Maybe it is because Halloween is almost upon us. But some very ghoulish men are walking the earth spewing hateful, uneducated nonsense at women.
Let’s make one thing clear:
When Mary said, “Be it done to me according to Thy Word” she was referring to the word of God. Not the word of men like these: Senate aspirants Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, Gov. Bob McDonnell (otherwise known as Gov. Ultrasound for his enthusiastic support of laws mandating medically unnecessary, invasive transvaginal ultrasounds for women contemplating abortions), Paul Ryan, the Ayn Rand acolyte-turned-Thomas Aquinas-devotee-and-avenue-to-the-Catholic vote for the sometime Mormon Bishop, Mitt Romney.
For reasons that bewilder most women who are awake, (mostly) white men in high places feel compelled to ruminate publicly and stupidly about rape. In addition to forcing themselves and their benighted views into an already horrible situation, they have now created a little space for a guest appearance by God. Apparently God spoke to them and told them she needed to create life through the opportunity presented by rape. Perhaps that is what happens when your world-view is informed by your business acumen: that knack for seizing on every opportunity to extract some profit, whether it is money from gullible consumers or votes from the credulous still in the pews
This is what happens when men get overly attached to the pomp and circumstance of high office and fancy robes and turn their backs on the challenge of walking with the poor. Or as the late Cardinal Martini says when their “rituals and cassocks are pompous.” When they get too used to thrones and mitres, silk vestments and ermine, to the stained glass splendor of cathedrals, and the cross as ornament, not as deeply sacred signifier of how faith and fidelity to Christ’s teaching should move us to act.
We need to take a page from the nuns. Like Jesus, they walk among the poor, the broken, the sick, those most in need on the margins of society. Not the society of super-achievers and high net worth individuals that Romney and Ryan and the GOP ticket are pledged to support at the expense of the poor. And who appear to enjoy the support of the US Bishops. One of the ironies of this election is that the wealthy have actually done very well under the Obama administration.
Sr. Sandra Schneiders IHM, reminds us in her book, Prophets In Their Own Country of the important prophetic role the sisters play “bearing witness to the Gospel in a troubled Church.” As we get bombarded by the politically expedient invocation of Christian values and Catholic social justice teaching by some to advance agendas that are hostile to the poor, we should note, as Sr. Sandra does, Jesus’ warning to “beware of the official teachers, of the priests and elders who ‘sit in the chair of Moses’ but are hypocrites (Mt: 23: 2-3, whited sepulchers (Mt 23:27), self-serving oppressors of the poor in the name of God.”(95)
In this election, Catholics need only ask themselves: Who were Jesus companions then? And who might they be now?
And cast their vote accordingly.
Well worth reading: here is one blogger, Andrew Sullivan making the moral case for a second Obama term from his perspective as a gay, conservative Catholic man who wants a more peaceful, just world.