The Catholic Bishops relearn the lesson of Pastor Niemöller and the totalitarian mindset. Will the UCC?
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The Methodists withdrew from the campaign the day the first column was published. Crisply issuing a statement that said: “United Methodist Communications is not a sponsor of this coalition at this point. Our name was inadvertently added to the sponsorship list in error. It has now been removed.”
Others retreated. And this is where this current imbroglio between the Catholic Church and the leftists inside and outside the Obama Administration over contraception and more gets interesting.
Yesterday, our friends at Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller reported a remarkable story that adds even further detail to what I had discovered in 2009 in terms of ties between the American Soros-funded left wing and the drive to fire or intimidate conservative media figures. In that instance using religious denominations, the Catholic Bishops and the United Church of Christ included, to help them. Carlson and reporters Vince Coglianese, Alex Pappas and Will Rahn paint a remarkably detailed story of just how far the effort to get conservatives off the air has gone.
Some fifty people, says the Daily Caller, were specifically assigned to get Don Imus off the air. Imus was not in the sights of So We Might See in 2009, having already returned to the air after his earlier controversy that Media Matters apparently helped to fan.
But their big next television target was Lou Dobbs, then at CNN. As it happened, as a result of my investigation into So We Might See and the use of religious institutions in the “Drop Dobbs” campaign, I appeared on what turned out to be Lou Dobbs last CNN show (seen here). To my astonishment, minutes before I walked into the studio, Lou Dobbs announced he was quitting. While I said to him on the show minutes later that the So We Might See connection to the “Drop Dobbs” campaign had now vanished from the site, still, Dobbs was leaving CNN (and is now happily at Fox, where ratings dwarf CNN). What I did not know that night was that Media Matters had been, as we now know from the Daily Caller, orchestrating the “Drop Dobbs” campaign. Which means that both the Catholic Bishops and the United Church of Christ had voluntarily linked themselves through their participation in So We Might See to what the Caller calls a “sophisticated campaign” to fire Lou Dobbs. The Caller quotes one Media Matters staffer as saying “flatly” that “We got him (Dobbs) fired.”
One of the retreating denominations from the anti-Rush So We Might See petition was the Catholic Church. Specifically, this retreat was led by the Catholic group listed as a participant in So We Might See: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. After an inquiry from a disquieted Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, the Bishops went public and said they were misrepresented by So We Might See. Contrary to the impression created by So We Might See, the Bishops said to their angry parishioners they had never consented to sign a petition targeting anyone by name. In fact, the Catholic News Service ran a story even picturing Rush Limbaugh along with the chairman of the FCC when they reported on the Bishops had in fact a statement of their own. A statement which in some way or another would make clear that the Bishops and the larger Catholic Church “are certainly not participating in any campaign to censor any news organization, program or commentator.”
On the surface?
All to the good.
The real problem here? The very serious problem that has now come back to bite the Catholic Bishops big time?
The good bishops, while doing the right thing, still seemed to exhibit a curious indifference to protecting the First Amendment. They shied away from an explicit, uncompromising defense of the First Amendment and the free speech and free press rights of Rush Limbaugh.
(Note: By coincidence — perhaps known as great minds think alike — as I was completing this article yesterday lo and behold Mr. Limbaugh himself directed his audience to this piece at Peter Robinson’s site Ricochet. The article in question is by Paul Rahe, a Catholic who teaches history at Hillsdale College. It essentially makes the point — in spectacular detail — that thanks to the leadership of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin what the Catholic Church is now having directed at them by the Obama administration is their own fault. Having decades ago signed on to the far left’s concept of “social justice” and helping set up an endlessly powerful state, they themselves are now its victims. Writes Rahe:
I would submit that the bishops, nuns, and priests now screaming bloody murder have gotten what they asked for…. They welcomed Obamacare.
Doubtless, it is exactly the mindset of the Catholic bishops as described by Paul Rahe that was at work in what I discovered about the Catholic Bishops in 2009. Now so vividly illustrated by the shrieks of fury from the bishops today. In 2009, to please the left, the bishops said through a statement:
USCCB shares So We Might See’s general commitments to improving access to broadband among the under-served; to reducing violence in all media; and to reducing the excess of advertising in children’s programming.
Then came the hedge, a hedge of precisely the kind Mr. Rahe is speaking now:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online