Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

and remember: act natural

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 24, 2008

The Religious Right is what Lefties call believing Christians during an election year. Believers are generally loathed by the glitterati, but there's votes in them thar hills, and every four years, in order to score higher in the southern states, the Democratic leadership makes tardy and risibly lame attempts at church-going. It always backfires. The news footage of Hillary leaving church with her white-gloved hand clutching a prayer-book is as convincing as the famous shot of the senior George Bush tossing back a beer in that Jersey City tavern. To fake an interest, you need a trace of familiarity with your subject.

The current NCR has one of its seasonal "Me Too!" articles introducing us to the Sojourner's Jim Wallis for the twenty-seventh time and reminding us that government-funded health insurance is a faith issue also. It may be that the notion of a naive cynicism is a contradiction in terms, but there's something almost endearing in the Left's ingenuous willingness to let us watch them assemble the camouflage that is meant to fool us in November.

In the piece in question, the author assures us that "values outreach" used to be monopolized by conservatives, but more recently Lefties are coming to realize that they have values too. By early 2007 progressives turned a corner, we're told, and "the left began to remember its own religious history and recover the language of faith, formerly a hostage of the religious right."

NB: they don't say, "the Left began to recover its faith." They say, "the Left began to recover the language of faith." But if this faith were real, and not simply an election year ploy, they wouldn't speak that way. Genuine belief provides its own language and needs no secondary transfusion to find its voice. Nobody says, "I found Jesus! Now if only someone would coach me in the language of faith ..." What the author means to tell us is that campaign aides have pointed out that, e.g., Martin Luther King was a clergyman, and his biblical adjurations can be revived by candidates even in default of a personal history of religious observance or a concomitant commitment to church-going. With any luck, some of the more benevolent Christians might fall for it. The whole spectacle is like that of a five-year-old dressing up in an adjoining room for the benefit of waiting adults and crying, "Don't look yet!" while she struggles with cape and crown. In each case there'll be tears of disappointment unless we pretend to be taken in. So much effort, after all, went into the costume preparation.

The NCR piece centers on the Left's latest answer to James Dobson, a Pentecostal minister from Brooklyn named Leah Daughtry, founder of the Democratic Party's Faith in Action initiative. The Faith in Action initiative has the goal of preventing you orthodox folks from putting your faith into action, especially in the culture war issues, but Daughtry's prepared to do some Democratic values outreach by reaching out to your values:

"We all agree that we'd like to see fewer abortions. We'd like to see legislation that would help reduce the need for women to make that choice," Daughtry said. But she doesn't want the government making the choice for her parishioners.

Daughtry, who returns some weekends to minister to the members of her church, has moved for the year to Denver, the Democrats' convention city, just up the interstate from Focus on the Family's evangelical stronghold in highly Republican Colorado Springs. "Embracing the cultural diversity," she bought herself cowboy boots and judged donkeys at a stock show.

Cowboy boots. Right. I feel my pro-life dogmatism wobbling already. What about you?

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 30, 2009 8:26 PM ET USA

    The Bishops have surely oerlooked what it means to be CATHOLIC during the past few years. I cite the rampant ignorance of the sexual scandal in hope that it would blow over. Now they display a monumental disregard of their duties in the protection of the faith. What are faithful Catholics to think.Are bishops to be regarded as sheherds who can not see the wolves approaching the flock?

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Oct. 29, 2009 12:53 PM ET USA

    When it comes to USCCB documents, I practice a military-style "skip echelon" approach and ignore them in favor of Vatican documents which usually are clearer and more forceful. In other words, I listen to my priests at the parish and I listen to the Pope. I simply ignore the USCCB as the irrelevancy they are.

  • Posted by: Pete - Oct. 29, 2009 12:05 PM ET USA

    The USCCB desparately needs to get its act together! Once again the USCCB is amongst a group opposing Church teachings and appears to Catholics as well as the general public to have absolutely no clue what it's doing and to be in disagreement with Rome. How long, oh Lord?

  • Posted by: sparch - Oct. 28, 2009 9:46 AM ET USA

    As with all people, the USCCB are judged by the company they keep. When are the bishops going to take control of their organization and stop having other people and organizations take advantage of them and their office. With the likes of George Soros and Acorn waiting in the wings, what are these bishops thinking about. Certainly not the church or their flocks.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 27, 2009 7:44 PM ET USA

    I think it was #3. Let the dance begin. A soft shoe shuffle is always entertaining.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2009 7:10 PM ET USA

    Has anyone heard of a "coalition" that wasn't something to avoid? The Russian Orthodox church fell in line with the communists in Russia after the revolution. It is time that the USCCB be dissolved before they do something really, really awful.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 27, 2009 6:37 PM ET USA

    Never associate with liars as one of them. We have had more than enough of that in the past few years with the sexual scandals withing the Church,scandals promoted by Bishops who do not really know to confront evil.Bishops are supposed to do do "bishop" things and Policemen are supposed to do police things.