To Isolate and Marginalize: Obama takes Cue from Castro

castro

Next week, Pope Benedict XVI will visit Cuba in an effort to repair relations between the country and the Church. Perhaps he should pay a visit to the United States as well.

As the Papal visit draws near, there is cautiously brimming hope that the Church will be able to make further strides in Cuba. There have even been whispers of the impending conversion (or reversion) of Fidel Castro, who was excommunicated in 1962.

Since the late-eighties and early-nineties, small strides have been made in favor of the Church in Cuba, like reinstituting Christmas a national holiday (a sort of “gift” when Pope John Paul came in 1998), and making Cuba merely a secular state rather than an atheist state.  As far as embracing the Church goes, these actions are almost laughably miniscule, but they are steps nonetheless.

Such is the state of a country that has actively rejected and persecuted the Church for fifty years.

There is, to be sure, a real and vicious persecution of the Church in Cuba, but it wasn’t always so egregious, or at least it didn’t seem that way at the beginning of Castro’s regime. American Catholics would do well to take note.

A 1960 article by London Observer correspondent George Sherman (here printed in the August 6, 1960, edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) details Fidel Castro’s strategy for the Church just a year after he became Prime Minister:

“The Castro government has moved carefully so as not to gain the Church sympathy it does not have. The aim is to isolate rather than destroy. While upholding the right to worship, the Government has clamped down on all the Church’s outlets in secular society.”

To isolate rather than destroy. To allow worship…and nothing else. Sound familiar? It should.

President Obama began using the term “freedom to worship” in his speech at Fort Hood in 2009, less than a year into his presidency. And he and his administration have notably continued to use this language—as opposed to “freedom of religion”—a significant difference in terms.

Furthermore, unless the new HHS mandate changes, many Catholic hospitals (and possibly colleges) will either have to compromise the very beliefs that make them Catholic hospitals (or colleges) or shut down. Or serve only Catholics, thus accomplishing a major step toward Catholic “isolation.”

In his piece from fifty years ago, Sherman noted, significantly: “Priests are the first to admit that large sections of the population have little religious training.” In other words, Castro pounced when the Church was already weak. Many so-called Catholics likely didn’t notice any changes. They likely agreed with Castro over the Church on certain policies. And the faithful? Well the faithful, recognizing their reduced numbers and the potential dangers the Castro regime brought, were concerned . . . yet happy they were “allowed” to worship.

And, just like that, the Catholic Church in Cuba was reduced to a bunch of harmless, pious old church ladies. Catholics could still worship, sure. But the hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc. that were run by the Church were taken over by the state. Soon after, Christians were barred from participating in government.

Sound familiar?

The Church in America is weak. Secularism has been chipping away at it for decades. In recent years, many Catholic orphanages have closed after being cut off from public funds because they would not promote abortion, contraception, and the like. And we already know the precarious state of Catholic hospitals and colleges.

Sherman begins his piece with a warning that the Church and the Castro regime were quickly moving toward a clash, but that “Both sides are extremely reluctant to turn to all-out warfare.” He goes on to write, “For the government it is a question of tactics. . . . The position of the Church is much weaker. It is fighting for its life.”

Sherman’s observation was dire, terrifying, and prescient . . . and it still applies today. Perhaps the Church is stronger now in the United States than it was then in Cuba, but not exponentially so. The Church here is indeed struggling. The bishops, led by Cardinal Dolan, have spoken out, but then again, as Sherman tells us, two of the leading archbishops in Cuba “demonstrated publicly against Soviet influence.”

For the Obama administration, just like in Castro’s fledgling Cuba, it is merely a matter of tactics. How to isolate the Church without inciting a riot. It’s a line that Obama and his administration are toeing, and they’ve come close to crossing it with the HHS mandate. And yet they seem to have caught their balance, rallying the support of the media, the “public,” and even a depressingly high number within the Church.

Modern liberalism relies on a secular society, and a Church that is active in the world throws a wrench into the liberal plan. Castro recognized this and moved to “isolate” Catholics and Catholicism, allowing them to worship, but nothing more. Christians were barred from participating in politics. Christmas was even cancelled.

