George Stadel Becoming in sync with Maoist China
Near the top of the list of outstanding Catholic priests I have known is the late Father Aedan McGrath, a man of great accomplishments, greater humility and humor and extraordinary courage. In the 1950s McGrath spent 32 months in a Chinese prison cell measuring 66 inches in width, length and height, allowed out of this box only for interrogation and torture sessions. His crime was being a leader of the Legion of Mary, a mostly lay organization devoted to prayer and to helping, spiritually and otherwise, the poor, the elderly, the sick and the despised.
It is hard to imagine less threatening an organization than the Legion of Mary. Yet the Chinese Communists found it threatening indeed. Another acquaintance of mine, the late Catherine Ho, was arrested in China at age 14, released after a year, rearrested at 16 and sent to a “reform through labor” camp for 20 years for being a junior member of the Legion. The open expression of their principles was what got them in trouble, principles that were heretical to the Communist religion.
I keep trying to tell myself that we are nothing like Maoist China, and certainly I don’t expect people to be imprisoned here in tiny boxes, but the news, from college campuses, from politics and government and from the society at large, keeps hitting me with foreboding similarities. A secular religion has arisen in this country and throughout the west, a religion with dogma beyond allowable dispute, with its own concepts of heresy and blasphemy, its inquisition and excommunication. You can read its catechism everywhere. Enforcement of secular dogma does not even have to be through government, as can be seen in recent extra judicial punishments by corporations, universities and other private institutions.
The Little Sisters of the Poor must be forced to conform to secular doctrines, indeed to take part, like the Christians forced to sacrifice to Roman gods under Diocletian. Like the Legion of Mary in the reign of Mao, in the America of 2019 the equally benign Knights of Columbus is to be considered a heretical organization, membership in which is disqualifying for public office, according to Senators Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Those who are judged to hold Catholic or other Christian or Jewish beliefs, haram to secularist dogma, are to be watched carefully for transgressions. “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that is concerning,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said to a Christian nominee to a court. Step by step, medical doctors will be forced to take part in the human sacrifice of the unwanted unborn, sick, disabled or old.
So what about Article VI of the Constitution, or of the 1st Amendment? The secular religion has exempted itself from the Constitution and is actively seeking to become the official state religion. In reality, adherence to the Constitution is ultimately dependent only on the consent of those holding societal power. Even John Adams feared it wouldn’t last. There is a tipping point, as the Weimar Republic discovered, and I fear it is approaching.
George Stadel is a Stamford resident.