On Bishop Strickland

Published November 19, 2020
Tyler bishop: Our main job is to focus on salvation of souls

On Tuesday, the miserable liar in the White House fired Chris Krebs for the unforgivable crime of telling the truth that this was the most secure election in US history and Trump lost.

Every normal grownup on planet Earth knows he lost and knows Trump is a massive liar. There is zero evidence of voter fraud by Team Biden. There is evidence of voter fraud by Team Trump, and hopefully Lindsey Graham will pay for it with his political life.

So here’s the thing. It is not a mistake to say Trump won. It’s not a boo-boo, or a disputed opinion, or a well-meaning hope. It’s not a disagreement about the facts.

It’s a lie, a miserable, baseless lie.

Every Normal knows it.

The Pope knows it.

President-elect Joe Biden, a lifelong Roman Catholic, has spoken to Pope Francis, despite President Donald Trump refusing to concede.

Biden’s transition team said in a statement that in a phone call on Thursday, the president-elect thanked Francis for “extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation”. He also saluted the pontiff’s “leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation and the common bonds of humanity around the world”.

Every world leader who is not a tyrant or psycho knows it.

As of a week ago 8 in 10 Americans knew it.

The USCCB knows.

Only the proudest and most dishonest people on planet Earth–white conservative American MAGA liars–still insist that this election was stolen or rigged: a lie for which they cannot provide a scintilla of evidence. MAGA cultists, dominated by conservative Christians, are fully committed People of the Lie. And the proof is that when one false assertion fails, they do not apologize for it. They simply move on to one false assertion after another with aggressive demonic energy. Because raw power, not truth, is all they care about. They lie. They do nothing but lie.

And not just random lay wahoos. Here, for example, is the single worst bishop in the entire American episcopacy, Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, doing what he does all too frequently, furthering blatant falsehoods:

No, sir. You are the source of division, feeding a totally false conspiracy narrative in the teeth of all reality. You are spreading lies, sir. And then you expect those who do not know Christ to believe that you preach the truth. Have you no shame or decency in your lust for MAGA power? Do you not know that Jesus Christ, the Truth, will judge these lies?

Moreover, Bp. Strickland has endangered not just souls but lives by embracing Vigano’s nutty nonsense about the “COVID Conspiracy” and by conferring his blessing on anti-vax nutters.

Accordingly, the other day, he told this outrageous falsehood:

No. Wrong. Bzzt! Here’s Wesley Smith at NRO, not exactly an evil liberal fake news bogeyman:

Some pro-lifers declare that they will not accept a vaccine that uses fetal cell lines taken from aborted fetuses decades ago to culture the virus. Moderna’s new vaccine did not. It is an RNA product and is listed as “ethical” by the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (updated 11/11/20).

“Maybe Bp. Strickland made a mistake”.

Then where is the retraction? Why did he not retract his signature on the whack job “manifesto” asserting that COVID is part of a grand conspiracy “Great Reset” plot to take over the world?

Why did not not retract his endorsement of the whack job anti-vax conference he blessed by his attendance?

No. The man is a crank and he is a crank who is willing to spread lies in the teeth of the facts about both the outcome of the election and about vaccination, as well as to immediately endorse Vigano’s lies about the Holy Father if it suits his politics.

Naturally, he is therefore now one of the Anointed Folk Heroes of MAGA Qatholicism:

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler Texas is one of the most courageous leaders in the Church, known for his outspoken support of unborn life, orthodox faith and morals, and reforming Catholic institutions.

Because, as ever, opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the MAGA Qatholic, including telling shameless lies and distorting Church teaching, such as slandering Moderna, as well as ignoring the fact that the Church in fact teaches that it is morally legitimate to receive vaccinations derived from fetal sources if nothing else is available.

