I will be broadcasting today from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula California.
Broadcasting from college campuses has always been fun though a little complicated to arrange, and I have done so from Biola University, Hillsdale College, Regent University, and William Jessup University in the past two years.
I arranged this date last year after a quick visit to the campus on Memorial Day Weekend 2011. It is a beautiful place with a unique “Great Books” curriculum, and it is a thoroughly tradition Roman Catholic institution.
Which mens, of course, that the Thomas Aquinas College is now in direct conflict with the demands made by our anti-Catholic president. St. Thomas Aquinas’ president, Michael McClean was quoted in yesterday’s Ventura Star:
“Frankly, I don’t see how we could comply with it,” said Michael F. McLean, leader of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, diving into a controversy dividing Congress and the country. “It’s requiring academic institutions to subsidize or potentially subsidize medical procedures and contraceptive pills, the use of which is contrary to the Catholic faith.”
The reporter mischaracterizes the college’s response. The college didn’t “dive into” anything. It is rather refusing to be thrown into the pool in which its faith forbids it to swim. I will spend most of the day with faculty, staff, trustees and of course students asking them about the unique approach to learning and life taught at Thomas Aquinas but of course as we are in the opening stage of a prolonged President Obama-Catholic Bishops struggle, today’s visit is uniquely timed to see what one community of Catholics believe about the president’s assault on their institution.
First, compromises aren’t announced, they are negotiated, and the bishops have not been negotiating with the White House.
Second, the story continues the MSM’s refusal to specify that in addition to forcing Church institutions to pay for contraception, it also forces them to pay for sterilization and the “morning after” pill, thus attempt to limit the obviousness of the assault on the Church.
Politico’s earlier story on the background to the president’s decision to take on the Church and make it bow the knee to the abortion rights absolutists in his circle was much more revealing of the president’s mindset, and of the debate that raged around these rules as well as the divisions among the White House staff who either knew there was an enormous issue of religious freedom at stake here (the now departed Bill Daley), or who at least knew the politics were terrible (Slow Joe Biden.)
This absurd “compromise” will not back the Bishops down from the defense of their doctrine. Go back and read my interview with Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted. (The transcript is in this post.) Keep an eye open for a statement from Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput. Listen to today’s broadcast with Catholic lay leaders and Catholic students. A handful of hard-left social engineers with an increasingly short-term hold on the levers of power will not move the Roman Catholic Church.
Instead, the Church will move them. Out of the power they have so manifestly and obviously abused.
(NB: Philly Archbishop Chaput is the bishop the White House ought to fear equally with Cardinal-designate Dolan, for while the Cardinal-designate is indeed the leader of the American Bishops, each bishop lads his own flock, and Archbishop Chaput can tell Philadelphia Archdiocese Catholics what they ought to be thinking about the president’s attack, and he can do so every week via read-aloud letters from every pulpit in his massive bishopric. There are 1.5 million Catholics under the Archbishop’s care, and his views on separation of church and state are well known via his enormously influential book Render Unto Caesar, published in 2008. No doubt his former flock in Denver will also be paying close attention to the Archbishop’s statements. The White House knows the significance of these statements in the heart of two “blue states” they must hold to hold the White House. To announce a “compromise” that didn’t include a conversation-negotiation with Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Chaput to name just two of the key bishops is not only not a compromise, it is more incredibly stupid, jam-down politics of the Chicago school that seeks to roll the Church a second time via the use of the gullible and pro-choice Manhattan-Beltway media elites.)