Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/25/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Was Archbishop Chaput predicting the future in the interview?

We're Catholics before we're Democrats. We're Catholics before we're Republicans. We're even Catholics before we're Americans because we know that God has a demand on us prior to any government demand on us.... and this has been the story of the martyrs through the centuries

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia

Highlights

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/25/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Declaration, Inalienable Rights, HHS Mandate, health Care, Obamacare, campaign 2012, Catholic, Mormon, Protestant, pro-Life, Religious liberty, Archbishop Chaput, Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - "We're Catholics before we're Democrats. We're Catholics before we're Republicans. We're even Catholics before we're Americans because we know that God has a demand on us prior to any government demand on us.... and this has been the story of the martyrs through the centuries."

This line from Archbishop Chaput's video interview with the Catholic News Service prompted one reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer to call a publicist to ask, "Has he EVER said this before?" The implication of the reporter's query, and his tone of voice, suggested that he was surprised and shocked that the Archbishop of Philadelphia would say such a thing.

Well, he if was shocked, we are even more shocked - at his shock!  Has our nation  become so secularized that a news reporter, from a major daily, would find the claim, "We're Catholics before we're Americans," something troubling, perhaps scandalous?

When the reporter found out that Archbishop Chaput was not saying this publicly for the first time, that, in fact, he had said it as recently as his Oct. 14 speech in Chester Springs, PA, he evidently decided not to pursue it.  What he was unaware of is this: The story inside the story is not what Chaput said, but the fact that he, the reporter, was shocked enough to check it out. 

Off the top of our heads, we wonder if the reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer -- yes, Philadelphia! -- remembered reading the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) as a schoolboy:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

We quote the Declaration's first full paragraph not to be pedantic, but to remind the reporter, and anyone else who needs it, that the entire justification for the creation of the United States was based upon our prior relationship to God. In other words, before any identity we may have belonging to a nation or a political party, we are a creature of God, subject to His laws and the beneficiary of the inherent dignity and rights He bestowed upon us.

Note that by quoting the Declaration of Independence, we haven't yet gotten to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, much less to Holy Scripture! This is to say, you shouldn't have to be a person of faith to understand that every human person answers to God first; it's a first principle of the American Founding and, as such, ought to be taught to school children from 1st grade to 12th. (But is it, we may ask?)

Archbishop Chaput may not have had it in mind, but when he said "we" are Catholics first, not Americans, that "we" could be applied to every citizen in respect of their own faith or lack of it.  A Methodist is a Methodist first, a Baptist, a Baptist first, a Mormon, a Mormon first -- because these are the denominal expressions of their belief in transcendence.

The non-believer, too, is a creature of God first, and by virtue of American citizenship implicitly affirms, claims it, and is protected by it.  Martin Luther King's "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" (April 16, 1963) is one of our nation's elegant testimonies to the political implications of our Declaration of Independence:

"One may want to ask: 'How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?' The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'"

Indeed, there may be more theological letters written from the confines of jail cells in the near future, as the Catholic bishops quickly approach the end of a one-year deadline given to them by the Obama administration to obey the HHS mandate or face the consequences.  Not a single bishop has signaled any other intention than to embrace the consequences with the joy of serving Christ. 

Was Archbishop Chaput predicting the future in the interview when he concluded, "This has been the story of the martyrs through the centuries"? We know it has crossed his mind: At Chester Springs, he said, but only half-jokingly, "I don't want to go to jail."

If the election affirms the Obama administration's HHS mandate, there is a 100 percent chance that there will be civil disobedience in the Catholic Church, led by its bishops. Whether jail will follow is anyone's guess.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Hillary Clinton is a FELON - New email dump contains 150 CLASSIFIED emails Watch

Image of Hillary's emails reveal she is surrounded by sycophants and that the State Department techs had no idea she was using a private server, which is against the law.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State Department released a large batch of Clinton emails on Monday, with another 7,000 pages released to the media. Classified information has been redacted. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The State Department released 7,000 new Hillary Clinton emails to the ... continue reading


Are the Clintons mass murders? Death of British spy who hacked them raises old questions about the Clinton thuggery machine Watch

Image of They may be the most evil family in modern American politics.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Clinton death toll is simply astounding. Approximately 100 people, directly associated with the Clinton family, have died under unnatural and mysterious circumstances since the early 1990s. It is considered possible that the Clinton family chooses to deal with ... continue reading


Obama's Clean Water Act blocked hours before taking effect Watch

Image of Obama's water pollution rule was blocked by a federal judge a few hours before its execution.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A North Dakota federal judge blocked the Obama Administration's controversial water pollution rule just hours before taking effect. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota discovered ... continue reading


Clinton compares Republicans to terrorists: Receives unsurprising backlash Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton compares conservative views on abortion and reproductive rights to terrorist groups. Republicans demand an apology while Republican and Democrat candidates agree Clinton's campaign is failing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Hillary Clinton gave a ... continue reading


'The whole Bible is incredible': Donald trump ridiculed for not naming favorite Bible verse Watch

Image of Donald Trump claims the Bible is his favorite book.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During an interview with Bloomberg's Mark Halerin and John Heilemann, presidential candidate, Donald Trump was asked to name his favorite Bible verse but refused to name one. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Seven minutes into the interview, Halerin told Trump, "You ... continue reading


EVERY 93 SECONDS: Foreign children born on U.S. soil Watch

Image of Children of immigrants born on United States soil appear to be wearing out their welcome, according to recent polls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children of immigrants born on United States soil appear to be wearing out their welcome, according to recent polls. It is estimated that a child of illegal immigrants is born every 93 seconds in the U.S. According to a 2011 Rasmussen Poll, only 28 percent of likely ... continue reading


Univision anchor Jorge Ramos EJECTED from Donald Trump press conference Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Go back to Univision," GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos at an Iowa press conference. Well regarded by his peers, there was no gravitas afforded Ramos at the event, as a security guard escorted him away. The occasion ... continue reading


The do-nothing Boehner is not only stupid, he's pro-Planned Parenthood - revealed by his incestuous political relationship with an abortion-affiliated adviser Watch

Image of Boehner makes a lot of money off Obamacare and other investments in the medical industry, thanks to his privileged position in Congress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Charlotte Ivancic, Health Policy Advisor to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is leaving his office to work for a lobbying firm. Ivancic is the older sister of Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress. Dyer was caught discussing the sale of aborted children on video by the ... continue reading


When it comes to illegal immigration, EVERYBODY WINS! Except you, of course you lose Watch

Image of Attitude is everything.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans tend to agree we need some kind of immigration reform, but they can't agree on how bad the problem is, or even what that reform should look like. Here is a story that will shock you into thinking harder about the problem. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


It has happened before: President Bill Clinton PARDONED former CIA Director for home computer Classified Document mess Watch

Image of In truth, Hillary Clinton's current controversy over keeping sensitive, classified information on home computers had its basis in which her husband, former president Bill Clinton pardoned former CIA director John Deutch . who likewise kept classified material on unsecured, private computers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In truth, Hillary Clinton's current controversy over keeping sensitive, classified information on home computers had its basis in which her husband, former president Bill Clinton pardoned former CIA director John Deutch who likewise kept classified material on ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
1 About times and dates, brothers, there is no need ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2015 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter