"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, May 24, 2021

Joe Biden, A Good Catholic Gone Bad–How Secularism And Politics Corrupt Absolutely

The University of Notre Dame has voiced its displeasure with the invitation of President Biden to give the commencement address.  Although a Catholic, Biden has expressed his support for abortion rights, the normative legitimacy of transgenderism, and favoring secular interests over religious rights.  

The Vatican is not amused, and the current Pope has been increasingly silent on these issues not wishing to draw antagonistic lines between the Church and the Biden administration favoring as it has the redistributive economic, financial, and fiscal policies which Francis considers ‘Christian’. However only two years ago he came out with an unequivocal criticism of ‘gender fluidity’.  There is no such thing, he said.  People cannot choose gender; and the Biblical text, "Male and Female He Created Them", calls for an alliance of families, schools and society so that children may learn the “original truth of masculinity and femininity”.

Image result for images adam and eve medieval paintings

Previous popes like Benedict and more notably John Paul II have been outspoken and harsh critics of America’s slide into idealistic secularism while Francis has weighed moral pros and cons.  Although Francis, as evident from his 2019 statement, adheres to the Catholic, Biblically-inspired understanding of sexuality; since the Biden election has been notably silent. 

For the Pope the new President’s activism with regard to social justice, income equality, and minority rights outweighs his far more radical reconfiguring of the sexual landscape. Yet for Biden all sexual and reproductive matters are now irrevocably secular.  The moral, philosophical, and spiritual nature of conception and birth are dismissed in favor of immediate, expedient concerns. This should dismay Francis, but because it doesn’t Catholics are concerned.

Sexuality in Biden’s America has become a smorgasbord, divorced entirely from fundamental qualities of child-bearing and –rearing, de-linked from what Edward Albee called ‘sexual essentiality’. Marriage for all its jealousy, spite, envy, and hatreds, is the crucible of maturity.

O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra is a grand guignol melodrama involving a mother, father, and their two children. Murder, incest, deceit, and calumny are all part of a day’s work in the Mannon family.  The Tyrone family is no different.  A desperate, domineering mother; a weak, disengaged father, and two damaged, willful sons. The Pollitt family in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is intact, but barely so.  Big Daddy is a domineering patriarch.  Big Momma is the dutiful but weak-willed wife, and Brick and Gooper play out a particularly dramatic sibling rivalry.  

George and Martha in Albee’s A Delicate Balance ‘flay each other to the marrow’ to get to the essential nature of their marriage and their mutual dependency.  Without such brutal honesty and objectivity, they would be doomed to a continuing life of acrimony, suspicion, and hatred. 

Image result for images from who's afraid of virginia woolf movie

All these playwrights, however, understood that from family,  a hothouse microcosm of the real world, we all learn the best and worst about ourselves as we are pitted son against father, son against son, husband against wife and are all challenged by the strictures of discipline, jealousy, love, and frustration.  

As much as Albee, Shakespeare, Williams, and O’Neill hated families, they all knew that society cannot do without them.  Fathers and mothers are different and contribute differently to families.  Mothers are more caring, nurturing, and physically loving.  Fathers are more stern, demanding, and stand-offish, especially with their sons.  

The sexual rivalry between fathers and sons that playwrights have written about and psychiatrists noted for decades is the source of both antagonism and bonding.  Sons cannot learn sexual maturity and responsibility without a father; and the stern, uncompromising Old Testament God the Father is still the rule.  

Perhaps even more importantly children learn from the mother-father couple.  They see how disputes are negotiated and decided; how personalities clash and complement; how love anneals and heals; how violence and hatred are a result of marital frustration and anger.  As Albee and his colleagues knew, marriage and two-parent families are the crucibles of maturity.

