The Catholic Thing
What to Expect in Obama’s Second Term Print E-mail
By George J. Marlin   
Wednesday, 09 January 2013

The next four years will not be good ones for practicing Catholics or, for that matter, anyone who subscribes to Judeo-Christian beliefs. I’m certain that in a short time from now, Catholics will look upon the recent “fiscal cliff” scuffle as merely the prelude to the president’s plan to impose his ideological will on the nation.

Although Obama won with only 51 percent of the vote – and is the first president re-elected to a second term receiving fewer total votes than in his first election – he actually believes he received a huge mandate last November. He rejects the notion that the nation is in effect evenly divided and is still center-right.

This misconception has caused the Narcissist-in-Chief to reveal his true self.  Compromise for Obama means “my way or the highway.”

This ego-centric attitude should come as no surprise. Obama watchers have been sounding alarms for years that, because he spent most of his pre-presidential years talking to like-minded people and sycophants in his radical-chic Hyde Park, Chicago neighborhood, he believed he was an anointed one destined to lead a nation of dopes. This is the man who said: “Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost. It comes from me.”

One major-league Chicagoan who dealt with state senator and U.S. Senator Obama recently told me that, in a typical one-hour meeting, Obama would talk for fifty-five minutes, then conclude by saying, “I guess we both agree.” When he was informed this was not the case, Obama would take offence and abruptly end the meeting.

The man who called for “hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord” has consistently broken the rules he championed and has gotten away with it because the high-minded, main-line people in the press – with their contempt for ordinary people – have looked the other way. They view Obama as a fellow member of the enlightened class.  And like all narcissists, they look upon those disagree as dumb.

Time magazine’s Joe Klein, a leading member of the pro-Obama cheering section, best expressed the attitude he and his confreres have for those who oppose the chosen one’s policies: “American’s are flagrantly ill-informed. . .and, for those watching FOX News, misinformed. It is very difficult to have a democracy without citizens. It is impossible to be a citizen if you don’t make an effort to understand the most basic activities of your government. It is very difficult to thrive in an increasingly competitive world if you’re a nation of dodos.”

The Obama Administration believes, Ross Douthat has written, “that issues like health care and climate change and immigration are best worked out through comprehensive bills drawn up by enlightened officials. . . . It regards sexual liberty as sacrosanct and other liberties – from the freedoms of churches to the rights of gun owners – as negotiable at best.”

So, expect Obama’s second term to be an all-out effort to undercut the Church. He will strive to promote not freedom of religion, but freedom from religion.

If Congress dares to get in his way, he will implement his agenda through executive orders and regulations concocted by his ever-growing bureaucracy of experts.

The Catholic Church will most likely be out of the health-care business in the next four years. Obama wants the secular state, not religious institutions, to control the billions of tax dollars allocated annually to hospitals. Regardless of what the courts decide on religious liberty, the 159 new bureaucracies Obamacare creates will, by way of onerous regulations and decrees, drive bishops to throw their hands up in disgust and surrender the keys to their medical institutions to Big Brother.

As for the same-sex marriage battle, it’s lost. The next move will be to deny the Church its authority to legally sanction marriages.

It is only a matter of time before a same-sex couple, waving their Catholic baptismal certificates, file a federal suit alleging their civil rights were violated because a pastor has refused to marry them in his parish church. And don’t be surprised when the Obama Justice Department files a brief supporting the plaintiffs.

Expect America to become like France – where every couple has to be legally married by a government magistrate and, only afterwards, if they choose, may participate in a church wedding ceremony.

Obama makes war on the Church because for him there are no absolute truths, no objective moral laws that supersede the state. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he wrote “Implicit. . .in the very idea of ordered liberty is a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology, or theology or ‘ism,’ any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course or drive both majorities and minorities into the cruelties of the Inquisition, the pogrom, the Gulag, or the jihad.” John Paul II and Benedict XVI have, of course, pointed to and rebutted the fallacy of thinking that democracy can survive without a commitment to truth.

For Obama all is relative. The basis of democracy is the ever-changing push and pull of diverse opinions and tastes. Beliefs in transcendent order, metaphysics, common law must be replaced with concepts that are workable, efficient, and materialistic. For Obama, liberty means obedience to the uncertain will of the managerial elite. For Obama, rights and liberties are bestowed by the state, not God.

A scary picture? Yes it is. And that’s why all Catholics, especially the hierarchy, cannot let down their guard and must be ready to perform heroic deeds to defend the Faith in the public square. We’ll probably lose, but we must at least go down fighting.

