I am a blue-collar guy who has, based on my date of birth, become a "senior citizen". That qualifies me for lots of discounts. No big deal because most of those start kicking in at age 55 and I passed that mark a while back. Now I qualify for Medicare. I am also, and this is most important, a Catholic. Okay, to the point.
I am tired folks. Not because of my age or bad back but because I am worn out from being slapped upside my head because I am Catholic. There are supposedly 77 million Catholics in the United States. That makes me one little pea in a great big pod. And this pea is pee-ode. I am sick and tired of hearing my faith denigrated and mocked by a secular world where the slightest hint of a moral boundary professed or defended is scorned and/or ridiculed by these secularists, many of whom claim to be "catholic". God forbid anyone (especially someone like Cardinal Dolan of NY and the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) attempts to defend his faith and his flock by saying "NO" to someone of modern virtue who has their own ideas as to what the Catholic faith should be. The Cardinal and his peers, including Pope Benedict himself, are deemed "out-of-touch", "radical", or "outside the mainstream". Here's the deal; there is no such thing as "progressive" catholicism. The basic tenets of the faith have been around for centuries.
My three priorities have always been God, Family and Country---in that order. But you see, no one ever bothered me about that. No one ever bothered you either, right? God bless the framers of the Constitution. Were they SMART. Freedom of Religion--the very first amendment. They knew what kind of lid had to be placed on the pressure cooker of diversity that was to be America. They knew that religion transcended man made law. They knew that a sense of right and wrong was an inborn gift. Religion spelled it out. It provided a moral compass. Therefore, they left it alone and reinforced it with the First Amendment. But then a few hundred years went by and somehow "yes and no" became not only archaic but anathema to so many of our sophisticated and secular 21st century intelligentsia. I would like to dub them the "vacuous virtuous". Their sense of great smartness has laid waste to any sense of humility they may have once possessed. The result---noxious fumes.
As a Catholic Christian I am supposed to try and live my faith 24/7. We Catholics can go to Mass and Communion every single day of the week if we so choose. There are still many of us, including me, that do. We go for spiritual reinforcement and nourishment so, when we leave the church and confront the world OUTSIDE, we are prepared to live up to out beliefs. We have to work at it, are quiet about it and just do the best we can with what God has given us. Sometimes we succeed, some times we don't. After all, we are imperfect beings.
Now, unprecedented in American History, an administration in power is telling us that when we go OUTSIDE our church we must violate our beliefs under penalty of breaking the law, facing fine or even imprisonment. They have even suggested that we (as Catholics) have declared "war on women" because we are refusing to give women contraception and abortifacient drugs. Have they lost their minds? Not hardly. They know full well that Title X was signed into law by President Nixon in 1970 and that contraception has been available to all women in this country ever since. The problem with religion, and not just the Catholic religion, is that it sets boundaries and rules and says "NO". The nerve to tell us we CANNOT do something or have our way. Who in hell do they think they are? Government is the "Great Benefactor". So, let's kick down their doors and take charge.
The powers that "are" think that they have found the "weak link" in the suit of armor. How foolish they are.The Catholic Church has been around for two thousand years. It has survived onslaughts by the "vacuous virtuous" many times and it will again. It will also be around long after all of us here today are not. As for me, I just want them to leave me alone.