Now, in a series of moves eerily similar, if not in actual implementation then in spirit, to those of the Castro regime, Catholics in America are facing the same isolation that Cuban Catholics experienced fifty years ago. It started slowly and somewhat innocuously. A token acknowledgment of the “freedom to worship,” or some such meaningless phrase, and then it came quickly and relentlessly. A weak Church subsumed and subjugated by a powerful government. And the people were powerless against it.

When Sherman wrote his piece, one of the few remaining religious groups was an organization called Catholic Action, consisting of college students at the University of Havana. Between 1959 and 1960, their numbers were halved, their six members in the student government were forced out, and when they tried to distribute pamphlets, their pamphlets were burned and Catholic pamphleteers beaten.

Of course, the America of 2012 wouldn’t stand for any beatings based on religion (probably), but the suppression of religion—pushing it to the fringes of society—has already started.

It won’t move as quickly as it did in Cuba—the American political process doesn’t allow for such swift action—but it can still happen fast (remember, the HHS mandate, promulgated by executive fiat will go into effect in August). And there could be some more resistance considering that the Church is a bit stronger here than it was in Cuba in 1960, but not much.

And where Castro attacked the Catholic Church, Obama and other liberals aren’t targeting the Church per se…just its tenants, members, and institutions, while including other Christians in the mix.

But make no mistake. This is happening. It’s the blueprint. Certain aspects of the design have changed over the years, but it is largely the same: Isolate, and then marginalize. And it works. Today, though 60 percent of Cubans are Catholic, only about 5 percent go to Mass.

We Catholics need to fight back, and we need to fight back now. If we don’t, we risk suffering a fate similar to Cuban Catholics.

When the Pope visits the United States fifty years from now, we need to ensure that he is welcomed to a country boasting a vibrant faith and that he is not just timidly allowed to enter with the vague hope of reviving a diseased and battered church.

A recent piece in USA Today discussing the bishops’ latest rejection of the HHS mandate noted what the bishops did not say: they did not accuse the Obama administration of “waging a war on religion” or acknowledge that Republicans have abandoned the cause. And, significantly, “There is no talk of civil disobedience or canceling health insurance . . . if they do not get their way.”

At the end of his piece in 1960, Sherman quoted a prominent (and downtrodden) member of Catholic Action: “Nothing can be done without force, and we do not have that force.”

We have the benefit of history. We cannot make the same mistake. We cannot sit back, hoping for the best, putting our faith in politicians. We must strike back—all of us—with the full force of God and His Church.

Before it’s too late.

By

After a brief career restoring timber-framed barns, Christian Tappe worked as an editor for Regnery and ISI Books. He is currently Editor of Saint Benedict Press/TAN Books in Charlotte, NC.

  • poetcomic1

        A good analogy is the photographic darkroom.  The radical secularization of American society is coming clearer daily, it is ‘developing’ but this image hasn’t been immersed in the ‘fixative’  of law – that is happening when, led by radical feminists and sex radicals,  when with towering hubris the state ‘invents’ natural law to its liking. It will be much worse than Cuba. Much worse.

  • Pargontwin

    If there were enough truly faithful Catholics, then civil disobedience would probably be the way to go; it was effective in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, if slow to produce results.  Sadly, however, even many Cahtolics favor artificial contraception and even abortion, so that we probably wouldn’t have enough numbers for civil disobedience to be more than a “spit in a bucket.”

    • Wickwart

      then spit we will…and evangelize…which means teach the truth.  But I think we do have numbers, every year the march for life expands.  It is ignored by the media but it still is growing.  But we have to get going and evangelize while those who have been awoken by this HHS mandate are still listening…they will grow numb again very quickly.

  • Tiredofthechickenlittles

    Blah blah blah, the sky is falling!

    Sound familiar?  The state is NOT going to take away your right to participate in government.
    A little less fear and a bit more faith is what we need here.

    • The Hammer

      But what a second. The point of this is that this DID happen. And Cuba is just a recent example, though with striking parallels. The “gotta have faith” thing is not enough and never has been. We prayed the Muslims wouldn’t overrun Christendom at Lepanto, but then met them in battle. Ditto Martel. Solidarity prayed for Poland to shed the communist yolk, then shut down the ship yard. How about the necessity of the Salt March? Yes, got to have faith… that meeting this nonsense head on and in the streets if necessary, will work. How about next January we just Occupy DC after the pro-life march ends.

      • The Hammerj

        And the communist yoke too!!

