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What the Election Means Print E-mail
By Fr. Phillip de Vous   
Thursday, 08 November 2012

President Barack Obama has achieved something historic: Getting re-elected when not a single one of his major initiatives enjoys popular support. It is also noteworthy, to judge by the voter breakdowns, that the moral and spiritual demographics and geography of the United States have changed – considerably.  

If Governor Mitt Romney, an honorable man of moderate political preferences and traditional personal convictions, cannot attract a winning coalition, we are in deep trouble.  His loss illustrates the changes that have occurred in the nation and the challenges they portend.  

Politics is about addition and Gov. Romney surely tried to run an “additional” campaign. I can think of no Republican who was more likely to put together the pieces that were necessary to win this election with the hopes of securing a center-right victory.

This illustrates that America has become a trending leftist, drifting towards dependent nation that will continue to move culturally “left,” which means that: 

  • conservative causes that take their bearings from the truths and moral rationality offered by the Judeo-Christian political and philosophical tradition will continue to be marginalized,
  • the Church’s liberty will be increasingly restricted,
  • and the long march of leftism, hedonism, and materialism, with their attendant anomie and nihilism, will continue unabated through our public institutions.  

Given the Catholic Church’s failure adequately to address the cultural, political, and even existential threat posed to it by President Obamas agenda, the credibility of the Churchs witness has been further eroded and weakened, making it less likely to be courageous and effective in speaking the hard truths necessary for personal, ecclesial, and national renewal.  

Because of this failure, the leftist cultural and moral agenda will continue to increasingly inform – and even invade – our personal, familial, and communal lives. The effect on our national existence and civil society will likely be devastating. Trends towards cultural degradation, moral turpitude, debt, deficits, and fiscal ruin will likely be super-accelerated.

Further, the president and his administration have been the most historically anti-life, anti-liberty, and anti-orthodox Christianity in the history of the nation.  I have grave reservations about the future of many of the Catholic Church's integral apostolic activities, but not only because of the policies President Obama will continue to pursue.

       Many Catholics, especially suburban women (as initial voting analysis suggests), are now firmly in the camp of a gentle, yet cautionary statism and a hedonism that emphasize material prosperity, extensive but superficial education, 
choice, and comity. They have chosen these aims over moral and economic truths, as well as the demands of virtue and the habits of mind such truths call forth.


 

This reality, if the voting breakdown is to be believed, is bad for the political agenda of the nation and poses tremendous challenges for authentically Catholic apostolic efforts in the coming years.

The other fact supporting such concerns about conservative initiatives, especially those drawing their inspiration from orthodox Catholicism and Christianity, is that the Catholic bishops ran a largely incompetent campaign against the religious liberty restrictions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Even worse, they helped pass the act itself legislatively by providing the hierarchys moral cover at a critical moment when passage was far from certain. Given that the president and the Democratic Party ran a pummeling campaign against the Catholic Church, which included regularly mischaracterizing the Churchs teachings, Mr. Obama has no political or personal reason to reach a compromise with the Church on issues essential to the free exercise of religion.  

Given the hostility of Democratic campaigns to Catholic concerns on the question of the HHS mandate and the broader question of religious liberty, the president and his administration will proceed with the notion that he has a mandate to continue his aggressively anti-Catholic, anti-religious, and culturally libertine agenda.    

To be brutally honest, my admittedly dark assessment of this emerging reality is that conservatives, especially orthodox Catholics and other Christians, should be prepared for the worst. We are going to be marginalized, our institutions hemmed in, our liberties restricted, and our persons attacked.  

We have few deeply principled and thoroughly well informed leaders who enjoy support locally and beyond who are in a position to offer real resistance. And how many of those possess the courage to be effective in keeping our views and positions viable in the public square?  

President Obamas victory is not about a popular policy agenda, but about the triumph of emotionalism and relativism in the face of an inarticulate, ineffective, and ultimately uncourageous opposition.  Our culture leaders and media have convinced a majority of the American people that perception is reality, that feeling is the same as fact, and that “being nice” is a moral imperative. 

As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has said elsewhere, neatly summing up the present moment: “We confuse charisma with competence, rhetoric with results, celebrity with genuine achievement. We find convenient scapegoats for national tragedies, and let our personal icons escape the blame. And we imagine that the worst evils can be blamed exclusively on subterranean demons, rather than on the follies that often flow from fine words and high ideals.”

