Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Hypocrisy of Right-Wing Radical Catholics

The recent flap over President Obama's appearance at Notre Dame's commencement again exposes the Catholic ultra-right for what it is--hypocritical, self-righteous, and narrow-minded.
Anti-abortionists showed up red-faced, hell-bent and furious in South Bend over the weekend to protest Obama's visit to that Catholic "sanctuary" Notre Dame. Actually, there were fewer protestors than you might think (the rabid few gave TV cameras their Jerry Springer moment), and Notre Dame (no longer a football factory due to recent losing seasons) accepts students of all faiths, backgrounds, and nationalities. Polls show a large portion of the student body backs Obama and accepts pro-choice dogma. So it was a bunch of lunatic outsiders who invaded South Bend to howl their one-issue message to the world.

Why are these people hypocrites? Because they never protest the war in Iraq, and authentic church dogma is as much anti-war as it is anti-abortion. I respect those Catholics who oppose war as well as abortion; at least, they are consistent. But those who line up on the political right, for one reason and one reason only, to oppose a woman's right to choose, do so with full knowledge that they are endorsing other political policies that fly in the face of the teachings of the Church. Apparently, they do this without the slightest flicker of conscience. For instance, Catholics who supported Bush because of his anti-abortion stance also supported, by proxy, his unholy war, his immoral torture of detainees, his defense contractors' blood profits, his eroding of civil liberties, and his anti-human positions on right-to-privacy and health care issues. These conscienceless Catholics never objected to the Bush atrocities on these fronts...only on abortion. To die on the battlefield, in prison, or because you can't pay for health care is just too bad, but perfectly okay, I guess. Think about it...that means they ascribe to this crazy logic: the end of life matters only before it begins, not after it begins. It must be quite comforting to be a white, suburban, Republican Catholic oblivious to social concerns other than abortion.

Truthfully, anti-abortion hypocrites take their cues from an out-of-touch, hopelessly isolated Roman hierarchy led by a man who once took his place in the ranks of the Hitler youth brigade. Come to think of it, if Hitler were still alive and were an anti-abortion candidate, the Catholic right would swarm to the polls to pull the lever for old Adolf.


Jack Jodell said...

Tim, you hit the nail squarely on the head with this post! It is inconceivable to me how ANY Catholic, or ANY fair-minded opponent of abortion regardless of their faith, could support modern-day conservative candidates solely on the grounds of that candidate being anti-abortion. For these conservatives despise the poor and only help the wealthy cut their throats with pro-corporate, anti-labor policies, and a deliberate terribly regressive taxation program. There are far better methods of coping with or preventing abortion than by cutting your own throat. These people are not only hypocrites, but absolute fools as well.

Tim Fleming said...


They ARE fools...but the damnedest thing is, I don't think they realize...or care! Hey, look, I was raised Catholic and was educated at a Catholic grade school and a Jesuit high school, so I am criticizing that which formed me. It used to be that rejection of official Church dogma was quietly accepted; the Jesuits even encouraged it and ridiculed anti-humanist, right-wing know-nothings. But the church in the last 20-25 years has taken a turn to the hard right, and has, to use your expression, cut its own throat by driving away millions like me. Again, I respect the anti-abortion position, but not when it is lumped together with all the other right-wing sludge. And, goddamn it, the Church must stay out of politics!

Jack Jodell said...

You're speaking my language exactly, brother! I, too, went to 8 years of Catholic grade school, but we couldn't afford to send me to Catholic high school. It wasn't a big deal, because by then I had had my fill of institutionalized Catholic education. I saw many double standards being practiced within, and I truly believe many of the nuns and even priests were not up to the job of dealing with kids. But concerning the abortion question: I HATE abortion and view it as the most irresponsible action a person can take, if taken for reasons of pride, convenience, or economics, as many are. BUT---it is a legal right a woman has and I also don't believe the Church has any business telling people who to vote for, as some do. Abortion IS a woman's choice and should be between herself and God, not for the state to decide. I know a number of former Democrats, some of whom are in my extended family, who vote Republican only because of the abortion issue. It disgusts me no end to see them putting in power greedy, corrupt people who have absolutely no regard for the poor and who glorify the death penalty and profit from war. Jesus Himself told us dozens of times to take care of the poor, but He NEVER said even once to make the wealthy wealthier or to kill people of other faiths. So I guess you and I fall into the same category of people who respond warmly to Catholicism's social justice side while rejecting its bureaucratic, institutional far-right conservative apparatus.