George J. Marlin is an editor of The Quotable Fulton Sheen and the author of The American Catholic VoterHis most recent book is Narcissist Nation: Reflections of a Blue-State Conservative.
The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Comments (20)Add Comment
written by fleshman, January 08, 2013
I think this is a tad alarmist but at least this column is issue and fact based unlike the last one.

I think the Catholic Church and all believers should move to take steps to protect people and institutions of faith from legal fallout from any coming legal regime of gay "marriage," which I think is a much bigger potential threat to the Church than the HHS mandate but actually one far less discussed.
written by Manfred, January 08, 2013
When the Church under Paul VI decided to no longer be juridical and become exclusively pastoral, the first item that was dropped was excommunication. That is why the Vice President of this Country, who has uttered the F-word more frequently in public than any other politician, who is pro same-sex marriage and pro-abortion, can be referred to as being Catholic(?). If the Church and Its people suffer for the next four years, the Church has no one to blame but Itself. If you are going to write a candid column such as this on a Catholic website, then you must also explain the solution. Can anyone imagine how much ink has been spilled describing the crisis in the Church with no resolution in sight? For 100 years before Vatican II the Church's enemy was largely the Modernists in the Church. Pius XII warned of the writings of Rahner and de Lubac who became darlings at Vat II. Pius warned that he could see a time when the red lamp would no longer be lit in Church sanctuaries, signifying that the Divine Presence was absent.For the last fifty years they have reigned in opposition to Christ and His Mother. They have destroyed Christ's Church. Did anyone really think that only France, England, Germany and Cuba would be destroyed by Catholics? Does anyone believe that abortions, contraception, divorce and sexual perversions would continue to be tolerated by God? The bill is due and payable. Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrha. Fall on our knees. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
written by Frank, January 09, 2013
As i stated yesterday, Obama has picked his points and his battles and I have to hand it to him, he's fighting while his opposition sleep walks waiting for the bad dream to be over. Unfortunately, this is worse than a bad dream.

I would go one further than the author, politely of course, and include the word sociopath. Obama is a narcissistic sociopath and perfectly fits the definition and profile of both.

The ride will be rough the next four years and could get rougher beyond our singular and collective imaginations. A great irony I've learned is simply this, not even Hollywood can invent, dream, much less think about this stuff we call real life...truth and reality are stranger than fiction itself.

But four years is a long time and there's always a leveling effect that emerges akin to what Proverbs tells us that "pride goeth before the fall." Obama and his ilk will not heed the warning, it is their singular and collective blind spot and the bill will eventually come due. Obama and his constituency have taken on the Church with their own callous disregard and ignorance of who holds dominion over the Church and He who holds that dominion has certainly been of this world but from eternity, not of it. There are just some things one does not mess with, the Church is one of them and when the promise and lesson of Matthew 16 is applied, who will be the real dodos?
written by Mack Hall, January 09, 2013
How sad that a great many Catholics voted for this man, who despises them, and that many other Catholics stayed home on election day.
written by Other Joe, January 09, 2013
One might recommend - for all concerned - the first few pages of The Book of Wisdom. The problem is as old as age, as old as Truth.
written by Maggie-Louise, January 09, 2013
Christendom College is the only Catholic college in the country that does not receive federal funds of any kind, not even in the form of student loans. We can begin by supporting this institution. They are in the midst of a campaign to build up their endowment in order to provide more scholarships. You might consider helping them out (along with TCT, of course.)
written by Grump, January 09, 2013
Well said, George. Our system of government was set up with three co-equal branches designed to check the abuse of power by any one of the three. Obama's imperial presidency flagrantly disregards the "advice and consent" of Congress, as he is bound to do under law, and his packing of the Supreme Court with leftists bodes ominously for civil liberties.

He sees himself as Emperor, not a President, who conducts illegal wars against sovereign nations without authorization from Congress, as the law prescribes. He has sharply stepped up drone attacks aimed at killing "terrorists" but which have resulted in the mass murder of several hundred innocent civilians including women and children in four nations. The media are his megaphone, repeating the lies and propaganda that flow from the White House. Then he sheds crocodile tears over Newtown but has none for the innocents he killed and tens of millions murdered in the womb.

His growing assault on the Church is part and parcel of his socialist political philosophy to make the State supreme in all things, dismissing those of us who rightly believe that the Constitution is the legal bedrock upon which our nation was founded. The First and Second Amendments stand in peril as he undermines our God-given rights under the guise of "doing the right thing."