    • aearon43

      Can you explain your reasoning?

    • Alecto

      Your framing of the issue demonstrates why the Administration is unafraid.  Substitute “a little more fight” for “little less fear” and you’ve got it right.

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  • Aaron

    Just one quick note: “freedom of worship” (-vs-
    “freedom of religion”) is precisely what the Soviet constitution
    guaranteed as part of its protection of every worker’s “freedom of
    conscience” (article 124). That Obama is using this altered language with
    a very similar intent is affirmed by the implications of Obamacare’s new
    definition of what constitutes a proper “religious institution:” a
    collection of already-converted believers with a nearly complete absence of teaching,
    public service, and evangelization… no contact with the outside world or means
    of expansion.  Additionally, as in the
    Soviet Union, once the child is defined as an agnostic at the moment of birth,
    educating our own children in the tenants of the faith will be violating their “freedom
    of conscience”… this is already implicitly the case in the public schools).  In order to guarantee “freedom of conscience,”
    defined in this way, the Soviets had no choice but to nearly wipe out the
    Christian religion anywhere they came into power.  “Worship, if you like,” they say, “just don’t
    let anyone see you, don’t let it influence your public actions or speech, and
    hurry up and die so that we can move on to ‘change we can believe in.’ “

    .

    • Brian A. Cook

      May I offer this to the discussion?

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007190032

      • Aaron

        This is why the words alone are not sufficient (though the context in which he choses one phrase over the other does set Obama apart if you look a little further than the short piece you link to does).  The corresponding evidence provided by such things as the Obamacare redefinition of a religious institution or his inclusion of atheism as one of America’s faith traditions (and many other particulars could be cited), however, ought to be enough for us, unless we willfully forget history, to begin to worry that we have seen this all before.  People often say things they don’t mean, but when the man’s words and actions are entirely consistent, what then?  

      • aearon43

        Ok, fair enough. But when Reagan said it, there was no reason to think he intended it differently than “freedom of religion.” But with Obama there is plenty of reason to think that.

  • AliceBlueGown

    The Catholic Church should do nothing about the HHS mandate, not change its health insurance, not pay the fine, not close down the institutions by which the church fulfills its God given mission to the world.  Let the IRS (which I believe is the arm of gov’t empowered to enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) do what it will. By so doing the Church would bear witness to its beliefs, the value of them, and a willingness to sacrifice for them.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      Good thoughts, but unfortunately such a stand-off might well last only a few days before the feds declare the Catholic institutions “in arrears” for unpaid federal fines. The feds may then contact the various Catholic institutions’ banks and using their federal authority, place a freeze on the Catholic institutions’ accounts (a la the IRS). Employees payroll checks proceed to bounce. So do all payments to vendors and contractors: soon the institution is tens of thousands of dollars in arrears to everybody, and can’t pay any bills.  And vendors who don’t get paid don’t continue to supply for nothing. The institution is now without food, without  electricity, without gas, without water, without insurance, medicines, laundry . . . nothing and no one can be paid for because the money is frozen. Catholic institution is as effectively unable to operate as if its doors were closed and sealed shut. Cobwebs begin to gather.

      Then over some weekend or other, and “for the good of the community”, the place reopens “under new management.” Secular management.

      Makes me wonder: just in case, can faithful Catholic employers maintain their operating accounts offshore, beyond the reach of The Tyrant? Although The Tyrant might well make a few phone calls and twist a few offshore arms to overcome that strategy, too.

  • Becket

    I disagree that secularism has been chipping away at the Church. I tend to believe a failure to talk about Catholic virtue and “pastoral issues” such as divorce, contraception, and the fact that we as Catholics are not allowed to “decide for ourselves” whether something is right or wrong. The Church dropped the ball from the 60s to the 80s and now we and our children will pay the price. It’s interesting that so many in the Church hierarchy didn’t care that Catholic businessmen would have to violate their consciences to conform to HHS’s many mandates. They waited until the Catholic hospitals and organizations would be subject to the violation to speak out. Until public excommunications of Sebellius, and I am talking about “Becket” style pronouncements of counting them damned with Satan and all his minions excommunications,  occur will people take notice. And when the faint of heart say, “you are being judgmental” we should proudly state, “No, you have judged yourself. We are only reminding you.” Of course, most Catholics are so far gone that they don’t really care. Hopefully, we will be the ones who have to endure in order that our children will not. I pray that they will not have to suffer for the sins of their fathers and mothers.

