Newspaper readers and news-watchers these past few weeks have been treated to a running analysis from pundits and reporters on whether Catholic politicians should be under different rules than the other billion less-famous Catholics.
It’s not shocking that The New York Times and their friends think the Catholic Church ought to abandon millennia of moral teaching to suit Western left-wing policies, but a funny thing arises throughout their coverage: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are called
“conservative” or even “deeply conservative,” Pope Francis and President Joe Biden are referred to as “liberal” allies, and a discussion of ancient church doctrine — and its 60 years of declining influence — somehow revolves around former President Donald Trump, who isn’t Catholic and hasn’t said anything about this.
“Conservative American Catholic bishops are pressing for a debate,” The New York Times reported June 14, “over whether Catholics who support the right to an abortion should be allowed to take Communion.”
Five days later, after the bishops declined to be cowed by the Times’ completely false reporting, the same writer upgraded the gathering to the laughably false moniker, “the deeply conservative American bishops conference.”
“This movement,” CNN chimed in, “is driven by the extremely conservative wing of the Catholic Church.”
“Pope Francis and President Biden, both liberals, are the two most high-profile Roman Catholics in the world,” the Times declared Sunday. The bishops’ “priorities,” they explained, are “clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump… — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”
One New Republic article accusing the “conservative bishops” of a “shameful… attack” on Biden mentioned Trump three times. Another article in The Hill mentioned Trump 14 times.
Of course, as The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson writes, “despite the media’s mischaracterizations, there are no ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ bishops, only faithful and unfaithful ones,” but don’t bother explaining that to the Times; its writers don’t have the faintest understanding of the Catholic Church, and how could they? It’s impossible to understand a 2,000-year-old religion in terms of American political parties.
It’s not totally uncommon: Attempting to fit religion into politics isn’t confined to the political left, and more than a few on the Christian right have tried the same trick. But there’s something broader at play here, and because of it, Catholics shouldn’t feel specifically targeted by the displays of ignorance above. Why not? Because while religion is included, the modern left sees everything it lay eyes on in terms of politics.
Biological sex is just a social construct meant to constrain the liberation of eight-year-olds.
For military preparedness, the commander in chief touts female generals and maternity flight suits, while Tucker Carlson questioning pregnant pilots’ combat effectiveness earns rare and vicious public rebukes from the Pentagon.
Physical fitness, public radio explains, has a “racist past” in “fat phobia.”
Forget the Great Books: Universities are focused on “decolonizing your bookshelf,” while Princeton University’s classics department dropped its ancient language requirement to be more inclusive of, apparently, uneducated people.
In art, museum curators work to sell off classical works to buy unknown modern pieces by women and minorities.
In sports, woke protests take precedent over declining viewership.
“Cultural appropriation” is “a perennial issue on Halloween.”
Your childhood memories are racist and Dr. Seuss is banned.
Thomas the Tank Engine, a show based in 19th-century English locomotives that come alive, needs more racial diversity… of trains.
But enough: Fun as it is to come up with how many aspects of basic life the left has bulldozed under their politics, the reality is that to live this way is utterly devoid of joy and satisfaction in the family, patriotism, children, learning, safety, service, exercise, reading, art, travel, sports, deserts, dinner, holidays, the ABCs, and even kid’s shows.
But more dangerous than their own joyless existences is the effect this kind of policy has on a traditionally liberal country. The essence of liberalism, classically understood, is the separation of the different aspects of society, including the family, the state, and the sacred.
To shatter these barriers — and submit all to the political — leads down just one road, and that road is tyranny. While separation of church and state is a famous, if completely warped and misunderstood, example of classical liberalism, today’s left would abolish it and see the sacred subservient to the political. In fact, today’s left would see everything subverted to the political.
So it’s no wonder the left and its defenders and scribes in corporate media don’t understand Catholicism. Through the lens of American politics, how could they? But the rest of us ought to understand the danger here isn’t that they simply don’t understand, but that they seek to undo the barriers and rule over everything. And while the elite class is chock-full of miseducation to be sure, you better believe that more than a few of them know exactly what they’re doing.