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The Shallow State

February 19, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

In recent issues, we have briefly described how the “Deep State” operates in the realm of government (September 28, 2017) and the Church (December 21, 2017). In both cases, seasoned bureaucrats have burrowed deep into the organization in order not to serve its purposes but to pervert them. As a result, in government, elected officials discover that their laws (with regard to the legislative branch) or their policies (with regard to the executive branch) are in some mysterious way turned into a train wreck caused by hidden forces which they can neither identify nor control.
In the Church, bishops have created bureaucracies so large that they now depend on them, rather than vice-versa. And by what seems to be an irresistible law of gravity, power has flowed to the staffs at the chancery level and, of course, at the massive USCCB headquarters in Washington, D.C. And naturally, one bureaucracy begets more bureaucracies. Witness the Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore and the Catholic Charities USA in Alexandria, Va., both of them now dependent on federal government funding in the hundreds of millions a year.
Given this power structure, it should not surprise the bishops that key senior members of their bureaucracy might consider their consecrated superiors to be figureheads who neither share nor even notice the agendas that are so dear to key career personnel.
How else could it come to pass that Catholic Relief Services privately dithered for months when it was discovered that a senior male officer there had “married” his male roommate? And why did it take a gloating announcement in Washington’s Gay Blade newspaper to reveal that Catholic Charities, USA, desiring continued good relations with the new Obama administration, had paid $476,750 to the Sheridan Group — headed by “gay lobbyist” Tom Sheridan — in one year “for lobbying services and advocacy work related to the Catholic organization’s anti-poverty projects”?
Funny how that fact never appears in CCUSA’s direct-mail appeals to faithful Catholics.

The Few And The Many

The Deep State in these organizations operates with powerful influence, camouflaged with an anonymity similar to that enjoyed by members of the “Inner Party” in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. But ironically, the apparatchiks of the Deep State could not survive, much less wreak their damage, without the unwitting support of a much larger number of their colleagues who keep the wheels turning and make it possible for their respective organizations to operate day by day.
These people number in the millions, and most of them have no stake in the agendas of their Deep State colleagues. Often they don’t know who those colleagues are, and just as often many don’t even know those colleagues exist. But the Deep State depends on these good people, manipulating them and misleading them with a delicate combination of feigned cooperation and implicit intimidation.
Welcome to the Shallow State. Here abide those good, hard-working folks who have done everything right. They’ve studied hard, they’ve gone the extra mile, and they have been fortunate enough to secure work in their chosen fields.
They are accountants for major firms doing business on billion-dollar government contracts. They are lawyers who have specialized in the intricacies of a law that was passed (without their knowledge) due to barely legal bribes and other payoffs. They are employers who would be out of business if this or that government preference, program, or grant was defunded. And, of course, they are millions of average employees from all walks of life.
They have families. They have mortgages. Their kids have tuitions. All they want to do is to work hard for a living — but slowly they have become aware that something is simply not right with the way their employers do business.
In fact, for many their work has become downright uncomfortable. In business and government, their fellow employees might object to the crucifix on their desk. They might be required to attend harassing “gender equity” training sessions. Things might get worse. What do they do if their CEO joins the board of Planned Parenthood USA? Or sponsors the “Gay Pride” march, or even threatens to move out of their home state because its laws protect families and businesses like bakers and florists from harassment by radical sodomites?
Others are working in some way for the Church. In fact, Kevin Cardinal Farrell, who was recently appointed prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life in Rome, has encouraged more members of the laity to do so. Countless men and women of goodwill have undoubtedly responded. But what happens if they notice that their office is developing sex education programs for children down to the age of five? Or advocating global warming or Obamacare or amnesty instead of Humanae Vitae? What if they discover that the priest who heads the “child protection” office is funneling funds to pay for his boyfriend’s apartment in the city? What happens if they are called on the carpet because they here heard speaking “uncharitably” to a colleague about “gay rights”?
Throughout our society, perversion has permeated institutions everywhere. And good people, wherever they work, have been intimidated and, if necessary, punished for speaking out about it in their workplace. So what are good people to do? Lay low. Keep your head down, do your work, and keep quiet about the rot that is slowly seeping into your profession, your workplace, and your community. Hey — haven’t you noticed what’s happened to those who speak up?
“Chris, you can only quit once,” said a State Department bureaucrat who wanted someone else, not him, to correct the malfeasance in his office. A talented analyst, he had slowly come to recognize which of his colleagues were part of the “Deep State” even before he knew its extent or its power — or even its name. Each individual might not have had that much authority, but somehow their network seemed capable of shutting down any opposition, often anonymously, always effectively.
Why didn’t he blow the whistle?
He had a wife. A family. A mortgage. Tuitions. And eventually, a pension. Turn the page.
Church bureaucracies are no different. They hire talented people, most of them honest and hard-working. But some of them wander, becoming more loyal to their personal agendas than they are to the faith. After all, they have careers too. And the more they interface with their government paymasters, the more they recognize how things really work. That’s how the USCCB bureaucracy neutered the bishops’ pro-life efforts in favor of championing welfare-state “social justice” programs years ago.
Some of the players are well-known, but others are not. How did they get there? Why didn’t anybody tell us?

The Way The World Works

Consider Ken Hackett, who ran Catholic Relief Services for twenty years. He once said that he had never hired a Republican. After twenty years, wouldn’t that personnel policy have policy consequences?
During those twenty years, the Democrat Party became the party of free, legal, and universal abortion on demand up to the moment of birth. At the same time, CRS was receiving billions from AID, the most pro-abortion agency in the U.S. government. The USCCB’s personnel and policies paralleled that.
Should we be surprised that, but for a few isolated cases, the authority of our bishops to follow canon law, to teach the hard, unpopular truths of the faith, or even to confront their own Deep State has been virtually emasculated?
In government and the commercial world, it’s no different. Most people are there to work hard and employ their skills for the common good. But consider one example of a Deep State network — possibly the most powerful — and how it came into its power.
A homosexual employee of a major company convinces Human Resources to put his “partner” on the company’s health plan. Suddenly the word goes out through the network — “they’re hiring.” It won’t take long for Christians at that company to learn that they’re an oppressive, homophobic bunch of bigots who had better learn to keep their mouths shut. And not long after that, the ill-educated lawyers and MBAs who think they’re running the company are cowed into threatening local officials to adopt a “gay rights” ordinance or they’ll move their operations to a more “gay friendly” location.
Will even one brave employee dare go to the public hearing and testify against the ordinance?
As Prufrock says, “. . . . And this, and so much more.”
Welcome to the Shallow State.

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