Commentary: Elections no excuse for religious bigotry

“Trump Supporters Assaulted Outside Chicago Rally.” “Cars Vandalized Outside Trump Rally in Maine.” “Trump Headquarters Firebombed in North Carolina.” “A Third of Trump’s Yard Signs in Northern Virginia Stolen.”

Typical election-year pranks? The corporate media certainly think so – and they ignore it. They select very carefully what they will report as “news.” As for the rest of reality, prospective voters will just have to find it out for themselves.

Recently we learned that top officials of the Clinton campaign have declared an ideological war on the Catholic Church. Why? Well, they recognize that their party’s support of abortion “rights,” same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, and men in girls’ bathrooms defies the church’s timeless moral teaching.

Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. once called anti-Catholicism “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” and this latest version is low indeed.

The fallen angel of bigotry wears many disguises. Emails released last week on the WikiLeaks website reveal that the Clinton campaign’s master manipulators are fomenting a revolution in the church along the lines of those in Ukraine and the Middle East. Sandy Newman, of “Voices of Progress,” tells Clinton campaign director John Podesta in one of the emails that “There needs to be a Catholic Spring in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic church.”

Podesta, nominally a Catholic, does not defend his church. Instead, he unveils his carefully-crafted plan to attack it. Some years back, he writes, he created two false-flag “Catholic” organizations designed to feed their all-too-willing allies in the corporate media with – let’s face it – lies about the church. Their goal: when dutifully swallowed, the disinformation they manufacture will create a revolution from the “bottom up,” as Podesta calls it, against the church’s leaders and its teaching.

The anti-Catholic contempt fairly reeks: “[B]oth [Rupert] Murdoch and Robert Thompson, managing editor of the WSJ, are raising their kids Catholic,” activist John Halpin writes Podesta and Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri. “Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan,” Halpin gripes. And those conservative Catholics serving on the Supreme Court? They’re “an amazing bastardization of the faith.”

Not bigotry? OK, let’s assume they’d declared war on conservative Jews or Moslems and called them illegitimate bastards. Wouldn’t the whole lot of them have been fired on the spot?

These conversations have not been reported to the larger public. After all, how can the major media reveal that leaders of its favorite political party are planning an attack on the Catholic Church – reigniting the age-old anti-Catholic bigotry that Americans thought we had put behind us decades ago?

“Wait a minute,” one might ask, “isn’t Mrs. Clinton’s running mate a Catholic – from Virginia?”

Indeed he is, and Tim Kaine’s fulsome support of his party’s radical sexual agenda has been condemned by his bishop, Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond. Unfortunately, the bishop can employ only the mildest of rebukes, because his diocese cannot risk losing its federal funding (nationwide, Catholic bishops rely on over a billion dollars a year in taxpayer funds to support their welfare agencies).

Meanwhile, instead of a few sharp words for Podesta, Senator Kaine refuses to apologize. Far be it from this Catholic, so grateful for his party’s nomination, to condemn something so rotten and so close to his party’s core.

Americans don’t have to be Catholic to defend the church against what can only be called a scurrilous and cynical attack based on lies, deception and callous disregard for the fundamental civility of political discourse.

But many will not. It’s no secret that the Democratic Party’s agenda is also shared by the major networks and the prestige press. That’s why these media have delicately avoided this admittedly sore point in the agenda of the candidates whom so many of them have already publicly endorsed.

There is no law – nor should there be – in the United States forbidding anyone to attempt to dilute, defame, and ultimately to corrupt, the Catholic Church, its teaching and its leaders. No doubt in normal times a smarmy enterprise like Mr. Podesta’s would smell so badly and offend so many that it would be counterproductive, even lethal, to his cause.

But apparently, these are not normal times.

Dr. Christopher Manion resides in Warren County.

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