If there's one thing the Holy Father's trip to the U.S. has brought into sharp focus, it's the idea of Americanism and its entrails, which can be found in the belly of the Church in the United States. We've talked about this quite a few times before here at Church Militant, but now with Pope Francis on the ground, it's become quite the topic among politically conservative Americans — like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and so on.
Now, to be certain, when Pope St. John Paul II was traversing across the country, he too was the subject of much vitriol — only his political establishment critics were on the left. They attacked him for his moral preachings. The right is attacking Pope Francis for his economic and social justice language. But the one thing they both agree on is this: Catholics have no right to be listened to until they become more American. What version of "American," of course, depends on which end of the political spectrum is doing the calling out. But neither is willing to accept that Catholicism really deserves a seat at the table until it becomes less Catholic.
The leftists are all atheists and progressives and attack from that position, and the "conservatives" don't want to hear any moralizing that upsets their carefully crafted world-economic view — especially when it comes to contraception. And before we go any further: yes, this is all about contraception and Protestant heretical beliefs about it.
Why? Because ultimately a country's wealth first of all depends on its population. True, other factors — many other factors — come into play, but American capitalists and U.S. government policies have for decades now sought to increase economic output while stimying population growth. That philosophy can't endure without consequence. You cannot increase economic output and increase demand, the foundations of capitalism, while you are shrinking your labor pool, taxpayer base and consumer pool. Decades of Protestant America's embrace of contraception, sterilization and abortion are now beginning to be felt in the economy because of the great demographic earthquake occurring — and Protestant, anti-Catholic American capitalists don't like it.
So it's funny when politically conservative anti-Catholic bigot Ann Coulter reveals her true colors on the occasion of a papal visit and says what the Pope is saying about immigration and climate change and so forth proves why the Founding Fathers didn't really want Catholics involved in the public square. Forget for a moment what Pope Francis is saying; that's not the point here right now. The point is that there are various sectors of society — this time it's political conservatives who really believe, deep down where it counts, that Catholics aren't really really good Americans.
The liberal progressives think the same thing, just for different reasons; they have the opposite worldview of conservatives. But each group, in their heart of hearts, secretly abhors Catholicism. This country has hated Catholicism since before the country was founded. It was illegal to be Catholic in 10 of the 13 original colonies, and in the remaining three, it was no picnic. Winning a war of independence and establishing a new country may have changed the law, but it did nothing to change the underlying attitude — that is, until, as Coulter so correctly puts it, American Catholics gave up their Roman Catholicism and started becoming more American Catholic — which, in a word, is Protestant.
Each end of the political spectrum has carefully cherry-picked what it can to use the Church to further its own selfish socio-economic goals, but only begrudgingly. The aspect of Catholicism that each political side chooses not to embrace, it despises.
Coulter is right, but for the wrong reason. And so is Rush Limbaugh and the whole rest of the "American Values"-first crowd. They buy into the nutty notion of separation of Church and State (stupid idea right out of the gate) — perhaps not on paper, perhaps not in a little-examined, blueprint form, but in practice, an absolute unmitigated disaster.
Popes and saints, holy men and women recognized this as they saw it developing over the past couple hundred years or so. It's a dumb idea, because what eventually develops is the state seizes control of morality, distorts it, and then imposes its morality on the citizenry. Why do you think sodomites can now get married. And it won't end there.
American values are, at the end of the day, garbage, because they deny Truth — Catholic Truth — which is to say, divinely revealed Truth. They place man's rights above the divinely established order. They enshrine man's dimmed intellect as the final arbiter of what is right and wrong. Man is made the Supreme Being over and against the actual Supreme Being. And it doesn't matter if the American values being promoted are coming from the left or from the right. At the end of the day, they each clash with Catholic Truth, because they each have their own vision of man which flies in the face of God's vision of man.
Faithful Catholics have long recognized this reality when they look at the political left, but they have been slow to recognize it when they look at the political right. People like Coulter, Limbaugh, Megyn Kelly on FOX News, as well as GOP political giants and establishment types, are no friends to faithful Catholics; it's just that they have looked better in comparison to political lefties. But make no mistake — they largely support contraception, or continued funding for Planned Parenthood, or sodomite "marriage," or that coy political bait-and-switch of allowing the "states" to decide.
Individual states can't decide morality any more than the federal government can. God determines morality; the Catholic Church proclaims His judgment. And for the record: only the Catholic Church reliably and authentically is correct every single time. That's because only the Catholic Church is divinely protected, because it is the only One True Faith. Every other religion is deficient and therefore false to some and varying degrees in their teachings.
We should be despised, my fellow Catholics. We should be suspect in the eyes of our countrymen. We should be viewed as subversives, because faithful Catholics are subversives. America is not the "land of God." This is not God's Manifest Destiny for humanity. And that is true of whichever version of America is being trotted out — the left's or the right's.
The Catholic Church is the will of God, and let every man, woman and child on the face of the earth come into it. Those were his last words to His Apostles: Baptize all nations. These varying governmental arrangements — be they empires, or republics, or nations, or democracies, or monarchies, or whatever — each in their time pass away.
Only the Church remains.
So Coulter has correctly identified something, brought about by discussion about the Pope in America. But she has identified it and said it out of malice. She, just like many others, wants the Church to be less Catholic. The only thing left is for you to choose how you will respond: more Catholic and less American, or more American and less Catholic.
Your eternal destiny hangs in the balance.