Barack Obama has now REALLY stepped in it. In Northern Ireland, of all places, he called Catholic education “divisive institutions that hinder peace.” To make this point, BO even called for the end of Catholic Education.
From twelve years of personal experience, I can definitively say that Catholic education is, and is not, a lot of things. It is heavy on manners and discipline (at least at school) English, literature, math, team sports, and some history. It’s not so heavy on actual Church teaching, macro-economics and government abuse vigilance. (That’s the sort of thing many of us learned later. The guys passed on personal finances without a dedicated class despite the Jesuits and Marianists. We girls…home ec is no longer part of the curriculum.)
Never – and I mean never – was anything other than peace and peaceful solutions to conflict taught to us. Not the day the most conservative priest I’ve ever known tried to explain why dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran was wrong to a bunch on 10 year olds, not when Ronald Reagan was carrying that big stick and talking Gorbachev, and not when the Cold War – or any other war came up in morality discussions. And not when Sr. Peter took two boys who were fighting to the principal’s office holding nothing but their ears.
Peace, albeit with the St. Thomas Aquinas theory of the just war thrown in, was always tantamount. (For those of us who were children of the defense industry, it could be hard to hear, even if serving in the military is considered to be very honorable in the Church.)
As Barack Obama was not subjected to the Religious Sisters of Mercy, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Convent of St. Joseph and any number of other teaching orders, he may not be aware of this. In fact, he may not even know that we are called on as Catholics to avoid conflict and division by dying unto self or giving up what we want for the good of the Church, family or work. Never compromise on morality or principle, but at the the same time, we are to promote peace while surrendering to God’s will for us.
It’s not an easy task. Trust me on this one. (I’m still trying to figure out what’s God’s will is for me.)
We were also taught – as we still are at Mass every Sunday – to seek God and truth in everything we do (which is why the disgrace of Nancy Pelosi is so galling). That includes not just learning the truth about what the Bible says, but how Islam teaches its adherents to “drink the blood of the enemy” among other religious atrocities. (See Mark Steyn’s Acceptance, Silence, and Submission for more on his take.)
And, of course, as the Bible says, we are taught to love our enemies. Our current shepherd, Pope Francis, has been on a kick reminding us of this in the last week. In one notable address His Holiness acknowledged that it is hard loving our enemies.
He’s very correct.
Barack Obama – and everything he stands for – is the enemy of revealed religion (other than Islam, which is proving to be incredibly destructive), true education, knowledge, morality, freedom, liberty – TRUTH. If it’s needed for civilization to succeed, Obama has demonstrated his animosity.
And yet, we who went through Catholic education – which he claims to be divisive – were taught we have to love him despite his hatred for us and our educational institutions.
(That does not mean that we have to LIKE what he does and says, believe it or not. We just have to love him.)
(And pray for him,of course.)
Mr. Obama needs to remember one thing if his hubris will allow it: Catholics have been called much worse and hated for a couple millennia (that’s 2,000 years, BO) by much more impressive men (and women, for that matter). Our educational institutions were formed to teach us to be men and women for others a long time ago.* Some of them have been infected with modernism and the spirit of compromise, but all STILL collect change for the missions, collect clothes and canned goods for the poor, and have students willing to challenge the authorities when administrations try to bend too far to accommodate those who are “offended.” (You’re at a Catholic institution. Expect there there to be Crucifixes on the walls.)
Obama also needs to remember, it’s been worse for Catholics in the past, and, by extension, a lot of other branches of Christianity, and somehow we always seem to survive. It’s not always pretty and there’s usually a whole lot of martyrs in the wake of whatever happens, but we survive.
What makes him think this little offensive he’s launched will be any different?
p.s. The Second Annual Fortnight of Freedom – two straight weeks of prayer and fasting before the Fourth of July – begins THIS FRIDAY, June 21. All are invited to join us in praying for religious liberty in the United States and the world.
*By modernizing in many ways, some of the teaching orders have done themselves in, but other orders are growing and will eventually take their place. No worries. All things are possible with God.