This “spirit of adulation” he speaks of, is the cult worship many of us in the right wing blogosphere have been pointing out for lo, these many months. The Archbishop focused on Catholics for the purposes of his speech, but it goes without saying that the adulation he’s referring to pertains to all religious, or non religious persuasions.
I keep waiting for Obama to say something to dissuade his followers from openly worshiping him in this cult-like manner, because it’s ridiculous, and embarrassing, and unseemly, but to no avail. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only is he not bothered by it, he rather enjoys it.
EWTN covered Archbishop Chaput’s trip to Toronto where he gave his speech on how Catholics should live out their faith in the public square:
“President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire, as we saw from his very popular visit to Canada just this past week. But whatever his strengths, there’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change.
Of course, that can change. Some things really do change when a person reaches the White House. Power ennobles some men. It diminishes others. Bad policy ideas can be improved. Good policy ideas can find a way to flourish. But as Catholics, we at least need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the political facts we start with.”
Yet this will be “very hard for Catholics in the United States,” Chaput warned.
According to the archbishop, the political situation for Catholics is difficult to discern because a “spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer.”
Looking ahead to the coming months and years, Chaput offered four “simple things” to remember.
“First,” he said, “all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil.”
“In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies.”
In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: “in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs.”
Now that an elevated member of the clergy has mentioned this unseemly adulation, I wonder if Obama will see fit to discourage it.