Sunday, September 10, 2017

The dogma lives loudly within you

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a maid came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean; but he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, you accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the cock crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly
The common inquisitors to Peter, soon to be the first Pope.  Matthew 26:69-75

It was the Democratic Party that was the party of Jim Crow, Anti Catholicism, Anti-Semitism and "Americanism".  In a lot of the country the KKK was its fellow traveler.  It's gotten over most of that, except it obviously retains at least one view of its old hooded pals.

Questions and comments to Judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett from the Democratic members of the Senate Judicial Committee:

Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat, New Jersey:  "Are you an orthodox Catholic?"

Senator Diane Feinstein:  "When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws, is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that's a concern, when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country."

It would seem that Democrats have retained some of the their old bigoted beliefs in a major way.  Indeed, maybe in a way that they haven't done since any point since the 1950s, or earlier.  The party housed a strong anti Catholic streak, as well as an anti Jewish and anti black streak, going far back in its history, even as machine politics brought a lot of immigrant Catholics into the party (particularly Irish immigrants) and the liberal politics of Franklin Roosevelt brought in a lot of blacks.

 The Birth of a Nation, about which President Woodrow Wilson, a southerner by birth but a "progressive" Democrat politically, declared "it is as it was".  It wasn't.

The United States started off as a deeply anti Catholic nation and while Catholics are the largest single faith in the United States the country retains anti Catholic strains in some ways.   Anti-Catholicism has been called "the last acceptable prejudice" in some quarters.   Not that this is unusual.  Almost every nation that started off as a Protestant nation retains anti Catholic strains even if they don't recognize it and can't seem to see it.  The unique aspect of this in the United States is that it is, in some ways, so open while at the same time, up until very recently most post World War Two Americans didn't realize it or at least blinded themselves to it.  Serious Catholics are now caught quite surprised, or have been in the last few years, by the re-emerged open hostility to Catholicism in liberal spheres.  Indeed, as this has occurred, Protestant Christians, or at least socially conservative ones, have likewise been caught off guard and surprised.  This has lead to widespread reconsideration of political values by Catholics as well as such movements as The Benedict Option and the Constantine Option.

As this isn't a history of anti Catholicism in the United States, or the history of religion in the United States, I'm not going to go into all of that.  What I am going to say however is that Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin (who is a Catholic, but who must have problems with the "orthodox" Catholics that sit in the same pews) have done religious people in the United States a huge favor by flat out revealing the true nature of the current Democratic party in its upper reaches.  That is, you can accept the dogma of your Faith, or the dogma of the extreme left of the Democratic Party, but not both.  And if you chose your deeply held Faith of the Political Faith, you are not welcome in the public sphere.  Not just not welcome in the party.  You aren't welcome anywhere.

Not that this should be that much of a surprise, it's just a surprise how open it has become.

 Four time governor of New York, Al Smith was the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 1928.  His Catholicism likely resulted in his defeat in an era when being openly anti-Catholic was acceptable.  It would seem we're back to that.

American Catholics became comfortable with the Democrats on a very wide scale early after their entry into the US due, as noted, to machine politics.  It was the elevation of John F. Kennedy to the presidency in 1960, however, that caused what used to be "Irish Democrats" to become nothing more than Democrats. At that point Catholic Americans felt that they'd exited the Catholic Ghetto and in fact they already had physically, even if they remained in it socially and intellectually.  Accommodating themselves to that, they allowed themselves to slowly adopt views that were contrary to the tenants of their faith as long as it was excused in some fashion.  Politicians like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Dick Durbin epitomize that.  

 John F. Kennedy.  "Young", in political terms, at the time he was elected, war hero, and an Irish American Catholic (albeit with the personal morals of an alley cat), he made Catholics comfortable with compromise.  Not directly, but by making the "American" part the dominant part.

Nonetheless as early as 1973 some Catholics began to question the degree to which the Democratic Party could be a home for American Catholics.  Catholics were generally "liberal" on matters of rich and poor, and pubic assistance, reflecting their relatively recent immigrant status.  The Democratic Party of the time was careful not to shut the door on Democrats who opposed abortion, which became the law of the land in 1973 with Roe v. Wade.

As the years progressed, however, the Democrats shut that door.  After awhile it became a Democratic litmus test.  While Catholics remain in the party, on that issue they must rationalize their position in a party that is deeply opposed to their moral beliefs, unless they completely suspend those beliefs as many in Congress have done. 

It would take another Supreme Court decision, however, to really turn on the spot light.  The Obergefell decision, bereft of sensible legal analysis, was nothing more than a liberal judicial coup which very rapidly brought in a new era of deeply anti nature politics and social activism.  Following Obergefell it was obvious that the Democratic Party was ready to jettison any social position that wasn't extreme.  The Catholic church, like most orthodox Christian faiths, takes a deeply natural position in regards to human nature.  Indeed, in spite of the common liberal assumption to the contrary, its the Church that stands for science and nature while the party stands opposed to both.

That Catholics weren't welcome to this brave new world became pretty obvious during the campaign when the internal emails of the Democrats were leaked. While the leaking itself is horrible, the fact that their servers were penetrated by, presumably Russian hackers, did have the effect of revealing what they actually thought, and some of that was their deep hostility to Catholics.  Now they no longer even pretend.

The irony here is that nominee Barrett actually came the attention of her critics for writing a law review article that suggested that Catholic judges should recuse themselves when they are faced with social issues that are deeply antithetical to their faith. That's the height of responsible jurisprudence.  It's true that Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the Judicial Manifesto of Obergefell that overthrew the rule of law in this area, is a Catholic and somehow in his mind manages to pretend that he's doing his job in a cogent manner, and therefore he would have been off of the panel that decided that opinion.  But probably somehow missed to liberals so are that five others on the Court are also Catholic, although at least one of those is only nominally so.  In other words, the Supreme Court would have been left with five to force a judicial coup anyhow.

But the fear that Feinstein confessed is revealing as to how the Democrats are currently thinking.  The fear isn't that Catholic judges will interpret the law through Catholic lenses.  The fear is that They'll suddenly do what Democrats have been doing and are now acclimated to. That is, the fear is that they'll ignore the law, like the majority in Obergefell did, and choose to decree what the law is, or should be, based on their beliefs.

Which is exactly what the Democrats have been doing in an increasing degree since 1973.

What Feinstein means is that she's afraid, as the Democrats generally are, that conservative judges might decide that the Constitution doesn't reach a lot of issues in the imaginary world that the Democrats are attempt to construct.  That's because it doesn't.  The entire idea that the Constitution, for example, can be read to mandate a restructuring of the definition of marriage is massively absurd.  For most of our history the Constitution was read in such as a way to defer all marriage issues to the states.  If that was done for the most part, except in states with liberal jurist themselves, these issues would be left to the people decide.

Horror of horrors. We can't have that.

Father Georges Lemaître, Belgian Catholic Priest, professor of physics, and scientist, author of the Big Bang Theory.  Scientists as they really are, not as depicted by some stupid television show, and a man obviously not made uncomfortable with the Truth.  Would Feinstein find him welcome him on the faculty committee?
Catholics and other conservative Christians, people who have studied biology, regular conservatives, and natural law folks might vote, after all. 

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