It sounds like a plot right out of The Screwtape Letters. Barack Obama was given a rosary from Pope Francis last week, blessed by the popular Holy Father. Not knowing what to do with a rosary, something compelled Obama to give it to his favorite Catholic: Nancy Pelosi.
And why not? Pelosi, after all, fancies herself an authoritative Catholic, and hasn’t hesitated to so represent herself to Obama and to the nation at large. She considers herself an expert on matters like ensoulment; that is, when life begins. In an August 2008 interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, she was asked by Tom Brokaw “When does life begin?” Pelosi proceeded to speak for her Church’s Magisterium: “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator — Saint Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is that it shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose.”
It certainly doesn’t impact that “right” in the eyes of this particular Catholic. Pelosi has a unique sense of the sacred when it comes to abortion, which she describes as “sacred ground” to her. Asked last summer why she refused to support a bill banning late-term abortions, Pelosi said: “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me.”
Well, it’s also sacred ground to Barack Obama, who, in a speech to Planned Parenthood a year ago, tearfully thanked the faithful with an unforgettable, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” Such was Obama’s closing benediction to a speech/love-fest that included multiple “I love you” exchanges between himself and the giddy crowd. Obama loves what he calls Planned Parenthood’s “extraordinary” and “remarkable work.” He told the women that they do a “great, great job.”
Planned Parenthood indeed does remarkable work, and it undeniably excels at what it does. No other group has achieved what Planned Parenthood has achieved. No question. It has annihilated countless millions of unborn babies, particularly (and disproportionately) African-American babies. In that, it is truly extraordinary. And it all began with Margaret Sanger. She is a progressive icon to liberals, a saint in the feminist church. They revere her.
That, too, is something that Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi hold in common, so much so that Planned Parenthood recently feted Pelosi with its highest honor, its esteemed Margaret Sanger Award. Pelosi, of course, was thrilled, and Obama was no doubt thrilled for her (as he surely was for Hillary Clinton when she won the award in 2009).
Neither Pelosi nor Obama in their grateful words to Planned Parenthood commented on the full breadth of Sanger’s “remarkable” work, such as her 1926 speech to a KKK rally in Silverlake, New Jersey or her penchant for “race improvement,” the driving motivation for her championing of birth control. The Planned Parenthood matron wanted to advance what she called “racial health,” and lamented America’s “race of degenerates.” This meant purging the landscape of its “human weeds” and “the dead weight of human waste.” For Sanger, this included a special “Negro Project” that the racial eugenicist had in mind for a particular group of Americans.
The Negro Project was dear to Sanger’s heart, as shown by an odd December 1939 letter she wrote to Dr. Clarence Gamble of Milton, Massachusetts. The Planned Parenthood foundress alerted the doctor: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”
Sanger groaned at America’s “idiots” and “morons,” and how they were corrupting the gene pool and ruining her efforts to foster a “race of thoroughbreds.” The progressive saint wanted to rid America of its “imbeciles.”
Speaking of which, Nancy Pelosi made a jaw-dropping comment upon receiving her Sanger prize. Referring to pro-lifers, an exasperated Pelosi asserted: “When you see how closed their minds are, or oblivious, or whatever it is — dumb — then you know what the fight is about.” Yes, said the lifelong Roman Catholic, those who oppose abortion — which includes her Church — are “dumb.”
All of which brings us full circle to the rosary beads blessed by Pope Francis that Pelosi got from Obama. Pelosi said she was “happy to receive a rosary blessed by Pope Francis.” She said, “It means a great deal to me.” It does? But why? After all, Pelosi considers Pope Francis to be stupid.
Ah, you say she never said any such thing? Really? She just last week told the ladies at Planned Parenthood that pro-lifers are closed-minded, “oblivious,” “dumb,” “whatever.” Whatever, indeed!
Well, pro-lifers certainly include Pope Francis, the man who blessed her rosary. So, by Nancy Pelosi’s formulation, this pope who means a “great deal” to her, and who blessed her rosary delivered by Obama — the curious handmaiden for this choice sacramental — is an oblivious idiot.
Nancy Pelosi said what she said. And in so doing, she has once again left us dumbfounded.
Holy Mary, pray for us.