Sunday, June 24, 2012

It’s My Party and I’ll Lie if I want to

Our annual small town festival took place last weekend. The three-day event culminates with a parade on Sunday afternoon. Being an election year, plenty of politicians walked the parade route to shake hands and pass out campaign literature. Both parties had floats upon which local officials rode with their flags and signage.

In a year when the Democrat party in power has been particularly tough on the Catholic Church, I find it disturbing to see at least two prominent members of my parish marching with a float displaying Obama/Biden campaign posters. The HHS mandate attempting to force Catholics to pay for services contrary to Catholic teaching has been in the forefront of the news lately. Having locally well-known Catholics in support of the party issuing such mandates is ripe for scandal by bringing into question Catholic resolve in such matters. Parade-watchers may justify their own support based on the apparent support of prominent Catholics.

For a Catholic to willingly support or appear to support a platform in direct conflict with Church teaching is grave matter. With the Democratic administration current attack on the Catholic Church so widely publicized, it would be difficult to deny the potential for scandal, the potential of leading others to an occasion of sin. The only thing preventing deliberate cooperation with grave matter from becoming a mortal sin is invincible ignorance. I am not suggesting that all Catholics who support the Democratic platform and living in mortal sin. Only God can make that call.

Also marching was our congressman, Joe Donnelly, a Catholic Democrat who claims to be pro-life, but aligns himself with a party professing a much different message. When the Obama health care bill was coming up for a vote, I wrote to him expressing my concern that the plan would pay for abortions and other non-negotiable evils that we as Catholics must oppose. Obama needed his vote to assure passage. Despite his professed pro-life stand, Donnelly voted in favor of Obamacare reportedly after receiving assurance from the President that abortion coverage would not be paid with taxpayer money by executive order. So-called executive orders carry little weight, at least those issued by our current executive. Obama obviously had no intention of keeping his word. I wonder how a congressman who has been duped by his own party, and supposedly holds values in direct conflict with his own party, remains faithful to that party. Isn’t he living a lie?