When Dr. Nathanson’s book was first published, The Motley Monk read it. The primary “take away” for The Motley Monk was how NARAL sought to achieve its evil ends by vilifying the hierarchy of the U.S. Catholic Church. It reminded The Motley Monk of the Soviet Union’s plan to infiltrate and the Roman Catholic Church by sending “plants” to study in seminaries around the world, to be ordained, to advance through the hierarchical ranks, and then, to weaken and ultimately destroy the Church from within. Some have suggested that’s excatly what happened in Latin and South America via Marxist forms of “liberation theology.”
In short, rather than target Catholics, in general, Lader’s strategy targeted the hierarchy, in particular, as NARAL’s primary enemy. Dr. Nathanson quotes Lader:
…and the other thing we’ve got to do is bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That’s the real enemy. The biggest single obstacle to peace and decency throughout all of history.
Is the Catholic hierarchy identical with the anti-abortion forces? Aren’t there any others opposed to abortion?
Historically, every revolution has to have its villain. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a king, a dictator, or a tsar, but it has to be someone, a person, to rebel against. It’s easier for the people we want to persuade to perceive it this way.
Now, in our case, it makes little sense to lead a campaign only against unjust laws, even though that’s what we really are doing. We have to narrow the focus, identify those unjust laws with a person or a group of people. A single person isn’t quite what we want, since that might excite sympathy for him. Rather, a small group of shadowy, powerful people. Too large a group would diffuse the focus, don’t you see?....There’s always been one group of people in this country associated with reactionary politics, behind-the-scenes manipulation, socially backward ideas. You know who I mean, Bernie.
Well, yes and no. Not just all Catholics. First of all, that’s too large a group, and for us to vilify them all would diffuse our focus. Secondly, we have to convince liberal Catholics to join us, a popular front as it were, and if we tar them all with the same brush, we’ll just antagonize a few who might otherwise have joined us and be valuable show-pieces for us. No, it’s got to be the Catholic hierarchy. That’s a small enough group to come down on, and anonymous enough so that no names ever have to be mentioned, but everybody will have a fairly good idea whom we are talking about….
Bernie, we’re talking politics now. Watch and see how respectful of facts the opposition will be once our campaign gets going. Just listen to the opposition.
For their part, of course, the Catholic bishops were to play right into our hands, by their heavy-handed politicking, making abortion appear to be purely a “Catholic issue” rather than an interreligious one.
“Those who are ignorant of their history are doomed to repeat it,” the Spanish philosopher George Santyana observed in the early 20th century.
When Scripture and Church teaching are castigated as being judgmental, exclusionary, and irrelevant in the present era, it’s important to remember that the truth is the truth and some things are right and others are wrong, no matter what the era (past, present, or future), or how people may feel about it. “Progressivism” isn’t interested in learning from the past, but tossing its collective wisdom—which erects boundaries around experimenting with truth and morality—into the dustbin of history.
In 1995, Nathanson was baptized into the Catholic Church.
Let the discussion begin...
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