Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
In this upcoming election, the bishops have called on Catholics to protest the Obama administration's efforts to curtail religious liberty.
The days between June 21 and July 4 have been dubbed “A Fortnight for Freedom.”
One of my favorite EWTN hosts Johnette Benkovic wrote glowingly about the upcoming protests. I, of course, will be taking part in any protests. I'm stoked. But there are some major problems facing Catholics, namely that Catholics are the worst protesters in the world.
1) You ever see the Occupy Wall Street protests? Those folks are angry. I mean spittin' mad. Catholics aren't really good at anger. You ever been to a pro-life March? There's more smiles and sing alongs than at a Barry Manilow concert. Occupy Wall Streeters are liable to bum rush a police station. Catholics pray the Stations of the Cross. I just can't imagine Bishop Lori turning over a Chevy Volt in protest, can you? You get that on YouTube and you've got a viral hit on your hands, my friend. Come on, Detroit Red Wings fans turn over cars when their team wins a playoff game and we won't do it when Obama torches the Constitution? I'm not saying we should. I'm just saying that we should maybe act like we're ready to. Let's make the administration remember who invented the Crusades and the Inquisition, punk.
2) Most protestors insist their case be taken up by the Supreme Court. Catholics pretty much are the Supreme Court. Hey, there's six of us up there. That would be like terrible musicians demanding to play on stage with "Nickelback." Why? It would be redundant.
3) Catholics are invisible to the media. Every year on what is inevitably the coldest and wettest day of the year, the media acts as if the 300,000 pro-lifers who walk down the streets of Washington D.C. are stealth ninjas. I can't imagine it's going to get better in an election year.
4) Many Catholics, especially more mature Catholics, take the long view of things and say that they know the Church will prevail in the end. Sometimes I think Jesus shouldn't have told us that. It's made us a little complacent. How can we get our team motivated when we know the Church wins in the end anyway? It's like the Yankees but with more Ben-Gay. And speaking of that, while many young people march in the March for Life, I was a little concerned at the last anti-HHS mandate rally I attended. There was more blue hair there than at a Marge Simpson costume party. I'm in my 40's and they all referred to me as "young man."
5) There's always the pro-Obamacare Catholics who undercut us at every turn. We can have hundreds of protests all around the country with hundreds of thousands of people and even if we get covered by some media outlets, right after quoting us they'll have a half hour feature of Sister Carol Keehan blowing hugs and kisses to Obama.
6) We're not all Bill Donohue. Look, there's a reason Donohue is da' man. He knows what he wants to say, he narrows his points, and he gets them out fast and furious with all the subtlety of brass knuckles. When many Catholics are asked why we're protesting we get dragged into verbose theological marathons and some of us even tend to drop Latin phrases on people. (You know who you are.) Bill Donohue doesn't do Latin phrases. He's hardly polysyllabic. He speaks to be understood and he wins the fight. He's good at it. Most of us are not. While Bill Donohue's busy shanking the biggest guy in the prison yard most Catholics are still offering free cigs to anyone in gen-pop who promises not to violate them. Be more like Bill.
7) One little bitty problem is that a majority of Catholics voted for Obama last time. That hurts. That's got to change. The best protest of all would be to send Obama back to Chicago so Bill Ayers could write his memoirs.
8) We've got to liven up the protests a bit. Listening to speeches is all well and good but we need things like an excommunication canon shooting out souvenir excommunications like those airguns that shoot t-shirts at basketball games. Who wouldn't leap over three people to catch the Nancy Pelosi excommunication writ? Now that would liven things up.
Come on Catholics. Let's really shake things up this summer. Let's start screaming like a short-changed Cartegena hooker. This fight isn’t over. Not by a long shot. Hey, remember, there was a time when the Roman Empire fed Catholics to the lions. Well, we're still here and the Roman Empire isn't. Now, who's in the mood for some lion?