CULTURE WAR READY TO EXPLODE
Catalyst December Issue 2008, From The President's Desk
William A. Donohue
We have been in the throes of a culture war for the past half-century, but never has it been more imperative to buckle your seat belts until now. Quite frankly, the culture war is about to explode.
The culture war pits traditionalists against modernists. To be more specific, it pits those who ascribe to the timeless values that inhere in faith, family and country against those who reject faith and family—traditionally understood—and who equate patriotism with jingoism.
Who are these people who comprise the ranks of the modernists? They are people so thoroughly secularist that they literally loathe religion. They are people who think that anyone who supports marriage as an institution exclusively designed for one man and one woman is a bigot. And they are people who think that the U.S. government is the cause of American bashing around the world.
Where do we find such persons? Many work in Hollywood, the media, the universities, the arts and in the non-profit sectors of the economy. They are fundamentally unhappy with themselves, God, nature, the U.S. and Western civilization. And that is why many hate the Catholic Church: It is a traditionalist institution that not only embraces God and nature, it is responsible for making Western civilization the greatest civilization in the history of the world.
We’re in for it. Why? Because the modernists feel emboldened after the November election. Please don’t misunderstand me—I am not blaming Barack Obama for all of what is about to happen. I am blaming many of those in the occupations I cited who see in his victory a golden opportunity to wage war on traditionalists. They are already revving it up; just wait until they kick it into high gear.
The modernists will be paying close attention to what Obama does in his very first days in office. If he does what he has pledged to do—push for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA)—then that will prove to be pivotal in the culture war. We won’t have to wait long on whether his promise to Planned Parenthood will be realized, and that is because two days after he is sworn in, it will be the 36th anniversary of the infamousRoe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
In 1993, two days after he was sworn in as president, Bill Clinton rapped pro-lifers in the face when he overturned every Executive Order limiting abortion. Will Obama choose the day pro-lifers assemble in Washington for the Right to Life March to stick it to them? If he affirms his support for FOCA, that will prove to be incendiary.
FOCA is not just another pro-abortion piece of legislation. It is the most radical, comprehensive pro-abortion bill in the history of the United States. No nation in Europe has anything like it. If passed by the Congress, and signed by Obama, it would effectively nullify every state restriction on abortion. That means that all parental consent laws would go by the wayside. It means that partial-birth abortion would be legal again. It even means that Catholic hospitals and Catholic doctors may lose their right not to perform abortions.
The Office of the General Counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared an analysis of FOCA that is as accurate as it is scary. Among the many provisions it is likely to invalidate are “laws protecting the conscience rights of doctors, nurses and hospitals, if those laws create even minimal delay or inconvenience in obtaining an abortion or treat abortion differently than other medical procedures.”
In other words, if FOCA were ever to become law, not only will the rights of the unborn be stripped for all time, the rights of the born who defend them will be stripped as well. Sadly, because the abortion rate among black girls is so high, it means that America’s first African American president will preside over an increase in the death of black babies.
If Obama touts FOCA on January 22, it will spark not simply the pro-abortion industry, it will ignite all the modernists who have a real problem with faith, family and country, traditionally understood. With no one left to demonize in Washington, radical secularists will take after the Catholic Church and every other traditionalist institution. Look for them to target any religion that doesn’t ascribe to its modernist interpretation of discrimination, all with an eye towards gutting its tax exempt status.
Much of the action will take place outside the beltway, in local communities across the nation. There will be culture war battles on a myriad of fronts. Fortunately, it will bring traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants, Muslims, Mormons and Orthodox Jews closer together. We should not be reluctant to form coalitions across faith lines.
So buckle your seat belts. The polarization that has marked the culture war thus far is about to worsen. At stake is the very moral foundation this country was built on, and the values and social institutions it reflects. As you might expect, we will not walk away from this fight. We will not sit on the sidelines—we will be gladiators, not spectators.