 
Father Phillip W. De Vous, a new contributor to The Catholic Thing, is the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Crescent Springs, KY and an adjunct scholar of public policy at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
 
 
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written by G.K. Thursday, November 07, 2012
Excellent analysis. But let us remember that The Lord is the master of history. He will bring good out of the present evil situation. And perhaps we might hold in our hearts that "We are not a new philosophy but a divine revelation. That's why you can't just exterminate us; the more you kill the more we are. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." (Tertullian, _Apologeticum_). Roman Catholics have faced persecution in many times and places. And apostasy has often run rife (e.g., during the heydays of Arianism). But our faith will glow the brighter for being now in the gathering gloom.
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written by Manfred, November 08, 2012
An excellent, spot-on article Fr. De Vous. Thank you for stating these facts and welcome to TCT. 42% of CHURCH-GOING CATHOLICS voted for Obama on Nov.6th. The photo of Obama and Cdl Dolan having a great laugh at the Oct. 18 Al Smith Dinner should be in every catholic(sic) home. Now the Divine punishment will hit with full force. Does anyone recall the pledge Obama made in 2008 to have a National Police Force with more members than the U.S. military branches combined? One of my daughters-in-law was born in Communist Cuba and her parents (the family was allowed emigrate to the U.S. 20 years ago) have been very clear-they said from the beginning that Obama was Castro reincarnated. All the Catholic ink, newspapers, magazines, internet sites, Fortnights have come to nought. What was required was individual conversion which the bogus "theology" of the American Church never required. The Blessed Mother could not compete with Dearden, Bernardin, Mahoney, Kung, Rahner, Drinan, Courtney Murray et al. Not enough clerics and laity listened to her. We lose.
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written by Other Joe, November 08, 2012
Much, perhaps most of contemporary culture is based on a perversion of what is true. This is not merely my opinion in a sea of opinions; the secular powers contradict themselves daily. Hypocrisy of the nastiest sort is considered valid cover for political idealism. While there is no truth as such, it is said, utopian schemes require strict adherence. I can't say it better than Fr. de Vous. I would just note that when lies are the currency of public discourse, it is good to keep in mind who is the father of lies. The biggest lie contemporary seekers stumble over is that evil does not exist, only bad or unsuccessful programming. Strangely, if we fail to see the existence of evil and our power to choose it, we give up our humanity. We become objects to be manipulated. Sooner or later, those that fail to be manipulated are judicially murdered. We have chosen the darker path. It leads deeper into the woods. The wolf is slobbering in anticipation.
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written by Sue, November 08, 2012
Not only have the 42 percent of Churchgoing Catholics violated their souls by voting for Obama but most of the rest of us have wrenched their souls leftward by voting for a man who favors choice for rape/incest abortions (at least), gay marriage and adoption, euthanasia, and a police state. Some of the members of my local prolife loop were thrilled last week when they got to take their children to a Romney rally. Will they have the courage to stand their ground and support only pure politicians in the future?

Good point Manfred about the picture, and it also applies to the other side - having voted for Romney, will we keep a picture of him in our home to remember the deflowering of our prolife principles?

The Rockefeller syndicate has had us wrapped up in the controlled dialectic for a century. Only by learning about their techniques and educating others can we hope to prevail.
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written by Willie, November 08, 2012
Thank you Father. This is one of the most concise and penetrating analyses I have seen. You will not hear any thoughts like these from the pundits because our culture has jettisoned any concepts of Judeo-Christian morality. Unfortunately the "winds of the anti-Christ" are blowing through the Church. The Church has become a tool for this president.
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written by Ray Hunkins, November 08, 2012
Thank you for this piece,Father. It is depressing and frightening but I fear accurate. It should be read by every Catholic in the United States, including every Bishop. I am forwarding it to my Bishop.I hope the readers of TCT will do likewise.

The President's presence at the Al Smith dinner was a disappointment but I do not expect a Prince of the Church to be rude to a head of state; any head of state. That being said, the atmosphere and tone was not appropriate given the gravity of the situation.
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written by Dan Deeny, November 08, 2012
An excellent article! Fr. de Voous's comments on Catholic women are accurate and interesting. How did this happen?
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written by W. P Dias, November 08, 2012
Perhaps it is Sign of Jonah time for all of us of the American Church.
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written by Louise, November 08, 2012
There was an interesting chart at the NYT linked through New Advent's website that showed a different picture than I would have thought of this election. The Obamama campaign only increased support among Hispanics. Every other demographic stayed the same or went down, even the youth vote (except for targeted key states). This is good news for the moment.

