In this, Cheney and Obama have had a similar impact. Cheney built the superstructure of the Leviathan, and then passed the torch to Obama, who is finishing the job by stoking domestic lawlessness and chaos.
As Russell Kirk pointed out long ago, when confronted with the choice between liberty and basic social order, even good people will choose order.
Bishops on the Borderline
The most curious member of this tendentious troika is the Catholic bishops of the United States.
In the conflict between the American people and Obama over amnesty, the bishops have sided with Obama. Ironically, this has allied them with the crony capitalists – big business and big finance – who are ostensibly the enemies of the church and the poor, according to Pope Francis.
How could this be?
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, the bishops’ leader in their pro-amnesty campaign, puts it bluntly: “Old America” – built on individual initiative, limited government, personal integrity, strong communities, a centuries-old tradition of the rule of law – and, as Tocqueville observed, Christian morality – this “Old America” has failed.
“Our culture is changing,” he told a group of wealthy Catholics in California some years ago. “We have a legal structure that allows, and even pays for, the killing of babies in the womb. Our courts and legislatures are redefining the natural institutions of marriage and the family. We have an elite culture that is openly hostile to religious faith.”
Agreed. But instead of confronting the elites, Abp. Gomez echoes his fellow bishops in Mexico, who routinely condemn all Americans for our bigotry, nativism, xenophobia, and racism.
What is the good archbishop’s solution?
In his own words, Hispanic immigrants “will bring a new, youthful, entrepreneurial spirit of hard work to our economy” They “are not afraid of hard work or sacrifice [and] the vast majority of them believe in Jesus Christ and love our Catholic Church. They share traditional American values of faith, family and community.”
Indeed, Archbishop Gomez calls Hispanics “the Next America.”
Meanwhile, on the ground, the bishops’ lobbyists ply Washington’s corridors, seeking millions of dollars for programs to house, train, and educate the illegal newcomers. While the bishops condemn the people in the pews who insist that Obama follow the law, the bishops count on the president and his allies in Congress for billions of dollars a year to run their social service agencies.
To borrow a phrase from Pope Francis, they have become “just another NGO” [note: thousands of such “Non-Governmental Organizations” compete for federal taxpayer funding every year.]
Obama is the most virulently anti-Catholic president in history; yet the bishops join him in condemning millions of Americans, including Catholic of good will, who oppose his policies.
Cardinal George of Chicago has predicted that this increasingly tyrannical government will one day execute his successor in the public square. Yet our bishops struggle to muster the fortitude to declare their independence from the Leviathan that will wield the sword.
It’s up to the laity to save them.