Yes, Barack Obama. So wrote Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (pictured right) on July 9 in Newsweek magazine. Behold, willful ignorance:
In truth, though, Obama's pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints) and his social-justice agenda reflect the views of American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists.
When Obama meets the pope tomorrow, they'll politely disagree about reproductive freedoms and homosexuality, but Catholics back home won't care, because they know Obama's on their side. In fact, Obama's agenda is closer to their views than even the pope's....
That's just one egregious example of Townsend's understanding of authentic Catholic teaching, which is no understanding at all.
Here are more illuminating conclusions set forth by Townsend:
Here Obama (the community organizer from Chicago) could teach the pope a lot about politics - and what a Catholic approach to politics could entail.... The hierarchy ignores women's equality and gays' cry for justice because to heed them would require that it admit error and acknowledge that the self-satisfied edifice constructed around sex and gender has been grievously wrong....
[A]n advisory body of theologians and laity empaneled by the pope advised that the church should reverse its position on birth control and concede that the issue should be a question for morality and for science. But authority - not truth, not love - prevailed....
Pope Paul VI, listening to the advice of Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), disagreed with the majority of these advisers, who had voted 69 to 10 for change, fretting that to change this position would weaken his authority....
The pope has a lot to learn about Catholic politics in America. Barack Obama can teach him.
Absent from Townsend's article is any mention of Obama's opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and Obama's support of partial-birth abortion. Destroying her credibility point-by-point would take more space than permitted here. I'll leave Catholics on the comments section to set the record straight.
What is astounding is Townsend's assumption (arrogance?) that Pope Benedict doesn't "get it." The pope knows exactly who he is dealing with. He is well aware of Catholic politics in America, and it is not for him to discard basic Catholic principles in order to satisfy their inordinate attachment to presumptuous falsehoods.
I will agree with Townsend on one point, however. 54% of Catholics didn't care about the truth last November. 6 months into this presidency, we are paying the price.
[Photo attributions: changenet.net; romancatholicblog.typepad.com]
What astounding ignorance.
The pope has a lot to learn about Catholic politics in America. Barack Obama can teach him.
What? I though Catholicism was a religion, not a political movement.Posted by: Kristen at July 16, 2009 3:09 PM
Most Catholics would say that that 54% is CINO, Catholic in name only. As Jesus said about another group who appeared to self anoint - He could raise up "children" of Abraham from stones! We're at a time now, moreso than ever before, that labels mean nothing - it's in the heart where truth lies.
Perhaps that Kennedy "curse" is still running its course - until, perhaps an exorcism is called for!Posted by: CK at July 16, 2009 3:27 PM
Townsend needs a short lesson in the kingdom of heaven, because she's completely unfamiliar with even the basics of say, the Sermon on the Mount.
The Holy Spirit is the best teacher of truth I know of, but to receive the teaching of the Holy Spirit, she would have to repent and confess Christ alone as Lord and Savior. And to call Him Lord would require obedience. She'd have to reject her own presuppositions regarding truth, love and authority.
Lastly - how does one weasel out of what Christ said in John 14: 6?
"I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me."
She needs more prayers than condemnation.Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 16, 2009 3:29 PM
Unfortunately, Townsend is spiritually blind and dead. She desperately needs to meet her Savior before it's too late.
She thinks God needs to change His Laws to accomodate public opinion.
No, He is pleading, "Repent! REPENT, OR YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SIN AND PERISH! ACCEPT MY SACRIFICE FOR YOUR SIN AND TURN FROM YOUR WICKEDNESS! I WILL CLEANSE YOU FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS! TURN TO ME AND LIVE! I WILL COME AND MAKE MY ABODE WITH YOU. REPENT!"Posted by: Ed at July 16, 2009 3:43 PM
"FROM THE FIRST BOOK OF DEMOCRAT-PSALM 2008-2012
OBAMA IS MY SHEPHERD,
I SHALL NOT WANT.
HE LEADETH ME BESIDE THE STILL FACTORIES.
HE RESTORETH MY FAITH IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.
HE GUIDETH ME IN THE PATH OF UNEMPLOYMENT.
YEA, THOUGH I WALK THRU THE VALLEY OF THE BREAD LINE, I SHALL NOT GO HUNGRY.
OBAMA HAS ANOINTED MY INCOME WITH TAXES.
MY EXPENSES RUNNETH OVER MY INCOME.
SURELY POVERTY AND HARD LIVING
WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF HIS TERM.
FROM HENCE FORTH WE WILL LIVE
ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES IN A RENTED HOME
WITH AN OVERSEAS LANDLORD"
What else should we expect from a Kennedy? She is as much a "good Catholic" as "Don Corleone."
Fat Ted still thinks of himself as a good catholic even though his core beliefs are opposed to the catholic church. Particularly that pesky park about murdering innocent people. Mary Jo mean anything to Ted? No.
