The Al Smith Dinner may not be an awards ceremony or a religious event such as a liturgical ceremony or a sacrament are but it is a Catholic event which benefits Catholic organizations.
President Obama has not only shown himself to be less than a friend to the Church but in fact has directed his administration to institute the HHS mandate which poses an existential threat to the Church and it’s organizations’ existence as Catholic entities. Should Cardinal Dolan have invited such a prominent political antagonist of the Church to such a prestigious Catholic event where Obama is going to be wined, dined, and have a prime time speaking spot?
I tried looking at some positive reasons why Cardinal Dolan would have invited President Obama to this event with his having knowledge of how hostile Obama has been to the Catholic Church and pretty much any person who has a differing point of view than him.
By inviting Obama to the dinner could Cardinal Dolan be trying to avoid an all out assault on the Catholic Church? Could he be trying to be non-partisan? Could he be trying to schmooze the president into dropping the HHS mandate?
Let’s start with the latter one. I doubt it. One night at the Al Smith dinner isn’t going to convince the President to drop the HHS mandate. His freedom-hating, anti-religious constituents wouldn’t be too happy about his dropping the HHS mandate. And he can’t lose his constituents if he wants any chance of winning reelection.
The second one may be true. But if non-partisan means shoving your faith under the rug for one night just to show a leader civility and/or cordiality should that really happen?
Does showing civility to someone necessarily have to include whining and dining with them? Since he has shown to be more of an enemy than a friend to the Church over the past 4 years wouldn’t the appropriate thing to do be to pray for his conversion?
The first one could be a possibility too but…. hasn’t President Obama already declared war on the Church with the HHS mandate?
Some people think it’s okay for Obama to have a photo-op with Cardinal Dolan. What harm could that pose to the Church? Well, there are already so many confused and misinformed Catholics out there who don’t understand the difference between those matters of prudential judgement and those matters which are non-negotiables he could use this photo-op to legitimize his moral standing as far as voting goes with Catholics. Obama has already used the Church for his political gain. The Catholic Church in Chicago funded his radical community organizing efforts. One product of Obama and his ilks infiltration of the Church is social justice Catholics today. Social Justice Catholics believe that the non-negotiables can be swept to the side, given little or no consideration while treating the negotiable matters as if they were the non-negotiables.
Some people may say that it isn’t right for Cardinal Dolan to invite Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential candidate and not invite President Obama. Has Romney posed an existential threat to the Catholic Church? No. Does Romney believe in the Church’s right to religious liberty? Yes. In fact Romney has defended the Catholic faith and the Church’s right to believe the tenets of the faith. Catholics are being told to violate their consciences. Mitt Romney said that “we are all Catholics now”. Romney may not be perfect in his beliefs on abortion since he believes in the rape exception but he sure is a heck of a lot better than Obama on that issue. Obama believes that women should have the “right to choose” to murder their offspring, their unborn child with absolutely no limitations. If we have the chance to lessen the evil in the world we should. Voting Obama out of office, voting for Mitt Romney, and allowing Romney to stop Obama’s freedom-hating policies while also instituting new policies of his own would go a long way toward reducing evil in our nation.