The Catholic Thing
The Never Ending Culture Wars Print E-mail
By George J. Marlin   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011

While Washington’s fiscal and debt crisis, the stock market collapse, and the European financial meltdown have been dominating newspaper headlines, buried in the back pages has been coverage of the latest battles in the Culture War – battles Catholics are losing.

Catholics suffered a major defeat when New York’s Republican-controlled Senate passed the same-sex marriage act. Although New York’s Roman Catholic Metropolitan, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, and his fellow bishops went on the offensive and worked the halls of the Capital in Albany, their arguments fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately, the office of Archbishop of New York no longer possesses the public sway it once had. Pols no longer call the Archbishop’s Madison Avenue residence the “power house” as they did in the days of Francis Cardinal Spellman.

Most troubling is the fact that the GOP State Senators responsible for putting the measure over the top were baptized Catholics. These legislators, who swore to their constituents they would oppose same-sex marriage legislation to their dying day, sold out. They accepted bags of silver from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his wealthy hedge fund cronies in exchange for their “yes” votes.

Although these traitors claim the final legislation signed into law protects the religious rite of marriage for all denominations to be exclusively between a man and woman – it is only a matter of time before a New York judge declares that provision discriminatory. Before long, marriage in a Catholic Church will be deemed a religious ceremony without legal standing. Also, expect New York’s Catholic social service institutions to terminate adoption services in the near future because Big Brother orders that they must be available to same-sex couples.

Another blow was the announcement by another baptized Catholic, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, that health insurers must now provide the “morning after” abortion pill and other birth control devices free of charge “to ensure women get the protective health benefits they need.” Reacting to this government order, New York Post columnist Mike Walsh wrote that “the federal government. . .now considers ‘unplanned’ pregnancy to be a preventable disease.”

        Time for Catholics to fight back in the culture wars.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the head of the pro-life committee of the National Catholic Bishops Conference, rightly pointed out that, “Under the new rules, our institutions would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics.” In other words, if the Church refuses to compromise its beliefs, Catholic hospital administrators throughout the nation will have no alternative but to turn over the keys to the front doors of their facilities to federal or state bureaucrats. Frankly, I’ve believed all along that a part of Obamacare’s end game is to drive all religious institutions out of the health-care business. And Sebelius’ order is an important step towards achieving that goal. 

Next was the attack on “crisis pregnancy centers” in the San Francisco Bay area. Legislation before the Board of Supervisors claims that they are guilty of deceptive advertising that confuses women, because they do not specifically say abortions are not available at their facilities: “As a city, we have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable residents [from] anti-abortion propaganda and mistruths on unsuspecting women,” said bill-sponsor Malia Cohen. The centers under attack are managed by First Resorts, a Christian non-profit, and say in their statement of purpose that they are devoted to “an abortion-free world” and that they offer “counseling and medical care to women who are making decisions about unplanned pregnancies.” What’s so deceptive about that mission?

The real reason San Francisco pols are determined to destroy these centers is that they dare to discourage women from seeking abortions, another example of self-declared adherents of “choice” ruthlessly using their powers to impose their pro-abortion will on the public. They prefer the Planned Parenthood approach which in 2009 (the latest figures available) performed 332,278 surgical abortions, provided prenatal services to only 7,021 women and introduced a mere 977 for adoption services.

Finally, there is the American Atheists’ suit that demands the Ground Zero girder cross – which for nine years has been mounted outside nearby St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church – be barred from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The atheists have made the ridiculous claim that displaying right angle steel girders, found in World Trade Center ruble and used as a back drop for many religious and public services, will cause non-believers “to suffer from dyspepsia, depression, headaches, anxiety and mental pain and anguish.” Don’t be shocked if New York’s judiciary accepts these overwrought claims and ban the cross from returning to Ground Zero.

While millions of Americans are focused on finding jobs, feeding their families, and scraping together enough money to make their mortgage payments, the culture-of-death crowd is not wasting time on the economic crisis. They are focused twenty-four hours a day on implementing their agendas. And if Catholics don’t fight back, these schemers will further marginalize the Church and destroy the moral character of the nation.

