Written by Michael Matt | Editor
Pygmies are members of an African ethnic group whose average height is unusually short; anthropologists define pygmy as a member of any group where adult men are on average less than 150 cm (4 feet 11 inches) tall. The late Virgil Blum, S.J., who founded the now effete Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, coined the term “Catholics are political pygmies.”
The 2016 campaign for President seems to confirm Fr. Blum’s dictum. Anyone who has followed that campaign has certainly noticed the political commentators talking about the necessity of courting the “African-American” vote, the “Hispanic” vote, the “Evangelical” vote. Not mentioned is the “Catholic” vote.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau the percentage of black and Hispanic persons of all ages in the U.S. are:
Black or African American alone, percent of U.S. population, July 1, 2015-13.3%
Two or More Races, percent, percent of U.S. population, July 1, 2015- 2.6%
Hispanic or Latino, percent, July 1, 2015- 17.6%
Note that those percentages include all persons so the number of adults (voting age 18) must be considerably less.
The Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape Survey published in May 2015 “America’s Changing Religious Landscape” reported that Evangelical Christians are 25.4% of U.S. adults; Catholics are 20.8% of U.S. adults.
Those demographic facts probably surprise some. With all of the commentators talking about the black and Hispanic vote, one would think that their numbers of voting age were greater. The Gallup polling organization found that “Americans generally overestimate, to a significant degree, the percentage of the U.S. population that is either black or Hispanic.”
What explains the overestimation of minority numbers and the concern of politicians to court the black, Hispanic, and Evangelical vote and the apparent lack of interest in the Catholic vote? What those other groups have in common is solidarity-producing leadership that increases public perception of their importance.
In reality, there is no Catholic vote because there is no solidarity-producing leadership. This lack of leadership could never be more apparent than in 2016. Our religious liberty is controlled by the whim of any 5 members of the Supreme Court and our interest in stopping Planned Parenthood from aborting children and selling their body parts hinge on whether Clinton or Trump appoints the Supreme Court. Yet, as Gallop polling has found, 45% of Catholics favor Clinton and 33% favor Trump. See survey here. Even the left-wing Religious News Service has noticed Catholic voters moving toward Clinton, see it here. It would be nice to think that only rogue or lapsed Catholics would vote for Clinton but what evidence is there that those 45% that Gallup found never go to Church?
Pew Research published in August a study called “Many Americans Hear Politics From the Pulpit.” Pew found that black Protestants were particularly likely to hear their clergy speak directly in support of or against a specific presidential candidate in the months leading up to the election.
Among black Protestants who have been in church recently, roughly three-in-ten (29%) have heard clergy speak out in support of a candidate – mostly Hillary Clinton – and an equal share have heard religious leaders speak out against a candidate (primarily Donald Trump). Smaller shares of Catholic, white evangelical Protestant and white mainline Protestant churchgoers – roughly one-in-ten or fewer – say their clergy have publicly supported or opposed particular candidates.
Another Pew Research study published in July, “Evangelicals Rally to Trump, Religious ‘nones’ Back Clinton” reported that:
Now, fully 78% of white evangelical voters say they would vote for Trump if the election were held today, including about a third who “strongly” back his campaign.
What are Evangelical leaders doing right that our leaders could be doing wrong? In spite of all that is at stake in 2016 regarding religious liberty and human life issues, the Bishops appear to have imposed on diocesan clergy strict orders to avoid creating the appearance of promoting any candidate over any other. The extends even to comparisons of their respective positions on abortion. For example, the National Right To Life Committee has produced an excellent document that is strictly about abortion and does not mix in the so-called “Social Justice Issues” about which faithful Catholics can disagree but which are vigorously promoted by the Bishops Conference, most dioceses, and many parishes. The fear, politically unrealistic as it is in the opinion of many, seems to be that one “peep” out of a priest will cause the offending diocese to lose its Federal tax exemption. The willingness of black clergy to speak freely helps to explain why politicians court the “black vote” and why black solidarity is effective. For that reason, it is up to the laity to develop Catholic solidarity and throw off our political pygmies’ heritage.
REMNANT COMMENT: We very much agree with this, of course. It is our belief, however, that the main reason the Donald Trump campaign is not courting the Catholic vote is because they realize there’s no point. When the majority of Catholics voted for Obama not once but twice—the most pro-death presidential candidate/incumbent in history—well, turn out the lights because there’s nobody home in the Catholic Church anymore.
Watered down by a half-century of Modernism and Protestantized liturgy, America’s Catholics are a feckless bunch. Those of us still here—who didn’t defect out of sheer disgust after Vatican II—are so committed to being politically correct, ecumenical, and “reasonably centrist” that we can be counted on to go tagging after whichever political candidate is most “progressive”, even if she’s the Devil herself. Why? Because we’re progressive! We’ve grown up. The Church of Vatican II taught us to avoid like the plague the superstitions of an old medieval Church so despised by a new modern world. We’re AMERICAN Catholics, and our Church is just one among many equals, as are her moral “opinions” on “social issues” such as baby slaughter and dudes marrying each other. And whatever you do, don’t stand out.
Standing out is something we don’t do at all. We’re wolfing Whoppers on Friday just like everybody else.
And our priests? Poor emasculated fellows, can you imagine even half of them summoning the intestinal fortitude to thunder anathemas at anyone for any reason at any time? With a few notable exceptions, I can’t. So many of them with their namby-pamby National-Public-Radio voices (and politics), as well as an apparent phobia of saying anything that actually matters to real people living in the real world; so many of them—I’m sorry!—really know how to put the homo in homily.
For most of them there apparently just isn’t enough time for all that God-bothering, baby-defending, alfa male sermonizing when what the “Catholic Christian community” really wants to hear is the stuff about “stewardship” and “encounter” and “mission” and “j-oi” and “accompaniment” and “koinania” and “fellowship”—you know, the totally awesome (albeit totally vapid) Newspeak of NuChurch which can mean, well, pretty much whatever the heck you want it to mean.
This is the problem with the Catholic vote: The Mass (and thus the Priesthood) has been totally emasculated… and the sheep have scattered and completely lost the sensus catholicus. As Father James McLucas wrote many years ago in the pages of The Latin Mass magazine:
The post-Conciliar priest of the contemporary Church (continuing a trend that began long before Vatican II in the United States) has become a resident CEO and CFO of a parish plant. He oversees countless committees that add layers of bureaucracy and which — paradoxically — place a barrier between the priest and his people.
Enjoying the perquisites of the CEO that have nothing to do with his spiritual identity, he begins to delegate the more burdensome and distasteful pastoral duties in hospitals, nursing homes and the houses of shut-ins; he avoids being available for the distribution of Holy Communion outside of his own Masses; baptisms and weddings are merrily passed off to deacons, as well as marriage preparations; convert instruction is transferred to the RCIA committee. He’ll appropriate the vocabulary of those who hold legitimate authority in the Church: “This is collaborative ministry!” No, it is not. This is masculine pathology, the abdication of fatherhood.
Prayer for Traditional Vocations
O God, we earnestly ask you to bless the Church with many Traditional Catholic priests, brothers and sisters who will love you with their whole strength and gladly spend their entire lives to serve Your church and to make You known and loved.
Bless our families, bless our children, choose from our homes those needed for Your work.
Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us, pray for our Traditional priests, religious and deacons.
Obtain for us many more. Amen.