So let's consider the Hispanic vote. Many of these voters are Catholic. In my experience, the apostolate to Hispanic Catholics is run mostly by nuns who have issues with Church teaching. Bishops should be aware of this and take action and place the Hispanic apostolate in faithful hands; not for reasons of voting but for reasons of preserving and strenghthening their faith. That can only have good effects in our culture. To me, their vote shows the extent of the threat to their faith and someone needs to take notice.
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written by Layman Tom, November 08, 2012
Fr. De Vous,
Thank you for an excellent article. I am dismayed and saddened that even in the face of so much mendacity and suffering, half of our populous would sign up for another four years. Truly, I think there is only a tiny portion of that half that actually know what this portends and actively want our nation to fall deeper into socialism (actually, a truer description would be classical Fascism. But who’s to split hairs now) aside from those scant true believers, the rest can only be either ignorant, stupid or so blinded by their dependency that they just don’t care. The worst part is that we shall all reap the whirlwind that only half deserve. Ironically, those who brought this about will never understand their culpability when the impending dark times engulf their lives. They will blame us. The media will whip their misery into a frenzy and all that vicious hatred will be turned toward the half that tried to save them and all of us from that fate.
That is my political estimation. As for the Christian aspect, I have a disquieting curiosity. Yes, I agree with GK. I do. I believe in all my heart that God will prevail and that His will be the version of history that is to come. The thing that has me anxious is this: hundreds of millions of Christians, Catholic, evangelical, mainline protestants and other God fearing Americans of all persuasions, myself included, prayed very hard for God to save us. I can’t speak for the rest, but the last prayer I consciously uttered was: “Thy Will be done.” In my mind, how could God’s will be anything but the preservation of America as a Christian nation and a refuge for people everywhere? Knowing that there were all these voices crying out to him simultaneously, I was pretty confident that good would triumph. Is it possible that his will WAS done? I am no Biblical scholar, but I have read a little about prophesy and the end times. In all the prophesies I’ve actually read in the bible and in most of the popular treatises on them, there is no prominent, powerful nation in the west that can be equated to America. The end times and all the terrible events that will take place HAVE to come about before the Lord can come in glory and establish “Thy kingdom come”. Perhaps we, as the greatest nation on Earth, must be destroyed or at least damaged enough to have no power or influence to exert and muck up the works. Good will prevail. God will win and Evil be destroyed, but if this is it, how bad will things get for us to make that happen?
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written by Mary Ann Ridder, November 08, 2012
Thank you. It was encouraging to find such an apt description of our current predicament both in our Church and our country.
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written by Other Joe, November 08, 2012
John, your response is a perfect illustration of the perversion of inversion. Almost every point is opposite to fact. In happier times it may have been possible to let such rhetorical nonesense float past without comment, but it is getting late in the day. I challenge you to explain how a vote for Romney and a candidate of the Tea Party would make null and void The Constitution. You are wrong in plain words and either dangerously so or stupidly so depending what you think you know about the world.
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written by Michael Paterson-Seymour, November 08, 2012
One recalls the scathing words of the abbé Laberthonnière, written a hundred years ago to those French Catholics, who hoped that L’Action française would lead to “the triumph of the Church in society.”
“The triumph of the Church in society? That would be excellent. However, it would be necessary to examine by what means our religion permits us to pursue it. Moreover, it has not been promised us. And then, it is not, perhaps, the most pressing of our tasks...
Her power does not consist in giving orders, to which external obedience is required, backed up by threats or favours. Her power is to raise souls to the life above. It is to give birth to and to cultivate in consciences the supernaturalising obligation to live for God and for others, through Christ, and to pass through temporal defeats to a triumph that is timeless.
Do not indulge in childish dreams, when you have in your grasp eternal realities that invite you. Understand, all you who would triumph and reign on earth – Et nunc, reges, intellegite.”
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written by Gaucho, November 08, 2012
The good father's commentary and the election results are getting too close to "The Lord of the World" and its dire predictions.
I had an argument with my boss before the election. He claims to be Catholic. When I noted that the American Catholic bishops had, more or less, stated whom Catholics should vote for, and within IRS rules of course, he retorted by saying a large majority of Catholic women support contraceptives. Hard to argue with such logic.
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written by John Sobieski, November 08, 2012
At this point, I don't expect anything positive to happen until priests and bishops start getting hauled off to jail. Then, when it gets personal, they'll get serious.
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written by mghamberger, November 08, 2012
The best concise appraisal extant.
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written by jsmitty, November 08, 2012
You write:

