Palin’s New Tack and the Catholic Bishops’ Old Game

September 28, 2009

Palin’s New Tack and the Catholic Bishops’ Old Game

By Frank Walker

September 28, 2009 - Sarah Palin is starting to slowly re-appear on the world scene. Now that she is free of the hopeless McCain campaign and no longer tied up in Alaska, she’s presenting a clear ideology with a potent delivery.  It's a pure antidote to the current American pathology. Many U.S. Catholic leaders, so key to the liberal government’s ascendance, should try to hear what Sarah is ready to teach the country.

Sarah Palin's Determined Message
Sarah Palin is an amazing and interesting politician, but even the boldest conservative writers have asked that she take time off and educate herself. Voices on the right are hopeful and intrigued by her, but they would consider it foolish to suppose she's a viable leader. Republican elites think Palin is the kind of embarrassment that stalks the party and must be handled. The contempt and condescension from the left never seem to erase their horror that she might represent an American majority.

More, Palin's mistakes have been startling to some. She usually precipitates a terrific blast from the left and from the Right's pretenders. The most miserable low in the McCain campaign, her appearance on Saturday Night Live, expressed her position at the time--that of a clown in a fool's court. It begged the comparisons to Reagan, who would have preserved some dignity. Reagan would not have run as McCain's VP nor been smothered by his constraints on speech. Reagan never seemed to buckle under an attack.  While Palin can reel from the political hits she gets, she rallies afterwards and more than that, she learns.

The Right's disconnect with Sarah Palin comes from entrenched expectations. Political talkers can be steeped in the past. They know each player and strategy. They track every measure. But there is something fundamental and new about Palin that is hard for professionals to detect. She is not manly and that is rare for a powerful woman today. There is no reason why this must be the case, nevertheless Sarah brings her whole self to politics. She won't shut a part away as if it were not good enough. Sometimes she is emotional, even vulnerable, and in the face of something shockingly wrong, stunned; but Palin is rarely daunted, and she's canny. Her purpose on the world scene grows from a compassionate heart. The same devotion that rescued and protected her baby is the force in her leadership.

Today Sarah has re-positioned. Always conscious of the American people and fixed on reaching them directly, Palin is sending her messages in code and short wave, under the radar of the state media machine. As James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have just demonstrated, this is the only effective way. Their ACORN trojan horse tells the story. America is now an underground movement again.

Speaking in Hong Kong September 23rd Palin called her ideas, "common sense conservatism." To many this may just sound like more populist material, but it's different from the compassionate conservatism of George W. Bush, which generally meant liberalism. Here it suggests Thomas Paine's straightforward calls to action and it builds on her natural style. Before the closed group of business and political people she said:

  • "I believe in striving for the ideal, but in realistic confines of human nature."
  • "China rightfully makes a lot of people nervous."
  • "It's just common sense that government attempts to solve problems like health care will just create new problems."


On having the Fed oversee "systemic risk" in the financial system:

  • "The words fox and henhouse come to mind."


How Catholic Church Leaders Can Learn From Palin's "Common Sense."
The honesty and simple wisdom of Sarah Palin is rejuvenating. Many who lead the Catholic Church will hopefully take notice. Today there are bishops worldwide who will go to almost any lengths in the name of social justice. Often when they do, they reveal their allegiances and their worldliness. This week the social justice arm of the USCCB, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, is under intense light again for its openly political, anti-Catholic, and corrupt beneficiaries. In Vienna Cardinal Schoenborn recently tried to squelch a pro-life rally and then forbad clergy to participate. Notre Dame, the pre-eminent American Catholic University, continues to prosecute eighty-eight pro-life demonstrators, including Norma McCorvey, following the Obama honors last spring. In August Boston's O'Malley scandalized the world with a funeral for anti-life pariah Ted Kennedy, and this past week Scotland's Cardinal O'Brien railed in the press about global catastrophes, millions of refugees, and the poor before a climate meeting at the UN.

America's most powerful Catholic hierarchy are so eager to socialize our medicine, that they act as though it were possible to protect the lives of the sick, elderly, and unborn by simply not mentioning them in a massive healthcare takeover bill. In calculated parsings they've called on Catholics to urge Congress to pass a reform now (leaving out explicit abortion funds and references to euthanasia). Some bishops have gone so far as to equate a lack of what is called universal coverage with the evils of abortion.

From their holy offices many bishops are keen to promote uncontrolled immigration, an end to capital punishment for brutal killers, subsidized housing, and free healthcare even at the expense of the Catholic conscience. When we hear bishops condemn abortion today, we must ask ourselves if his Excellency has a sincere interest in what he is saying based upon his actions, or whether he is just using genocide to rally the faithful toward another deadly statist cause.

In her Asian speech Sarah Palin mentioned government re-distribution and its flaws. Considering all the compromises bishops have been making in the name of social justice, perhaps Mrs. Palin in her common sense way could teach from the lives of Christ and St. Mary Magdalene. It was not a small, simple thing for Magdalene to be changed by Jesus. She showed her gratitude with a priceless jar of perfume at the house of the Pharisee. Even with this extravagance, her loving affection, and the entirely humble spectacle the honor and appreciation could never repay. Regardless, the apostle Judas, humiliated by the scene and envious of the "misused" money, took what he saw as a weak moment to publicly challenge, "Why was not this ointment sold and given to the poor?"

Even for someone without any faith there was much to envy in Jesus. Judas must have been that way. He held the money bag, he was a thief and the other apostles had to go to him for what they needed.Although ill-gotten, that perfume still belonged to Mary. She had not stolen it. She broke the jar for Jesus. He had not asked for it. Where were Judas' rights in the matter? This exchange was not his to possess or to advise. Perhaps after years of deciding the fate of other people's money, he'd forgotten to whom things belong; he elevated his own choice and wisdom.

Speaking critically of the current U.S. political climate, Sarah Palin has said, "There is no justice in taking from one person and giving it to another." Some of our bishops might learn a thing or two from Palin. It sounds like she grasps the scriptural story of Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and Judas. I wonder whether some of our bishops do...

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