I can’t believe I didn’t make this connection earlier.
It took this story out of Canada to help me connect the dots:
Vancouver Police stopped the protesters from disrupting Mass at the Catholic church. A spokesman for the group, which renamed itself Occupy Vatican, said the purpose of the aborted church takeover was to bring to the Catholic Church’s attention the thousands of residential school survivors who suffered under the clergy.
…Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miler anticipated the march of protesters and requested extra police protection outside the cathedral to prevent the disruption of the Mass.
What’s the Occupy the Vatican movement? They have about 3,500 supporters on Facebook. They are allied with groups such as “STOP the Missionaries of Charity” (“Holding Mother Teresa’s charity accountable for their monumental medical negligence and financial fraud”), “Freedom From Religion Foundation”, “Religion Poisons Everything”, “Hell Does NOT Exist – It Is A Lie to Control Victims With Fear” and literally hundreds of other angry lefty causes.
I saw an informal poll last week (but can’t find it now — if you spot it, please drop me a line) that a vast majority of the occupy wall street (OWS) protestors are self-avowed atheists. Now this is interesting when one considers how many in the media are trying to claim that the OWS movement is the lefty equivalent to the Tea Party. That comparison actually makes sense considering the Tea Party is overwhelmingly Christian.
More importantly, I can never remember a Tea Party rally that explicitly was anti-religion, anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, or anti-institutional religion. In fact, the Tea Party movement, broadly speaking, supports the freedom of religion and the freedom of religious people to bring their moral values into the public square.
That’s just the opposite from what I’ve seen in the Occupy Wall Street and similar lefty protests. There is an unmistakeable anti-religion (and especially, anti-Catholic) streak that runs through the movement. No, I’m not claiming that the OWS movement is entirely made up of these elements, I’m just saying these anti-religious elements are at home with the OWS movement, and they simply do not find a home with the Tea Party movement.
That’s revealing. Why? Because once again we find that efforts to claim that the OWS movement is “supported” by Catholic teaching originate exclusively from lefty Catholics (such as Catholics United and Faith In Public Life).
Paradoxically, lefty Catholics tell us that the Catholic Church has more in common with the OWS movement, even though the OWS movement is more cozy with anti-religious sentiment than with the Catholic Church. What does it say about liberal Catholics that they find their strongest supporters and activists not in Church pews, but in the encampments of Occupy Wall Street and Vancouver?
Here’s the false premise that lefty Catholics use to claim affinity between OWS and Catholic Teaching: “Because the Church and the OWS agree that society, politics and the economy are broken and imperfect, they must also agree about how to solve these serious problems.”
Of course Catholic teaching and the OWS demands (whatever they are) do not agree. For one, the Catholic Church defends her right to speak out for truth in the public square, and believes in her own institutional freedom and autonomy. The Catholic Church strongly proclaims the dignity and right to life of the unborn (and all people) as the foundation for a free and just society. The Church continually upholds the dignity of marriage as the fundamental building block of a healthy society. Most individuals in the OWS movement strongly deny all of these principles.
I would have extremely serious reservations about supporting the Tea Party movement (or conservative politics in general) if it continually argued against religious liberty and supported anti-Catholic elements, or if it also worked to promote abortion and redefining marriage and family. These things, for me, are deal-breakers.
Apparently, however, lefty Catholics don’t have a problem associating with a movement that regularly promotes anti-Catholic elements and aggressively acts to erode religious freedom (personal and institutional), and categorically disagrees with the Church on the other issues I mention.
That tells us something about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and it also reveals to us something deeply troubling about the lefty Catholic supporters of the OWS project.
Then again, if a Tea Party rally recently tried to invade a Catholic Church during Mass, destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary, and if the OWS protestors have recently pledged to promote a culture of life and uphold the sanctity of marriage, let me know. Maybe I don’t have all the facts.