Go with me to the year 1969. We are on the Texas border with Mexico not far from El Paso. Three men are leading a protest march arguing that the U.S. Government is not protecting the U.S. border and is allowing illegal immigration to occur is large numbers. The three men are Cesar Chavez, Walter Mondale and Ralph Abernathy Jr. They are the protesters with them argue that illegal immigration in such large numbers is driving down wages and making it nearly impossible to organize migrant workers.
Yes, three prominent Democrats demanding that the Federal Government enforce our borders. Today of course, things are largely reversed and most on the left support practically open borders.
Politics change like that. Issues come and go, coalitions shift and change. What was once thought of as doctrinaire liberalism or conservatism can switch sides in many and important ways. This is increasingly important for Catholics who too easily cast their loyalties with political parties and cultural trends that come and go, rather than the faith and the teachings of the Lord. Indeed they are more passionate about politics and the latest trends than the faith. This should not be the case. Our loyalty must always be with the Lord and the teachings of the Church which do not change or reflect the times. Scripture and the doctrines of the faith are ancient and stable and we should hold to them wherever the political lines fall. A Democrat should not support abortion, no matter what the party says. A Republican should hold the Church teaching on immigration not simply the language of the party. We need to be Catholic when it comes to the crucial moral issues of our day to include: Abortion, the Definition of Marriage, fornication, cohabitation, homosexual acts, transgenderism, immigration, physician assisted suicide and the like. Too easily however we will base our views on our politics and jettison our faith. We need to be anchored in the Lord not in the vicissitudes of politics and culture.
Consider some other examples of the many flip flops of politics:
- Free speech was once the bastion and hallmark of 1960s liberalism. The University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University and many other colleges, were synonymous with the free speech movement, seeing free speech as almost unlimited. While many Americans were appalled at some of the vigorous condemnation of our country, the burning of American flags, advocacy for forms of government inimical to our system, promotion of “free love,” drug use and other attacks on core American values, free speech largely won the day and withstood challenges to most of its limits. Today however, places like Berkley and Stanford are just the opposite. There are extensive limits to what may be said on many such campuses. Many words are banned, other pronouns and words are required. Students as well as faculty often seek to forbid speakers with traditional or conservative positions from speaking on campus at all and, when they are cannot ban such speech, they show up to shout it down and make a lecture of any sort impossible. Now, it is conservatives who advocate for free speech who seek for the free exchange of ideas on college campuses and elsewhere. On social media, the Left seeks to
- Conservatives were once considered the natural ally of “Big Business” while the left saw it as privileged, undertaxed, polluting, and unjust in nearly all it did. Today however, many if not most large corporations have allied with the left and adopted countless “woke” policies.
- The Democratic Party was once considered the friend of the working class. Decades of being “down with the struggle “ and advocacy for labor unions, concerns for improved work conditions, worker safety, proper wages and benefits, made the Democratic Party the most likely destination for most blue collar workers and laborers. Today however, many of these same workers often hear from the party that once advocated for them a strong aversion to all they represent. Coal workers, the oil, steel and auto industries, are often considered by the left to be almost evil and are slated by them for elimination. In the 2016 election an major shift occurred as Donald Trump and the Republican Party became the defender of these industries and workers
- Conservative Republicans were once labeled as the party of the rich and well landed in this country. “Country Club Republicans” was a designation that sought to portray them as aloof and removed from the care of the everyday person. Today however, it is the Left and the Democratic Party that is largely the bastion of the ruling class. Liberal elites dominate the world of social and news media, entertainment, Hollywood, government officials, large corporations, university and college faculty and administrators and the like.
- The news media was once the watchdog of government and big industry, now they are frequently an ally and apologist for them.
- The cultural left once had a stance that was anti-authoritarian. It was suspicious of government claims and often counseled resistance and civil disobedience against an oppressive government, demanding investigations and accountability. Today the left more often proposes increasing laws and expansive government.
- Liberals and many Democrats once championed the rights of women and also sought “Title IX” protections to preserve and enhance women’s sports. Now they are on the vanguard of a movement that permits men to call themselves women, enter the locker rooms and restrooms of women, invading their privacy. It is now Conservatives who speak of unfairness and seek to keep women’s sports from dying.
- The cultural Left road in on a “free love” philosophy. Now theirs is more the language of sexual abuse allegations and an advocacy of expansive list of dos and don’ts the wake of the “me-too” movement. While that movement raised many legitimate concerns, many on the right (the traditionally regarded prudish party) think may go too far, casting a chill on romance and possibly resulting in the “sudden death” of accusations that are hard to refute.
- The Republican Party was once the champion of African American civil rights, founded on ending slavery and insisting on their rights and reparations after the Civil War. Republican votes along with many Democrat votes were also essential in passing civil rights bills by countering the votes of racist Southern democrats. Today, racial justice is often perceived as a priority of the Democratic Party.
- President Barack Obama ran in 2008 against Gay “marriage” and in 2012 for it.
- Finally, and most importantly, when Roe V. Wade invented a constitutional right to abort, that is, kill children in the womb. At first, Democrats were just as likely as Republicans to oppose this decision. In 1976, the Hyde amendment banning federal funding for most abortions first passed the House, with 247 Democratic votes. Just 22 Democrats voted no. Prominent Democrats such as Hubert Humphrey, Sargent Shriver, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore and many others were originally pro-life before switching their positions. One of the strongest statements issued against Abortion was by the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1977. Sadly he too changed his view in the 1980s as the politics changed. Today the political lines are hardened and there are almost pro life democrats in the House or Senate. It was not always so.
Enough. As can be seen politics is shifty; culture too. Don’t give your loyalty to this world. Are you worthy of Jesus Christ, or are you just worthy of the party or the latest trend? Stay put, stay Catholic.