President Obama’s victory is not about a popular policy agenda, but about the triumph of emotionalism and relativism in the face of an inarticulate, ineffective, and ultimately uncourageous opposition.

me: I'm not happy about Obama's reelection either, as I think Romney could have been a better president. And I have similar concerns for the future, particularly with the economic stagnation and soaring debts. But you're reading too much into an election result as though Obama's winning is a proxy for the advance of everything that's wrong with the world and (with the implication that) the election of Romney would have represented a vindication for all that is good. Like Mr. Patterson-Seymour says, (to paraphrase) there is too much hope in elections and too much preoccupation with political outcomes.

I'm concerned about hedonism and materialism too, as well as relativism. But as nearly as I can tell, the Romney platform had no program aimed at reducing any of these things which could have been implemented, even if Mitt had managed to pull it out last Tuesday. I dare say we'd be in the same or worse place on all fronts in 2016 even if Romney were running for re-election. Was there alot of progress on the relativism front during the presidency of Bush? I must have missed it.

Let's work harder on all fronts by all means while realizing though, that if we define progress on the direction of American culture as tantamount to the Republican party winning every presidential election, we're doomed not only to suffer from delusions but to disappointment as well.

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written by G.K. Thursday, November 08, 2012
Scathing rhetoric is not one of the marks St. Paul lays out as signs of a faithful Catholic (1 Cor 12-13). Not to say that it may not be needed at some point, but whether or not it is used has no bearing on the truth of what is being communicated. The attempt to either wed the Roman Catholic Church to particular political movements or to divorce it entirely from the political and social life of man, are both wrong-headed. It's not about reigning, but about witnessing to the eternal truths that Jesus Christ entrusted to his Church. Fr. De Vous has tried to do so in this article, much as The Roman Catholic Church has done throughout history in the face of persecution. Names such as John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, all martyred under oppressive political regimes, often directly by the governments of the times. They list of course could be made much longer and more pointed, but those lashed to laicite won't take it to heart no matter how long or apt it is made.

But those who are faithful to the tradition handed on through the Roman Catholic Church by the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, entrusted to the successors of the Apostles, the Bishops, need not worry about their future. It is with Christ.
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written by G.K. Thursday, November 08, 2012
@Layman Tom: the key to your problem is that you are influenced by Evangelical Protestantism. Whether the U.S. stands or falls has little to do with our true hope in Christ. The Roman Catholic Faith is far more than any kingdom or polity on this passing earth. We do not know God's designs, but we do know our calling as Roman Catholics. I recommend reading a good life of St. Augustine or Boethius to put our own time in perspective. You will be able to gain some perspective on the present, by meditating on the past.
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written by Makemeaspark, November 08, 2012
I think Catholics and Conservatives and to some degree Republicans are beating themselves up unnecessarily. From what i observed as an election Chair that observed two precincts in this Midwestern mid-sized city, a Shocking amount of voters arrived to vote who had NO CLUE about politics, would not recognize a debate if they were in one, had no idea what they were doing and never listened to a political ad or a robo-call.

They were "assisted" in arriving at the polling place and only wanted to make a mark for Obama somewhere as OBVIOUSLY instructed by someone somewhere.

Why they were there or what motivated them I could not ask,all I know is that they arrived in "groups" according to my workers and an inordinate amount of Democratic "election challengers" arrived at the same time they did.
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written by Brian English, November 08, 2012
"I'm concerned about hedonism and materialism too, as well as relativism. But as nearly as I can tell, the Romney platform had no program aimed at reducing any of these things which could have been implemented, even if Mitt had managed to pull it out last Tuesday."

It is not any political party's job to decrease hedonism, materialism or relativism. Political parties should leave the Church and other religious entities free to perform that task.

Obama's re-election is a disaster because he has shown himself to be hostile to the Church and seeks to preclude its involvement in civil society, while also appearing to believe it is the government's job to increase relativism, materialism and hedonism.
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written by Brian English, November 08, 2012
"How is it that allowing women to control their own bodies is "anti-liberty?"

