“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14
On May 6, 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill with these words:
“They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference; you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”
“And that Word,” Pelosi said, “is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.
“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”
Like many people, I watched the video of this speech with amazement. (You can see it for yourself here.) It smacked of concocted sweet-talk to me. I could be wrong, but it sounded so utterly hypocritical and empty because her actions have contradicted every syllable.
What really struck me was that she never dared say the name of Jesus. She looked visibly uncomfortable as she was talking about The Word that was supposedly her favorite word. Her eyes were cast down, and she stammered around trying to find a way to talk about The Word without mentioning Him. She tried to imply that we could define The Word in any way we wanted, because it’s such a “beautiful word,” and “it just covers everything.”
Well, yes Nancy, it is indeed a beautiful word and it does indeed cover everything, because He is everything. His name is Jesus; that is the Word you’re afraid to say. There is no other word. You can’t “fill it in with anything you want.” Only the name of Jesus is The Word; The Word that is God; The Word who humbled Himself to take on our dying flesh in order to give us new and everlasting life in Him. Say it, Nancy: Jesus.
Once again, poor Ms. Pelosi has tried to portray herself as a faithful Catholic who bravely applies the principles of her faith to her political endeavors and policies. My take from watching her give that speech was that even she’s not buying what she’s selling. She knows there is an undeniable incongruity between her words and her deeds; she knows it has become a charade. I think that’s why she looked so antsy.
Or perhaps she is consumed by the struggle to create the illusion; she is desperately trying to contort the Catholic faith to fit her desires and her politics and hoping to convince us all, including herself that it works.
It doesn’t. Nancy Pelosi is deceived, plain and simple. No one can claim to honor The Word made flesh and then spend her life working to ensure the destruction of human life in the womb. She cannot say The Word is her favorite word and then ignore what that Word means, what the awesome miracle of the Incarnation says to us about the blessedness of our human existence.
The Word came and inhabited the womb, just as each of us has. He became one of us, beginning His human life as a blastocyst, an embryo, a fetus…a child. At every moment, a beloved person, just as we all are in the Father’s eyes. The Word proclaimed the dignity, the inestimable worth, the uniqueness of every person created and the sanctity of each human life. Our perfect God clothed Himself in our imperfect skin out of ferocious and tender love, in order that we might understand how intimately He wants us to know Him.
No one can say they believe The Word and also work to establish laws that say only some people are worthy to live. No one can say they are concerned about being prepared to answer for what we’ve done in this life while consistently using their power to secure the selfishly invented “right” to kill a child. Truly, how exactly could we explain to The Word made flesh that what He declared holy and worthy we have declared disposable, unwanted, and void of humanity?
That the Speaker is so deeply deceived is sad for her, but more than that, it is dangerous for our nation because of the position she holds. She says one thing, however unconvincingly, with her mouth and does quite another with her actions. Her persistent votes in favor of legislation denying protection to human life in the womb betray her public profession of faith and her supposed affection for The Word. Both cannot be true.
But let’s not merely single out Nancy Pelosi! The bitter fact is that there are many professed Catholics in this country who favor abortion “rights” and vote accordingly. There are many who do not affirm the truth of their faith by their actions or their lives. There are too many in America who follow Pelosi’s false version of the Catholic faith, rather than the genuine article. There are too many who do not really believe The Word.
I have said before that is the great shame of the Catholic Church in America that Nancy Pelosi, and worst of all, President Barack Obama were ever elected in the first place, because it could not have happened without the votes of Catholics. Based on who we have elected, there seems to be no discernable difference between Catholics and everyone else. We don’t stand apart at all. That is our terrible, inexcusable shame.
We cannot claim affection for Jesus Christ, The Word made flesh, and live as though we belong to this world. We cannot claim an identity as Catholics if we are unwilling to accept what the Church teaches and defend the truth of Her teachings against the lies of our times.
We should stick out like sore thumbs, but we don’t. It should be so easy to spot a Catholic in a crowd that a legally blind person could do it. But it ain’t so, and as a result we have elected officials like Pelosi and Obama and so many others who work to systematically dismantle the moral foundations we’re supposed to stand for.
We heap destruction on ourselves by our stupidity and willful disobedience. What’s true for Nancy Pelosi is true for each of us: We cannot be both Catholic and in favor of abortion “rights.” We cannot be both Catholic and in favor of gay “marriage.” We cannot be both Catholic and users of birth control, or participants in extra-marital sex, or “shacking up” or any other behavior that denies the holiness of the human person, the holiness of our sexuality, and the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.
This is what it means to be Catholic in a world that is hostile toward The Incarnate Word.
Pelosi was right about one thing: He will come again, and we will have to answer for all we’ve done. And for those who knew the truth but did not defend it, an answer will be very hard to come by.