Gerson Blows Whistle on Obama’s Anti-Catholic Policy — Time to Step Up


A faith removed from lived experience is no faith at all (James 2:14ff). Our faith concerns the totality of the human person, the shape of culture, with a commitment to building a “civilization of love.”  The political arena is a very specific place we are called to “go into the world” (Matt. 28:19).

So it was with great interest that I read Michael Gerson’s piece in the Washington Post  Obama turns his back on Catholics” which substantiates strong anti-Catholic policy in the Obama administration. In it he quotes Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, who calls the policies an “assault which now appears to grow at an ever-accelerating pace in ways that most of us could never have imagined.”

After posting Gerson’s link on my Facebook page, the comments began to roll in. In general, I think the critics were offering thoughtful representations of mainstream thinking, i.e., sensibilities we need to understand and contend with. In short order, in support of the President’s policies, they invoked a separation of church and state, suggesting the Catholic’s rejection of anti-life and anti-family provisions constitute a breach of contract warranting these policies, and further called Catholics to task for their myopia on abortion and homosexuality, and invoking the question of competency in leadership: “Would you have an incompetent pro-life leader over a competent pro-choice leader?”

Before sharing my response (a slightly edited version of which is) below, an equally important point is the absolute necessity for you and me, right now, to not shrink from controversial, difficult conversations, but to be informed and enter into the marketplace of ideas with respectful vigilance.

Here was my response to this question about “competence”:

“Competency” is not simply concerned with administrative ability, but prior to that, it is concerned with what one is committed to administering.  As a reductio, I’m quite sure it would be morally incumbent for one to vote against a mostly competent Adolf Hitler in favor of a somewhat incompetent candidate against the Holocaust (let’s be honest, in the real world we’re not dealing with absolute competency or utter incompetency).

To sum up in the words of Jefferson — a good source I think for matters of law and policy: “The care of human life, and not it’s destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

Put in a hierarchical-logical framework, an individual’s life rights supersede another individual’s “liberty and pursuit of happiness” rights… necessarily. All law holds this hierarchy in every other regard, e.g.: one is restrained a bit at a stopping light out of concern for another’s life (this example can be applied to virtually every law).

With regard to the subject of what we’re dealing with, it’s a matter of science, not elusive or sectarian “belief.”  Even Faye Wattleton, pro-abortion Planned Parenthood’s former president, said “[W]omen are not stupid… they have always known there is a life there.” Disregard this hierarchy of rights and we are necessarily on the slippery slope. Certain distinguished professors such as Peter Singer have extended this to it’s logical conclusion, suggesting a parent’s right to eliminate his/her child beyond birth!

If we disregard the hierarchy as in the case of abortion, we really have nothing to say; logically, the principal provides a basis for someone with greater power to assert their lesser, liberty interests over our own right to live.

Bottom line, yes — separation of church and state, but as law is predicated of core values — suppositions of “belief” that are not strictly provable (i.e., “self-evident… endowed by Creator… inalienable rights”), we need to recognize the difference between Constitutionally-grounded, common-sense laws that are for the evident good of individual and society that a particular religion may happen to support, and laws anchored strictly in sectarian/ religious preference.  With regard to abortion (and the variety of other policy subjects), we’re dealing with the former.

Finally, it’s a bit more than ironic that the massive organization and resources committed to “liberal” causes in our country (real human needs: homelessness, immigration, hunger, poverty ), proven demonstrably much more efficient and effective than any government program, is under some auspice of the Catholic Church. Add to this the bedrock-foundational imprint our Church has left on Western Civilization in law, science, education, medicine, etc., and we must recognize the critical role Catholicism has played and continues to play in the formation and advancement of a just, good, ordered society for the benefit of all.

All this said, I am certainly not a mindless cheerleader of all matters “institutional Catholic.” Clearly, there have been, are, and will continue to be abysmal failures of leadership so long as there are imperfect humans entrusted to officiate Catholicism (=until the end of time). These deserve to be challenged. With due acknowledgement of these (substantiation appreciated if you are going to accuse), please acknowledge the well-grounded, good points made in Gerson’s article that demonstrate the Obama administration’s own discrimination and intolerance.


