Remember when we didn’t need to know the proper plural of the word “crisis”? (Had to doublecheck I’d spelled that right.)
EWTN is running its usual “we’re down financially again” spot: Deacon Bill pleading with people to consider sending a donation so that they can keep running. He pointed out that a financial crisis (either personal or national) is an opportunity (and a God-allowed opportunity, I would add) for spiritual growth. Often this kind of painful prodding can get us somewhere we resisted going: we have to learn to rely on God.
Funny, but the Obama administration seems to think it’s an opportunity for everyone to be forced to rely on the government.
I guess we should’ve expected this; crises tend to flush people out who want to exploit a crisis for their own ends.
Remember the young girl in El Salvador several years ago who was allegedly raped while on vacation? Except that the accused didn’t have the same STD’s as the ones she was supposed to have contracted from the rape. And her step-father was the one loudly pushing for an abortion, when it was illegal. Hmmm… Well, instead of pursuing justice or even saying that the government should make an exception for such cases only (never mind actually helping the girl, instead of just dragging her through the additional horror of an abortion, or even keeping the baby’s remains for the DNA evidence), pro-abortion activists used it as an excuse to clamor for full abortion “rights” in the country.
Of course we all remember the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, in the U.S. particularly, a few years ago. Almost all of the cases were decades old, adding to the horror that these problems had not been addressed swiftly and properly when they occurred (although, when the problems were caught and dealt with, many bishops followed the “expert” advice that said, “No problem, we can rehabilitate him and he can work with kids again.”). Not only were the bishops railroaded into a knee-jerk mandatory-training-for-everyone response (useless, I would add; I attended the training, as required), but the main victims’ groups weren’t satisfied with that. Nor were they satisfied with legal settlements. No, some of these groups used the crisis to cry for the immediate ordination of women, the allowance of marriage for clergy, and lay oversight boards of parishes and dioceses. Never mind that the Anglicans have all of these things and have still had sex abuse problems. Or the factors of homosexuality, “loyal dissent” to the Church’s teachings on sexuality, or a number of other issues. No, a good crisis demands some sweeping change. Quickly.
Crises tend to elicit a gut-level emotional response: “Wow, that’s horrible, we must Do Something Now!” As a mom, I can understand the desire to “fix” things, preferrably as fast as possible. As I tell the kids, though, unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding profusely or unconcious, it’s not a crisis, and I won’t act like it, no matter how much they fuss. However, when a large group of people start clamoring for a “fix,” people in charge (especially politicians, who live by opinion polls) feel pressured to favor speed over careful fact analysis.
Which just begs for someone to come along, promise to fix everything, and use the Do Something Now impetus to do whatever he/she wants.
“Crisis… crisis… crisis… deepening crisis… unprecedented crisis… crisis… did I mention the crisis?”
Coordinating with this is the increasing push to silence critics. The “fairness doctrine” is back, threatening to “level the playing field” for the overwhelmingly conservative field of talk radio. (Suspiciously, there has been no mention if this will be applied to the overwhelmingly liberal field of network news.) The conscience clause, strengthened by President Bush in his last days in office, is in the process of being removed (because we don’t want doctors or pharmacists exercising their “freedom of choice” not to do abortions, that might confuse people about the rightness of abortion… pesky Hippocratic Oath! We should ban that, too!). Republicans in the House were informed that their contributions to any bills were neither desired nor required. After years of complaining about President Bush “acting like a dictator” by making Supreme Court nominations of people who *gasp* actually shared his views on how the Constitution should be interpreted… now Democrats seem to be in love with the phrase, “Shut up, we won.”
“Hey, this is a crisis! No time for discussion!” (what does forcing doctors to do abortions or funding overseas abortion advocates or funding the massive failure called embryonic stem cell research have to do with fixing the economy?) “Silence! Didn’t you hear the word CRISIS?”
The real problem with the “stimulus” bill was that much of it wasn’t about stimulating the economy. It was about pushing all of the programs the Democrats wanted. Sure, it wasn’t everything at once… But the economic crisis was a wonderfully handy excuse to push the country in socialist directions. “No, no, that isn’t what we’re doing!” went the denials at first. “Well, ok, it is, but we’re justified in doing it!” is what we’re hearing now. What’s next? “Ok, we aren’t really justified in doing it, but we’re going to do it anyways because we won”?
Charles Krauthammer examined this with his usual sharpness here.
And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.
What’s going on? “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”
Things. Now we know what they are. The markets’ recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions — the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic — for enacting his “Big Bang” agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.
And yet, this could become a set of good crises, and not just for spiritual growth.
My brother (not a Republican by any stretch) is upset with the direction we’re taking; he says he doesn’t think the government should be getting involved in all these private companies, “too big to fail” or not.
Tax demonstrations have been breaking out, here and there. Having organized one measley little demonstration last year, I can tell you that for everyone out there, demonstrating in public, there are probably at least fifty people who strongly agree but, “just don’t do protests,” or couldn’t make it.
Good grief, Whoopi Goldberg (definitely not a Republican) was fuming on The View about taxes going crazy to pay for all of this planned government spending. As someone on Fox said tonight, “Obama’s problem is that he’s losing the American people. And if you’ve already lost Whoopi…”
Someone much wiser than me on EWTN (I forget who) was preaching about God and how He deals with our sins and unsavory wanderings off the straight and narrow. God, he said, sometimes gives us exactly what we thought we wanted. Just long enough for us to realize how awful and self-destructive it would really be. (also known as “to give someone enough rope to hang themselves” in less theological circles) Remember the Prodigal Son? He got exactly what he wanted… and he realized, painfully, how fleeting what he wanted was compared to the benefits of obedience and honest work in his father’s house. For many people, this kind of crisis has led to incredible conversions to lives of faith, reliance on God, and a cheerful embrace of the straight and narrow.
America is finding out, at long last, exactly what Obama meant when he said “CHANGE”… and a lot of Americans are beginning to think that they don’t really like getting exactly what they asked for.