On the Moral Meltdown of the Catholic Right

5 11 2008

Wherein I put on the mask of an empty soul

Some people believe in big government. Some people believe in small government. Some believe in no government. I believe in screwed-up government. It builds character, and it is precisely what we deserve.

According to some, today is a day we should wear black with the ascension of Barack Obama to the presidency. It’s funny that many of these Catholic mourners did not wear black when our country began the unjust invasion of Iraq condemned by the Pope himself. One maverick Eastern rite even threatened excommunication against anyone who participated in that war. Yet no good Catholic Republican wanted to wear black then.

All of these mourners condemn Obama’s messianism and the rhetoric of naive hope for a new future. Where was this same sobriety when the current president thundered against the “axis of evil”, when the powers that be assumed the right to wage war on anyone who dislikes this glorious “city on a hill” known as America?

Politics is a cesspool of hyperbole, broken promises, and back-room deals. I really feel sorry for anyone who thinks otherwise. Americans are some of the only people in the world who expect good government. Everyone else expects their government to be lousy. The local politician may be able to deliver the goods on some things, but in the end you wouldn’t even trust him to baby sit your gold fish. That’s how it is, that’s how it’s always been. St. Paul doesn’t exhort obedience to secular authority because it’s easy, and Aquinas doesn’t give very limited conditions to overthrow tyrants because tyrants are nice people who are easy to follow.

I know, people will bring up the whole “abortion” thing. Well, I am all for criminalized abortion. The only difference is that I know exactly what that would mean. If women are at the point that they will kill their children in their own wombs without a second thought, what types of mothers would they be if they were obligated to have those babies? Maybe they will give them up for adoption, or maybe they will just abandon them. Who’s going to take care of them then? The problem with the pro-life movement in this country is that it is only passionate about babies, especially black and brown babies, for the first nine months of their existence. For the rest of their lives, it’s all about racial and cultural politics, free market capitalism, and jails (lots of jails) if all that doesn’t work out. So where is the simple answer? I was raised by a single mother who was in a rocky relationship. It never crossed her mind to abort any of us, even though she was poor, in a bad marriage, and at times homeless. That type of love and dedication is something you can’t legislate.

And if you are still bitter, and still think that we are on the brink of socialism, chaos, and the reign of the culture of death, keep in mind that if we are being chastised for our sins, they are not the sins that you are necessarily thinking of. This country was founded on the original sin of slavery, it grew by the injustice of Manifest Destiny that stole half of another country to make itself bigger, and it slaughtered the inhabitants that had lived there for thousands of years. So all of the abortion and immorality is just the chickens coming home to roost. To paraphrase Langston Hughes, America has not been America for many, many people. So if you are starting to feel the pinch, welcome to the club. Get comfortable, because it’s not going away any time soon.

Cristóbal de Morales – Missa pro Defunctis

5 11 2008