About Author

Greg, wife Stephanie and their six children are committed to more fully discovering and living out the adventure of their Catholic identity and mission as family, and inviting other families to do the same: We Image the Trinity (Get IT?). They have a big vision for this Catholic family movement-- and seek to accomplish this through dynamic Catholic multimedia, events, networking, resources and retreat centers. Find out more and get on board at! Before beginning Image Trinity (, Greg Schlueter developed Catholic retreat programs (Mount 2000, Journey to Emmaus), contributed to the successes of faith films (Narnia, Champions of Faith, God or the Girl, Superman Returns), developed promotion of Catholic organizations (Reason for Our Hope Foundation), created Catholic media and satellite/syndicated radio programming (Live from Paddy O'Neills/, created dramas that have been used around the world (Turn Around), produced programs that have aired on EWTN and CatholicTV (Newman Miracle Story), written for various Catholic endeavors (Catholic Exchange), conducted retreats, and spoken at various conferences and events (Pittsburgh Ministries conference, Ohio Right to Life Society). CONTACT: 814/ 864-5755

  • Tarheel

    First of, Abortion is wrong. Very wrong.

    Second: The Government is not interested in assisting or help. They want complete control.

    Thirdly: Division of Church and State. My religious views help me to decide how to vote. And in many cases make the decisions for me. So my “Church” is affecting my “State”. I agree there needs to be a division of Church and State to promote freedom of worship. But the State should not enact any laws that adversely affect my Church.

  • Be careful, Tarheel, don’t get drawn into Obama’s “freedom of worship” lie. The Administration wants to tell us we can still go wherever we want on Sunday to worship God – but worship in church is only part of being Catholic. We ought to be guaranteed “freedom of religion”, which is the right to bring our religiously-informed consciences into the public sphere. It’s a much broader and more consequential concept than mere “freedom of worship.”

  • Tarheel

    You are correct. Freedom of worship and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in different portions of our lives.

    What government wants is for us to forget that the two are related.


  • Catholic Voter

    I really don’t understand why Kathleen Sebelius is not excommunicated. She is using her nominal affiliation with the Catholic Church to confuse the debate about whether Church institutions should be forced to dispense birth control pills. As an excommunicated Catholic, every statement she made would have to be accompanied by a statement that she had been excommunicated, and frequently (but not always, of course) by an explanation that he excommunication was caused by her failure to follow Church teaching. Maybe someone in Rome should talk to her bishop! Is he being complicit in misleading American Catholics about how seriously the Church takes the Anti-Catholic bias of the Obama administration?

    • Catholic Voter:

      Sebelius, Ted, Nancy, etc. etc. It seems to me that confusion is the natural state of affairs. Even the Pope has to walk with his back to the wall these days (“pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”) What is then left to us in the midst of this confusion? So we excommunicate X and then what about Y, and Z?

      The time when Our Lord will vomit from his mouth those who are not hot nor cold is always at hand. We are here to witness. That is the seal of our baptism, to bear witness. Mrs. Sebelius is giving her witness. Yes, it is a bad witness. That is why we have to pray for her, for her bishop, for those who formed he in the faith and for those she is causing to stumble.

      You know I am a convert, just 10 years old in the Church. Yet every time I discuss these issues with someone agreeable to Mrs. Sebelius position I get the same exact response: “I have been in the Church ALL MY LIFE and I HAVE SO MANY YEARS (12, 14, 16…) OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION…” The implication of course is “what do you think you know, you newcomer!” And it may be true that I don’t know much but at least I am appropriately terrified when I read the words of Our Lord: “If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth.” and “Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.

      It is ironic that those words of Jesus condemn those who betray Him to something worse than not being born at all. Like if they were making themselves by their own choice into a sort of spiritual abortion.

  • Tarheel

    Convert here too Carlos. And I do wonder at times just what did “cradle” Catholics learn in all those years of Catholic education?

    • Tarheel: I think just a few of them learned something, the rest was not even taught. I for one once put together a Catholic education program and it was suppressed vigorously by the powers that be because it was too likely to succeed. Those same people that stumped on it are writing to you every month and asking you for money to educate Catholics and converts alike. A scam? You decide. “Through many tribulations…” Sebelius is lost but the Left (let’s call it for what it is) is not alone in dispensing darkness.

      The claim to “Catholic education” and “I was here all my life” is nothing but the “seniority mentality” of the trade unions.

  • Catholic Voter

    As a cradle Catholic who was educated in Catholic institutions through college, I don’t see Catholic education as the problem. It is so expensive to get into these colleges nowadays that the young people being admitted likely come from the upper middle class of Catholics whose parents have already been thoroughly committed to the secular, materialistic values of American society. Challenging those values is the job of every Catholic, but most especially the job of the bishops. When a prominent ‘Catholic’ like Kathleen Sebelius is allowed to directly contradict Church teaching, by her words and acts, without significant consequences, then I think the failing is with her bishop, whoever he is, for failing to stand up for the faith.