With the Enlightenment and its great advances in science and technology, religion and moral action in the Western word have been increasingly relegated to the private sphere. Presently, there is a grave imbalance between technological possibilities and moral energy – between reason and faith. We speak, today, of things and actions in terms of right and wrong but without these same words being analogously to good and evil.
In 2008, a majority of U.S. Catholics helped to elect Barack Obama as their president despite his running on what Cardinal James Francis Stafford called an “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic… anti-life platform”. Most Catholics voted for Obama either because they incorrectly believe that they can support anti-life issues like abortion and homosexuality while remaining good Catholics – or because they have in some way allowed themselves to be deceived into thinking that things like the economy are more important than life itself.
Those who fall into the latter category typically rationalize away their Catholic beliefs on the ground that they have no right to impose their views on others. It’s the old adage “going along to get along”. Our Catholic politicians are experts at it – they promise everything to everyone in order to be liked by others and get elected.
While unfortunate, this unwillingness to defend their faith in the public arena is justified by first compartmentalizing and then separating one’s private life from one’s public obligations; it is claimed that one can lead an authentic Christian life while sustaining two different realities of existence. As the conscience is degraded in this way at its most core level to that of a mechanism producing excuses for one’s conduct, one incrementally begins to construct a wall of resistence to anyone who might oppose this parallel existence; one’s guilt is pushed beneath the level of the specific judgement pronounced by conscience to that level of neglect of one’s own being that dulls one to the voice of truth and makes one incapable of any longer hearing the voice of conscience. This explains why criminals like Hitler and Stalin, though they act out of deep personal conviction, remain guilty. This also explains how former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic, could publically, out of a hardened conviction, confuse the Catholic Churchs’ teachings about when life begins and abortion. Ultimately, when we go along to get along, we begin to abandon our own principles and persona.
Ordinary people also tend to engage in this “going along to get along” mentality. A group will be discussing something very simple like a film and one person will say “I didn’t like the last James Bond film. I thought it was very foolish and silly”. Later, that same person will be speaking with another group and someone else will lead by saying “We saw the new James Bond film and thought it was great”. Suddenly the person who disliked the film will start to shift and say “Yea it had some exciting things in it”. The person who disliked the film at first slowly begins to assimilate into the new group in order to be liked. This is the tragic mentality of our times.
Woody Allen’s film “Zelig” extrapolates the tragic consequences of what happens when an entire nation gives in to this ubiquitous mentality: when people collectively give up everything i.e their own convictions, feelings and personality to be led by a hypnotic leader they end up facilitating fascism and tyranny as experienced in Nazi Germany. This assimilation is what fascism thrives on.
Few will argue that President Barack Obama is in any way similar to Adolph Hitler. Nonetheless, one can clearly see obvious parallels between the two leaders. Both are charismatic and both promised the people “change” and “hope” while at the same time vigorously pursuing a culture of death. For Obama this includes homosexual rights and state-sanctioned murder via abortion and embryonic stem cell research funding. The only difference between Obama and Hitler is that today”s death camps of Dacau and Treblinka, have been relocated to various abortion clinics and now, to avoid drawing attention, are called “centers for reproductive health”.
The only people who seem patently cognizant of this are Protestants and Evangelical Christians and to them we owe a sincere debt of thanks for upholding Christian values and keeping the 2008 U.S. vote as close as it was. While Obama’s strongest opposition came from Protestants (65%) and Evangelical Christians “73%” those who abandoned their faith and beliefs the most to elect Obama were Catholics (54%) and Jews at an unbelievably high 78% “( L’Osservatore Romano, November 12, 2008) . Perhaps then, the real holocaust today is the “mass apostasy” foretold in the bible (Matt. 24: 9-11 and 2 Thess.2).
Today, in our ecumenical age, the intimate link between freedom and truth has been obscured in the minds and hearts of some, and eclipsed in those of others. Ultimately, we need to insist on the existence of God and on a return to our Christian cultural roots. We can do this especially by transmitting a new lifestyle that champions the primacy of “being” over “having”.