Romney’s Really Weird Catholic Problem

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There are group of nuns who are really really really ticked with Mitt Romney.  Democrats for Sale hits the story, quite well.  It exemplifies the problem Mitt Romney has, his apparent arrogance and his abject lack of concern for those who are not of his social class.

“…The letter is signed by NETWORK’s executive director, Sister Simone Campbell, who told ThinkProgress this week that Romney “doesn’t have a clue” about the situation facing America’s poorest citizens or the effect his policies would have on them. “He thinks they’re lazy,” Campbell said Wednesday. “It is hard work to keep things together when you’re poor. He doesn’t have a clue. Let him talk to them, and maybe they’ll touch his heart. And his mind too.”…

When you add to this mix, Paul Ryan, well…Mitt Romney has this really weird Catholic problem, and no, The Pink Flamingo is not just talking about Paul Ryan who has one foot on a banana peel and the other on the slippery slope to being in deep you know what with Cardinal Dolan.

Heck, The Pink Flamingo is an Episcopalian, but I sure wouldn’t want to be called down by someone like Cardinal Dolan for not caring enough for the poor.  After all, Christ did teach that when we do it to the very least, we do for him.  Sure, Rand taught that we should screw the least in order to enrich ourselves, but somehow I suspect that she is very much in need of a nice cold drink, where she is spending eternity.  After all, when your life is the inspiration for the Book of Satan, I just don’t see much positive proof that she went elsewhere.

Somos Republicans

Remember William F. Buckley?  He was a good Catholic.  Then again, Buckley was just a little bit wise when it came to spending and budget cuts.  Not abjectly foolish like the Ryan plan.  In fact, the Ryan Plan is so bad, it could cost the GOP House and Senate seats.

“…Consider Ryan in view of the legacy of William F. Buckley, who is generally considered the founder of the modern conservative movement. Buckley felt that perhaps his greatest achievement was to have repulsed the two principal extremist threats to the movement in the 1960s: the John Birch Society and the “Objectivists” centered around the writer Ayn Rand. As various commentators have pointed out, the Tea Party has revived and re-popularized the Birch Society’s outlandish views, and no Republican leader has attempted to refute them. Now that the party’s vice-presidential candidate is the most prominent Rand-influenced politician in the land—Ryan said in 2005 that Rand was “the reason I got involved in public service”—the other half of Buckley’s achievement has come undone.

It’s true that in the past few years, Ryan has distanced himself from Rand’s philosophy and particularly her atheism, which was Buckley’s principal objection to Objectivism. But Buckley also criticized the materialism, elitism, and scorn for altruism that were essential components of Rand’s philosophy. Rand’s belief that self-interest is the paramount aspect of capitalism, according to Buckley, risked “giving capitalism that bad name its enemies have done so well in giving it.” Ryan, on the other hand, said as recently as 2009 that “Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism.”

Whatever Ryan’s true beliefs, his budget is strikingly compatible with the Randian view that government should do little besides keep the peace and give capitalism a free hand. In a sense, it represents the end point of a process in which Republican and conservative leaders have been reduced to increasingly feeble defenses of government’s purpose in response to ever more radical critiques from the right-wing media and grassroots. The Ryan budget is a repudiation of Hamiltonian conservatism, Eisenhower-style fiscal conservatism, George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” and even Ronald Reagan’s conviction that “Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.”…”

Okay, I digressed a little.  Is it entirely possible that the only reason Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan is because he is Catholic.  There are numerous reasons The Pink Flamingo thinks this might indeed be the case.  If it is, it shows just how out of touch Romney actually is.

Politico

Did Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to counter Joe Biden?

The Daily Beast

So, here’s the thing.  Jeffrey Weiss puts it quite well.

“...Ryan has set himself up as a distinctively Catholic candidate who is making a major effort to ensure that his policy decisions are in accord with the will of the Almighty as explained by the teachings of his Church. That’s a high bar to set and, to Ryan’s credit, he has not shrunk away from answering specific questions about how he sees that happening.

(Perhaps he should suggest to the fellow at the top of the ticket that it might be a good idea for Romney to do likewise and explain how his faith informs his governance. If he’d like some suggestions for questions to answer, I can toss out some possibilities.)