The entire fabric of Christian theology is based on the heterosexual family; and it is no errant coincidence that the Holy Trinity is made up of a Father and a Son, or that Jesus had an earthly mother.  The exasperation of Jesus with his Father is evident in his dying words to him, “Why hast Thou forsaken me?”.  The beatitude of Mary refers not only to the maternity of Christ, but of motherhood.

It is no surprise, then, that the Church is dismayed and appalled by the secular dismantling of the Biblical family.  While the Church has never expressed moral maturity and the ‘essentiality’ of families as explicitly as Albee, O’Neill, and Miller, its confirmation of the fundamental human importance of the nuclear family is no less evident.

Image result for images mary mother of god renaissance paintings

The Church’s repeated injunction against abortion is not simply a grave personal sin, but contributes to the acceptance of the destructive and degrading ethos of expediency.  The abortion of a fetus, a heinous crime,  erodes the fundamental principle of the sanctity of all life.  

If a woman can opt for an abortion for practical reasons – a child will ruin a delicate marriage, impinge on career growth, tap needed family resources, etc.  - and ignore the more metaphysical, moral, and religious nature of the act; then the very substance of Christian morality is impugned, weakened, and dismissed.

Biden’s biographers tell of his ‘profound’ religious faith, how he attends Mass regularly, carries a rosary in his pocket, was a good and dutiful student in Catholic schools, an altar boy, and a spiritual aspirant.  The Vatican, however, has made it clear that being a ‘good boy’ Catholic - saying one’s prayers, going to Mass, and genuflecting before the altar – does not make a good Catholic; and in fact, given the far more important considerations of acting morally in a secular in society, may not make a Catholic at all.  

How, say Church leaders, can one consider Biden a Catholic if he unequivocally endorses and promotes abortion, an act tantamount to murder, an offense to and rejection of Jesus Christ?  How can one consider him to be part part of the faithful fold of the Church if he endorses and promotes a temporal, venal, expedient, and politically-motivated view of sexuality?  How can he be a member of the faith if he consistently puts secular interests over religious ones and by so doing erodes the very nature of faith itself?

Image result for image altar boys

While John Kennedy, a Catholic, was unapologetic about his sexual dalliances, he was never anti-Catholic in his views, policies, or rhetoric.  His sins were personal, between him and his confessor to be forgiven or not; but the man himself was not the implement of anti-religious secularism like Biden.

For all of Biden’s happy moral talk – women should be spared the suffering of unwanted children; men and women trapped in unwanted sexual forms should be freed from their biological oppression; the nuclear family is an archaic, patriarchal construct designed to perpetuate male dominance and female subservience and should be eliminated – there can be no escaping his evasion of moral responsibility. 

It would be one thing to remain neutral, although complicit.  Abortion is the law of the land, and I cannot ignore or refute it, he could well say. Sexual rights are civil rights, and it is up to the courts to determine to what degree.  Religion is a personal matter but is also an institutional one, and the courts must also decide what are institutional religious rights if any.

Instead, Biden, beholden to the progressive Left responsible in large part for his election, is proactive, aggressive, and uncompromising about his secularism.  He is not simply a complaisant or complicit President, but an activist one; and the Vatican and lay Catholics have every right to call Biden out as a hypocrite at best, and an apostate at worst.

The Church was right in calling out the Latin American Liberation Theology from which Pope Francis comes for the secular, anti-spiritual movement that it is.  While recognizing the attempts of Argentine priests to mimic Jesus Christ in his ministry to the poor, they have long since crossed the line into secular political activism.  

The role of an ordained priest is to minister to the needs of the spiritually needy. There are more than enough secular, radical political activists to go around; but few sacramentally ordained to attend to matters of spiritual salvation. 

Image result for images liberation theology

Many Catholics have criticized Francis for this secular diversion.  He should stay out of progressive politics, they say, regardless of his indirect references to Jesus’s ministry to the poor, and do what he was chosen to do – provide spiritual leadership, support, and solace.

Biden likes to think of himself as man of principle, but by his every secular, progressive policy, he belies that assumption.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.