"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:5)The "religious left" (now there's the mother of all oxymorons!) is now attacking Sarah Palin as "anti-Catholic." At Irish Central, Patrick Roberts shamelessly slammed Gov. Palin twice for criticizing two famous Catholics. Roberts went after her in his Nov. 27 column for her criticism in her new book America by Heart of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former president John F. Kennedy, and with his knickers still in a twist, he followed up a week later in his Dec. 4 column.
Gov. Palin used Pelosi as an example of liberal hypocrisy for invoking faith in the public square, but by their actions betraying that same faith:
"Witness House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisting that she will pursue public policies consistent with the 'Word" of the Gospel, even as she votes against banning partial birth abortion." (Page 216)She commented about JFK's famous 1960 speech to a gathering of clergy in Houston:
"Unlike JFK, who essentially declared religion to be such a private matter that it was irrelevant to the kind of country we are, Romney declared that our religious liberty is 'fundamental to America's greatness.' And he spoke openly of 'how my faith would inform my presidency, if elected.'" (Page 185)From this, Roberts hysterically concludes that Gov. Palin is "anti-Catholic":
"Attacking two prominent Catholics should send its own signal to Catholics everywhere what the real game is about here with the once-Catholic Ms Palin."Roberts had already written in his November column:
"She has some cheek, given that Palin is a failed Catholic herself, having given up on the religion of her Irish forefathers and encompassed one of those hip born-again evangelical identities-- you know the ones where Jesus appears in your rear view mirror and converts you."Your editor, as a Catholic, has a right to respond in defense of the governor. Unlike "cradle" Catholics who were raised in the faith, I am a convert to the Mother Church. Now this does not make me any more or less a Catholic than those who have been Catholics their entire lives. It simply means that I chose to be a Catholic.
And this leads to a very important point: Although Gov. Palin's mom, Sally Heath, had Sarah baptized by a Catholic Priest, she took her children with her when she began attending an Assembly of God church. Sarah was still a young girl at that time and had not been confirmed in the Catholic faith. How then, could she have "given up" on the Catholic Church, as Roberts asserts, when her initiation into the Catholic faith community had never been completed? It was Sally Heath who, for whatever reasons, left the Church of Rome. At the ripe old age of eight years, Sarah Palin can hardly be condemned by any Catholic of good conscience for her mother's decisions. Also, Roberts' mocking of evangelicals is way over the top and at odds with the ecumenical efforts of the Holy See to foster mutual respect and a fruitful dialog between the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations.
Further, Gov. Palin was well within her rights to criticize Speaker Pelosi for her support of partial birth (and every other form of) abortion in defiance of the core beliefs of the Catholic Church. Rome has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of The Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder. It is apparent to all who "judge with righteous judgment," as we are taught to do in John 7:24, that it was not the child Sarah Palin who turned her back on the Catholic faith, but rather the adult Nancy Pelosi, who hypocritically professes that she's "a devout Catholic," yet acts contrary to one of the foundations of Catholic belief, i.e., reverence for, and defense of, innocent human life.
As to her criticism of JFK, it is relatively mild compared to what Gov. Palin had to say about Pelosi. As a man who cheated on his wife and cavorted with movie starlets and mob molls, Kennedy was anything but a shining example of living by the teachings of the Catholic Church. We are all sinners in the sight of God, but Roberts and others on the "religious left" are overreacting to what Gov. Palin wrote. She simply said, without making a value judgment of Catholicism itself, that Kennedy should have embraced his faith like Romney embraced his own. This was neither a dismissal of Catholicism, not an acclamation of Mormonism, as Roberts implies. Roberts also rather conveniently neglects to mention that elsewhere in her book, Gov. Palin actually offers words of praise for JFK -- many more words of praise, in fact, than her few words of criticism:
"I recently reread for the first time in a long time President John F. Kennedy's inspiring inauguration speech. When you read the speech, the fact that Kennedy believed America is a nation unlike any other jumps off the page at you. President Kennedy never uses the term American exceptionalism, but his view of America as a place with a meaning and a mission of redemption is unmistakable..." (Pages 70 & 71)And again:
"How far our leaders have come in the past 110 years - and not always in a good way. when I was growing up, nothing demonstrated the American ethic of innovation, enterprise and striving - the "strenuous life" - more than the American space program. I wasn't yet born when President John F. Kennedy pledged in 1961 to land a man on the moon within the decade. But I have early memories of when that ambitious goal was accomplished in 1969... JFK's ambition to put a man on the moon captured a nation that feared neither hard work nor failure.Finally, Roberts should be ashamed of himself for going after Gov. Palin with one particular disingenuous slur. Citing her argument that Kennedy "seemed to run away from his religion," Roberts snarkily retorted:
But fast-forward almost fifty years, and our national leaders seem to have lost all of Kennedy's confidence and brio..." (Pages 163 & 164)
"That is complete nonsense, right up there with her defense of our 'ally' North Korea."Roberts knows full well that Gov. Palin did not defend North Korea, but rather made a slip of the tongue which she corrected only seconds later. But this is just a prime example of how the "religious left" always attacks Sarah Palin. For these "Cafeteria Christians," politics always trumps faith. Always.
Christianity, whether it be the Catholic faith or the Protestant, tries to teach us what our Savior taught: that we should love our brothers and sisters as ourselves. It is one of the two Great Commandments, upon which "depend the whole Law and the Prophets." And from the Old Testament, we were taught ten other great commandments, including one which admonishes us not to bear false witness.
Sarah Palin was in no way attacking the Catholic faith in her new book. On the contrary, she clearly stated her agreement with one of the foundational articles of the faith, the defense of the innocent unborn. For Roberts to lie about Gov. Palin and condemn her in the same two columns is to reach the rarefied air of high hypocrisy which, we have long argued, is a prerequisite for liberalism.