Unless you are a Catholic, who lives or has lived in Los Angeles, chances are pretty good that you have never heard of The Tidings now Angelus, the official newspaper of the LA Archdiocese. The paper is known for embarrassingly low circulation numbers, considering it is based in the country’s largest diocese, and even these numbers are artificially pumped up by circulation drive contests, that focus on the most affluent parishes.
Of course, the low numbers could have something to do with its persistent Leftist editorial policy. This essay will analyze a post-election article, but to get a quick glimpse of where they are coming from, you might note the ultra-PC use of scare quotes in the headline “Support for ‘traditional’ marriage crucial to Bush win.” Imagine! This coming from an officially sanctioned Catholic newspaper.
We now take a look at editor Mike Nelson’s piece, entitled “Post Election Advice To All,” that appeared in the 12 November 2004 issue.
Election season is over, but the analysis is not. In the interest of looking ahead, we offer the following to all concerned.
To Democratic Party Leaders:
Morality matters to people, including America’s Catholics (even if they have 65 million definitions of what “morality” means). Faith matters. Religion matters. And not everyone to whom morality, faith and religion matter is an extremist right-wing wacko, and they certainly don’t appreciate being demonized as such.
Just a moment, please. Given that Catholics should respect the Magisterium, or teaching authority of the Church, there shouldn’t be “65 million definitions” of morality. Moreover, does this mean that not even two Catholics agree? Most moral issues were worked out a long time ago, and, at best, we can debate certain subtleties these days, such as what actually constitutes “stealing” online. But, abortion and gay “marriage” are not subtleties.
This election, furthermore, should tell you that you can no longer take for granted those constituencies (notably, Catholics and Latinos) which supported you so strongly in the past. It is ironic, and more than a little hypocritical, that a party which prides itself on practicing inclusivity and welcoming diversity will not allow abortion opponents an opportunity to speak at its national conventions.
As weak an attack on the pro-abortion party as this is, read on…
Regardless of how committed and sincere you are to establishing greater economic opportunity for the poor and affordable health insurance for everyone, your self-styled reputation as the party that protects the underprivileged will continue to ring hollow if you remain rigid in defense of abortion rights. The unborn are people, too, and deserve your concern and protection, even if they can’t vote for you. Think of it in these terms: According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, research affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, there were 19.1 million abortions in the U.S. from 1973 to 1986. That’s 19.1 million people who never got a chance to vote this year; President Bush won re-election by 4 million.
Wow! What a ringing condemnation of abortion, from an official Catholic organ! Look how many voters (aged 18 and over) that you have lost by killing them. God forbid that you simply tell the Dems that they are on the wrong side. True to his Leftie ways, Nelson has to imply that the majority of them would have voted Democratic, conveniently forgetting that the myth of high turnout favoring the Dems was soundly disproved in this election.
To Republican Party Leaders:
Moral values are not limited to what many of you may define as “life issues” or “family issues.” Not everyone who voted against the president and for John Kerry is an amoral left-wing kook. High-and-mighty pronouncements about morality and family values don’t register as well with families whose wage-earners cannot find work that pays a living wage or offers any kind of health insurance.
Notice the use of code words, since Nelson is afraid to mention stands against promoting abortion and gay rights. As to “high-and-mighty” pronouncements not registering well with those who are unemployed or uninsured, what is that supposed to mean? That moral values can only be discussed when there are no social problems in the world? Sorry, Mike, but I missed those passages in the Gospels that established that Judea in the time of Jesus was perfect, so only then could He talk about moral values, or that Caesar should solve all the social problems of the day.
Moreover, the world is not America’s Ponderosa whose problems can be solved by a couple of Cartwrights and a few rounds of buckshot (or worse). Nor is the world desperate to be Americanized, any more than the U.S. is waiting to be Christianized.
One could ask how we should solve these problems, such as terrorism, if not with military action. As to the world not wanting to be Americanized, you could have fooled me, considering the universal state of pop culture. While the US may not be “waiting to be Christianized,” Nelson should know that we Catholics are called to evangelize, and that has nothing to do with how “willing” the host nation might be.
But Nelson saves the most muddled thoughts for last…
To America’s Catholic Bishops:
Those of you who have spoken forcefully against voting for politicians who favor abortion are further aware that not everyone who calls himself or herself Catholic agrees with you, and that some in fact detest the idea of anyone telling or suggesting to them how to vote.
Yes, Mike, the bishops should endeavor even more so to go with secular opinion. Bishops should never offer an opinion, unless it is of a Leftist bent. What a tragedy it was that only about 10 out of 265 American bishops told John Kerry that he would be refused communion if he appeared at a mass in their diocese.
So when you teach and share the Good News, please be sensitive. Your faithful will not always agree with you (as if you didn’t know), but they will love and respect the bishop who teaches with not only the wisdom but the compassionate heart that was modeled by Jesus the Good Shepherd.
More stupid platitudes. How outwardly compassionate was Jesus when he condemned (or harshly taught, if you will) the scribes and Pharisees or the moneychangers in the Temple? How nicey-nice could it have been when he admonished people to lose one of their body parts rather than sin, or to not cast pearls before swine? The notion of Jesus of Nazareth as a good-natured Galilean flower child is alive and well at The Tidings.
I can expect nothing better from this newspaper, and am encouraged that so many of my fellow Catholics rejected all the pervasive influences of the mainstream media, and voted, in the majority, for George W. Bush. I have no doubt that Jesus the Good Shepherd was well pleased.