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The Bishops Must Learn To Say “Hell, No” With Brevity, Clarity, Or MSM Won’t Deliver The Message

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Because Sister Mary Hospital Association blessed the president’s sham compromise yesterday before the USCCB had said anything, most of the news cycle was devoted to the wonders of the president’s compromise which, after about thirty minutes of study, turned out to be an absurd bit of accounting posturing, as most have now realized including the bishops.

In the course of my program originating from Thomas Aquinas College yesterday
, a rigorous “great books” college thoroughly Roman Catholic small college in Santa Paula, California, I asked more than a dozen faculty and students, including the college’s president, dean, a trustee, and one of its seven founders who is still teaching after 40 years of success there, whether they thought their college could comply with the President Obama’s attack on religious freedom, 2.0. All said no with a degree of certainty that became repetitious but also conveyed to me and anyone listening that serious Catholic institutions and individuals are not in the least bit interested in the invitation from the president to participate in a face-saving charade that has the effect of the institution subsidizing “morning after” pills, sterilization and contraception.

It would be good for some of the Manhattan-Beltway media elite to spend a day or two or three at places like Thomas Aquinas College so they will at least understand who is behind this debate and whose behalf the bishops speak, if not all that promptly or clearly. I asked my hosts to name other institutions as deeply committed to actual Roman Catholic teaching as they are, and they reeled off a dozen names of colleges and care facilities. There are no doubt thousands of them.

It is possible for the MSM to find Sister Mary Hospital Association and Ms. Planned Parenthood, but since there are easily tens of thousands of conscientious objectors, ought the minority the president proposes to roll be the ones being interviewed.

I spend an hour in the college wide seminar last night, one of a few Friday night seminars at Thomas Aquinas where all the students divide up across the senior, junior, sophomore and freshman lines and in groups of 22 to 24 and assisted by two tutors (who are senior faculty) read, reflect and debate on a common text, which puts everyone on campus on the same page, literally, a few times a year.

Last night before I turned my car south, I was amazed by the way the seminar I observed tackled the difficult text in front of them, in both English and the original Latin. They were reading St. Thomas’ passages “On Lying.”

Wholly coincidental and scheduled long ago, it is nevertheless very timely for all Catholics and other people o faith to remind themselves that there are many categories of lying, and all of the evil, but lying from the government in order to destroy rights would have to rank up near the top St. Thomas’ list of mortal sins. Lying by the MSM to assist the president’s deception has got to be close behind.

At least the Left occasionally lets the truth if not goodness slip out. (See Slate’s Amanda Marcotte’s “Obama Punks the GOP on Contraception,” which while ignoring the fact the president actually punked the bishops –a second time– nevertheless gets the substance of the president’s “ompromise” right: Still a jam down, indeed a bigger one.)

I yield the floor to Father Z, who has been, as usual, very, very good on this, and for a quick summary, to Powerline’s John Hinderaker, and look forward to Archbishop Chaput’s, Cardinal-designate Dolan and Archbishop Gomez’s statements. The cardinal-designate heads off to Rome to eneter the College of Cardinals next week, a fine time for a very public explanation of why this Attack 2.0 also will not stand.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are competing to issue and repeat the most full-throated denuncication of the president’s attack on religious liberty, and that is very, very good. If the two leading contenders for the GOP nomination, as well as Newt and Ron Paul, take the time to explain at every media opportunity why they will strike down these rules and cabin this ideology if the Supreme Court hasn’t done so by next January, they will not be “losing” the “women’s vote” as the cynical Chicago operators believe inside the president’s operation. They will be reminding all independent voters every single day that the Constitution means nothing to this gang.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is
planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand
upright in
the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!


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