Friday, June 6, 2008

The Black Church

"Normally the Democrats encourage priests and religious to misuse their office, to treat the binding teachings of their church as debatable while treating the platform and causes of the Democratic Party as doctrine; to put on their religious garb at political meetings, then take it off for catechesis.

The Drinans and Pflegers can't muster up much enthusiasm for the magisterium of the Church but left-wing politics brings out their zeal. Disagree with Church teaching? That's okay, they think.

But disagree with the Democratic Party's specific proposals for this or that tricky, prudential issue on which reasonable people could disagree? That's not. Dissenters inside the Church brook little dissent when it comes to left-wing politics.

SO WHILE OBAMA severs his association with Trinity Church on the pretext of offense at left-wing Catholic clericalism, he plans in the coming months to recruit practitioners of it.

Obama has formed a "Catholic advisory committee." Among the national co-chairs of his committee are Sister Jamie Phelps, O.P., Professor of Theology at Xavier University, and Sister Catherine Pinkerton with the Congregation of St. Joseph, standard issue leftists both.

As long as priests and religious in the mold of Pfleger aim their partisan arrows at the right targets, Obama won't mind. He needs them to choose fidelity to the Democratic Party over fidelity to the teachings of the Church -- to treat the former as absolute and the latter as relative.

And if John McCain, as is likely, blurs the moral differences between the parties, Obama's task will become all that much easier. Look how little it takes to get a Douglas Kmiec to come over to his side. That McCain finds religious talk off-putting while Obama gravitates to quasi-religious rhetoric won't help matters either."


-- George Neumayr, writing about Barack Obama, the Democrats, and religion, for The American Spectator