Questa sezione del sito consente di effettuare una ricerca nell’archivio degli argomenti delle dissertazioni dottorali e delle difese.

    http://www.unigre.it/zz1_aspnet/ricerca_argomenti.aspx

  72. RBrown says:

    spoken like a sophomore with an: STL
    and not a: doctoral STD
    Comment by Rev. Dr. Mike

    I finished the STD in 1997. BTW, I did not study at the Greg.

  73. little gal says:

    “I finished the STD in 1997.” Comment by RBrown

    Just curious…are you a priest (or former seminarian)?

  74. baltocath says:

    “Some folks just can not get over the FACT they LOST the election”

    And eight years later, they’re STILL upset :-)