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I am an agnostic. As the Bible says God “works in mysterious ways.” For me, that mystery is such that I do not so much doubt God’s existence as I cannot comprehend God’s plan.
But there is a group of men and women for whom this ought not be said: the clergy. And yet far too many are not acting with certainty and conviction. Instapundit has pointed to a piece by Michael Walsh — Clergy Who Bowed to COVID Fears Need to Face a Reckoning — that highlights the fecklessness of clergy in the face of authority.
Like the doctors and nurses who suddenly discovered and complained that their work was dangerous—as if medicine were to be practiced simply as “wellness” and not when the Grim Reaper comes calling on the fields of battle or in the charnel houses of an epidemic—the clergy has all but admitted that what they do, or what they pretended to do, was a frivolity only to be practiced at the sufferance of the local commissars.
In 1844, when anti-Catholic nativists threatened to burn down Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Bishop John J. Hughes gathered his parishioners, some of them armed, and promised the Protestant mob that any assault on the church would be met with deadly force. If a single Catholic church was burned, “Dagger John” announced to the city, the despised immigrant Irish would burn New York to the ground. Not a church was touched.
As Glenn Reynolds said in conjunction with his link to the Walsh article: “Yeah, well, that kind of muscular Christianity has gone out of style.”
And that isn’t the only muscle that has gone flaccid. If you truly believe that God is in charge, you do not accede to government intrusions on religious practice. Faith persists even in the Age of Science, so why have so many clergy acceded to policies disrupting religious practice “in the name of science?” It can only be their own or their parishioner’s fear. If your religion cannot deal with that fear, then it is no religion at all. Your God is weak, and stupid, and uncaring, and useless. My suspicion is that God is none of these, but you are.Published in