Granted, a talking head tells us that the Archbishop has been working on her:
“The governor appreciates her ongoing counsel with the archbishop, and we believe this is a matter best left to the privacy of their discussions,” said Nicole Corcoran, a Sebelius spokeswoman.However, this isn't a private matter, is it? This isn't John Smith in Holton who's in a secret adulterous relationship. This isn't Mary Jones in Olathe who's quietly driving her daughter to Tiller's chop shop in Wichita to kill her granddaughter in utero. This is a public scandal. For years Sebelius has played the Catholic card and there has been no direct public reaction to correct her and to mitigate the scandal among the faithful. What's going on? Is she a Kennedy? Are we in Boston? With the big pass she's getting (and with all the church closings we're seeing), it must be that we're in Boston. Let's see some penal action, your Grace!
Anyways, this little archepiscopal chiding and call for prayers has gotten people riled up in Lawrence, which is, as you'll recall, William Quantrill's favorite spot for a rowdy road trip. For those of you who don't know, Lawrence, like Berkeley and Boulder, is a hopeless university town governed by an anti-meritocracy, where any boy or girl from western Kansas, who's too foolish, shortsighted, and impressionable to manage the Dollar General store in McPherson or Medicine Lodge (or any local who's too addled even to run the front counter at Yello Sub) can come and get elected to public office, or establish a law practice, or (if he's a cleric) get himself appointed pastor of a Catholic parish.
The story made Dolph Simons' paper the Lawrence Journal World (more affectionately know as the Urinal World among the Jayhawk undergrads). In it, we have Lawrence attorney Dan Watkins, an official idiot shill of the Democratic Party, jumping up to correct his ordinary (who, of course, lacks the theological and moral training that Danny must have picked in law school):
First of all, I've been to St. John the Evangelist, and, well, nevermind, I'll get to that later.
Dan Watkins, who attends St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence, said Catholics must practice a faithful citizenship, which encompasses a whole range of issues in addition to respect for life.
“The fact that a public official upholds what is the law of the land, even if their faith and personal belief tells them that that’s wrong, that shouldn’t disqualify them in the eyes of other Catholics,” said Watkins, a Lawrence lawyer and active Democrat.
Watkins said he had not read Naumann’s column but said that the governor agreeing to uphold the law differs from her advocating for abortion.
“It is a polarizing issue, and I think that people may not have looked carefully enough at what her position is,” he said.
Second of all, I can't believe those law-and-order Democrats in Lawrence! Isn't it the Douglas County Democratic Committee that organizes the weekly Honk for Hemp demonstration on Massachusetts Street? You know the "conservative" cause is lost, and it's time to hand the reins to the violent reactionaries like me when the liberals are calling for law and order. It's all about institutionalizing the revolution isn't it?
And third of all, Danny, this isn't even arguably about "upholding the law." Good grief, didn't you go to law school right after Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton? Didn't you read that case? It was fresh and new and hot back when you were in law school, wasn't it? Or were you too cheap to buy the post-1973 version of the textbook? Or did you cut class that day? The vetoed law isn't a direct challenge to the evil, unsupportable premise underlying Roe v. Wade and its progeny; it's a matter of state regulation of the abortion business. You're a Democrat, right? Democrats love regulation and bureaucracy and tying businesses up in red tape and paperwork, right?* Why don't you love this idea? It's good enough for the poor guys who are trying to build homes and stores and otherwise make a living in Lawrence, isn't it? Why isn't it good enough for Kathy's buddy George in Wichita?
And fourth of all, why shouldn't Sebelius's refusal to act in accordance with unambiguous moral teaching (which was, BTW, nearly unanimously accepted in this country only a few decades ago) or to plainly admit that she doesn't adhere to the Church that teaches it "disqualify [her] in the eyes of other Catholics"? If she will not abide by such a basic and unambiguous Catholic teaching, she should be an honest heretic, and never set foot in a Catholic church, nor describe herself as Catholic, nor ever invoke Catholicism ever again. She should go be an Episcopalian. They've got better music, and they've got plenty of comfortable empty seats, and that seems to be what matters to her, after all. She should take a cue from the apostate friend she appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court, who was baptized Catholic but left the Church formally when she left it materially, and doesn't pretend otherwise.
And fifth of all, what is Sebelius position? Jesus, if He really existed, said some nice things for us to reflect upon, but we should keep them to ourselves, especially if they might hurt campaign contributions. And He really didn't love the little children as much as He loved libertinism and material self-fulfillment, and He just wants us to be happy at any cost. What is your position, Dan? DAN? I hear an AC/DC tune in the background, and they're not just playing it for Kathy.
And so we come to the pastor of St. John's:
Now, first of all, St. John the Evangelist is Catholic only in a limited and formal sense. They've got geographic boundaries, and I'm sure they pay their Cathedral taxes. But I've been there, at a very early Mass about four years ago when I was in town but had to catch a plane or to report to jail later in the day. The old sanctuary and altar has been ripped out, and instead of focusing on images of the saints as they pray, the parishioners worship felt banners and oils and colored water and sheaves of wheat in the niches where they once stood, and surround themselves with faux finish marblized plaster . The corpus on the crucifix is an overfed Buddha image, instead of a dignified representation of our suffering Savior. At communion (I went to communion reflexively, I'm sorry to say, and I wouldn't go again there), some lay woman tried to play priest and bless my infant Eldest Curmudgeon. The place is filled with people there to hear the peace and justice line (quickly, of course, so they don't miss the Honk For Hemp rally, which starts promptly at 11am on Sunday morning), with nary a mention of sin or sacrifice. So we have to think that any but the most remarkable of priests to become pastor of such a parish is either soft to begin with, or is very quickly softened.
The Rev. John Schmeidler, pastor at St. John’s in Lawrence, also said it was difficult to judge a candidate on one issue.
“Abortion is wrong, so we really have to hold that as part of it. You can’t weigh it lightly, but you also have to weigh it against any other issues, too,” he said.
Schmeidler also said he had not read Naumann’s column.
Second point, this pastor just ain't thinking ahead. It's true that he's a Capuchin priest, so he's not doomed to have Naumann as his boss forever, as a diocesan priest might, but Naumann is still his boss for now. When one is asked to comment to the media on what the boss has written, one had damned well better have read it before one opens his mouth.
Third point, even if one HAS read what the boss has written, and one is so polluted by the Bernardin seamless-garment nonsense that one is simply compelled to undercut the boss, one ought to have more to say than "so we really have to hold that as part of it." I understand the importance of being squishy and ambiguous when you're in the spot you're in, Father. But let's try a little harder to give a pretense of a profound clerical statement to the press than you might from the pulpit. What do you mean when you say "that"? Is it abortion? Is it the wrongness of (some would say the immorality of) abortion? What do you mean when you say "it"? I haven't a clue. Maybe it's the great "It" that's somehow embodied in the oils and colored water and sheaves of wheat in your niches (your parishioners would know her as Earth Mother, wouldn't they?).
And Fourth Point is, well . . . nevermind, you get the point.
*Which isn't to say the Bushie Neo-Cons don't love bureaucracy and red tape, too.