Tim Fleming said...

It just kills me that right-wing Catholics seem to be so unaware of what Scripture really says. Jesus was a long-haired, destitute, sandal-wearing revolutionary who challenged the hypocrisies and power of the Roman establishment...and who told us we are our brother's keepers, to love the least among us, and the rich will sooner pass through the eye of a needle than reach His Kingdom. Apparently, right-wing Cathlics are oblivious to this. I guess they think of Jesus as a big white CEO in the sky, a Reagan supply-sider who loves bombing brown people and profiting immensely from it.

I once got into a fascinating discussion with a psychologist friend of mine who had an interesting theory about right-wing males (right-wing females are another matter). She posits that they grew up in homes where the father was an autocrat, a tyrant who ruled with an iron fist (physical, mental, or emotional abuse is often involved). These were unloving homes where only power mattered. The child sees himself as trapped, with nothing to do but try to please the father. When the child grows up, he becomes like the father, sort of a tyrant himself who seeks to control others and reign over others as he himself was reigned over. It is all he knows. These people view religion as nothing more than power too. God is a great white master of the universe who holds the ultimate power of eternal life or damnation over them. So they worship out of fear, fear of a punitive, all-powerful tyrant. Love and concern for fellow man has nothing to do with it. It is about survival, and it is very self-centered. The child reared by a tyrant becomes a right-wing man without developing empathy for others, an ability to love, or a sense of moral/ethical right and wrong. Power and who holds it are all that matters. I know this is an oversimplification, but I think her theory has merit.

Jack Jodell said...

I would agree that her theory has merit, and Michael Lerner's magnificent book "The Left Hand of God" seems to reinforce that too.

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Grant Lawrence said...

Tim this is Grant Lawrence. I tried to email you but it wouldn't come up.

Would you be interested in coming on for an hour and talk about your book and your views on JFK, CIA, and other possible mysterious stuff.

I would like to have you as a guest with Judy Lopez and myself for about an hour over the next few weeks maybe at 9pm Est on Thurs next week or after. It would be great having you. We can promote your book and site as well.
We are hoping to moving the show to public radio and you would be a great resource for the show.
If you go to my site you can go to the widget and listen to past shows including an interview with myself.

or you can go to

Judy is a real nice woman and we could focus on whatever topics you would like. It would be tasteful, professional, and enjoyable. She has done a lot of work on Native issues and that is how we came to know each other.


My name is Judy Lopez, the producer and host for Blog talk's DreamCatcher Entertainment. This is a special invitation extended to you to be a featured guest on our Internet based radio show.

I would be honored to have you on my show we will discuss your bio, you music and about 10-12 questions you create. By creating your own questions this allows our listeners to know as little or as much of you as your willing to share. Our shows get a lot of wonderful exposure due to networking internationally.

Blog Talk Radio is a social talk-radio network that host thousands of shows across all topics, including politics, sports, books, business, entertainment, health, paranormal, comedy, and spirituality. Since the company's 2006 launch, over 73,000 shows have streamed from Blog Talk Radio. The Blog Talk Radio network attracts over 2.6 million listeners each month.

If you are interested please email me your bio, your music 2 mp3 version as well as your questions to Archives of my show are found on my profile page along with a call-in number and text chat room.

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Judy Lopez, Host/Producer
DreamCatcher Entertainment

et Judy because she is active in Nati

Grant Lawrence said...

My email is Please email me. Grant Lawrence

Tim Fleming said...

Grant and Judy--

Sorry I did not respon sooner. My wife and I just returned from a working vacation on Cape Cod. I'd be glad to be a guest on your show. I will also e-mail you for verification.