Wednesday, November 07, 2012

post mortem perils

During the post-mortem on the Romney campaign, there is a great danger that some in the GOP may misinterpret last night's victory as a signal to move a little to the left, especially in social issues. The temptation may be to dilute the platform on its Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion position and its support of traditional marriage. That would be a trap and a downfall. When the opposition imputed an image of fanatical, far-right extremists, the general public overreacted as if there were a Republican branch of the Taliban. This is a tactic used by lawyers during a trial. Convince the jury that a witness is 'out there' and you have as much discredited them as if you proved outright perjury. 

Romney did not lose because he was Pro-Life but Obama did win because he was seen as popular and as someone who espoused populist ideas. Romneny's opponents painted him as extreme. Rather than back down, dilute or ditch, the 2016 candidate needs to make the issues PLAIN and SIMPLE.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. 
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue

Mediocrity is not the answer nor is cooperation in evil. The abolitionists did not back down despite setbacks and political losses here and there. Slavery was eventually defeated as was racial segregation. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., knew too well that victory would take time and sacrifice but he was in it to the very end. Likewise, those who voted with a well formed conscience and voted FOR the unborn, for the terminally ill, for the sanctity of traditional marriage, for religious liberty ... they have a clear conscience. There are some Catholics who deceived themselves and were duped by the secular humanists. Some voted to protect evils like abortion and that made them formal as well as material cooperators in evil. They need to confess this mortal sin. Others, misinterpreted or misunderstood the Church's teaching that the RIGHT TO LIFE is the first and foremost, the foundational issue and most important human and civil right before all others. It is not the only right, but it is the first and most essential as all others come FROM that right to life.

Electability will be the mantra for the next campaign. Get someone who is 'inclusive', they will say. Let's have a big tent where everyone is welcome. It was not moderation which won the presidency, it was the cult of personality. People like the President. His party platform, policies, and administrative decisions conflicted with the Natural Moral Law on more than one occasion and more than one issue. 

What the country needs is not a middle of the road candidate, but a candidate who espouse moral principles and values with a genuine human face and who can convey those in a reasonable manner. Caricatures of Romney and Ryan as Salem Witch-Hunters poisoned the well of public opinion. Instead, the Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage and Pro-Religious Liberty crowd should associate with images of MLK and Ghandi who both were men of peace but also of justice for those being denied it. The war against women should have been rephrased into the war against life. Defending marriage is not 'anti-gay', it is pro-family. The GOP however allowed the other side to define terms. 

Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union not by appeasement or apologies. He knew that strength of conviction needs a credible deterrent to persuade those who have doubts about our resolve. Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln also knew that one had to get tough when necessary and to always be courageous in doing what is right even if unpopular.

I hope and pray that someone from either party will emerge in the next election who will be BOLD enough to OPENLY defend what is true and morally right; who will not be a chameleon to win votes nor will he or she sell their soul to get into office. We need and deserve politicians who put the COMMON GOOD before their job security. One can be right without being a bully or a fanatic. Being wishy-washy is as bad as being wrong and on the side of what is immoral. The bottom line is CONSISTENCY and COURAGE to do what has to be done and do it with FAIRNESS and JUSTICE.  We need a leader, not a icon; a person of principle, not an opportunist.  If the Republicans and the Democrats go to the lowest common denominator, no one wins and the country loses. Better for ideologies to be well defined and clearly stated so voters can make an intelligent choice. Then we also have to re-educate the populace how to vote CONSCIENTIOUSLY and PRUDENTLY, not based on emotions and feelings, but on facts and truths.

Requiem for a Nation

A Requiem Mass is in order. It was not just Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who lost tonight. Nor is it just a loss for the Republican party. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY and JUSTICE lost. Forget about Roe v. Wade getting overturned. The Supreme Court will most likely get revamped with a majority of Pro-Abortion justices when immanent retirements occur. HHS mandate will continue to strangle the FREEDOM OF RELIGION in its attempt to impose immorality while handcuffing spiritual leaders from their God given task to denounce evil. The UNBORN will be more at risk than ever before. The terminally ill and elderly will be threatened with 'compassionate termination' under the oxymoron of 'mercy killing'. Euthanasia and abortion will sky-rocket. Traditional marriage will be trivialized to the realm where chastity and virginity were exiled a few generations before.

I fear for America. Our national debt has already become a credible threat to national security. Worse yet, our country is on the verge of losing its soul. Greece and Rome fell and they fell hard when they lost their MORAL COMPASS. How many Catholics chose to ignore the public and flagrant attacks on LIFE (via abortion and assisted suicide) and RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (via HHS mandate) only to vote for what appeared most comfortable and convenient?

Even economists admit that they and their disciple are far from infallible. There is plenty of latitude for discussion and disagreement on prudential judgments regarding economic policies and programs. Big government or small government; liberal or conservative; blue state or red state; these are opinions


What is not open for debate are NON-NEGOTIABLES like the RIGHT TO LIFE, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY and the SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE & THE FAMILY. Great cultures and civilizations flourish when they promote and defend these. They crumble, fall and dissolve when they abandon them.

We must oppose every immoral and unjust law, policy, and program without resorting to the sin of hating our enemies. At the same time, we must follow in the footsteps of the early martyrs of Rome and those who followed their brave example in Elizabethan England, behind the old Iron Curtain, or those under Red China's tyranny. The Soviet Union, the Evil Empire, is no more, but besides Al Qaeda there are other threats to us. OURSELVES. If we continue to kill innocent unborn babies and if we allow traditional moral values to decay, then our society will implode. No need for an external enemy to conquer us.

