by Trey Elmore • ChurchMilitant • April 6, 2017
Church Militant has a frank discussion with the popular conservative commentator
Conservative commentator and author Matt Walsh is no stranger to taking on the cultural Left. The popular writer for The Blaze is now calling out the social justice crowd for the damage they’ve done to the Catholic faith, and he’s doing it on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. In a talk Monday hosted by the Notre Dame chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, Walsh spoke to students about the contradictions between the Catholic faith and the worldview of the Left.
“Notre Dame has provided us a helpful demonstration of what the consequences are when a Catholic institution loses its Catholic heritage,” he remarked at the talk. “This institution calls itself Catholic but proceeds to betray that identity, and in doing so has scandalized the public.”
He cited the example of honoring President Obama with an honorary doctorate in 2009, “the most radically pro-abortion president in history,” as well as the university’s decision to grant marriage benefits to same-sex staff.
But the “most egregious of all” was Notre Dame’s invitation to Texas senator Wendy Davis, a.k.a. “Abortion Barbie,” to speak.
“Wendy Davis is known for — and only known for — her extremist pro-abortion views,” Walsh said. “Davis is a fierce disciple of the abortion death cult and has devoted her entire life to ensuring the right to kill children.”
“Notre Dame must be admonished and rebuked for what it’s done,” he insisted.
He went on to critique liberalism in general, saying it is the same thing as satanism. “This is liberalism, it is indistinguishable from satanism — it is satanism,” he commented. “Pope Leo [XIII] saw this before liberalism would claim the right to kill children, the right to redefine marriage.”
Church Militant spoke with Walsh prior to the event, and he discussed the subject of the talk as well as his upcoming book, The Unholy Trinity: Blocking the Left’s Assault on Life, Marriage and Gender.
CM: Please give us a rundown of your talk at the University of Notre Dame.
MW: I’ll be talking about the Church in America and how it’s attempted to make itself compatible with our culture and with leftism, and why it doesn’t work — why it hasn’t worked, why it doesn’t work, why it’s wrong. And particularly why leftism is not compatible with Christian, Catholic teaching.
CM: What’s the essential reason why?
MW: The essential reason is that in leftism and in our culture, the centerpiece is the self. You know, it’s all about the worship of the self. And there’s no objective truth, no moral truth, certainly. Everything is relative to how we feel. And we get to define our own reality, our own scientific reality, moral reality. But obviously Catholicism teaches that Christ is the center, not ourselves, and we subject ourselves to Christ and to the Truth. You can’t really have both.
CM: What are some of the specific ways the Left has corrupted Catholicism? Are you talking about particular actors? I don’t mean Hollywood actors but particular people inside the Church or outside the Church who’ve had a corrosive effect on the Church?
MW: I’m not going to focus as much on singling out individuals, but as far as that goes, I think you know when you look at prominent Catholics in our culture, especially politicians, but not just them. When you look at prominent Catholics in our culture and what they say and how they represent the Faith as being compatible with things like the “pro-choice” position, that obviously has a very corrosive effect, because a lot of Catholics were not raised in homes that instilled a really traditional understanding of Catholicism. So they look without, they look into the culture, at what other Catholics are doing, especially the most visible Catholics.
And I think from there, they become very confused — which is one of the reasons why I tend to be particularly troubled by some of what we’ve gotten from the pope, a lot of what the pope says. He certainly hasn’t tried to change Catholic teaching; he can’t do that, he won’t do that. But rather than clarifying things, which is what we need, he seems to have muddied the waters more, made people even more confused.
CM: What do you think of Notre Dame’s decision not to invite President Trump to its commencement? They’re having Mike Pence instead, but do you have a take on their decision to break 60-year tradition of inviting a sitting president?
President Obama shaking hands with Fr. John Jenkins, CSC,
president of Notre Dame. Obama received an honorary doctorate
from the university in 2009.
MW: I was going to touch on that briefly, that makes that troubling is that they did invite Obama. So if they had a history of being very selective about the presidents that they invited, they would say you know we’re only going to invite presidents who are representative in some ways of traditional Catholic teaching, then I would say okay because Trump is certainly not representative of Catholic teaching, doesn’t try to be.
But the fact that they invited Obama and not Trump seems to me to indicate that they think that Obama is more aligned with Catholic teaching than Trump is, and that certainly is not the case. So that is what makes that disturbing.
CM: Do you expect any kind of protests or campus backlash, which always tends to wind up on YouTube when conservatives come to liberal campuses?
MW: It’s hard to tell when that kind of thing is going to happen. I was at Notre Dame last year, and yes, there was a little bit of pushback; there weren’t any big protests. You would like to think that at a Catholic university, you wouldn’t have chaotic protests, especially when someone is coming to speak about Catholic teaching. But I really don’t know, I’m not sure. But whoever comes, I invite them to take part in the conversation.
CM: Can you talk about your book?
MW: The book is about what I consider clearly are the three central battlefields of the culture war: life, marriage and gender, and the unholy trinity referring to that three-pronged attack that the Left has waged in an effort to redefine life, marriage and gender. I would love for liberals to read it. I try to present some arguments on these issues that hopefully they find convincing.
I really wrote the book hoping that conservatives and Christians would read it, and it would galvanize them and help them understand that these are the issues that should be our priority, because I think among Christians and conservatives, we sort of lost sight of that, and a lot of times we’re not sure what our central principles should be. That’s why I wrote the book.