  • aearon43

    Quite a perspicacious article. I hope and pray that “fallen-away” Catholics will wake up and come to the support of their Church.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    “. . . just like that, the Catholic Church in Cuba was reduced to a bunch of harmless, pious old church ladies. Catholics could still worship, sure. But the hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc. that were run by the Church were taken over by the state. Soon after, Christians were barred from participating in government.”

    Let me begin by noting that, at the phrase “harmless pious old church lady”, I raised my hand and replied, “yo!” We old pious ladies are not despicable or base: we are most of us good, and good to have around. Many of us have been advised by priests (and this is backed up by the writings of the saints) that it is *our* prayers and *our* sacrifices – along with those of the contemplative orders – that provide a spiritual powerhouse, giving life and energy to the work of evangelization out in the world.

    Secondly, hospitals, orphanages, schools are important to the work of the Church, and it is the unassailable right of every American to establish hospitals, orphanages, and schools along the lines of his or her religious or philanthropic prinicples. And those who assail that right should be resisted with everything we’ve got. But hospitals, orphanages, schools are not the mission of the Catholic Church. Jesus Christ did not come to Earth to establish hospitals, orphanages, and schools. He came to preach the good news of Salvation, and to show us the way to the Father.  The Catholic Church needs to be first and foremost about her original mission: preaching and teaching the full and authentic faith that comes to us from the apostles. Sure, hospitals and schools do that, but that’s not their primary mission: in recent years it has been possible to be treated at a Catholic hospital or go through 12 years of Catholic education and rarely, if ever, be exposed to the authentic Catholic teaching.

    Catholics need to get out there and evangelize. Win people over and convert hearts and minds. Not just the Archdioces, or the pastors, but the people. And not just the people who have never heard of Jesus or are put off by Him, but our fellow Catholics in the pews who use contraception, who take their daughters for abortions, and who plan to vote for Obama this November. It is *their* souls we need to win.

    I as a pious old church lady, plan to pray for just that intention. And maybe, just maybe, to talk to a few people . . .

    • StellaMaris

      Dear Marion, 

      I take issue with this statement: But hospitals, orphanages, schools are not the mission of the Catholic Church. Jesus Christ did not come to Earth to establish hospitals, orphanages, and schools. He came to preach the good news of Salvation, and to show us the way to the Father.
      Jesus commands us to take care of the sick (we imitate Christ, who healed the sick) and to care for widows and orphans (his mother was a widow and he saw to her care when he was about to die; he had strong things to say about caring for the good of children), and of course, we are supposed to educate our children in the faith, and in a culture where ‘schooling’ of some sort is necessary, Catholic schools fill an important role in that education. 

      When you say the role of the Church is to preach the Gospel, you remind me of a conversion story I heard on ‘The Journey Home.’  The convert was an ardent Evangelical, I believe, from a high-profile evangelical/missionary family.  She was in South America as a missionary, and noted a difference between Catholic and Protestant missionaries.  The Catholics were feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, healing the sick and welcoming strangers in homeless shelters – no matter what those people’s religious affiliation was – while at the same time maintaining churches and preaching and ministering the sacraments.  The Protestant mission was all about handing out Bibles and preaching on people to convert.  After they converted, there might be a few blankets or some food for the poorer members of the evangelical church, but taking care of the real-world, physical needs of people was not the ‘mission’ of the Protestant missionaries.

      Later, after her conversion to Catholicism, the convert reflected on this striking difference (and the strikingly higher number of converts to ‘Caring Catholicism’ compared to the anemic response to ‘Preaching Protestantism’).  She said that coming into the fullness of the Church helped her realize what the Incarnation means.  As Christians, we aren’t just minds to be preached to or even ‘hearts’ to be converted by the Gospel.  Christ, like us, was flesh and blood.  He hungered and needed to be fed; he had a mind that had to be taught to pray and taught the Scriptures; he had a body that needed rest; he could be wounded and suffer physically and need care and succor.  And that’s what the Catholic Missionaries were doing that was so much MORE Christian than just ‘preaching.’  They were BEING Christ in his incarnate reality and SEEING Christ in his incarnation in others. 

