The American Catholic Enlightenment
By Michael Moriarty
Well, this is a leap: from Presidential candidate of his own political party, The Realists, to self-appointed Pope of a self-proclaimed, unauthorized, unexpurgated and possibly soon-to-be-excommunicated extension of the Roman Catholic Church. However, about matters as vitally necessary to the human race as the pro-Life, anti-abortion movement, I must use all resources, real or imagined, at my disposal; and to paraphrase Barry Goldwater, moderation in the defense of freedom, let alone life itself, is no virtue.
When the metaphorical Pope of American Protestantism, Rev. Billy Graham, placed his imprimatur upon Bill Clinton as a true "evangelist" and his wife Hillary as the best candidate for the Presidency of the United States, a political phenomenon became a religious one.
Since the aim of the "enlightened" of 18th Century France was to battle and eventually defeat the Catholic Church, the Vatican eventually became the common enemy of strange bedfellows." From Reborn America to Soviet and Maoist Communism, the assaults by these two, seeming extremes on a 2,000-year-old church have been unrelenting and increasingly more cunning and determined.
Billy Graham's approval of Clinton's spiritual leadership is as much a revelation of the reverend's anti-Catholicism as was his support for Progressive Southern Baptists such as the late Rev. W. O. Vaught of Arkansas. With the Clintons' Feminist and pro-Choice political positions, how can the leader of a major Christian congregation even mention their names in a final sermon in New York, let alone dub one as an "evangelist" and the other as Presidential material? Rev. Graham will die as anti-Catholic as he will rest shamefully to eternity as pro-abortion.
All that's left of my Jesuitical Catholicism is my growing detestation of abortion. The rest, the celibacy, the all-male priesthood, the infallibility of the Pope, the comedy of Canon Law and the division of sin between venial and cardinal, side-splitting absolutions for the greedy, the homicidal false witness born during the infamous Inquisition – all leave the Roman Catholic Church with what one of its greatest explicators, Simone Weil, described as "the great totalitarian beast with an incorruptible core of truth."
However, it is Christ Himself, then St. Peter's fully authorized and initial post as the first Pope of Christ's original Church which excoriate and condemn to hell the practice of abortion that have inspired me to call my basically counter-revolutionary political and spiritual movement The American Catholic Enlightenment.
The word "Enlightenment" is a direct challenge to the self-proclaimed "Enlightenment" of France's Intellectual Supremacists, the Savants, or as Voltaire vilified them, "the enlightened despots." My crusade is committed to proving that an intellect, a cabal of "thinkers" who honor nothing higher than their own intelligence quotients are the greatest and most homicidal form of ideologists.
Marry abortion to socialism, and you have the birth of another Dark Age that, if left unchallenged, will smother man for millennia.
My new American Catholic Church would be a cross (pun intended) between the leaderless fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous of which I am a member, and the inclusion of Roman Catholic mythology with all that Church's saints, sinners, artists and storytellers from St. Augustine to Dante Alighieri to C.S. Lewis and Graham Greene.
The reading list would start with the Bible and the complete works of William Shakespeare and end with each "sharing," a group confessional, as in AA, where "what is said here stays here."
Priests would amount to chairmen of the day, simple sinners sharing not only their foibles but the job of refereeing the group confessional. Lapsed Catholics might even see a way of returning to the Christian fold with some dignity. If the Good Thief, a confessed felon on the cross next to Christ, can be taken to heaven on the same day he met our Lord, then the same privilege can be afforded sinners who do as he did: proclaim Christ's innocence, witness our Lord's act of forgiveness from the Cross, and request to be taken with Christ to heaven.
Those in my American Catholic Enlightenment will soon see that the word "Reality" in my secular vocabulary is synonymous for God, or Eternity. Members of my American Catholic faith can follow my debates, fully aware of the metaphysical and spiritual subtext of both my own remarks and the absence or confusion of such regions by my political opponents.
With the Golden Rule as my only commandment and Christ as the Emperor of my envisioned Kingdom of Heaven on earth, one which our Lord requests in the Lord's Prayer – "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" – I've filled in the other titles of my heaven on earth with the following, very memorable and tangible personalities.
As the King, just beneath the Emperor Christ, of what will amount to a "celestial," Constitutional Empire, I have elected Dr. Martin Luther King to fill that role in the minds of my congregation. I have come to believe more firmly with each passing year that in America's mysterious replay of the landmarks of the Bible, both Old Testament and New, Dr. King was our American Christ.
As the President, I most certainly elect the American Moses, Abraham Lincoln. The Emperor and the King, Moses and Christ, King and Lincoln were and are so symbiotically interconnected that with them in mind, all Americans would realize their nature as the new Chosen People, those who will lead the human race out of the quagmire and swamps of Marxist Intellectual Supremacy and back to the simple fundamentals we Americans have all lived under for over 200 years: individual freedom and responsibility under the Golden Rule.
As Mayor of the Heavenly City, I pick a man few know but will, I am sure, finally appreciate and accept: James Parks Morton, formerly Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He created within that virtual Abbey, bigger Westminster Abbey, a Christian space of such simplicity yet all encompassing love that to govern a divine city of millions would be his most eagerly anticipated vocation.
There you have the heaven on earth I bask in imaginatively. This is heresy for sure, audacity at its metaphysically highest, theological Music Hall Comedy of a sort.
This is the only and final American Catholic Enlightenment I have to play in this deadly game with the Intellectual Supremacists. Now that it's out of my back pocket, I feel divinely relieved.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who has appeared in the landmark television series Law and Order, the mini-series Taken, and the TV-movie The 4400. He is now filming Pick Me Up, an episode of the Showtime TV series Masters of Horror, in Vancouver.
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