The Catholic church has nothing to do with social justice. Social Justice is a socialist communist atheist concept that put government over the people. No with free will need apply.
The Kennedy's believe "charity" is taking from their neighbors what they think their neighbors should not have and giving it to people who did not work for it. Where as Christian is given freely to those who cannot help themselves or those who are trying to help themselves and just need a hand up.
Kennedy "charity" is generational government dependence. Don't you dare try to improve your lot in life our we will ruin you.
A mother in Massachusetts was on welfare. She pinched pennies and worked her way through college. When she finished she got a well paying job and no longer needed the state. She was rewarded with a bill from the state for every dollar she received. Now I'm not completely opposed to this in general. But the only reason the state did this was because she had the nerve to do what she believed to be right and got off welfare.
That is Kennedy "charity" that is Kennedy "social justice."
Classic RSD.Posted by: Ed at July 16, 2009 3:51 PM
You're right. These liberal Catholics certainly are arrogant thinking they can speak for all U.S. ("American") Catholics. By "American", she must mean Central and South Americans as well.
She comments on the hierarchy's lack of concern for womens' rights - this is sooooo contradictory to the truth. I wonder if she means the right to abortion or the (here we go again) right to be a priest?? I've never known a woman who actually wanted to be a priest, but there sure are a lot who like to complain about it. What's with that logic?
Maybe she could come up with a new name for herself and her outspoken political buddies. Kmiecans?Posted by: Janet at July 16, 2009 3:55 PM
What a twit. I suppose her next column will be that American Jews should look to Louis Farrakhan for guidance.Posted by: bmmg39 at July 16, 2009 4:08 PM
.."Obama's pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints)..."
I am continually baffled why Obama is so frequently praised for this, as if he invented the idea of respecting those we disagree with. That's a sweet little concept (and one I believe most people exercise with regularity), but his voting record and decisions thus far as president do not reflect compromise or inclusion of ideas other than those he supports. His attitude is more something more like, "I respect your opinion and trust you have good intentions, but we're still going to do things my way. There, we agreed to disagree. Aren't I a swell guy?"
Also, I've noticed he doesn't take criticism very graciously - he responds to it with a tone of condescension and disrespect. Such as his laughing off the tea party protests, his complaints about Fox News, his deflecting the blame to the previous administration when questioned about his economic policies, his administration's recent threat to cut off Arizona's stimulus money after a senator suggested alternatives to the current stimulus plan, his claim that the Republicans in Congress wanted to do nothing about the economy when in reality their input was excluded, etc.
I generally refrain from commenting on the political articles here, but Obama receiving so many media merit badges for repeating trite rhetoric instead of having his more controversial policies called into question is an insult to voters.Posted by: Janette at July 16, 2009 4:11 PM
Kristen: "What? I though Catholicism was a religion, not a political movement."
That's exactly it. For years, the media have cited some goofy poll to suggest that the Catholic Church (or perhaps some other religion, but the Catholic Church often gets singled out) is "out of touch" with Americans. It's the other way around: if you're part of a religion, it's your job to get in touch with IT. People don't "run" for bishop or pope by campaigning and making promises they think the laity want to hear.Posted by: bmmg39 at July 16, 2009 4:13 PM
The only 'Kennedy' that I'm aware of that was a good guy was Sargent Shriver, and he only married into the klan. He's dead now so at least he doesn't have to listen to this 'smarter/holier than thou' b.s.
The rest seem as two faced and backbiting as they come.Posted by: Andy at July 16, 2009 4:57 PM
Obama certainly goes against every principle of the Catholic faith that I am a member of. I'm not sure to which Catholic church Ms. Townsend is referring.
Sadly a large majority of those who call themselves "Catholic" these days are not truly faithful to the Church's teachings, and unfortunately they seem to the be the loud, obnoxious, vocal ones that the media like to quote. (i.e. Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden...)Posted by: Allison at July 16, 2009 5:05 PM
It saddens me to see that a "Catholic" would write such hateful words towards the Holy Father. I think one of the biggest problems people have with our faith is that they cannot understand it. There is joy in obedience, and there is peace given to those who ask for it. To laud over Obama because of pragmatic approach is ridiculous. The only reason that I can see for Townsend being so against her Catholic Church is that it stands firm with it's beliefs, much like she does. The problem is that her beliefs do not match the church's beliefs.
It's always said that we attack things in others that we do not like in ourselves. Townsend attacks the steadfastness of the Church because she is steadfast in her thoughts. She just has not found the truth in Jesus and the Church.Posted by: Emily at July 16, 2009 6:04 PM
- Posted by: Justyouwait at July 16, 2009 5:25 PM
I think you should be addressing Janette, not me...Posted by: Janet at July 16, 2009 8:03 PM
When some one would ask a question with an answer that was obviously and undeniably 'yes', then instead of answering 'yes' we would rhetorically respond, "Is the Pope Catholic?"
