Remnant News Watch for July 31, 2008
Washington Post Journalist "Nauseated" by Eucharist

Mark Alessio

On June 23, 2008, Washington Post Journalist Sally Quinn posted an article entitled, “The Faith and Joy of Tim Russert” on the blog she founded, On Faith, which is described as “the first worldwide, interactive discussion about religion and its impact on global life.”

Quinn described the late Tim Russert, who was NBC’s Washington bureau chief and the moderator of Meet the Press, as having been “religious when religious wasn’t cool.” She recalled an interview with Russert, who succumbed to a heart attack on June 13th, where he declared:

Well, in the Catholic Church, we’re going to get very technical here, transubstantiation means it’s the body and blood of Christ … But to me, it’s an acceptance of Christ into your life and you try to do the best that you can ... I’ve never been one who walks around with a stamp that says, “I am a Catholic, come follow me, join my faith!” That’s not my role in life.

Later on in her article, Quinn described her experiences at Russert’s Funeral Mass. She wrote:

Last Wednesday at Tim's funeral mass at Trinity Church in Georgetown (Jack Kennedy's church), communion was offered. I had only taken communion once in my life, at an evangelical church. It was soon after I had started "On Faith" and I wanted to see what it was like. Oddly I had a slightly nauseated sensation after I took it, knowing that in some way it represented the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Last Wednesday I was determined to take it for Tim, transubstantiation notwithstanding. I'm so glad I did. It made me feel closer to him. And it was worth it just to imagine how he would have loved it.

Comment: Politics is the true national religion of the United States. In fact, perhaps politics is better described as a “cult,” a cult whose worshippers deem themselves so superior that they feel free to either co-opt, demean or ignore actual religion when it suits their goals or will make them appear either (1) more enlightened than the rabble, or (2) more compassionate than the rabble.

Quinn’s article is a veritable study on the cult-like mentality of the political groupie. Anytime “religion” or “faith” is mentioned therein, it is either exemplified by or limited to a political ideal. She speaks about how Russert was inspired by JFK’s inauguration speech, wherein the “Catholic” President said “Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking his blessing and his help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Sure. As long as that “God” has no name. This is the same “Catholic” Kennedy who stated, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute ..... I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish.”

Remember that Tim Russert himself echoed his political messiah, when he told Sally Quinn, “I’ve never been one who walks around with a stamp that says, I am a Catholic, come follow me, join my faith! That’s not my role in life.” A genuine Catholic could only shake his head in disgust at these words. Quinn relates them in admiration.

In the world of politics, “religion” must remain a matter of feeling, an empty, whimsical, chameleon that will tolerate shaking hands at a church picnic one day, and addressing a pro-abortion rally the next. Doctrine – the very lifeblood of sound religious faith – is anathema to politics. For doctrine is the fruit of contemplation and study. Doctrine is Scripture made practical, Tradition integrated into the whole. Doctrine demands that you be honest – with God, yourself and others. It demands that your “yes” be yes, and your “no” be no. It is transparent, with nothing to hide.

How unlike the political sphere, which is murky, clouded, deliberately ambivalent and misleading, seeking to entice, to please and, ultimately, to control. Sally Quinn states that she took Communion at Tim Russert’s funeral, “transubstantiation notwithstanding.” Let that sink in. The political groupies will spend hours debating the Constitution, as though it were Holy Writ. And Sally Quinn summons the ghost of John F. Kennedy in order to highlight Tim Russert’s “public” Catholicism. But as for the pivotal Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence? Quinn treats it with all the gravity and respect accorded to a “Speed Limit - 55 MPH” sign on a deserted highway.

And not only that. The great journalist feels the need to tell us, regarding her illicit reception of Holy Communion, “I had a slightly nauseated sensation after I took it, knowing that in some way it represented the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Why would someone say that? Better yet, why would someone writing an appreciation of a deceased Catholic colleague say that? Quinn defended her statement by saying that she was “grieving” and that Russert “would really enjoy” her reception of Communion. She also invokes “pluralism”, “inclusiveness” and the popular practice among political groupies of being able to read the mind of Jesus. All to defend the indefensible. Were Quinn unsure as to the guidelines for receiving Communion, she could have inquired about them. But, of course, that sort of diligence is best reserved for political primaries, not something as frivolous as “religion.” And, even given a situation of grief and uncertainty as to the reception of the Sacrament, was there any cause for an educated individual to speak about It afterwards as something nauseating? Then again, what else can be expected from someone who brags about becoming an atheist at age 13?


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