Because the child who is aborted has had his or her liberty seriously curtailed.

"If Catholic institutions are going to accept federal funds, they have to abide by the laws and regulations of the federal government - that is a long-standing principle in this nation, under both Republican and Democratic administrations."

They are performing a public service, so why shouldn't they be reimbursed with public funds?

And if the power grab of the HHS mandate is evidence of such a long-standing principle, perhaps you could identify for us some past examples?
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written by ron a., November 08, 2012
Absolutely brilliant!
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written by jsmitty, November 08, 2012
@ Brian English

I agree in part. But I think my main point was that relativism, materialism, and hedonism are not really things which the political system can really address much at all--one way or another. They are basically attributes of our culture and the people in it.

I won't like many of the things Obama does over the next term and neither will you. But I fail to see how anything Obama has done or is likely to do in four years will in and of itself lead to an increase in hedonism, relativism or materialism or somehow interfere with the Church's ability to preach against it. And the relative amount of hedonism, relativism and materialism in four years would have been unaffected by a Romney win, as would the ability to the Church to deter it.

As it happens, hedonism, relativism and materialism have increased mightily in America, as they have all over the West, regardless of which party is in power. If we want to do something about it, we really need to ask more fundamental and probing questions of ourselves, our economic system and its relationship to society and so forth and what happiness really is. We'd need to ask whether all the health, wealth and security we've amassed over the last two centuries--of which hedonism and materialism and relativism are byproducts-- is really such the unmitigated blessing that it is presented to be.

The forum to do that is not in the context of complaining about the results of a presidential election.

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written by ron a., November 08, 2012
Tom---It might be time for woman to be more concerned with control of their own SOULS and stop be fixated, no obsessed, with their bodies. The pill has become the new apple of Eden. We are not talking about theocracy, we're talking about saving a Culture, a society. You have trivialized the issue and made it oh so mundane. You can save the sex part, I'd prefer to save the child, the family and the observance of God in the society of mankind. Down with materialism, another by-product of those great movements of the 60s!
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written by Maria33, November 08, 2012
The author is not saying that this is the end of the Church or God, or that God can't bring good out of anything. But he is making a reasonable assessment of what is to come. America was never a Catholic country. Now that it is not even Protestant, our enemies will be emboldened. It is our fault, all of our sins contributed to the rise of evil. I know that God will prevail, but I'm sad for the world my children and grandchildren will have to live in.
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written by Matt, November 08, 2012
Progressives were in charge of France during the French Revolution, Spain during the Spanish Revolution and Mexico during the Cristero War. Catholics initially downplayed the gathering clouds in the past, the hierarchy wine and dined with their would-be persecutors and as a result they and their children died horribly. For those on this board that take issue with Father Phillip's dark assessment. You need to read a history book and aquaint yourself of the Vendee, Nationalists or Cristeros,etc and pray you do not suffer the same fate.
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written by Louise, November 08, 2012
Tom, (sigh) I assume you are not Catholic. Welcome to TCT. I hope you visit often.

