There are six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil, the false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
Wait for it. It’s coming. I know it is. Any day now the Bishops are going to speak out about the calumny that is being directed at President Obama by Sanctorum, the Newt and Willard Mitt Romney in the GOP race to utter the most odious things possible. No doubt the Bishops are also working up a response to the Ash Wednesday pronouncements of Franklin Graham, heir to a father’s legacy that he lays claim to by seeking the fleeting notoriety of spouting nonsense on cable shows.
Franklin Graham decided it was time to lend affirmation to the Sanctorum and Newt as real men of faith while expressing real doubt about whether the President is a Christian. This is an old sport made new. Mr. Graham can see into the hearts of some men apparently but remains perplexed as to whether to accept the fact that the President is a Christian—the thinking kind. He is sure, though, that Muslims everywhere regard the President as one of their own. What mischief is this?
And does it not call for some response from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who have chosen to make bedfellows of bizarre GOP candidates intent on attacking women’s rights? Surely calumny trumps contraception, on the list of things to worry about as leaders of the Church?
I know some of the Bishops have been preoccupied of late with getting accustomed to their new regalia as Cardinals. And all the bishops have been inordinately preoccupied with what goes on in consulting rooms in the private conversations women have with their doctors. They have also been busy trying to insert themselves into the very private conversations women have with their families about pregnancy and child-bearing and the challenges those present, whether in the best of times or in the worst of circumstances.
Affordable healthcare is theirs to seek as they see fit as a secular right of citizenship in the United States without interference from anyone. On healthcare, as on every other dimension of life, Catholic women will be guided by the spirit of the Church’s teaching and by the light of their conscience.
No one, not Sanctorum, not the Newt, not the Bishops have any business trying to muscle their way into what is women’s business and women’s business alone.
Meanwhile: we wait with anticipation and hope for some word from the Bishops that the calumny that is being inflicted on President Obama stirs their passions at least as much as their desire to police women. As Sanctorum and the Newt continue to repeatedly bear false witness to what Catholicism is about and disgrace our Catholic intellectual tradition, they encounter no reproach from the Bishops. Why is that?
The Bishops surely cannot wax haughty about contraception for all women, many of whom do not have the means to make their voices heard, but remain silent on calumny from these men with megaphones?