This is response to a comment on the other thread, in which it was posited that Trump would pay no political price for his somewhat “over the line” speech at the Al Smith dinner. (“Here she is, pretending not to hate Catholics.”) A speech that sort of missed the point of why Democrats, Republicans, and Catholics alike all remember and honor Al Smith, and which contrasted sharply with her speech, which after a round of corny awkward jokes, starkly illustrated why the GOP of 2016 is so thoroughly opposed to what the Al Smith dinner is supposed to represent. (Seriously, go listen to her speech. If you want to skip the bad jokes, skip to 15:00, at which point she makes a stirring case for how America SHOULD be, and that is a thorough takedown of Trumpism. She doesn’t do stirring speeches, or make any case for she would be President? Bull.)
It was posited that Trump would pay no price because Clinton had “surrendered the moral high ground” by the supposedly anti-Catholic attitudes revealed in the Wikileaks emails. Bunk.
I believe that the organisation to which porcupine refers is Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, an organization formed in 2005 and which opposes the Church’s exclusive emphasis on sexual politics at the expense of the wider aspects of Catholic teaching on social morality. As such, it turns out that the group found itself NOT supporting GOP policies over the last 11 years. Hence the pearl clutching, and the denunciations from the John Paul II-political Catholics.
This is purely an instance of IOKIYAR. When the execrable Cardinal Dolan, or Paul Ryan or Rick Santorum or other Opus Dei types pretend that “Thomism” and “subsidiarity” give theological support for the psuedo-intellectual social Darwinism of Ayn Rand (which, you might be surprised to learn, is a lie), they are exemplary fighters for their religious values. When their opponents engage in political activity in opposition to them, those opponents must be denounced as perfidious.
The Podesta email was sent in the context of the 2012 mini-crisis over birth control and Obamacare. Recall that Cardinal Dolan, who is an evil man, was quite gung-ho to support keeping people without health insurance in order to protect his religious liberty to control what other people do. In true John Paul II fashion, Dolan pretended to be the monolithic voice of Catholicism and thus thundered away, as he is wont to do.
In response to someone inquiring why there isn’t simply a revolution by Catholics to overthrow the Church prelates, Podesta wrote something like “this is why we formed CAPG.” In other words, Catholic opponents of Dolan’s absolutism would seek reform of the Church’s approach to such pastoral matters from within, rather than trying to overthrow the hierarchy in its entirety. We had similar discussions here; many (non-Catholic) liberals were then quite impatient and disappointed in the liberal Catholic’s “reform from within” approach. Sandy Newman described the Church’s “middle ages dictatorship,” which was a phrase used here on BMG by those similarly frustrated. Podesta was defending liberal Catholics’ unwillingness to “revolt.”
His use of the first person plural now allows Republicans like porcupine to use the “astroturf” talking point that she read on redstate. It ignores that Podesta is actually Catholic, and likely is involved in the organization, because it supports his view of Catholic social teaching. I would hope he is: that’s why I support him and his boss.
The other thing that is producing faux pearl clutching is that Sandy Newman stated a wish for a “Catholic Spring” in response to Dolan, who is an evil man. This, of course, is a wish that was then, is now, and has long been shared by the overwhelming majority of American Catholics, even if they are not willing to secede from the Church. The irony is that, just a year later, something that could be just that began with the election of Pope Francis.
Just look what all those people who, in 2012, were horrified that a Catholic might disagree publicly at all with a Price of the Church, now say about the Pope himself, once it became clear that he would not provide moral justification for social Darwinism.
This email scandal is a non-issue, except to those whom are trying to rationalize their support of a forthrightly depraved candidate. Pretending that Clinton somehow “lost the high ground” is simply a continuation of their absurd campaign tactics this season: