THE CHRISTIAN IMPERATIVE
Shortly after my two-part analysis of Barack Obama appeared last year, an American reader forwarded me a book by award-winning investigative journalist Michelle Malkin.
The full title - Culture of Corruption: Obama and his team of tax cheats, crooks, and cronies - tells the story. Talk about vindication. If anyone doubted my own damning assessment of the American President they should read Malkin's irrefutable account. The monumental self-serving, hypocrisy, nepotism, influence-peddling and criminality associated with the President, his wife Michelle, their best friend and confidante Valerie Jarrett, his deputy Joe Biden and the rest of his administration is detailed on page after jaw-dropping page of primary source documentation. In sum, it reveals how the stinking cesspit of Chicago politics has flooded the White House with its particular brand of political sewage. Much like the Arkansas mafia under the Clintons.
It is not a work for the faint-hearted but for those in search of what Malkin calls "a reality-based narrative." Effectively, her gruesome facts strip away the President's New Clothes, woven out of thin air by a partisan press, denuding Obama for all to see atop that high altar of obeissance fabricated by the media. A tidal wave of wickedness is poised to smash this Obama idol to smithereens. It would be a travesty indeed if Barack were to escape the sort of hard-earned ignominy which befell his priapic predecessor: when Monica arrived and Bill's luck ran out. While Obama's sheer incompetence could see him shuffled out of office as the first one-term Democratic President since Jimmy Carter (shameful enough after all the hype), a Clintonesque finale would see him fall on the razor-sharp sword of his involvement with the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now [ACORN].
In an interview with The American Spectator, Republican Steve King said the ACORN saga is "thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys. By the time we pull ACORN out by its roots, America's going to understand just how big this is."
Obama continues to pass untold taxpayer millions to ACORN despite accusations of its political corruption, election fraud, racketeering, money laundering and countless other violations of the law. Last September, Americans viewed the tip of the ACORN iceberg firsthand when hidden camera videos emerged showing ACORN employees advising a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute how to establish a brothel and finance it with government grants. This is just a glimpse of the sort of company Obama and his Democratic entourage routinely keep. But they protect their ACORN escort at all costs because, as King put it, "that's the machine that keeps them in office. This is one-party gangster government and they know what they're doing.”
It's Religion, Stupid!
Dad passed away a few weeks after I landed. He was accorded the rare honour of a State funeral: due acknowledgement of his long and remarkable record of civic leadership and achievement. It was a grand affair. Many kind words of praise recalled his outstanding accomplishments. Yet all these would count for nothing at all without the incorruptibility which marked his career.
An independent politician, unaligned but respected by all parties, he did not abuse his high office for material gain or feed at the public trough. On the contrary, his several decades of political service were undertaken at great cost to himself. Nor did he set himself up with post-office sinecures despite a lifetime of mixing with the great and good. Instead, he preferred to serve the people of the community he loved, honestly and diligently.
This fundamental integrity came far more easily to previous generations raised in a culture imbued with the teachings and maxims of Christ. Self-serving media caricatures depict a sex-obsessed pre-Vatican II Church storing up future guilt trips for its repressed flock. The mundane reality, however, is that Catholic teachers everywhere, including the nuns who schooled my father, were more concerned with the Seventh Commandment than the Sixth; teaching their pupils basic honesty and that vital connection between truthfulness and trust without which all interrelationships crumble to dust. Notions of right and wrong were indelibly tattooed on young souls. The primeval tug of Original Sin could see them ignored and rationalised, but not erased.
On a purely natural plane, the sober mentality and orientation thus acquired and reinforced within and without the home was of universal benefit for believers and non-believers alike. It acted not only as a positive impetus but also a collective brake on those evil tendencies now unleashed and wreaking havoc in our neighbourhoods. The 'Christian consensus' and its lingua franca - the natural law - restrained anti-social behaviour and dishonest dealings, ensuring that deviant values, though enticing and often indulged, were never normalised. Thus, even widespread hypocrisy, as in Victorian times, did not prevent the elevating Christian effect on social relations and culture.
Expressing regrets about the endemic selfishness, rudeness, violence and political corruption which afflict modern Britain, even local atheists now lament the Christian decline and begrudgingly acknowledge the pivotal role and practical value of its moral benchmarks in providing a more harmonious and secure society for all.
Frank Field, the highly respected MP for Birkenhead and a rare truth-teller within Labour ranks, revealed in January that there were more violent crimes in his constituency last year than in all of Britain 50 years ago. Contrast that astonishing fact with the major study produced by American academic Geoffrey Gorer in 1955, which concluded: "The English are among the most peaceful, gentle, courteous and orderly populations the civilised world has ever seen."
Noting the difference between this well-ordered and gentle country and the dysfunctional island we inhabit fifty years on, with a recorded crime rate 10 times higher (the actual rate being unimaginable), commentators seek socio-political explanations. "This dramatic transformation has occurred because of Left-wing, anti-social policies pursued by the state over recent decades, particularly since Labour came to power in 1997," insists columnist Leo McKinstry.
The analysis is true but superficial. There is only one (exasperated) retort to this kind of straw-clutching: "It's Religion, Stupid!" More precisely, the lack thereof. After all, if Labour are blameworthy it is because it is a Government which has arrogantly declared, both in its deadly deeds and the damning words of its atheistic spokesman Alastair Campbell: "We don't do God." While those, like Tony Blair, who say they do, mock Him and His holy Church at every turn.
Even the irreparable damage done to religion over generations by sola scriptura Anglicanism could not prevent the edifying Christian impact on English hearts and minds described by Gorer as recently as 1955. It took the inexorable rise of irreligion to effect the "dramatic transformation" noted by McKinstry.
His 2008 findings will come as a surprise to those who uncritically imbibe the daily flood of Liberal unreason and bias which pours from the Mainstream Media. For Catholics they simply ring true, echoing what the Popes have always taught about Liberalism. Responding to questions from Newsmax, Schweizer, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, said: “Liberals often feel overwhelmed by life’s problems because they are waiting for the government to fix them. When it doesn’t, liberals blame others (and ‘society’) for their misfortune. ...Modern liberal ideas consistently encourage bad habits and destructive behavioural tendencies.”
Schweizer found that Liberalism is appealing because it gives lip service to lofty ideals but demands little action. It considers as noble those who complain about personal difficulties and display anger or denounce our “money-making culture,” but Liberalism does not stress taking personal responsibility and action. Thus, “While liberals tend to be much more fixated on money, they convince themselves that if they hold the belief that our society is too obsessed by money, the money culture doesn’t influence them adversely the way that it does other people."
"Modern liberalism," says Schweizer, "is a wonderful tool to kind of avoid having to make much change in your life. It’s kind of in my mind the equivalent to carbon offsets. You don’t need to change anything in your life, you simply have to sort of stamp this document or pay this minor price, and the problems in your life just sort of go away.”
Systemic mendacity is far more corrosive and damaging to society than the catastrophic rates of crime and physical violence. Falsehoods gave us the "credit crunch" - effectively set in train because someone lied on their mortgage application. Toxic debt snowballed from there with lie after white-collar lie, high and low, until we reached the very brink of financial and economic collapse. Britain is now classed as more likely to default on its sovereign debt than Slovenia. But its moral bankruptcy is already set in stone.
The corruption so graphically portrayed in Michelle Malkin's American expose precisely mirrors the UK experience. Daily reports on the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War continue to reveal serial dishonesty at the top: the machinations of the small and highly secretive cabal which surrounded Tony Blair - a 'sofa government' that bypassed the Cabinet and misled parliament. It all confirms the culture of deceit we have often documented. Hence, from one of the most honest democracies in the world ten years ago, Britain has plummeted to 17th place in the rankings of the anti-corruption monitoring agency Transparency International, below the notoriously corrupt likes of Ireland, Hong Kong and Austria.
Of all the countless lies spun since 1997 at such massive cost in British mores, sovereignty, blood and treasure, the murderous falsehoods concerning Iraq, rather than those against life in British wombs (alas), will endure in popular imagination. "Sycophancy," "narcissism," "subterfuge," "self-aggrandisement" were among the scathing epithets hurled at Mr Blair himself last December when his former Director of Public Prosecutions gave his testimony at the inquiry. But he also spoke of "a governing class too closed to speak the truth." In other words: a pack of liars led by an Olympian Liar.
Following Alastair Campbell's attempt to defend the indefensible before Chilcot, the Daily Mail's font page headline of 13 January screamed: "Shameless, swaggering, and STILL lying." It captured the pride, arrogance and deceit written into Labour's diabolic DNA. "Whatever Mr Campbell was asked," opined the Mail, "his response was the same: lie, lie, lie." A worthy epitaph for the New Labour project upon its electoral cremation this year.
In January 2008 Obama pledged not to negotiate healthcare legislation "behind closed doors" but, rather, to broadcast "those negotiations on C-SPAN" (the cable television network which airs proceedings from the Senate and Congress). "No more secrets," was his solemn campaign mantra. Accordingly, the C-SPAN Chief Executive recently made a written request to televise negotiations on a compromise healthcare bill, and thereby allow the public "full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American." Instead, as one Republican protested, "healthcare legislation is being negotiated behind closed doors, and C-SPAN’s request to broadcast these negotiations is being rebuffed."