He extends the nanny state, believing that the government's role is to take care of people from cradle to grave, which augurs for an America dominated by the indolent who crave security over liberty and are content so long as there is bread to fill their bellies and circuses to amuse them.

Two quotations come to mind:

"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." ~ Samuel Adams, 1776

"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence." ~ American historian Charles A. Beard (1874-1948)
written by c matt, January 09, 2013
He rejects the notion that the nation is in effect evenly divided and is still center-right.

I agree with you that he incorrectly believes he has a mandate and he does not recognize the nation is in effect evenly divided. However, I disagree that the US is still center-right. It can only be considered CR if center has been moved decidedly left. In reality, we are slightly center-left, at best center, if you compare our country to its past.
written by Dennis, January 09, 2013
The bishops must learn that you cannot talk your way out of every problem. Sometimes we must fight our way out.

And I would challenge those in the Church's social ministries: when adoption, and work with the infirm, and advocacy for the negelcted, and billions in funding are removed, and they sit in their offices with no clients, no budget, and no work, will they still think that liberal social work has been a good thing for them and the Church?
written by Stanley Anderson, January 09, 2013
I would like to suggest a possibility that I haven't seen expressed by conservative Catholics (of which I am one), but it is only that -- i.e., only a possibility, not something "I believe" will happen. I only suggest it as something to watch out for (and I don’t expect it is a “new” idea that hasn’t been expressed elsewhere, but only one that I haven’t heard myself yet).

For me, the biggest concern is not that President Obama will become "too" bad (though becoming more "bad" than he already has demonstrated and undoubtedly will do is certainly a very big, perhaps my second biggest, concern for me too, as your article points out). Rather, I am most concerned that he will become "just bad enough" to enrage the voting populace, who with then react, not by moving back to a more reasonable place, but, as is typical throughout history, jump over to the extreme opposite "side" so that we end up in an even worse position than before. C. S. Lewis mentions in the afterward to his book "The Pilgirm's Regress", that "Opposite evils, far from balancing, aggravate each other."

I'm not sure how that extreme opposite side might manifest itself (and I am loathe to brandish the overplayed "A" word or "that number", etc; they would likely do little good anyway even if they did apply "this time around" after being drawn a thousand times before on other targets).

Nor am I certain how best to counteract such an event besides the time-honored method of prayer and fasting and such, but I just wanted to point out this added concern -- as if we don't already feel overwhelmed with concerns as it is.

I guess that overwhelming feeling means that I can at least relate to Jesus' desire to cross the Sea by boat to find a place to be alone from the crowds for a while and then finding that they have followed him around the shore even into areas where their nutritional health is endangered. I mean, I know a friend who has a few loaves of bread and a couple fishes, but what good are they among so many worries that surround us?
written by Joel, January 09, 2013
A well written summary of what is to come; If I may, I would like to comment on one particular observation:

“The Catholic Church will most likely be out of the health-care business in the next four years.”
I will of course, hope and pray that this shall not be so, however for the moment I will take it as it stands. The more important issue is, will we just give up, or will we go out fighting? Recently, under the threat of government forcing them to assign adoptees to homosexual partners the Catholic agencies involved just threw in the towel. We must remember that we are the Church Militant, not the church whiney and wimpy.

In His homily for the Solemnity of the Epiphany our Holy Father commented on the need for courage and strength to witness to Christ in these times. In this he quoted from the Acts of the Apostles chapter 5…

And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus;
… they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus
And every day they ceased not in the temple, and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus.

In this next round it is my hope (perhaps one based on delusion but my hope nonetheless) that the directors of Catholic hospitals and health care centers will openly defy the government. Let the government come with their guns and force the closure of our hospitals. Let the world see in the starkest terms the tyrannical power and ideals of this government. And after they close one hospital let us open another – anywhere and in any way possible. Let us care for the sick in our homes, in our barns, in our churches if need be but let us not give up on the calling of hospitality – A Catholic Calling - that introduced hospitals to the world.
written by Ray Hunkins, January 09, 2013
Excellent analysis and prognostication, Mr. Marlin. I would be depressed except seeds of "hope and change" are in your piece and in the reaction exemplified by the comments above. As Chesterton reminds us, "the curious thing is that, when the rebellion comes, it is generally a rebellion against rebels." Remember that," a cock has great influence on his own dunghill." The rebels who took control in 2008 are sowing the seeds of their own downfall, on their own dunghill. Rejoice!
written by Maggie-Louise, January 09, 2013
"forcing them to assign adoptees to homosexual partners the Catholic agencies involved just threw in the towel."