As regards the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health. However, if the latter are exposed to considerable dangers to their health, vaccines with moral problems pertaining to them may also be used on a temporary basis. The moral reason is that the duty to avoid passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is grave inconvenience. Moreover, we find, in such a case, a proportional reason, in order to accept the use of these vaccines in the presence of the danger of favouring the spread of the pathological agent, due to the lack of vaccination of children. This is particularly true in the case of vaccination against German measles.

(Rome has in view rubella vaccines, but the principle is the same for any vaccine. Demand ethically sourced vaccines where possible, but don’t let some ignorant culture warrior–even if he is a bishop–try to guilt you into refusing a vaccine that works when it’s a matter of life and death. And this is double true, when the ignorant culture warrior is lying to you that a vaccine was unethically sourced. In that case, demand that the ignorant culture warrior learn the Eighth commandment and stop bringing the Faith into disrepute to with ignorant slander.)

For what remains illegitimate is not remote material cooperation with evil, but the direct evil of bearing false witness against your neighbor who makes pharmaceuticals, as well as spreading lies that have contributed to the deaths of 250,000 Americans. What remains illegitimate is sowing civil unrest about an election for which there is no evidence of voter fraud by the winner, as well as helping Vigano sow malice toward the Holy Father.

We now live in an hour where those who regard themselves as the Greatest Catholics of All Time, sent by God Almighty himself to save the Church from the Pope and America from Biden have completely convinced themselves that their right to power and domination over the rest of us (whom they term the “Children of Darkness”) authorizes them to lie and lie and lie their way to raw authoritarian power in the person of their idol, Donald Trump. Their monomaniac obsession with the fantasy of magicking away abortion and their corresponding belief that any evil is permissible in the pursuit of that fantasy makes them a menace to both the faith and the common good. As long as they reject the basics the gospel, such as truth, in their lust for lawless power, they are a threat.

Prudence therefore dictates that Normals and sensible people should assume that any truth claim they make is a lie until they have proven otherwise and that they are always operating in bad faith until they demonstrate clearly that they are not. It’s on them to prove their honesty, not on us to prove that their lies are false. Repentance always remains a hope and a goal for any disciple of Jesus. But until the MAGA disciple of Trump shows that repentance by their consistent commitment to the truth and renunciation of the lie, assume he is a liar.

That is a terrible thing to say about any person, much less a bishop. But given such a track record, and the MAGA cult’s long commitment to the defense of visible-from-space lies, I see no alternative.

20 Responses

  1. As always, Mark, bang on in your analysis. But you seem surprised that people who have told lies about other people and other things for decades and decades would lie about other things as well.

  2. My in-laws own a home in the diocese of Tyler and I’ve attended mass a couple of times in the diocese. It is absolutely of no surprise to me that this bishop and his views would be supported by a majority of the Catholics in the area. (I have only recently become aware of Bishop Strickland.) The area is in the East Texas Bible Belt and deep in MAGA country. I was relieved when I found out that we will be having Christmas elsewhere because I had no intention of attending Mass where the church would likely be full and masks would likely be optional (or even discouraged).

  3. I used to be terrorized by them. My spiritual director told me to chill out and focus on what matters–loving God and neighbor, (the same thing). He grew up in Europe,the second kid of twelve, watched his sister die of epilepsy, and endured something like the loss of their family fortune. I’ve never met a priest that was more of a straight shooter.

    What worries me about North Americans and specifically North American Catholic priests of Strickland’s age, is they grew up with all of that American triumphalism/superiority complex coupled with the whole race with Russia for supremacy/dominance.

    Lets face it, if we are white, most of us had a good run with being self indulgent American brats. We have the *luxury* to buy into conspiracy theories. Try to explain any of it to a poor brown person, and they’d rightly think we’d lost our minds or were at least odd.

