Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/25/2012 (3 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 (3 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

CURTAIN CALLED: GOP debate starts hilariously as candidates fail to appear on cue Watch

Image of When candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush's names were announced, the two men were still blocking their way. Sneaking past, Jeb grinned and bumped Donald Trump. Photo courtesy of ABC News.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It is a bit trivial to say about such an important event - but the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire this weekend could have done with a bit more rehearsal. Candidate Ben Carson came out too early, Donald Trump stood with Carson, and candidates Marco ... continue reading


'Faith is the great cure for fear': Obama speaks at annual National Prayer Breakfast in WA Watch

Image of At the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama spoke against Muslim stereotypes and hatred (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

During the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, President Barack Obama spoke of God, fear and love. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the breakfast, both Democrats and republicans set aside their differences to build relationships based on their ... continue reading


After Iowa fail, Donald Trump vows to 'beat the ____ out of ISIS' Watch

Image of Many noted that Donald Trump seemed unusually subdued in New Hampshire. He claimed that he remained optimistic after his second place finish in the Iowa primary. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While he faced defeat in the Iowa caucuses, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was full of his usual bluster in New Hampshire. Never one to mince words, he vowed to "beat the ___ out of ISIS" if he was elected president. LOS ANGELS, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


'Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it': Trump furiously rants on Twitter about Cruz's win demanding a new Iowa 'election' Watch

Image of Donald Trump calls for a new election or to nullify Cruz's results (Reuters).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When news of the Cruz campaign "mistake" concerning Ben Carson at the Iowa caucus reached Donald Trump, he was furious. The business tycoon took to Twitter to call for a new election or to nullify Cruz's results. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Despite his initial ... continue reading


Republican Candidate Drops Out of Presidential Race: But who was it? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following a disappointing show in the Iowa caucus, with only 4.5 percent of the votes, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has officially dropped out of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It's been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign ... continue reading


Political sabotage: Ted Cruz pleads GUILTY to wronging Ben Carson at Iowa caucus Watch

Image of Ted Cruz admitted his campaign started the lie that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race prior to the Iowa caucus (NY Times).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a shocking admission, Ted Cruz admits his staff spread rumors of Ben Carson dropping out of the runnings just before the Iowa caucus voting began. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As previously reported, the Iowa caucus was filled with surprises that included ... continue reading


A Night of Surprises: What went down during the Iowa caucuses? Watch

Image of Iowa caucus surprises with historical neck-and-neck race and Trump in second place.

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Iowa caucus results are in after a high-energy night fueled by rumors of foul-play, coin tosses and the waning smile of a smug Trump. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Before the Iowa caucus, polls showed presidential hopeful Donald Trump as the leading ... continue reading


Trump leading in polls as he thanks Iowa's evangelicals Watch

Image of Donald Trump has cut Sen. Ted Cruz's advantage with evangelicals, according to a CBS News poll. (Jim Young, Reuters)

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As the Iowa caucuses heat up, executive Donald Trump has shown a strong lead over Ted Cruz in recent opinion polls. Trump took time to thank evangelical Christians for their support. In the meantime, Hillary Clinton maintains a thin lead over Bernie Sanders in ... continue reading


Whoa! Secret Microsoft algorithm predicts wins for Clinton, Trump in Iowa and beyond Watch

Image of Computerized predictions are big business, both at the sports book and in politics.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are predicted to win tonight's Iowa caucuses according to a sophisticated algorithm used by Microsoft's Bing search engine to predict outcomes. The search engine has an excellent record. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Microsoft ... continue reading


FBI 'Guilty' of unlawfully refused Freedom of Information Act Watch

Image of U.S. district judge Randolph D. Moss ruled in favor of MIT PhD student Ryan Shapiro. Judge Moss found that the FBI's present policy is

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A judge in a Washington, DC courtroom ruled in favor of a PhD student at MIT and found that the FBI unlawfully, obscured, and refused to requests. The bureau was found guilty of not complying with the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Monday, February 08, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 HD Video
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • St. Jerome Emiliani: Saint of the Day for Monday, February 08, 2016
  • MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey
  • Daily Reading for Monday, February 8th, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: We Love Him

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More