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Father Phillip W. De Vous, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Crescent Springs, Ky., wrote his own post-election reflection that’s worth quoting at length:
Given the Catholic Church’s failure to adequately address the cultural, political, and even existential threat posed to it by President Obama’s agenda, the credibility of the Church’s witness has been further eroded and enervated, making it less likely to be courageous and effective in speaking the hard truths necessary for personal, ecclesial and national renewal. Because of this, the leftist cultural and moral agenda will continue to increasingly form and even invade our personal, familial, and communal lives. The effect on our national life and civil society will be devastating. Trends of cultural degradation, normative moral turpitude, debt, deficits, and fiscal ruin will likely be super-accelerated…
I have grave reservations about the future of many of the Catholic Church’s integral apostolic activities, not only because of the policies President Obama will continue to pursue unabated, but also because many Catholics, especially suburban women as initial vote analysis suggests, are firmly in the camp of a gentle yet cautionary statism and hedonism which emphasizes material prosperity, extensive superficial education, ‘choice’ and comity over the substance of moral and economic truth and the demands such truths call forth. This reality, as early vote totals according to issues indicate, is bad for the political agenda of the nation and poses tremendous challenges for authentically Catholic apostolic efforts in the coming years.
The other fact supporting such concerns about conservative initiatives, especially those drawing their inspiration from orthodox Catholicism, is that the bishops ran a largely incompetent campaign against the religious liberty restrictions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which they helped pass legislatively by giving it the hierarchy’s moral cover at a politically critical moment when its passage was far from a given. Given that the president and the Democratic Party ran a pugilistic campaign against the Catholic Church regularly mischaracterizing the Church’s teachings, President Obama has no political nor personal reason to reach a compromise with the Church on those issues essential to the free exercise of religion. No doubt, given the hostility of Democratic campaigns to Catholic concerns on the question of the HHS mandate and the broader question of religious liberty, the president and his administration will proceed with the notion that he has a mandate to continue his aggressively anti-Catholic, anti-religious, and culturally libertine agenda.
To be honest, my dark assessment of this emerging reality for conservatives, especially orthodox Catholics and other Christians, is this: We are going to be marginalized, our institutions reduced, our liberties restricted, and our persons attacked. Evidence suggests that we have few deeply principled and thoroughly well-informed leaders who enjoy support locally, parochially, and beyond who are in a position and possess the courage to be effective in keeping our views and positions viable in the public square. President Obama’s victory is not about a popular policy agenda, but about the triumph of emotionalism and relativism in the face of an inarticulate, ineffective, and ultimately uncourageous opposition that has convinced a majority of the American people that perception is reality, that feeling is the same as fact, and ‘being nice’ is a moral imperative.
English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)