Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
I am stunned that I was stunned by the election.
I am a fool. I convinced myself that the polls were not real. I convinced myself that the world I see around me every day is not real. I hoped for a redemptive moment without seeing any penitence. You can't have one without the other.
I, along with countless others, have been trying to figure out how President Obama managed to win a second term.
Trying to discover the key statistic that would explain the defeat has become a cottage industry over the past week. Every pundit on every side has a theory, women, minorities, Hispanics, voter turnout machines, etc. All wrong. But I figured it out.
I have been trying to figure out what the problem is all week, and then I finally did. The problem is you.
You, you Catholics. You are the problem.
Even though this President has done nothing to help anyone and has declared open war on your Church and your religious liberty. You, you Catholics voted for him again.
Studies have shown that Catholics who go to mass weekly are much more likely to deny the progressive outlook their vote. This is true. What is also true is that most Catholics do not go to mass weekly and the numbers are getting worse.
So that might make you think that if we could just get people to go to mass, we could avoid outcomes like this. Once again, you are wrong.
Polls have shown that even many of those who go to mass defy Church teaching on contraception. So when the government attacks this belief, Catholics think "Who cares? What is the big deal? We don't like that teaching anyway!" As if the government will stop there. Fools.
So who is to blame? That's right, you. You Catholics who pick and choose, of course. But even those of you who don't, you are to blame too. What have you done to evangelize others or even your fellow Catholics? How have you demanded the truth from your priests and Bishops?
Ah, the priests and Bishops. Yes, you. Your generational silence on these issues is bearing this fruit. Truth has been in short supply and what have you done?
So yes. The problem is you and me, the Bishops and the priests. We did it.
We refused to preach the truth in our lives and in our words and now we are shocked when people prefer the lie. Well, what do they have to compare it to?
So congratulations. You did it. You gave the imprimatur to your own oppression.
So the only question I have left. When the government finally drives all religion, and particularly Catholics, from public life, will anyone notice? Probably not.
Of course, God can and will fix this. But I am increasingly convinced that He will need a better class of Catholics to get it done. We may not be up to the job.