Just a Reminder

Have you been watching the news?  It’s hard to tell, in the last month, whether to weep or rejoice.

On one hand, every drive down the road, with its bedraggled array of mud-spattered campaign signs, is a dreary reminder of our damp and dismal choices for the next four years.  We can’t remember the last time there was a candidate to vote for, rather than an opponent to triangulate against.

On the other hand, the Obama administration’s new unconstitutional insurance mandate seems to be jolting weary and jaded voters into action.  Those who had given up on the political system and weren’t planning to vote, even with a clothespin on their noses—they’re suddenly realizing that it’s imperative to get this power-mad grand inquisitor out of office, no matter who replaces him. 

On one hand, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards called 2011 “the most difficult year in our history.”  They’re finally being investigated by Congress for their long record of outrageous corruption and fraud, and even Susan G. Komen has severed ties from them (apparently because they want their money to go to clinics which provide mammograms, unlike Planned Parenthood).  I picture second grade, as the pretty girl in a pink dress wrenches her hand away in disgust from the Gross Kid, because everyone knows where that hand has been.  Planned Parenthood has cooties, and everybody knows it!

On the other hand, I still regularly get comments from people who fully believe, deep in their hearts, that there is something inherently disgusting about the family.  They’d feel right at home in Huxley’s World State circa 632 A.F., where fetuses are chemically conditioned in decanting bottles for their predetermined caste, and the word “mother” is an embarrassing profanity.  Planned Parenthood may be sweating over its next paycheck, but its perverted gospel of barrenness has thoroughly permeated the culture.

On one hand, the Church in America is being threatened in a way that few people alive can remember.  I don’t want to be persecuted, and I hardly dare to think how this new era will actually play out in the lives of innocent people.

But on the other hand—damn, it feels good to see the bishops doing their jobs.  As Marcel LeJeune quipped, “It took Obama’s Administration to get 100% of the US Bishops to agree.  Even the Pope can’t do that.”  It feels good to talk about why we believe what we believe, and to think about how much we’re willing to suffer for it.

I was talking to my twelve-year-old daughter yesterday, to let her know that . . . well, I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen.  I’m writing my letters to the editor, signing the petition, and praying for the bishops—but the HHS mandate surely isn’t some rogue, isolated incident of anti-religious sentiment.  It’s the sign of things to come, no matter who wins this particular Constitutional battle or this particular presidential election.

“I hope it doesn’t get like when Miguel Pro was around,” my daughter said worriedly.

“I hope not, honey,” I answered.  “We haven’t gotten to that point yet.  But you know, great civilizations don’t last forever.  They get corrupt, and eventually they fall—it always happens that way.”

Before I could launch into a lecture about Greece and Rome, she said, “Wait, civilizations?  You mean the country, right?  Not the Church?”

“Oh!  Yes, just the country.  The Church isn’t going anywhere.  ‘On this Rock,’ and so on.  You don’t need to worry about the Church disappearing.”

“Well, I know that,” she said, rolling her big, brown eyes.  “I just wanted to make sure you remembered.”

Yup.  As Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof:  There is no other hand.