George J. Marlin is an editor of The Quotable Fulton Sheen and the author of  The American Catholic Voter.

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Comments (7)Add Comment
written by Manfred, August 10, 2011
Mr. Marlin, a good place to start would be with the Knights of Malta, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and the Knights of Columbus and have them pool their wealth. Then in a series of ads in the New York Times, they would explain the position of the Church vis a vis its "Catholic" politicians and the entire government at large. AFTER this happens, contact me and I would be happy to contribute.
written by Ray Hunkins, August 10, 2011
Is there not a connection between the financial wreakage and the bleak battlefields of the Culture War? It seems these two phenomena may be part of a seamless garment of destruction perpetrated by the enemies of civilization. May God help us and may we have the courage and tenacity to help ourselves.
written by Grump, August 10, 2011
"Fight back"? How, George. Storm the Bastille? The leftist media that dominate this nation mount the daily blitzkriegs in the culture wars. Half the country is dead from the neck up, and most of the other half is dead from the waist down if one were to believe the ED commercials.

Besides, from what I read, Cuomo, a nominal Catholic, is riding a wave of popularity along with Bloomberg. Perhaps it's time to wave the white flag, sound retreat, regroup and erect moat and stockade to keep the vandals Lincoln warned about away.
written by Yezhov, August 10, 2011
Put in the same spot, what would Muslims do?
written by Sherry, August 10, 2011
In terms of Catholics fighting back, it seems to me that it is Catholics fighting "Catholics" in too many cases. Somehow we have to get our own act together. We are greatly lacking in solidarity - partly because many people in many parishes do not have the background, information and knowledge to understand what the Church teaches.

A few years ago, in a Florida parish, the new pastor (who had taught Moral Theology at a seminary) announced that he was going to give a series of presentations/lectures. They included abortion, contraception, euthanasia, just war theory,reproductive technologies, and, stem cell research. The parish hall was set up with 25 chairs but I think about 75 people showed up. And they continued to show up for the remainder of the series. People are looking for answers and the ability to defend their faith.

I don't know what the answer is in terms of high-level Catholics like Sebelius and Cuomo, but there is a great need to educate Catholics on the major issues. Many have never been exposed to the whys of the Catholic position.

Since most parishes do not have Moral Theology educators, creative approaches to adult education need to be implemented. There are some fabulous speakers on these and other key subjects - whether in person, CD, DVD, etc. The subjects could be covered from the pulpit, parish or multi-parish sessions (maybe after Masses on Sunday or evenings), in small, neighborhood group sessions -- or the information could be part of a parish library for take-out.

Maybe there could be an effort to get the "Best of the Best" speakers to cover the issues on DVD, for example, and have a national effort to get them to parishes - along with some creative marketing techniques to encourage people to attend. And, of course, prayer, prayer, and prayer to open people's hearts to want to know the Truth.
written by Michael Paterson-Seymour, August 10, 2011
"Before long, marriage in a Catholic Church will be deemed a religious ceremony without legal standing."

And how is this a problem, exactly? In most of Europe, this has been the position since 1804. Indeed, to perform a religious "marriage" for a couple not legally married is a crime, an attack on civil status.

Everyone gets married at the Mairie and, then, those who wish, can have a religious ceremony. The clergy support the law; they have no wish to act as public functionaries.
written by TomM, August 10, 2011
Paraphrasing Professor Peter Kreeft three things are necessary to begin to fight the culture war:
1) Acknowledge that we are at war
2) Identify our enemy
3) Identify and execute strategies to defeat the enemy

According to Kreeft: "Our enemies are demons. Fallen angels. Evil spirits."
And the strategy to defeat the devil is to become saints. He continues: "It is simply giving God a blank check. It is simply islam, complete submission. Fiat. Mary’s thing. Look at what it did 2000 years ago when she did it; it brought God down from heaven and thus saved the world."

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