But a “faithful Catholic” is also supposed to follow the guidance of the Bishops. In the Catholic hierarchy, unless the Pope or the Vatican speaking in the Pope’s name has weighed in, the Bishops are the designated authentic explainers of the official line.

If Ryan had remained just one of a bunch of conservative legislators, the Bishops might well have been happy to let their statements stand for a while. But as the putative GOP vice presidential candidate, Ryan’s positions will get much more attention and will hold, at least for the next few months, much much more influence in the Republican party.

So if Ryan claims to be speaking in the name of his Church and the Bishops continue to have sharp and specific disagreements with much of what Ryan is saying, aren’t the Bishops morally and theologically obligated to shoot Ryan down again? And with greater specificity?

But would that force the Bishops to get far more involved in partisan politics that most of their members have any interest in doing?…”

The Pink Flaming has discussed, at great detail the fact that Paul Ryan is attempting to serve two masters, Rand, and maybe God.  That is his problem.  I am more interested in Mitt Romney’s apparent inability to understand what the Catholic faith is.  His absolute disaster with the insulting JPII ad, shows how woefully ill informed he really is.

There are six great religions of the world:  Christian, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Islam.  Of these six great religions, Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination.  Evidently Romney thinks that just choosing a running mate who is Catholic will salve things over, and require Catholics, who are apparently at odds with Obamacare, to vote for him in droves.

In doing so, one of Romney’s greatest problems is revealed.  He is so lacking in judgement, understanding, wisdom, and comprehension of the world around him, that he is one of the most uniquely unqualified individuals to run for POTUS in The Pink Flamingo’s lifetime.  His debacle in Europe and Israel showed just how abjectly ignorant the man is.  He cannot relate to anything around him.  He is strangely incapable of doing so.

The blue whale in the fish tank is his religion.  When you put Mormonism up against the six great religions of the world, it simply cannot even compete.  The Pink Flamingo is not saying this out of bias against his faith, but from a historical standpoint.  It is not even 200 years old, yet.  It is not even a denominational off-shoot of the Christian faith.  It is not Christian.  It is a completely new religion, unique.

When we make judgements about something, the normal puts their world view into that judgement.  I honestly think, when Romney made that deplorable “Be Not Afraid” ad, he was planning to manipulate an endorsement by Lech Walesa into something it wasn’t.

The only thing I can now think of is the fact that Romney manipulated Walesa’s faith splicing in shots of one of the truly great men in history, John Paul II, as an “endorsement” by JPII.  I think he believed Catholics were so cultish, that, like something he would have done, they would automatically follow JPII who allegedly has, posthumously endorsed Mitt Romney.  After all, someone stepped in and saved Karol Jozef Wojyla’s soul for eternity, by having him baptized and sealed in several services.

Famous Dead Mormons

As an Episcopalian, I rather resent the fact that they have also baptized C. S. Lewis.  They are in good company.  Also “sealed” for eternity are St. Joan, William Tyndale, St. Francis, Thomas Aquinas, John Wesley, and Martin Luther.  Butch and Sundance, King Arthur, Pocahontas, John Birch, Vlad the Impaler, Atilla the Hun, and Sitting Bull are also part of the club.  So is Elvis.

All of this is an indication that there is absolutely no respect for other religions.  There is none. You don’t “baptize” men and women who are leaders of other religions and have any respect or understand of who they were or what they believed.

There, I’ve said it.  From this moment on I will be labeled as a religious bigot and anti-Mormon hater.  Nothing is farther from the actual fact.  The Pink Flamingo is simply stating the obvious.  It is not Mormon bashing to state that any religion who takes it upon themselves to posthumously change the faith of someone is arrogant to the very core.  Granted, when called to task after the “baptisms” of Ann Frank and victims of the Holocaust, the process has been stopped, even if there are stories that it still continues.

It is about respect.  It is about understanding how other religions work.  It is about not imposing what you believe on someone who cannot tell you to knock it off.   In fact, I’ve been piddling around and discovered this.  Right now, I’m pissed.  This is my 7th great-grandmother.  Who ever did this had no right to do what they did.

