By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Comparing Obama to Hitler is something that the liberal/left used to blame on the Tea Party. However, posters and signs showing Obama with a Hitler moustache were inevitably traced to followers of Lyndon LaRouche. They sometimes tried to portray themselves as conservatives, but in reality LaRouche is a former Marxist who ran for president as a Democrat. They like to cause deliberate political confusion.
Now that an educated Catholic Bishop with knowledge of history and a commitment to religious freedom has made the comparison, however, the national media cannot decide on how to respond.
When I saw the headline, “Bishop Compares Obama Policies to Hitler, Stalin,” over an article on Newsmax.com, the conservative website, I thought at first it must be an error or exaggeration. Was a Catholic Bishop actually being this harsh? I have reported on the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Obama Administration’s birth control mandate affecting religious institutions. My local priest called it evil and demonic and has suggested the church will be persecuted and ministers jailed for resisting the federal onslaught. But comparing the President personally to Hitler and Stalin?
I went to the www.LifeSiteNews.com and the headline over its story was only slightly different: “Obama taking ‘similar path’ as Hitler and Stalin: Illinois bishop.” The question then became—were these stories somehow exaggerating what the Catholic Bishop said?
The Catholic Post ran the full text of the homily of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky at the Mass during the April 14 “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith” in Peoria. The homily is also available on podcast. The headlines did indeed capture the essence of what he said. The Bishop goes by the title “Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., D.D.” CSC stands for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the order that runs Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. D.D. stands for Doctor of Divinity. He is an educated man. His education includes:
- College: University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
- Novitiate: Holy Cross Fathers’ Novitiate, Bennington, Vermont
- Seminary: Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Indiana
- Theology: Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Indiana
Taking aim at Obama, Hollywood and the media, the Bishop said:
“For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.
“The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.
“And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.
“The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS [Health and Human Services], and of the current majority of the federal Senate.” (Applause)
It turns out that the Bishop was just getting warmed up.
He went on:
“Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
“In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his ‘Kulturkampf,’ a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
“Clemenceau, nicknamed ‘the priest eater,’ tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
“In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, President Obama—with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.”
“This fall,” said Bishop Jenky, “every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the instrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”
Whether you agree or disagree, these were extraordinary comments and certainly worthy of national media attention. But the story remains mostly in the conservative media.
The Daily Caller noted, “Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York—considered the most powerful Roman Catholic cleric in the U.S.—has also had harsh words for the HHS mandate, charging that the administration is attempting to divide the Catholic Church.”
But charging that Obama is acting like Hitler or Stalin goes far beyond Dolan’s observation.
One group already taking note is the Soros-funded Think Progress, which said that Jenky’s homily “appears better suited to an episode of the Glenn Beck Show than to a celebration of religious faith.” According to Ian Millhiser, a Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Obama merely “wants all working women to have access to contraception, regardless of whether they work for a religious employer.” In fact, Obama wants to force religious employers to provide birth control pills and abortion drugs in violation of their religious beliefs.
This is a story that just won’t go away. And it has the potential to alert the public, Catholic and non-Catholic, to the grave constitutional crisis we find ourselves in.
The notion of Obama as an “extreme secularist,” if not a dictator wannabe, is widely shared within the Catholic Church. A Priest recently told me that the Catholic Bishops, who usually divide into liberal and conservative factions, are united against Obama in this controversy.
He said Obama is viewed as someone who believes in freedom of worship, not freedom of religion, an important distinction that Jenky was alluding to. In other words, Obama believes Christians should be free to worship within the confines of their church, but that when they exercise their freedom of religion in public life, they must conform to the secular dictates of the federal government. In this context, however, the ability to exercise freedom of religion, as the Constitution means it, becomes essentially meaningless.
It will be interesting to see whether the national media cover these sensational charges in a fair and balanced manner. Or will “the malice of the media,” to use the Bishop’s words, take over?
If Mitt Romney is correct that the media “are inclined” to do Obama’s bidding, then the Bishop can expect to be a major target in the near future.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.