To respond to your point...it is not theocracy to outlaw murder. Theocracy would be passing a law that says everyone must believe in the revealed truth of the Blessed Trinity. Do you see the difference?
To pass laws that merely put in place the dictates of the natural law to which every thinking person has access with a pure heart...no, that is not theocracy. And by the way, biology has long since established that the new little human being growing in the mother's body is not her body.
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written by Grump, November 08, 2012
40% of whites voted for Romney, 96 percent of blacks voted for Obama. If 45 percent of whites had voted for Romney he would have won. Simple math. As long as you're playing identity politics -- grouping people by race, ethnicity or religious belief -- the fact remains that many whites stayed home. The Repubs failed to energize their base. This country is 71 percent white, 13 percent black. Romney should have won easily, but a sizable number of whites are afraid or guilt-ridden and will continue to vote against their interests while blacks have no problem sticking together. Racism works both ways.
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written by Other Joe, November 08, 2012
I was about to apologize to one and all if I had engaged in scathing rhetoric. These are not happy times for a serious Catholic and the signs point to a darker hour yet to come. One easily finds nourishment for one's anxieties. With the best of intentions then, I opened this portal. My apology died in delivery when I glanced at Tom's thoughts above. It's amazing he can get them out with a hook, line and sinker buried up to the gills. I thought I detected a whiff of scathing rhetoric. Somewhere, in a dimension beyond our dreams, St. Paul is wagging a warning finger at me for what I would like to say and at dear Tom for forgetting about the other little body inside the woman, who is not the woman, but someone else. The time to control her body was when it was just herself to consider. But control is what is lacking today, so we must resort to killing for birth control. It doesn't sound as pretty, but that's what it is.
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written by Beth, November 08, 2012
@tom
The issue isn't whether or not a woman can "control her own body". The HHS mandate is a problem because it requires people to violate their consciences. I am a woman who's opposed to the HHS mandate. If I were an employer, I wouldn't want to pay for hormonal contraception, tubal ligations or vasectomies. I'd make it clear to a prospective employee that the health care insurance I'd provide would not include such things. If they accepted the job, they'd have to pay for those out of their own pocket. The issue regarding the infringement of religious liberties is that it extends beyond faith-based institutions. Life is full of compromises and if a job seeker doesn't like what's offered, he or she can keep looking. The pill is not an OSHA issue, either. Being opposed to hormonal contraception and sterilizations, by the way, doesn't need to be rooted in a religious framework. The pill is not harmless and sterilizations are a form of self-mutilation that is elective, not the consequence of a healing therapy as is the case for mastectomies.
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written by Bernadette, November 08, 2012
Thanks for the article. Trustful surrender to Divine Providence is what we need now. Many people were praying for a Romney win and feel abandoned by God. I do not. I read ALOT! It is obvious that we are living in the great apostasy where everything is turned upside down and it has come upon us gradually! Our Blessed Mother came to warn us many times in the past 200 years since this great apostasy began within the Church. Catholics need to be real Catholics - we do not even know what it is to be Catholic - never mind all the tainted writings of the past 50 years. Go back to Bishop Sheen and even further to find out who we are. We need to find our true identity as Catholic Christians and LIVE IT. May God give us the grace to endure the coming persecution of the Church-God has a lot of pruning to do. Mater Dei, ora pro nobis.
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written by Sophia, November 08, 2012
As a woman, I agree with this article. Father clearly pointed out that many Catholics - including many women - voted for an liberal agenda. He didn't attack anyone, just stated facts.
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written by Achilles, November 09, 2012
Dearest Jack, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I do with the most charity I can. Your comment is misguided. First of all you are not speaking to a “mr.” but a father, one who told what he did in truth with charity. What you defend with self-righteous indignation is an ideology of the world, feminism. Worse still is that that ideology has its roots in Marxism and worse still is diabolical in all but the slightest grains of truth which are misused as pretext.

Please reconsider what you wrote, re-read the article. Have you read The Great Divorce? There is a particularly important scene with a man who has a lizard on his shoulder that must be removed before he can enter heaven. This was very helpful for me to overcome the hold many ideologies of the world that had me in their grip also. To get the lizard off is very painful and requires us to distrust ourselves and to have confidence in Christ. Please reconsider your position, your brother in Christ. Achiiles
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written by Brian English, November 09, 2012
"But I fail to see how anything Obama has done or is likely to do in four years will in and of itself lead to an increase in hedonism, relativism or materialism or somehow interfere with the Church's ability to preach against it."

The HHS mandate itself is an unprecedented monument to hedonism, relativism and materialism.

The abortion culture that Obama and his supporters so avidly support is all about hedonism, relativism and materialism.

Obama's overall philosphy of the State being central to human existence springs directly from materialism and relativism.