Now the question would be, "Is the Pope Catholic...... compared to pbho?"
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend re-affirms my oft repeated statement that, "Humans are stupid."
How about this for a more accurate statement:
The Pope is as much an African-American as pbho.
What do GOD and pbho have in common?
Neither one is an African-American.
yor bro ken
Posted by: kbhvac at July 16, 2009 10:16 PM
well, God isn't American, but he's as African as anything, right?
HE is neither.
HE is not a 'christian' nor a 'catholic' or a 'muslim' or a 'jew' either and HE is definatley not an 'atheist' or a 'humanist' though HE might be considered a 'capitalist' in the economics sense of the term.
Let that settle into your understanding.
yor bro kenPosted by: kbhvac at July 16, 2009 10:51 PM
excellent post.Posted by: Jasper at July 17, 2009 4:04 AM
What the pollsters choose as Catholics for their poll is the group of those who think they might have been baptized when they were young, but certainly don't remember that, nor much about any of the other sacraments.
There are people who pay as much attention to their religion, as to what is going on in government. You can tell by their irresponsible voting decisions, and living habits, for which we are expected to pay.
The most toxic and destructive kinds of people are those who are running from what they know they should be doing. These are our supposed religiously affiliated politicians who lead the de-volution of American society.Posted by: Pharmer at July 17, 2009 9:09 AM
CK: Most Catholics would say that that 54% is CINO, Catholic in name only.
I'm going to savor this for a moment. Most Catholics would say that most Catholics aren't Catholic. Wow.
This is the same kind of foolishness as claiming that Americans are largely pro-life, while arguing against any exceptions to an abortion ban. (Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of available abortions when a justification is offered.) In both cases, you're trying to have your cake and eat it too--to claim massive popular support and ideological purity at the same time. It's senseless.
Mark: The Catholic church has nothing to do with social justice. Social Justice is a socialist communist atheist concept that put government over the people.
The Catholic Church states that "[The Christian faithful] are also obliged to promote social justice". The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has an Office for Social Justice. Heck, consider Rerum Novarum's condemnation of the exploitation of workers, call for a living wage and endorsement of the labor movement, or Centesimus Annus's teaching that the profit motive should be subordinate to the common good.
I know there's a tendency to rewrite or ignore history when it's politically convenient, but this is downright astonishing. It's like claiming that the Jewish community wasn't particularly active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
bmm939: It's the other way around: if you're part of a religion, it's your job to get in touch with IT.
But this isn't the middle ages. People aren't members of the Church because they have to be, but rather because they want to be. The dynamic of power between the clergy and the laity is different than it once was. Why else is violation of the Church's teachings on contraception and abortion so widely accepted? Why else is the Church so keen on being open and accepting, and so reluctant to be seen as thundering down orders from on high?
The sex-abuse scandals may have accelerated this process by sapping trust in the hierarchy, but the trend was already there, a trend that followed naturally from the Church's loss of temporal power.Posted by: grendelkhan at July 17, 2009 9:16 AM
Unfortunately, "Catholics" like Townsend harm our reputation within the Church more than anything. When uneducated Catholics as well as non-Catholics read articles like this, they take it as educated fact. It's similar to Nancy Pelosi's statement last year regarding St. Augustine's teachings. It takes only a few moments of reading to realize how non-Catholic Townsend truly is. She shows disdain, not only for Pope Benedict XVI, but for John Paul II (she even expressed disdain for Humanae Vitae).
Ironically enough, she lacks any sense of understanding, referring to Charity in Truth as, "a Vatican encyclical that declares unions, regulation of capitalism's excesses, and environmentalism to be ethical imperatives," claiming, "The document gives moral credence to Obama's message and to progressive politics writ large."
Townsend decries the Bride of Christ for her unwavering stance on such issues as contraception and homosexuality. And The Church says what? "Come back, Kathleen. God is calling you to Him. Repent and be forgiven."Posted by: MaryRose at July 17, 2009 12:46 PM
I've never understood why people get upset with the Pope teaching according to Catholic Church doctrine. Um... duh?
If you don't agree... don't be Catholic. How hard is that?Posted by: Elisabeth at July 19, 2009 5:40 AM
"I've never understood why people get upset with the Pope teaching according to Catholic Church doctrine. Um... duh?"
"If you don't agree... don't be Catholic. How hard is that?"
Exactly They are like whiney children. Maybe they had overbearing parents? Maybe they had lax parents? It may have nothing to do with parents. Whatever, they need to grow up.Posted by: Janet at July 19, 2009 2:03 PM
Posted by: Mr. H
at July 19, 2009 4:15 PM
Kennedy's piece is simply ridiculous.
Elisabeth: If you don't agree... don't be Catholic. How hard is that?
Not very hard, apparently. The end result of this attitude is that people will simply elect not to be Catholic... or religious at all, for that matter.Posted by: grendelkhan at July 23, 2009 8:18 AM