Human Events Blog

That’s the New York Times in the corner, losing its religion

 

Last week, the New York Times was pleased to run an astonishingly bigoted anti-Catholic ad, headlined “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church.”  The full-page ad, placed by a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, instructed liberal Catholics that it was time to head for the exits, because the Church dared to oppose the wisdom of His Majesty King Barack I on the matter of contraception.

“It’s your moment of truth,” the ad declared.  “Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages?  Do you choose women and their rights or Bishops and their wrongs?  Whose side are you on, anyway?”

That’s an excellent question, because the choice between freedom and tyranny has never been more clear, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation is quite determined that your other freedoms have simply got to go.  Remember, the Catholic Church – which the ad goes on to call “a tyrannical and autocratic, woman-hating, sex-perverting, antediluvian Old Boys Club,” in case you wanted me to skip ahead to the bigotry – is not seeking to use legislative force to outlaw contraception.  They object to being forced to pay for it, and this makes them unsuitable for inclusion in the glorious new collective age King Barack and his allies are marching us toward. 

This is really all about the definition of liberalism, which long ago lost its classical connotations, and now stands poised on the edge of Orwellian inversion.  A “liberal” is someone who believes in total obedience to the New Order.  You must do as you are told, and if the State has decided something is virtuous, it automatically becomes compulsory.  We’re far past the point of anyone talking about “bans.”  It is now considered an inexcusable social evil if you refuse to participate in activity the State has deemed virtuous.  If you’re already tired of arguing about contraceptives, fear not – a very long list of State-approved compulsory virtue is heading your way.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is refreshingly clear about this in their advertisement:

You’re better than your church. So why? Why continue to attend Mass? Tithe? Why dutifully sacrifice to send your children to parochial schools so they can be brainwashed into the next generation of myrmidons (and, potentially, become the next Church victims)? For that matter, why have you put up with an institution that won’t put up with women priests, that excludes half of humanity?

No self-respecting feminist, civil libertarian or progressive should cling to the Catholic faith. As a Cafeteria Catholic, you chuck out the stale doctrine and moldy decrees of your religion, but keep patronizing the establishment that menaces public health by serving rotten offerings. Your continuing Catholic membership, as a “liberal,” casts a veneer of respectability upon an irrational sect determined to blow out the Enlightenment and threaten liberty for women worldwide. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.

Of course, you have no choice but to “enable” the Church of Obama, in which membership is compulsory, and apostasy is unthinkable.  In fact, Catholics have been forced to subsidize organizations such as Planned Parenthood for a long time.  You have no choice to but to support Planned Parenthood – it is compulsory with the force of law, and the Democrat Party made it painfully clear they are prepared to shut down the entire federal government if PP’s cash flow is threatened. 

What’s different now, and what has the totalitarians really salivating, is that mandates such as ObamaCare actively subjugate religion (and everything else) to the will of the State, by forcing direct subsidies.  It’s not a matter of Hoovering fat rolls of cash out of everyone’s pockets, and spending the money on a mixture of Constitutionally-authorized duties and ideological crusades.  ObamaCare is all about putting people on their knees before the King, and forcing them to engage in activities they find morally and theologically repellent. 

Even if you don’t have a religious objection to contraceptives, your economic liberty is a completely moot point.  You must pay for other people’s birth control.  The notion that your claim upon your own property might take priority over their demands for “free” lifestyle supplies is considered laughable.

Amusingly, the totalitarians at the Freedom From Religion Foundation actually claim “Obama has compromised, but the Church never budges, instead launching a vengeful modern-day Inquisition.”  Oh, really?  Remind me again, which of those two has a vast army of armed agents standing by to enforce its decrees?  The Catholic Church can force no one to join it, and retain no member against his or her will.  How many legions of regulators has the Pope?

Having digested the bilge that apparently met whatever remains of the New York Times’ threadbare standards, you might be wondering if they’d run a comparably bigoted ad against a different religion – one that has been known to react very badly to insults from non-believers.  Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs had the same thought, so she put together a perfect copy of the anti-Catholic ad, re-written to say “It’s Time to Quit Islam.”  She then submitted it to the New York Times for publication.

Do I really have to finish the story?  You already know what happened, don’t you?  Remember, no matter how virulently anti-religions those feisty crusaders of the Western Left might claim to be, they have totally and completely the principle that Islam Is Different.

Here’s the response Geller received after she submitted her ad:

Bob Christie, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the New York Times, just called me to advise me that they would be accepting my ad, but considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, now would not be a good time, as they did not want to enflame an already hot situation. They will be reconsidering it for publication in “a few months.”
 
So I said to Mr. Christie, “Isn’t this the very point of the ad? If you feared the Catholics were going to attack the New York Times building, would you have run that ad?”
 
Mr. Christie said, “I’m not here to discuss the anti-Catholic ad.”
 
I said, “But I am, it’s the exact same ad.”
 
He said, “No, it’s not.”
 
I said, “I can’t believe you’re bowing to this Islamic barbarity and thuggery. I can’t believe this is the narrative. You’re not accepting my ad. You’re rejecting my ad. You can’t even say it.”

The really funny part is that the Obama Administration spends a lot of time these days crusading against “bullies.” 

There’s more at work here than the obvious, prosaic fear that Muslims will do a lot more than write angry letters if their religion is attacked or insulted by snotty liberals.  The Left does not view Islam as a foundational pillar of the old Constitutional order they hate.  They don’t see it providing layers of distance between the total collectivist State and large portions of the population.  It doesn’t play a role in the long Western tradition of limited, consensual, representative government that we now stand on the verge of losing completely. 

Collectivists don’t have to pick any fights with Islam to get where they want to go.  They do require the submission of Judeo-Christian ethics and tradition to the superior wisdom of the State, which is a jealous god, and will suffer no other to be placed before it.

 

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