      If you read the Scriptures, you will find it very difficult to support the argument that the Church should not practice the Gospel it preaches.  You can begin with Matthew 25: 31-46.  We will be judged by how clearly we have seen Christ in the needs of other people. 

      I hope I have not misunderstood you.  Certainly preaching is anemic in many pulpits.  But the solution is not ‘faith without works.’  That is dead.

      As for Catholics going out there and evangelizing, yes, there’s a place for that (and ‘places’ like CatholicAnswers and EWTN are doing a wonderful job).  But let’s not forget that the earliest Christians who were much persecuted and put to death, won many converts ‘by their love.’  Specifically, it was by their charitable actions during plagues and other disasters, when – with no discrimination in favor of ‘their own’ – Christians cared for the needy.   Who was it – St. Francis? – who said, ‘Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.’  Many, many are touched by someone responding to their very real needs, who would ignore – and have ignored – preaching. 

      As a college teacher in a Catholic country, I often hear students give excuses for dropping away from the Church.  (I’ve become convinced that in most cases, the excuses cover up for an option for sexual sin, but that’s by the way.)  The excuse that I hear most often can be summed up, ‘I quit going to church because people there [priests, laity, a pious old grandmother, etc.] do not practice what they preach.’  One bad example is their excuse.  It’s a lousy excuse; I don’t accept it when I hear it.  But since it is such a common excuse, I think it reveals why Jesus preached so much about active faith: by our fruits we will be known, and by our fruits we will be judged.

      Catholic schools, hospitals and orphanages are among the great fruit that witness to the Truth of Christianity – I’ll go further and say to the fullness of the Truth of Catholic Christianity, since it is in Catholic Christianity that we see greatest witness of charity around the world.

      Preach more, yes.  Preach better, yes.  But that’s not a reason to conclude that Jesus didn’t come to establish orphanages and schools and hospitals.  No, he didn’t come to do that.  But he did come to tell us to do that.

  • Alecto

    We are dual members of this society and of the Catholic faith.  As citizens we must enforce our right to the free exercise of our religion (as distinct from freedom of religion which is never mentioned in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) or we will certainly lose it altogether.  Today’s toe in the water by this villanous President and his minions from hell forms tomorrow’s precedent by which another villain attempts to extend that infringement on our liberty.  Don’t ever mistake the goal:  the eradication of religion from all civil society.  It is a myth that this is a secular society.  History demonstrates otherwise.  The founders never believed in some bizarre wall between faith and citizenship.  Read any of Washington’s, Lincoln’s, most president’s letters and you see they are rife with belief in a divine creator that guided the nation. 

    The United States is different in its conception from other nations.  We believe and continue to believe that individuals, not the state, are the source of all power and that God imbued individuals with rights, not the government.  That is why the United States is exceptional.  If the government loses the consent of the governed, the individual, it cannot enforce laws or function. 

    I believe there are those in the Catholic Church who believe in being martyrs, persecuted.   They believe it fervently.  However, I don’t agree with that position.  I believe God created or allowed this nation to be created so that religious liberty would flourish.  He wants us to fight for this purpose, not lay down and concede.  It would be a mistake to frame any of the issues surrounding Obamacare in terms of concession or compliance.  Those choices are false.  The choices are win or die.  So let us fight, fight on until we win or we die.  We should remember we are only accountable to God.  I don’t want to face him knowing I took the cowardly path. 

  • Father Gregg Elliott

    I deep shame of this situation is that so many Catholics see no harm in the HHs mandate.  We are, in fact, ready to be knocked off.  We must unite and show our spiritual and electoral strength.

  • StellaMaris

    Recently someone sent me a homily by a ‘brave’ priest (who defended his preaching by saying the people had asked him to preach it, and anyway, he was only repeating what the bishops said…).  This priest spoke up about the mandate, and said that it was wrong, and that the bishops had ‘threatened’ the administration to shut down every hospital, orphanage, school, homeless shelter, etc. in the country.  And then the priest said, ‘If we do that, it will create a crisis in this country.  The state will have to step in.  And that is what they want.’  Curiously, when he said this, he said that the bishops WILL do what they said, they WILL shut down all Catholic Charities.
     
    The people in the congregation greeted this with a loud  ‘Amen!’ 

    I found that troubling.

