Monday, November 24, 2008

Enough is enough!

A couple weekends ago I attended a youth event that was led by a group of Brothers and Sisters. There was lively music and high energy and, overall, a rather positive spirit among the presenters and participants.

This was shortly after our national elections on 5 November 2008.

Later in the afternoon, a priest gave a talk on Christian morality and was preparing the young people and their chaperons for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Two things he said astonished me -- he obviously supported John McCain as his choice for president of the USA (by stating that the wrong man had been elected) and he inferred that there was a similarity between the rise of Adolph Hitler in 1930s Germany and the election of Barack Obama.

His choice of candidate is fine; it is his business and has no correlation to a public announcement at a Catholic youth event sponsored by the Church. His connection seemed to be focused solely on Mr. Obama's consistent pro-choice stance and support of the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade.

Since then I have become aware of others making this rather odd and, quite frankly, frightening association. Some have been Catholic (on blogs like this, apparently) and others have been political. Already at the end of the political campaign there seemed to be fear-mongering about Obama as a "socialist" and other such epithets directed at him.

BTW, is anyone familiar with the political campaigns when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for president? As I recall, he was also dubbed a socialist!

I find it alarming that people -- especially people of faith and public Catholic leaders like I had met -- would insinuate a connection between Hitler and Obama. Hitler was a thug! He wanted to eliminate the Jews from Europe (and beyond, if possible!), as well as the Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, Communists and Free Masons. He made it to office through thuggery and manipulaton. He precipitated World War II in 1939 by setting up a bombing in Germany and falsely accusing the Poles of committing the violence, and subsequently invaded Poland for the sake of the "honor" of the German fatherland. BTW, he committed this heinous injustice with the collaboration of Joseph Stalin and the now-defunct Soviet Union. Hitler explicitly promoted violence and Germany as the "superpower" and the Aryan people as the "super race" in his book, Mein Kampf (My Complaint).

As a Catholic Christian, a Franciscan friar and a priest I certainly disagree with Mr. Obama's stated position on abortion and the so-called pro-choice stance, as well as his apparent and unequivocal support for the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA), which our US Catholic bishops have rightly and resoundingly opposed.

At the same time, I oppose any insinuation of connection between Obama and Hitler! Enough is enough. Someone who is "unhinged" may take this inference and seek to protect the nation from "another Hitler". God forbid! We as Catholic Christians, as clergy and religious, must advocate for life and oppose violence of any kind. Especially as Franciscans, for as St. Francis of Assisi stated to his friars early on, "If you are going to proclaim peace with your lips, make sure you have it first in your heart!"

1 comment:

Katherine said...

thank you, father, for this commentary.