Hope of the World?


Adulation and finger-pointing are the order of the day in this post-election period. Everything from the supernatural powers of The One, to the shortcomings of Sarah Palin have been attributed to the success of the Man with No History.

I, for one, would not rule out a preternatural influence. Interestingly enough, Father Rutler came pretty close to connecting Obama to the Antichrist the night before the election. See for yourself. (The Lord of the World is well-worth the read. I have referenced it here before.)

Even so, if I were to have to choose between which one of our enemies had the greatest effect in bringing about the outcome (the world, the flesh or the devil), I would still say it was mostly the flesh, namely, that interior disorder due to original sin that is the constant companion of those who live this side of heaven.

I pointed this fact out in my pre-election homily. In my opinion, this fact’s importance cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, this is precisely what is happening. Catholics Democrats are living in a dream world, and the Republican Party is in shambles because none of us want to face the music. We have lost our chastity and we don’t want it back.

The vast majority of Catholics don’t have the moral fortitude or political will to really be pro-life, because we have been evangelized by the purveyors of lust. We have not been witnesses to Christ and we don’t have the determination to be so, because we have put our trust in the world and what it has to offer.

How many people, even those in the pews, actually believe that fornication is a sin, let alone pornography, masturbation and lustful desires and thoughts? In principle most Catholics do not believe that lust is wrong unless it “hurts” someone else—whatever that means. So how can anyone like this be expected to put aside all their personal opinions and political fears and vote for someone they cannot stand because the Church says that we must vote pro-life?

Five minutes spent watching television will remind us how far from the Catholic vision our country has gone, even if we still remain one of the most religious countries in the world. Even Sarah Palin said she wouldn’t dream of having any more children and supports contraceptive sex education. (Could you imagine what would happen if a vice-president became pregnant during her administration?)

But of course this will largely remain undiscussed in the post mortem, even in conservative circles. Many conservatives will even argue more strenuously that the social cons are a drag on the Party. In part, this is the motivation for the scapegoating of Palin.

We must have our contraception and our dirty little fun. Kids must be “protected” from anything that is not “age appropriate,” that’s true, but we wouldn’t dream of depriving anyone of their “rights,” or even presume to know what’s best for society at large when it comes to matters of sexuality.

I will go a step further and critique the whole “new chastity movement.” I use that term so as not to be construed as disagreeing with the “Theology of the Body” of the late and saintly Pope John Paul II. I agree that that a more positive approach to the teaching of chastity is necessary, and that the insights of the Theology of the Body are important. However, some (notice the emphasis) of the promotion of these insights seem a bit gnostic and disingenuous.

I say gnostic, because it is asserted that this new way has been kept a secret until now, and with the new indoctrination all the old problems of original sin, scrupulosity, prudishness and guilt will be minimized. It is suggested that we will be naked without shame almost to the point of original innocence. Who is kidding who?

I say disingenuous, because there is an underlying cause for the new approach that has nothing to do with a “new revelation.” That underlying cause is simply the fact that the vast majority of Catholics refuse to give up their contraception. Some alternative had to be devised, just as some alternative had to be devised for Catholics who refuse to give up divorce and remarriage.

I believe many use Natural Family Planning for the right reasons. I also believe that many use it as a substitute for contraception, because that is the way it has been promoted and because many of us have lost hope that there is an alternative.

The fact is chastity is not possible without supernatural grace and hope. The only way someone will go into a voting booth and say, “I don’t care how I feel about this election; I will vote pro-life no matter how I feel, until my party takes me seriously,” is when they are willing to exercise the same kind of trust in matters of chastity and family life.

We really don’t want pro-life candidates because we really don’t want to be chaste. We don’t have the moral fortitude and political will because we have not yet humbled ourselves to beg for the grace we need—the grace we really need.