But this wild disparity between Obama rhetoric and action is not all down to arrogance and ego. It is primarily dutiful, ideological adherence to the strategems of his (and Hillary's and ACORN's) Marxist guru Saul Alinsky. In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky advocates almost unlimited lying on the march to political control: seducing allies with a moral face while doing whatever is necessary to win no matter how unprincipled your actions. So this is not run-of-the-mill lying of the sort we (tragically) expect from a venal political class on both sides of the Atlantic. Obama's lying is calculated diabolic mendacity, in keeping with Alinsky's proud dedication of his book to Lucifer, the Father of Lies.
So indignant Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Environment Committee, was not kidding when he recently observed that "There's so much just flat out lying that's going on right now in terms of where we are in this country." A state of affairs which once more puts Obama's otherwise incomprehensible relationships in perspective: his intimate ties with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, fulminating anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright and too many crooks and bottom-feeders to list. While this company he keeps reflects the nature of the Chicago-style gangster politics he peddles, it also reveals the amoral and mendacious character of the man himself.
This is also why the ongoing concern about Obama's bizarre refusal to release his birth certificate, to settle doubts about his eligibility for the Presidency, needs resolving.
No wonder the press continue to hound and misrepresent her with such ferocious intensity in her post-Governor role. They despise her wholesome Christianity for the truth-telling it fuels. She will not buy their Liberal lies about marriage, abortion, homosexuality, global warming and the rest. As she recently said: "Maybe some people are really threatened by just a normal everyday American who is very blessed to have a megaphone right now, and doesn't want to squander or blow this opportunity to get a common-sense conservative message out there heard across the nation."
That includes her unabashed commitment to the centrality of the family and Christian moral values ("One man and one woman make a marriage"), a warning to resist enslavement to Big Government ("Be wary of accepting government largesse"), and a firm belief in "an inherent link between energy and prosperity... We will prove you can be pro-development and pro-environment because no one loves their clean air, and their land, and their wildlife more than an Alaskan. We will protect it!"
None of this is self-serving blather. Her actions have always matched her words. The difference between Palin and the rest is the absence of guile. We can actually believe her!
Recently, His Lordship falsely claimed that the Church has no objection to homosexual "civil unions." Nor does he have any objection to homosexuals in civil partnerships working in Catholic schools and he would not enquire into their backgrounds before offering them a job. “We have many gay people in education and a large number of gay people in the Church, at least the same as the national average," he added with all the self-satisfaction of a box-ticking 'equality and diversity' commissar. Applicants, he smugly informed the Tablet, should decide for themselves “whether they were able to live according to Church teaching.”
Christian Order had Bishop McMahon sussed from the outset of his episcopal 'career' as just one more hierarchical nail in the English coffin ["The Problem With Clones," March 2001]. And as Fr Boyle explains herein, his latest outburst is certainly another hammer blow to Catholic education. But the capitulation and compromise extends far beyond these shores. Ecclesiastical leaders everywhere continue to facilitate the Big Lies behind the great Liberal hoax: by which death and devastation is passed off as "change" and "progress." Usually through passive toleration but often as eagerly as Bishop McMahon has embraced the noxious "gay" fraud. Randy Engel's expose of Catholic Relief Services underlines this universal bent for supping with the devil.
The supreme example of what transpires when supposedly Catholic individuals and institutions embrace the Liberal Weltanschauung, however, is the University of Notre Dame. In her following review, Professor Gardiner traces the inexorable downward trajectory of this iconic institution, all the way to its blasphemous denouement on 17 May 2008: the public honouring of America's Liberal Liar-in-Chief by Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame.
The global demise of Catholic education, culture and political power which has paralleled the Notre Dame decline is a catastrophe beyond measure. Most certainly for Europe which must return to its Catholic roots, insisted Belloc, "or perish." Shorn of truth, virtue and commonality erstwhile Christian democracies cannot function, becoming ever more incoherent, violent and self-destructive. And consequently, vulnerable on all fronts: to purposeful cultures like Islam but also to Big Brother, for whom positive law becomes the Liberal reference point and coercive weapon par excellence for maintaining public order. Between 1997 and 2009 Labour created 4,289 new criminal offenses i.e. almost one new law each and every day for twelve years! At that rate of enslavement, when the irreligion of 1789 holds sway and honest men can barely live without committing crimes, Government becomes God.
This perennial conceit was eloquently punctured by Archbishop Mark Coleridge in his stirring sermon at my father's requiem. "This may be a State funeral," he thundered before the assembled dignitaries. "But this is not State religion!" It was not, in other words, a political fabrication. His Grace was not dispensing pseudo-religion. He was administering the rites of Divine Religion whose sublime truths alone can set us free from sin and the "sting" of death - and save us, too, from suicidal Liberalism.
And so it is imperative that the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ once more suffuse every nook and cranny of that Western civilisation He Himself inspired and raised up. Those behind the Catholic meltdown, therefore, who have bought into the Liberal scam and made its lethal lies their own, must be called to account and sent packing by Rome.
Bishop McMahon and Fr Jenkins, for a start.