Thank you, Joel, for reminding us. I was appalled that they gave in so easily. But that is Boston, after all. Just about everyone there was on their side. It must have pained them terribly to have to take any action at all, so they took the easiest way out, the one that would least harm their cause..

I, too, have been greatly encouraged by the comments, as well as the cautions, expressed here. Thank you. And thank you to TCT. I hope you met your financial goals.
written by T.D., January 09, 2013
I often wonder if Obama is intentionally allowing the economy to go to pot so that he can then become a 'savior' via free handouts, making everyone without a brain dependent on him.
written by Mary , January 09, 2013
I am a Canadian, so no doubt unqualified to comment about some of this column which does strike me as somewhat alarmist. However, it seems more likely that what will happen during Obama's next four years is that government funding will increasingly squeeze the moral conscience of operators of social services until they face the choice of operating without such funds or giving up. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is not well positioned for this battle in the U.S. any more than it was in Canada where private hospitals no longer exist and Catholic schools are compelled to teach subjects and engage in activities (such as allowing a homosexual couple to attend a prom or permitting and encouraging Gay Alliance clubs) contrary to their moral beliefs. If you want to protect Catholic faith and culture, independence from government funding is a prerequisite.
written by Robb, January 09, 2013
Perhaps if our feckless Bishops would denounce those "catholic politicians" who proclaim support for agendas that are contra church teachings we would not be in the place we are noe.

written by athanasius, January 09, 2013
I wonder if Obama is like Gollum, a being who has been extremely corrupted by the evil ring. Remember, Gollum eventually, and unintentionally, destroyed the ring even as he lusted after it. Will Obama destroy the leftist paradise he lusts after by overplaying his hand?

One observation: I think the article overplays Obama's power in the second term. Presidents typically lose influence as the second term progresses. Arguably, he is already losing it. Look at the fiscal cliff tax bill. I know it has been decried as a victory for the left, but let's look at it more deeply.

Tax rates were going up on everybody according to existing law. That was in place 10 years ago, and since then democrats have been claiming the Bush tax cuts were the worst thing to ever have happened to fiscal policy. And yet, when the democrats were in a position to totally erase the Bush tax cuts without doing a thing, they were the party to actually argue over keeping them for the "98%". And what's more, they made them permanent (which a republican president with republican majorities in Congress could not do 10 years ago).

The fiscal cliff was Obama's best bargaining chip, and I think he gave it away rather easily. Fighting Obamacare will be a battle royal, and we do need to stand our ground on it, but I think Obama is not as powerful as he thinks he is.

P.S. If we, as Catholics, truly believe that God desires all men to be saved, then we should include Obama in our prayers. I would be very happy to see Obama embrace a culture of life. It may seem unlikely, but the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. I will act in the direction of hope.
written by Russell, January 09, 2013
The column isn't just alarmist, but nonsense. The Catholic Church will no more be required to marry gays, than it now is required to marry divorces. Note that churches that preach against miscegenation -- and there still are some around -- are free not to marry couples of mixed race. The wall of separation works both ways.
written by Jim Morgan, January 10, 2013
Obama fits perfectly in the "progressive" tradition which always has believed in government-by-experts. Of course, the experts are always those progressives who declare themselves to be such. Obama believes that "all is relative" except his own will. His behavior makes that clear - all of his behavior, right down to the chin-in-the-air, Mussolini pose that he strikes so often. The man, in his heart, already is a dictator.

I'm not quite as pessimistic as Mr. Marlin is, however, though I do have my bad days in that regard. Let's pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen the spines of the bishops and of faithful Catholics and other Christians to continue the fight, not so much against Obama personally, odious little man that he is, but against the entire ugly and destructive "progressive" way of looking at the world.
written by Gene Clark , January 10, 2013
It's plainly obvious to most devout Catholics, that what Marlin says is true. There is however a certain number of Catholics who have replaced the "Words of God", with the "Rhetoric of Barack Obama". It would be a divine act of Papal Authority to excommunicate those Catholics in government who act in opposition to Church Dogma.

I don't share Marlin's pessimism on the future of the Catholic institutions in America. Obama's doctrine does not supercede the will of Christ here on Earth, even if Obama and his herds of atheistic, Marxists and useful idiots think so.

Prayer has overcome many seemingly insurmountable calamities. Obama like many before him shall also fall, in God's own time.

papal "EXCOMMUNICATE" those

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