Politics & Policy

False Prophets Arise

Beware of those espousing the S-CHIP doctrine.

Catholics United is running deceitful ads against pro-life members of Congress who opposed the vetoed S-CHIP bill, but otherwise supported health care for underprivileged kids. Why? Because Catholics United, which demurs from airing similar ads against pro-abortion members of Congress, is not a Catholic Church sanctioned organization; it is a Leftist political front group. No one should be fooled when this devil cites Scripture for his own purpose.

In evidence, let us examine how the dishonest utterances about S-CHIP by Catholics United stray from the faith of the Church as professed in the teachings of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (née Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger): First, the pope has explained Christianity as “a truth that is spoken publicly, [which] establishes public criteria and that, in a certain measure, also binds the state and the powerful of this world.”

Measured by the Benedict’s words, Catholics United errs by deliberately conflating means and ends. Catholics United claims that any pro-life representative opposing Leftist policies to help the poor also de facto opposes helping the poor. Compounding their duplicity, Catholics United proceeds to impugn these pro-life U.S. representatives’ proven commitment to the unborn. The insidious result is that pro-life Representatives, who supported S-CHIP’s extension but not proposed expansion, are smeared by Catholics United as being neither pro-life nor pro-family. Ergo, these Catholics United ads constitute a lie spoken publicly to establish false public criteria that abets their powerful Leftist friends within the state.

Secondly, Pope Benedict XVI’s episcopal motto as a cardinal was “Co-workers of the Truth.” This is what the pontiff implores all Christians to be in Christ, so as to prevent a “tyranny of caprice” that will degrade humanity. Further, he reminds all Christians how the preservation and promotion of truth is “a demand on us that doesn’t give us rights but requires, on the contrary, our humility and our obedience and can lead us to the Common path.”

Usurping the mantle of the Roman Catholic Church to facilitate attacks on those who oppose collectivism’s disproved policies and dangerous powers of compulsion, Catholics United has willfully transgressed the bounds and demands of truth; moreover, it has foresworn the Christian duty to help all Americans find a common path on the S-CHIP and, indeed, every issue.

Thirdly, in light of the modern media’s ability to engender a “dictatorship of opinion,” the pope warns all Christians:

The fact is that under the pretext of goodness, people neglect conscience. They place acceptance, the avoidance of problems, the comfortable pursuit of their existence, the good opinion of others and good-naturedness above truth in the scale of values.

Through their duplicitous partisan S-CHIP attacks, this is (charitably) the sin which Catholics United has committed; and the sin with which Catholics United is coercively trying to tempt pro-life members of Congress.

They must resist and, instead, serve as “co-workers of the Truth” seeking a common path to the common good for all Americans. Yes, it is difficult for elected officials to support a proper policy perceived as poor politics. But they must never succumb to deceits and deviate from principle, which in the S-CHIP debate is this: Underprivileged children deserve medical treatment and all children deserve to inherit the best health-care system in the world. All Americans hold this noble goal for children; but, because this injurious S-CHIP version will not attain it, the bill must be honestly opposed.

As for Catholics United, I join with Fr. Robert A. Sirico and refer all Americans to Pope John XXIII’s 1961 encyclical, in which he teaches: “[D]ifferences of opinion in the application of principles can sometimes arise even among sincere Catholics. When this happens, they should be careful not to lose their respect and esteem for each other. Instead, they should strive to find points of agreement.”

And in the instances of those calculating individuals who knowingly violate this teaching and, subscribing to the fallacy a noble end justifies ignoble means, instead slander people who conscientiously disagree with them, I remind my co-religionists and all Americans of the verity a noble end does not justify ignoble means; and I urge them to heed Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

We, and the truth, must be our children’s shield and shears against them.

U.S. Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter is chair Republican House Policy Committee.

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