Tim Shipe made an interesting comment on Inside Blog.
I find the lack of contact between faithful Catholics and the culture, the political structures, the media etc.. absolutely inexusable. The one big glaring virtue to the American system is the ability to get on the horn, get on the ballot, get off your butt, and change the world for Christ.
I have spoken to newspaper editors who have admitted to me that they would like to go to bat on this or that topic- ex. taking the palestinian narrative more seriously- but they are pressured by who calls, how many call, and do they request a sit-down meeting. If a tiny minority of pro-Israeli American Jews can shape our Congress, our Presidency, our Media, so soundly with good old fashonied organizing- what is wrong with us?
I have found most Catholic parishes barely interested in shaping the political landscape of which the pastors and faithful moan and groan about all the time. Minorities have to stand up and be counted or they will be overlooked or oppressed- history shows this over and over. Catholics are so bound by the devil with the Pro-Life camps pitted against the Social Justice camps- it is a clear divide/conquer strategy and most Catholics I know are being played like fiddles- Catholic Left- Catholic Right- how about straight Catholic- Dorothy Day/Mother Teresa- One Church- liberal give the conservative his due, conservative give the liberal his- you both make some sense.
If Catholics had their act together, we wouldn't be the butt of so much unholy humor, we wouldn't be destroying Iraqis and creating enraged jihadists at every turn, we wouldn't be killing our offspring and cheering right to choose death for our kids, we wouldn't be fighting a losing cause in standing up to a divorce/gay oversexualized culture, we wouldn't be calling social programs 'the beast", we wouldn't be questioning the value of faith-based organizations, we wouldn't have a global economy built on the backs of Chinese slave laborers and poor, desperate workers trapped in corrupt/failed nations with border guards keeping everyone and everything just in place so that the elites can keep their station secured, Hollywood wouldn't be making Da Vinci Code movies anymore than they are likely to make a Protocols of Zion film...but alas, American Catholics are either too wimpy, or too caught up in the exciting idiocies of party politics, to be of much service to the world for Christ's poor and vulnerable.
The only reason we are so powerless in America is that we are so clueless as to what freedom we have here in America- we are like the cave-dweller in Plato's parable gazing at shadows, missing out on the direct sunlight so easily found.