Some are guilty of the sin of omission if they neglected to vote (weather and health permitting, of course).  Those who remained SILENT might be culpable of being an ACCESSORY or more accurately a COOPERATOR IN EVIL like those who voted for politicians and candidates who support unrestricted abortions and who seek to unravel the cloth of the family by redefining and reinventing the institution of marriage, yet these voters fooled themselves into the trap that as long as they personally disagreed, it was OK to support those who advocate what is IMMORAL for 'other' reasons and positions.

Cardinal George of Chicago said he would die in his bed, his successor will die in prison and the one to succeed him will die a martyr's death. Hyperbole? NO. Governments and societies which do not honor and respect religious liberty of believers and/or of the Church where they worship are doomed to extinction. The gates of hell will not prevail but as in days of old, there will be MORE persecutions. Maybe not physical, but economic, political, social and psychological attacks will take place against those who dare challenge the omnipotent STATE. Atheism not only discounts religion, it despises and detests it. Inch by inch, day by day, we will see rights and freedoms restrained, curtailed and controlled so that private property will become state property. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press will be overwhelmed by what is POLITICALLY CORRECT.

Some will be defeatist and claim we have no choice but COMPROMISE. Those Frenchmen who collaborated with the Nazis during occupation were not seen as patriots or heroes after the war had been won and France regained her independence. COOPERATION IN EVIL can occur formally or materially. Like Saint Paul we must FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT and FINISH THE RACE. Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher and many other martyrs show us that it is not worth one's soul to acquiesce to civil power when it conflicts with moral and religious principles and values.

The time has come to capture the ZEAL and PIETY our ancestors showed. When we were an immigrant church and a vulnerable minority, we knew who we were, what we believed and how we were to live. As we became more and more assimilated into society, we 'fit in' and like the ancient Israelites, we wanted to be more like our neighbors. They turned their back on the Lord and demanded He give them an earthly king so they could have an 'acceptable' earthly kingdom. After two rulers, that kingdom got divided and eventually conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

Like the Kingdom of Nineveh, we need to do PENANCE lest we continue on the road to more persecution and enslavement. It would be appropriate if our national hierarchy followed the example of their brothers in Britain and RESTORED the tradition of Friday abstinence and brought back ALL Holy Days of Obligation on their actual calendar dates. We may not ever see Ember and Rogation days return, but more REVERENCE in the Sacred Liturgy and ZERO toleration of theological or liturgical dissent be it colleges or seminaries, pulpits or podiums, will do more good to RENEW the faith.

The New Evangelization may mean that missionaries from the Third World come HERE to America to reacquaint us with what we let slip through our fingers. FAITH and FAMILY are the pillars of any civilization and both are always attacked by tyrants and despots, be they Communist, Socialist or Fascist.

When I was a child in Catholic grade school, the nuns had us pray daily for the conversion of Russia. Now that the Cold War ended and the Iron Curtain fell; now that the Soviet Union is no more, complacency has lulled us into a false sense of security. Two forces are still at work. The atheistic powers of secular progressives who seek to deify Government and the radical elements of Islamo-fascism who distort their religion for the purpose of establishing the revival of Caliphate which would rival the Ottoman Empire itself.

Now, we must pray for all our enemies, at home and abroad. We must pray for our civil leaders that they may REPENT of their allegiances to the powers of darkness like abortion and euthanasia. Remember when the Disciples got discouraged when they could not exorcise some demons? Jesus told them that some are so nasty that only perseverance in PRAYER and FASTING will prevail. Likewise, we should NOT stop the novenas, litanies and acts of mortification. More than ever we need to increase our devotion to the ROSARY and to show greater honor for the Virgin Mary. As faithful sons and daughters of the Church, we need to PRACTICE our religion especially as it becomes more and more UNPOPULAR and POLITICALLY INCORRECT.

When Polish Catholics were being persecuted by the Communists, they went to Church more often and they more fervently celebrated public acts of piety and devotion. There are no KGB agents spying on us here in the USA but the government will intrude more and more into our lives to try to conform us to what they deem is acceptable behavior, not based on the Natural Law, but determined by liberal ideologies and secular humanism.

I suggest a modest program. Voluntary resumption of the ALL Friday abstinence (except on Solemnities) and voluntary fasting on all Wednesdays (or at least one day a week, except on Solemnities) in REPARATION for the sins of our age; DAILY rosary; MONTHLY confession; ANNUAL retreats; PERIODIC pilgrimages; and FREQUENT acts of piety and devotion. Simultaneously, we need to READ and LEARN more about our religion and be more assertive in SPREADING it, first by example and secondly by prudent and compassionate CATECHESIS.

The Roman Empire converted thanks to the blood of the martyrs but also because their faith became contagious. Lukewarm Catholics attract no one. Mediocrity is a cancer. PRAY for vocations AND pray for better politicians. Support those who defend LIFE and oppose those who promote death and perversity.

This YEAR OF FAITH is more crucial than ever now thanks to the Election of 2012. We need to WAKE UP and STAY SOBER and ALERT. Our adversary the Devil has duped many into thinking with their pocket books and evaluating according to comfort and convenience rather than right from wrong. We may have to return to being an underground church as like in the catacombs of old, but faith and piety can never be taken, only surrendered.

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