By Jim Beers
It is exceedingly difficult to write about government and political-related matters these days. I realized this last summer during the heat of the Presidential campaign and as a consequence discarded more attempts at writing than I ever had before. The difficulty I speak of lies in overcoming the biased mindset that we all have in order to make a point worth considering. The problem is how to present aspects of gun control or animal rights or environmental extremism without the reader immediately assuming that you are simply pro-Democrat, anti-Republican, an Obama-hater, or a "McCainiac". Once the reader assumes a "bias" he either does not read it or he dismisses it as rhetorical propaganda.
I had expected that this difficulty would diminish with the election of the new President only to discover that it is more intense than before. The dramatic changes in policies, the clear agendas of the Presidential appointees, the broken election promises, the unchallenged control of the Congress by supporters of radical "change", and the freely expressed contempt both at home and abroad by the President for the "opposition" have become a fearsome steamroller aimed at transforming America into a "no-Constitution" oligarchy somewhat on the order of the Democrat-"machine" politics that have ruled most American large cities for decades. How can one write about the environment or gun control or animal rights in the midst of such radical "change"? Who will listen as we have legislative proposals to enable unfettered union organizing or as we spend Trillions and Trillions of dollars that we do not have to "force" banks and businesses of all stripes to submit to government takeovers and management? As we cope with charges of "Socialism" and "Fascism", as accusations fly everywhere about being subsumed into a "world government", and the dangers of nuclear disarmament and diminished security in a dangerous world seem to loom large; who can listen to any argument without saying the author is either "for us" or "against us" and thus failing to grasp what has been written?
If you are someone that lives in rural America, owns pets, owns livestock, hunts, fishes, traps, wears fur, logs, farms, ranches, derives any benefit from rural America, enjoys rodeos, enjoys circuses, has a family tradition like game fowl, depends on revenue from natural resources, enjoys bird watching, enjoys camping, uses public lands, uses natural resources like mushrooms, owns a gun, trains or uses animals, eats meat, thinks "foresters" know how to "manage" forests anymore or "wildlife biologists" know how to manage "wildlife" anymore, wants to one day have commercial fisheries "restored", owns a pickup truck or SUV, wants inexpensive power, wants inexpensive fuel, wants an economically strong country, wants to preserve the government mandated in the US Constitution, agrees with the principles laid out in The Declaration of Independence: the following lesson is meant for you.
No matter what your religious beliefs or lack thereof, there is a lesson to be learned from the behavior of Catholics in the United States in recent years. I ask that you suspend not only your political inclinations but also any religious inclinations (no problem I am sure) as you read what follows.
One would assume that religious belief would be more important than many of the jobs, pastimes, and lifestyle categories mentioned above. I am using the Catholic example here because I am Catholic and therefore somewhat more familiar with this model. Reportedly the President and the Congress received about 55% of the Catholic vote in the past election. You do not have to be Catholic to know that there is perhaps no greater challenge to Catholic moral teachings than the practice of abortion and other practices that take a human life from embryos to the disabled to the aged. So what did 55% of Catholic voters get for their vote?
- Renewed US government funding for foreign abortions.
- Renewed US government funding for abortions in the US and embryonic destruction for stem cells.
- Proposed elimination of any objection by any hospitals, doctors, or health workers to perform abortions under pain of loss of any license or government support (in other words shutting down Catholic hospitals and eliminating practicing Catholics from any medical service occupation).
- Proposed national health care (like Europe) where health care can be denied because of age, physical condition, lifestyle, cost, or simply any government-designated whim (thereby making "Life" and its maintenance a governmental dispensation as opposed an "unalienable Right", "endowed by their Creator" as declared in The Declaration of Independence").
- A White House, federal agencies, and Congress stuffed with lobbyists and advocates with long histories of working for increased government discretionary control of human Life at all stages from abortion to "mercy" killing of those determined to not have a "quality of life".
- Pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians like Daschle and Sebelius to oversee the destruction of Catholic hospitals, doctors and health workers while establishing regulations that make human life conditions a government determination like Invasive Species or allowable carbon emissions. - "Catholic" political leaders like Pelosi, Biden, and Kennedy that encourage Catholics to have abortions both by their legislation and by their example even to the absurd levels of Biden and Pelosi lecturing about when Life "begins" or how poor children "cost a lot".
- A President that expresses contempt for those that "cling to religion" and does not "want my daughters punished with a baby".
I submit that if successful and if this sort of government control persists, American Catholicism will either: A.) disappear, or B.) eventually become an unrecognizable state-run religion like the "Chinese Catholic" Church or one of those "Russian" or European National Churches wherein clergy are first approved by political leaders and then instructed what to teach and what not to say. And the lesson is?
If the US government is doing this to the Catholic Church why would 55% of Catholics vote for it? If it is because "other things" are more important than an un-debatable religious belief, what chance does the gun owner or pet owner or trapper have? Many Catholics justify their vote by claiming that they support "social justice" (i.e. help for the poor by government-coerced redistribution of wealth) and "peace" (in spite of any demonstrated threat to American society). This sort of vote-justification by Catholics parallels the desire for "universal health care", "tax-the-rich", and government control of "Rights" (speech, press, secret ballot, religion, bear arms, etc.) often heard from those justifying their candidate's election and subsequent elimination of their own rights. Whether due to a lack of a viable opposition candidate or because of increasing urban voters or because of financial support by minorities, unions, etc. in return for specific favors, the fact is that many people that I listed above voted for the very politicians that will take away their guns, animals, freedoms, and rights. If a supposedly "unified" (in belief) religious group can vote (55%) for its own destruction, what hope is there for the dog owner that wants "peace" at any cost or the gun owner that wants government-sanctioned union coercion? If religious conviction has become so insignificant to each of us, how can we hope to protect things like the right to hunt or eat meat?
Catholics face very determined political opponents like women's organizations, same-sex organizations, the abortion industry, certain "scientists", and sex "education" advocates just like the rural people, animal owners, and others mentioned above face very determined opponents from gun "controllers" and urban political "machines" to PETA and the Wilderness Society. These groups are increasingly in evidence in influential federal roles from former Treasury Secretary Paulson under Bush to the gun control/animal rights/environmental extremists throughout the current federal government. They are clearly committed to doing whatever it takes to do to you what is being done to the Catholic Church already (in less than three months). What will things look like in another year and 9 months (before the next Congressional election) of such unopposed government rule? What of the next 3 years and 9 months (before the next Presidential election) under such a radical Administration in control of the federal bureaucracy? What about the precedents being established? What of the Constitution or our Rights? What is "more important" than our freedom or our Rights that government might grant us in return? The answer is, of course, nothing.
Ben Franklin foresaw this phenomenon of voting for your own destruction over 200 years ago. He made it a "Teachable Moment" when he observed, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Evidently, at this time, a majority of voters have shown themselves to deserve neither. The only question remains, will we survive the lesson?
Jim Beers 7 April 2009
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