    I worry about comfort of life coupled with the priesthood. I can’t believe I’m going to actually say this, but at this point I think they would make better priests if they were seasoned fathers with a track record for being a solid husband and father–someone who has had to get up with screaming kids who has changed lots of diapers and THEN needed to get up at the crack of dawn to face commuter traffic and the grind of a demanding job. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand/am in full agreement with the great value of apostolic celibacy, but let’s face it–it’s not working out too well with a lot of these comfortable bachelors-for-life who have to make up monsters to feel excited.

  4. “The single worst bishop” (we have a bishop currently being investigated for his failure to protect the innocent and its not the bishop from Tyler). I guess if you see the world through blue MAGA Qatholicism lenses instead of the red MAGA Qatholicism ones he’s the worst, but from where I’m sitting he’s just another man who traded his Spiritual treasure for political porridge, no different in kind than the author of this.post. he has more spiritual responsibility than you, so the.degree of idolatry is different, but you are both stunningly willing to believe as long as the right political hue is talking.

    The goals of blue and red MAGA Qatholicism are antithetical to the Gospel. Both are ready to oppress the poor, the immigrant, people of color, the differently abled, the unborn child with Downs syndrome, the useless human in a vegetative state, the death row prisoner, the gang member, the transgendered, the Syrian, the Libyan, the starving choleric child from Yemen and on and on and on. Open your eyes and don’t be a fool. Don’t imagine that not being complicit in the red version makes you immune from complicity with the blue version. They are both diabolical and must be resisted, loved, and evangelised.

    I get the sense that you give yourself permission to indulge in blue maga Qatholicism as a way to be a Jeremiah a fiery prophet speaking truth to your former red cohorts, but a better example would be Tertullian, your just going off a different deep end. Consider reading the stunning works of Fr Gregory Boyle he’s a real corrective to the madness you’re flirting with.

      1. “Both sides!” is the other sheep-bleat of MAGA cultists on criticism of their Orange idol when “But What About Abortion!” fails. Neither requires any actual evidence examples, justification or thought.

      2. Ok. So from what I can abstract blue maga Q would be the practice of focusing on attacking “the other side” instead of helpting actual people from conception to the grave, no matter who, thus living the Gospel. Instead spending all life fighting for who “the real catholics are” in terms of policy adherance while both of them being actually Q, caring more about polictis than about Jesus Christ?

        I mean, even if this is what is meant and if hypothetically it would be possible to fall for this, I don’t see Mark’s work as necesarily in this direction. Someone has to call red maga out, and Mark has proven to be not only a loud angry man…, for example, he spent most of this week none stop helping a Gambian baby to get heart surgery, and I believe he does many thinks like this even if he does not shout them out.

        So assuming Mark is innocent of such posible accusation, if there is gap to call blue maga out, then someone else can work on it, Mark cannot do everything.

      1. I wish you understood that scandalous behavior by a bishop *is* a matter of theology, as is participation in a selfish murder/suicide cult, which violates the fifth commandment.

  5. Mark, to be fair, I think you have to accept that, sadly, there *are* worse bishops by anybody’s standard, but “not actually engaging in abuse or covering up for it” is a pretty low bar to clear.

  6. Posted without comment…

    LOS ANGELES — Citing ethical concerns about the use of stem cells in vaccine development, Bishop Joseph Brennan of the Diocese of Fresno is urging Catholics not to “jump on the COVID-19 vaccine bandwagon.”

    In a video shared by the diocese this week, Brennan said the race to produce a coronavirus vaccine has spurred researchers to make use of morally objectionable materials.
    https://www.heraldmailmedia

  7. Mark Steyn, 2008: “We [the GOP/ right-wing] have to win not just beyond the margin of error, but beyond the margin of lawyer. See Hugh Hewitt’s new book ‘If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat’.”
    Mark Steyn, 2020: “It wasn’t close, but we lost, so they must have cheated.”

  8. Lyndon B Johnson lied to Congress and the American public about the Gulf of Tonkin incident – indeed,about the Vietnam War in general, for years.
    Should that invalidate the Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Voting Rights Act 1965? His statement in defence of affirmative action?

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