It is also obvious that Obama and his supporters want the Church and Church related entities out of public life, so the idea that his re-election will have no impact on the Church is preposterous.
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written by Andrew, November 09, 2012
Although I agree with much of what the good Father wrote, I suspect it is inaccurate to claim that none of Obama's major initiatives has broad public support, or that Mitt Romney is "an honorable man of moderate political convictions." Depends on our news sources and whose opinions count. He only played the moderate in the run-up to the election, hoping we'd forget that 47% of us don't matter. I personally could not vote for either candidate without serious moral compromises. It would take too long to explain where I'm coming from, but I assure you it's been a long strange trip from growing up Catholic through losing and then regaining my faith. At one time I would not have questioned the morality of allowing someone to choose an abortion. Now, I can't believe that the Church has a hard time convincing even its own practicing members that it is truly evil. And yet, I am about the farthest thing from a Republican you'll see on these pages. Not enough time or space to elaborate on that either. Meanwhile, don't lose heart. God has His reasons we are not privy too. Perhaps He wants us to re-examine all of our positions and goals, and how they affect real human lives around His world. Look to Jesus, folks, and accept adversity for His sake. Peace.
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written by Graham Combs, November 10, 2012
Thank you Fr. De Vous. I am reminded again why I miss the state of my birth and early boyhood. Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, demographic and institutional accommodation have meant a well-intentioned but diplomatic posture toward challenging the HHS mandate. I have made observations and arguments similar to yours and have been met with a stony faced non response. The metropolitan Detroit area has become increasingly anti-Catholic in recent years with no small support from liberal Catholics for policies and politics that defy Church teachings. People are already being marginalized within and without the Church. One bishop, heavily involved in immigration affairs, called the mandate a "misunderstanding" in the pages of the Michigan Catholic. During the 2009 debate of affordable care a priest stopped his sermon to chastise those who were "overreacting to the health care bill." It is emotionally and spiritually wearying to sense that you are not welcome. The year of faith will be a year of challenge for me. As for the new evangelisation... at what point will it move on to a new moralization of the faithful regarding the profound and critical moral teachings of the Church? I wish I were less pessimistic. The Bishops'Conference full page ad in the Detroit papers the day after the election was typical of how this has been handled. It pleaded for a restoration of religious liberty from an administration that has shown no intention of moving from its rigid position. And of course it appealed to liberals with language about a committment to social justice. For most liberal-leftists the rhetoric of social justice and the defense of life from birth to a natural death are mutually exclusive and in compatible. The bishops and others continue to ignore this fact. The ad did not mitigate my pessimism or sense of loss.

As for Catholic and other American women who support for the president's drive to integrate dependency and the culture of death into American life, it isn't sexism to note a fact. To ignore it is just more demographic pandering.
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written by Johnny Walker, November 10, 2012
We aren't a christian nation. We have many people of different beliefs. Vote the way you wish, and we will do the same, but don't call us evil sinners, because your viewpoints differ from ours.

Obama won because Romney was unclear with his message, and most people in this country decided that they believe in Obama's view points more than Romney or the GOP plan. Plain and simple.

Just because you believe abortions and contraception is wrong, doesn't mean that everyone else does. That's why you are given a choice. Practice what you want, but don't tell me what to do. That's the American ideal. Freedom to choose.
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written by louise, November 11, 2012
Johnny Walker, here's the American Ideal:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then doesn't it make sense that we would study the plan of the Creator to figure out what is evil and what is according to His Will?
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written by harry, November 12, 2012
All serious Christians should become familiar with St. Cyprian's “Exhortation to Martyrdom.” It should be read and re-read. It can be found on the newadvent.org web site and on other sites on the net. Just Google it up.

Christianity is no less threatened today than in Cyprian's time. The modern, radically secularized state insists on the Church's idolatrous acceptance of Caesar's usurpation of authority over innocent human life that belongs to God alone. Our silence and complacency while over fifty million children were brutally dismembered by surgical abortion over the last forty years is nothing less than burning incense to Caesar, whose requirement that we do so is just as much an assault on Christianity now as it was in Cyprian's time.

We see in the Old Testament that God would hand His people over to bondage, oppression or slavery by the nation whose false God they worshiped. The God of the Old Testament is still God. We have rendered unto Caesar authority over innocent human life that belongs only to God, Who, using all small words so nobody has any excuse for not understanding what He meant, clearly commanded that “Thou shalt not kill.” Anyone familiar with the Scriptures will not be surprised at all that we are being handed over to oppression and persecution by the godless social engineers currently in power.

The only way to spare our children that oppression and persecution is to be found in Cyprian's exhortation, our obedience to which will lead to changed hearts, which must precede political success and the return to government that recognizes and respects the God-given, inalienable rights of humanity.

Humanity precedes the state and brings it into existence. When enough hearts are changed humanity will knock Caesar off his high horse and put him in his place, reminding him that it is not his to bestow or withdraw the inalienable rights of humanity; it is his only to protect them. That is, of course, because those God-given rights are just that — inalienable — they didn’t come from the state, and the very reason humanity brings the state into being is to protect those rights. This is not a new concept. Re-read our Declaration of Independence.










































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