By now most faithful Catholics (as in “faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church”) know someone who admits that they voted for Obama, but wish they could push cosmic reset button and unvote their temporary insanity. Alas.
No poll will appear that asks voters who pulled the lever for Obama if they would do so today. No matter. We know from anecdotal confessions on blogs, webpages and even national talking head voyeurs that significant numbers of voters would rescind their votes were it possible to do so. The fracas at Notre Dame affords us a view from the wrong end of the telescope. It is worse than any hesitant lever-puller imagined. The shock some feel is near laughable–could they truly–truly?– not have known.
Among us, wherever go, there are well meaning Catholics who had supposed that matters such as a “living wage,” universal health care, hatred of the war in Iraq and “hope” were cause enough to overlook the one other matter–abortion–that burdened their deliberations in 2008. Some can be forgiven their myopic angle of view since so many US Catholics lack any schooling in basic theology.
Greater anguish resides in those who knew. And knew that they knew. Recently an acquaintance remarked that he could not douse his smoldering anger at Obama for a “breech of trust.” This man is an attorney who attends mass faithfully with his family in tow. He is a self described “happy papist.” Not so happy at the moment. His idea was that Obama implied that he would proceed in an open, civil manner that permitted Catholics who disagreed with his principles to trust his good will.
I am not certain that the opposite might better serve us–that is, to vote for principle and never mind the good will. Here I take good will to be less about goodness than good form. Obama seduced many with his polished good form. However empty of any substance that can objectively be described as “good”, candidate Obama excelled at good form, good style, good packaging. But now that the package has been opened the truth is impossible to escape. And the truth is not about Obama who hid nothing from us.
No, the truth is about flaccid Catholics who heard what they wanted to hear and shut out all else in a flimsy hope (that word again!) that somehow it would work out.
Catholics made the election of a hardened abortion proponent possible. Without a majority of the Catholic Vote this national nightmare could not have happened.
The one hope, perhaps, is that we have here a teachable moment. Every Catholic who now regrets his November insanity is open to our voice of faith –faith not in one man’s promises however smoothly delivered–faith in the enduring ever new ever eternal voice of the Church who calls us back from the precipice.