by John Pacheco
For the past 35 years, religion has been treated as the proverbial door mat in Canadian politics. Catholic politicians and prime ministers, in particular, have received a whole lot of political mileage from professing their "closet Jesus" with their lips. Being the masters of political ventriliquism, they can show their counterparts in show business a thing or two about simultaneously speaking out of both sides of their mouths. It's almost worth the price of admission to see the rhetorical gymnastics these fools go through in order to keep their religion safe. It's not just about safe sex, after all. It's about safe religion too. If you must practice religion, make sure you wear a political condom to keep the damage to a sustainable level. Above all else, keep that Jesus in the closet and make sure the door is locked when it comes time to legislate.
The duplicity of our elected officials and their supporters in this regard is nothing less than suffocating. The suggestion that religion should have no voice or active participation in the laws of a civil society is a secular and absurd construction with absolutely no historical basis in western democracy. It even lacks the most basic and rudimentary principles of logic or objectivity.
What is religion? One can define religion, in its broad sense, as merely a set of beliefs accepted by a group of people. This understanding would encompass all forms and structures of thought, and therefore there would be no cogent objection to keeping 'religion' out of civil legislation since, quite obviously, everyone who participates in public life has some kind of religion - whether this religion is expressed through a political, social, or cultural ideology. Most of our secular opponents, however, do not have this idea of religion. Their idea of religion is much more restricted to a defined set of theistic beliefs. This imposed restriction, however, is merely an artificial, boorish attempt at semantic hide-and-seek. Some secularists seek to assign "religion" exclusively to theistic beliefs. They appear to be completely oblivious to the fact that they are merely transferring divinity from God to themselves as the end of being. As such, there is no real distinction between a 'secular religionist' or a 'theistic religionist' except on where the object of divinity rests. For the secularist, man is the end. For the theist, God is the end.
In his desperate attempt to isolate and ostracize his theistic counterpart, the secular religionist absurdly claims that he is not "religious" at all. And then goes on to confidently dismiss "religion" as irrelevant to the public. What he fails to appreciate, however, is that he is JUST AS RELIGIOUS as his theistic counterpart - except that instead worshipping another being as God, he worships himself and orders his life toward that end. This, then, is the first case of secular, atheistic fascism: only those who profess themselves as god are capable or worthy of participating in the political process of a civil society. The Theist is a second class citizen who need not apply for membership.
For these secularists, then, there are two simplistic, competing ideologies - the secular and the religious. As long as there is no appeal to a divine or supernatural order in the political or legal world, there is no danger to their established world view. Everything is just swell. Once legislation is proposed which seeks to use a supernatural, theistic basis for its existence, however, the familiar howls of indignation can be heard from miles away. Proponents of such legislation will be deemed "religious zealots" by the secular establishment - religious fanatics who seek to impose their morality on others. Unbeknownst to these people, of course, is that they are in the business of "legislating morality" everyday of their lives. It is just that they do not like it to be overly theistic. Remember the rule, now, secular morality yes; religious morality no.
The bankruptcy of this position is clearly evident for all to see. Only the willfully blind refuse to see it. It is an atheistic fascism pure and simple. If you believe in God and use that belief as a basis for public policy, you will be deemed unsuitable for public life - irrespective of the other merits of your position. As long as the secular and religious objectives are in line with one another, there is no problem. Once there is a divergence between the two, those holding religious convictions are suddenly thrust into the political desert. Never mind that the theist may appeal to cultural, social, anthropological, scientific, philosophical or historical reasons for his position. Never mind all that. As soon as the "R" word is mentioned, one can see the political leprosy begin to grow, and there will be no political messiah to cure it either. Say the "R" word and all bets are off.
There is another group of secularists who are nothing less than a walking contradiction, and amazingly, they comprise a large part of the political establishment in the western world. I am speaking, of course, of that bastion of logic and cogency himself: the Catholic politician. Here is a man who can profess, as being objectively true, his belief in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, but then turn around and sell his faith down the river in order to get elected because, after all, there is no place for religion in secular politics.