    I am not living in the United States and I have limited time to follow the news ‘back home.’  I do not know if, indeed, the Catholic Bishops have threatened to shut down all Catholic Charities.  I do know that if they do, they will be playing right into the hands of people who want to emasculate and destroy the power of the Church to transform society in the image of Christ.

    I have lived since 1992 in Poland, a post-communist, Catholic country.  When I first came here as an English teacher, another American and I were given the task of making materials for an interview examination for high school graduates who wanted to come to the college where I teach.  We made what are called ‘functions’ materials: simulated conversations taking place in a hotel, in a restaurant, at work, at tourist information, at the doctor, within the family, etc.  My colleague made several situations that involved raising money or collecting items for charity, along these lines: ‘You are going door-to-door  collecting money for the poor.  What would you say to the home-owner to convince him or her to give money to help poor children with serious medical conditions?’  Or: ‘Your school is having a canned food drive to relieve the poor at Christmas.  How would you convince people to donate?’  Or: ‘Your Scout group is collecting toys and books to give to sick children in hospital.  What would you say to people who might donate toys and books for these children?

    We asked final-year students to go over our questions to make sure that the level was appropriate for high-school leavers, and to make sure that none of our questions was too culture-specific (i.e., too ‘American’ and not something that would be understood in Poland).  To our shock, all the questions about raising money or collecting goods for charity were completely baffling to our Polish students (and colleagues).  They simply had no idea what we were talking about.

    For our part, we were shocked: Poland is a Catholic country.  At that time, the practice of the Faith was much stronger than it is now; almost all of our students went to Mass and had strong feelings of association with their Catholic Faith.  How was it that they knew nothing about ‘charity drives’?  

    The answer was simple: ‘We don’t do that in Poland. There are no poor in Poland.  Or if there are any poor, the government takes care of them.  We don’t have charities here.’ 
    There were a few cases when the Church took care of the poor.  The murdered priest Jerzy Popieluszko used to collect rent money, food and clothing for ‘the poor’ who were not taken care of by the state.  Those were not people who had ‘fallen through the cracks’ of a system that more or less worked.  They were people that had fallen afoul of the system: the Solidarity strikers and their families.  Because they did not toe the party line, the government could simply throw them out of their flats and jobs, make it almost impossible for them to live.  That brave priest stepped in and in a clandestine fashion – for it was treason and dangerous to help ‘enemies of the state’ – he got together what he could to relieve and support them.  
    I’m very worried about the Catholic bishops ‘getting even’ with the government by threatening to close down Catholic Charities and leave the government to see how they can manage without the Catholics’ help.  The poor will suffer immediately; the Church will abandon its mission; the government will have greater control over the people.  And a generation of people could reach adulthood having never experienced ‘charity’ in action in their community.

    What’s the solution?  Again, I admit I am not following every turn of events in the Catholic media at home, but one solution I have not heard is this: the Catholic Church refuses to comply with the mandate; the Catholic Church keeps all of its charities open, and – here’s the part no one is saying – the Catholic LAITY make sacrificial offerings way beyond what they do now, to pay every last penny of cost not only of maintaining our Catholic charities, but fighting the legal battles to keep those charities open and keep the church free. 
    We can being in Texas.  Instead of complaining that the government has ceased funding a Catholic charity that helps women and children, because that charity is pro-life, we can say to the bishops of Texas: ‘Keep it open!  And here’s my donation!’  We should show the administration what separation of Church and State can really mean, by supporting our Church FINANCIALLY to such a degree that our charities put government programs to shame.

    From what little I hear, it seems to me that the bishops may have got so used to being ‘in relationship’ with the politicians that they don’t know how to lead the Church apart from the state, apart from being in dialogue with politicians (we will support your candidate, if you will promise us we don’t have to fund abortion, etc.).  Maybe it’s time to think outside the box, to stop thinking of the Church as somehow in relationship to the state, and to declare a radical separation on our own terms: we will not comply with the mandate, and furthermore, we will not take a penny from you, and moreover, when you try to come after us with sanctions and freeze us out through tax laws, our people will pay and pay, rather than submit to evil.

    Can we replace a mentality of politics with a mentality of sacrificial charity, even if it means real hardship for the average Catholic?  We’re busy signing petitions and eagerly reading about law-suits.  But at the same time, we should see a surge in Catholic giving, a clear message: “We will NOT be shut out of our God-given mandate to charity.”

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