Teddy Roosevelt was once quoted as saying: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ Jesus once told the belligerant Pharisees, ‘The Son of man is lord of the Sabbath.’ Jesus walked softly and carried the big stick of the Cross. Likewise, Pope John Paul II allowed the failed ‘Ostpolitik’ of Pope Paul VI, and his servant Agostino Casaroli, to continue while he carried the big stick of gospel truth against the anti-truth of Communism in eastern Europe.
Diplomacy can only go so far. Sometimes the big stick is needed.
In the United States of America, Catholic diplomacy (Ostpolitik) has failed.
It’s time for a big stick approach.
It’s funny how easy Father Jonathan Morris, a guest commentator on Fox News, brushed aside Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ non-compliance with the ‘law’ due to her deeply held religious convictions. Father Morris stated, and I am paraphrasing, that Mrs. Davis, as a sworn clerk of the law, must follow all laws, even those she doesn’t believe in. He must have forgotten what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham jail: “A just law,” he wrote, “is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
Any Catholic worth their weight in salt does not obey unjust laws.
Not only are we morally obliged to disobey these laws, just like MLK Jr. and Kim Davis, we are obliged to use our common sense and see the consequences of acquiescing to them, and weakly resisting them in diplomacy, as the sure way to the slippery slope of victimization in totalitarianism.
Case in point. For years the Vatican thought that it was winning the war against Communism through the diplomacy of Cardinal Agostino Casaroli and his strategy of status quo in retrieving the retrievable, and saving the savable. Ostpolitik was all about protecting what the ‘law’ didn’t take away in hopes that diplomacy and dialogue would open avenues of understanding, compromise, and progress toward the good. Pope John Paul II, however, knew that dialogue and diplomacy never worked with brutes, monsters, and atheistic ideologues. For JPII was born of the soil of Poland, a land all to familiar with totalitarian regimes. Therefore, of necessity, John Paul II utilized the sledgehammer of open aired revolt in teaching, preaching and evangelizing the Truth uncompromisingly. His spirit of ‘fear not’ spread throughout the land, birthing the ‘Solidarity’ movement, and a Polish-Catholic people who conquered the Communists by saying ‘no’ to them everyday through basic, fundamental Christian actions.
For far too long Catholics in America have succumb to popular pressure to conform in ways and ‘laws’ which run antithetical to the gospel. Voting ‘Democrat’ when we knew darn well it would mean more abortions, and the inauguration of gay marriage, is a travesty against the Will of the Father. And now, acquiescing to a ‘law’ which will certainly grow like weeds in its reach throughout the Catholic domain in America, to force more Catholics to act against their faith-formed conscience, to possibly include clergy, is an even greater sin of the cowardice of false diplomacy.
Political Correctness is the semantics of the devil.
Legalized gay marriage, abortion on demand, and any other ‘law’ to come, are man-made codes codified from hell.
Yes, ‘love the sinner but hate the sin.’ A year of Mercy has been declared by Pope Francis. No sin repented of truly is greater than God’s Mercy. But brutes and monsters and atheistic ideologues don’t repent. Ever.
For them we must hold the stick.