This abdication and apostasy, of course, is simply a smoke screen for his own cowardice. In truth, he is more willing to run from the faith of his baptism, than he is to stand and accept the ridicule for believing in his Lord. That's really the bottom line, and everyone knows it. This silly hermeneutic of separating faith from participation in the political life of a nation is an excuse for political expediency. If this politician were a man of integrity and an authentic democrat, he would offer the convictions of his faith as an alternative to his constituents. And let them vote on it. Instead, he panders to the secularists, atheists, and fascists. He is a useful idiot for them; a slave of the culture of death. A good son of Pontius Pilate he is.
Like a good Clintonian, he foolishly thinks that he can separate his personal convictions from his public ones. If he is dishonest in his personal life, then quite obviously this duplicity would never ever migrate into his public life. Everyone knows that. There is this clear line in the sand that no politician would ever dream of crossing, you see. If he is an immoral recalcitrant in his personal life, that doesn't affect his public duties. It's part of his political nature to lie in his personal life but be completely honest to his electorate. Of course. It's soooo obvious - don't you see it? He lives in two separate worlds. They are separate. He can cheat, lie, manipulate and blaspheme his God in his personal life by the public positions he takes, but his weakness, cowardice, and wickedness are not permitted to influence any other decisions he makes in public office. Right.
Let us be frank: what our bankrupt culture really wants is a smooth liar to sell them smooth lies.
And if the media professes him to be a "staunch" Catholic? Not to worry - that too won't impact his duties to "the people". He'll leave Jesus in the closet where He belongs, except on Judgment Day perhaps where he might find Him somewhat useful. And speaking of judgment, he is quick to inform us that God will only judge him in his "personal faith life". God will certainly not hold him accountable for the perverse and immoral legislation that he promotes in this world. After all, God is not a religious fanatic. More than anyone, God understands that when you put on that three piece suit and sit in that leather chair in Parliament, you're no longer subject to the moral law you professed just 24 hours previously. You are now above it all. He understands. Really, He does.
And what about all of those politicians who used their religion as a basis to better the human condition? What of them? Tommy Douglas was a Christian minister who championed universal health care in Canada. He became the father of medicare in this country. I don't see many leftists telling him to check his religion at the door. No one with an ounce of dignity would suggest that his religion had nothing to do with views on universal health care. Consider also former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. While not exactly a faithful Roman Catholic during his life, his warped Catholicism had a profound role in shaping Canadian society. He was a big fan of "Catholic" theologian Theillard de Chardin. Yet, you won't hear nay a word of this little uncomfortable fact by the secularists. Mums the word here. 'Cause they like that kind of religion. I wonder if our opponents would be so open to repealing the liberalizing influences of de Chardin. After all, we don't want religion influencing public policy. And that brings us to what this is really all about. This is not about religion per se, but a particular kind of religion. Everybody knows it. Let's all just have the courage to come out and say it.
This, then, represents the second case of secular, atheistic fascism. This fascism is supported by the "Catholic" politician who has contempt for himself and for his constituents by refusing to stand for his faith. He has become a symbol of capitulation and abdication. He is true neither to himself, nor to his constituents, nor to his God. The first kind of fascism was dominated by persons who revile theistic religion as a principle. This second kind of fascism serves, and is a slave to, the first kind. While not having the integrity to stand for the convictions of their faith in the public sphere, they become political schizos professing Christ with their lips on Sunday and denying Him with those same lips on Monday. This way, they can have their proverbial cake and eat it too. Their masters have already told them: if you must practice your religion, remember to do it safely. Keep your political condoms on.
With the Vatican's recent directions to Catholic politicians to fight the culture of death, the gloves have come off. There is no more room for pretenders. There is no more diplomatic mumbo jumbo. Every Catholic must decide where they will stand. Either you are with the Vicar of Christ or you are not. In the past, a Catholic politician could dance around his faith, but those days are now gone. If he continues his dance, the public will no longer tolerate his intellectual dishonesty. Even our opponents are beginning to tire of the dance. It's time for a different tune. So what's it going to be, Mr. Catholic Politician? "Ave Maria" or "Sympathy for the Devil"?
The Catholic Legate
August 2, 2003