Was that booming CRACK I just heard the opening of the Fifth Seal?
You know that things are getting pretty serious when Fr. Z endorses an idea from the National catholic Fishwrap.
But it was a good idea, and around here we play fair. We do our fair share!
Michael Sean Winters has gotten it right, so far, about Pres. Obama’s attacks on the 1st Amendment, religious liberty, and the Catholic Church in particular.
He has an idea. My emphases and comments.
In 2006, [retired] Cardinal Roger Mahony, the most prominent carrier of the social justice tradition of Cardinal Bernardin, [I know you want to stop reading now, but do try to forge ahead…] said that he would call upon his flock to practice civil disobedience in the face of a proposed law that would have banned Catholic charities from assisting undocumented workers. Mahony rightly invoked the right of the Church to pursue its Gospel-mandated ministries without interference from the State. [Okay… there isn’t quite a moral equivalence between being prevented from performing corporal works of mercy and being forced to distribute contraception, or being forced to adopt children out to homosexual couples, or some other issues, but you can see where he is going: if civil disobedience in the case of A, then perhaps also in the case of B.]
Mahony delivered a sharp rebuke to the Obama administration following last week’s announcement that it refused to enlarge the conscience exemption from HHS mandated health insurance coverage of procedures the Church opposes. [I wrote on that here.]
So, I offer a modest proposal. The U.S. cardinals should pick a day and, with the support of like-minded clerics from other religious traditions, come to Washington and chain themselves to the White House fence, get arrested, and bring further attention to the issue of religious liberty. Civil disobedience by clergy has a proud tradition, including Dr. King’s protests against segregation and the countless clergy who engaged in civil disobedience to protest the Vietnam War. The cardinals might wish to choose the Feast of St. Thomas More, June 22, to make their point although that would give the event a distinctly Catholic flavor. Or they might choose a secular anniversary, say, August 21, which was the day in 1789 that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bill of Rights.
You will note that the link above to the story about Cardinal Mahony’s 2006 call for civil disobedience brings you to an editorial by the [Hell’s Bible…] New York Times. Then, the Times applauded Mahony. Will they have the courage of their commitment to the First Amendment again?
A pretty good idea.
I am reminded of the old priest who was arrested at Notre Dame at the request of the administration there for protesting that university’s pandering to the most dedicated pro-abortion president we have ever seen. But I digress.
Sincerely, I would be tempted to go to Washington and stand there with the US Cardinals, provided that I and the no-doubt large crowd of other willing priests wouldn’t distract from the actions of the truly important churchmen involved. Sometimes less is more.