Family Tree Maker

Yesterday evening, The Pink Flamingo was reading a fascinating book about the serious problems being caused by extreme Reformed Calvinism. A quote paragraph stood out, just blinking on and off.

Against Calvinism: Rescuing God’s Reputation from Radical Reformed Theology

Having worked with a group of girls for about seven years, I know how true this is. It doesn’t matter what the religion or church, they aren’t being taught what they need to know, not just to be young men and women of faith, future leaders, but educated men and women.  It’s sad.

According to everything I’ve read from ex-Mormons, their young people are kept in the dark about many aspects of their religion.  Since 1995, over 1.5 million people have left the Mormon church.  In many ways, it is almost a dying religion, coming to grips with the fact that, once people begin studying about it, they have a tendency to leave their church.  Consequently, The Book of Mormon is constantly being revised.

I suspect, because Mitt Romney is so absorbed in his authoritarian faith, so unlearned about other religions, he simply assumes that, like he would do, Catholics would simply view an image of John Paul II, and an endorsement from someone who knew him, as divinely inspired, from on high.

I use the word “his” because Romney is very highly ranked within his church.  He has been in a position of authority over many of his flock, as a bishop, not because of theological education, but because of the rise to power within his church.  There is nothing wrong with this, BUT, it has apparently left him quite ignorant about the way of the world.  I am quite convinced that several members of his faith, whom I know, are far more qualified to discuss theology and the way of churches.  They know more.

People I’ve met, know, and have been friends with, have a far greater connection to the world, religion, and their own place in this world than a man who is running for the most powerful office in the world. Many of the people I have known have not been born into Mormonism, but joined the church later in life.  They bring with it their experiences and knowledge of other religions.

This is a man who is so arrogant, so authoritarian, that his word alone, as a bishop, could ruin a person’s life.  Make no mistake, there have been, and still are authoritarian figures within the Catholic church, Anglican, Methodist, etc. who are just as cruel and destructive.  But – Mitt Romney comes from a world where one follows orders, never questions, and never deviates from the program.  The Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian experience is made richer by questioning authority.

The Christian faith is one where we bitch, complain, cry, pout, disclaim, grow, fail, backslide, advance, moan, ignore, thumb our nose at, and then bounce back.  It is the very process of questioning and complaining, of losing our faith, that makes it so great.  The greatest writings, revelations, expressions of faith and joy have come from those who have lost their faith, and have returned. We understand the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. We also understand that the Holy Father, like all of us is human.  It is not a business arrangement.  It is not political.  It is spiritual.

We are allowed more than the King James Version.  We can compare texts.  We can search, delve, and explore.  Contrary to what the idiotic writings of Dee Brown might claim, nothing about our faith is hidden from anyone.  There are no hidden rituals.  Everything is transparent.  Our young people are not required to be up at the crack of dawn for an hour of study.  (It might not hurt).  In order to grown and advance in our faith, it’s not shoe-leather and mission service, but actual scholarship and learning.  Twelve year old boys are not put in positions of authority. They’re twelve year old children, nothing more, nothing less.

When I was a kid, we spent a tremendous amount of time way up in the Blue Ridge Mountains so far back, that the community was almost lost in time, no phone, one television station, and maybe three radio stations.  That was it. Sunday morning attendance at a little Baptist church was mandatory.  Because it was so far away from anything, and so poor, the congregation took what they could get.  It was usually some kid, right out of high school who “had the call”. They were ignorant, unlearned, under educated, and sorely lacking in much of anything save a love of Christ and a willingness to “preach”.  I did not enjoy it.  I contrast it to the way the Episcopal church did things.  In 1882, Endicott Peabody, a divinity student, spent about 6 months building St.Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tombstone.  He was well aware his limitations.  But, he brought to his position, four years of college, an English prep education, and someone who was very well read.

This is what is bothering me about Mitt Romney and his clumsy and insulting attempts to pander to Catholics. Either he is so ignorant, he thinks that the Catholic Church is like his own, or he is so arrogant he doesn’t give a damn.  Either way, his actions prove he is not capable of being the President of the United States of America.

I think I prefer Jeremiah Wright.

Everyone is so quick to defend Mitt Romney against alleged Mormon “bashing” that they fail to defend the Catholic Church, that he is insulting on an almost daily basis.

 

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