This video was posted back in October, but I just came across it yesterday and thought it worth sharing. Former child actor Bug Hall (best known for playing Alfalfa in 1994’s The Little Rascals) talks about living the Catholic faith with integrity vs working in Hollywood. He also discusses being a victim of abuse, so it is emotionally weighty:
Listening to the video, I could not help but think of our devoutly Catholic president1 and his support for objectively anti-Catholic policies. It is hard not to wonder at what point the “Catholic” label ceases to be meaningful. Regardless of what’s in his heart, you know the press will take the opportunity to further propagandize the notion that Catholics need not adhere at all to fundamental Catholic teachings in word or deed.2
(ETA: Oh look, right on schedule, about 4 hours after I posted this, some propaganda from NYT: In Biden’s Catholic Faith, an Ascendant Liberal Christianity. It’s so utterly blatant and predictable. Give me a break.)
Some institutions have it worse than others (academia, Hollywood), but there is immense social (and financial) pressure to conform by keeping such controversial Catholic views to the self; sharing such controversial views is “divisive” and you will quickly be villified as prejudiced, sexist, racist, etc. Even other Catholics will encourage you to keep “confrontational” beliefs on the down low until more “unification” has occurred, as though an acceptance of the Church’s teaching on abortion (or some other controversial issue) will somehow slip in through a friendly backdoor. As Bishop Robert McElroy states: “It is a pathway of reconciliation that places the healing of our society ahead of any specific policy issue, in the recognition that repairing the soul of our country is the pre-requisite for any sustainable effort to advance the common good.”
It’s true that we don’t want to miss the forest for the trees; the Church’s teaching on abortion is not a stand-alone issue, but part of a broader logically and spiritually consistent understanding. But how can you do any “healing” or “soul repairing” when purposefully silent about such fundamental issues? Again, what’s the thought process? That someone will say, “You know, you’ve been really nice to me for a long time, I think I’ll go ahead and listen to your thoughts on contentious issues now.” Being up front and honest about such contentious foundational issues are part of healing.3
As Hall says at the end of the video:
There are no silent saints. No one was canonized because they snuck around and were secretive about their beliefs. … I’m not talking about secretly going to Mass, I’m talking about speaking the truth when the opportunity presented itself.
¡Viva, Cristo Rey!