At http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/nov2014/jovial119-2.htm , I gave a list of places where the Government has been in opposition to the Catholic Church to show they don't control our government behind the scenes. Frank said at http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/nov2014/frankm1123-2.htm I was "understating" the Catholic influence?
OK.....where's their influence? JFK remains to this day the only Catholic ever elected President. And anyone alive then or a student of history knows there was a LOT of anti-Catholic discussions going around about how he would follow orders from the pope if he got elected. Didn't happen. Our nation has been very anti-Catholic from its inception, and the biggest influence of Rome on the USA has not been the pope from behind the scenes but merely the 25% voting block Catholics make up in this country. Given that Catholics make up 25% of all voters, it is amazing that Rome has been denied money for disaster relief when such a thing would not have been controversial with even some of the more anti-Catholics voters out there. Catholics make up TWICE the voting block of African-Americans - are they getting twice as much? Don't think so.
The true test of "Power" is to get something from the Government the voters would widespreadly disagree with. For example, I can remember Congress passing foreign aid to teach STD awareness to Chineses prostitutes. Would that be evidence the Chinese have too much influence on our government. You bet!!!
But what has the Vatican succeeded in getting from the USA Government that voters would widespreadly disagree with? I don't see evidence of anything. Instead, I see, and cited examples at http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/nov2014/jovial119-2.htm , of the Vatican NOT getting things most voters - even Protestants - would support them on.
And look at the Catholics that have run for President. Rick Santorum failed in a week field. And polls showed that he scored BIG with Evangelical Protestants who saw him as their biggest ally amidst Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Joe Biden ran in 1988 and barely scored on the radar before he dropped out. If Rome had any muscle, they could have at least proppelled him into being a top tier candidate - maybe at least a 3rd place finisher. But when the poll numbers came in, he was in low single digits.
As for Frank's argument about infiltraters - hey - to me the current pope is an infiltrater! Hey....if Bob mistook me for a Jesuit.....maybe I could infiltrate? What do you think?
Yes, some sort of bad influence has infiltrated all the way to the top. And maybe that's why you don't see much Catholic influence much of anywhere. They aren't pulling our strings, if anything, someone is pulling their's.
There are countries where Rome has too much influence. There are other countries where they have little to none. They have no influence in Russia, where Catholics are almost non-existant. France is heavily Catholic, but they don't like Vatican influence on politics. Even Italy took away a lot of the influence the Vatican USED to have. And here in the USA, I think they are under-recieving what 25% of the population should be able to flex a voice about.
Now if someone wants to argue that the Chinese have too much influence on American policy - they won't get an argument out of me on that one. But Rome isn't even getting support from our Government when they SHOULD be getting it (like on the insurance issue and disaster relief issues) let alone in cases where you and I would disagree with. Where's the big issue they are scoring on that the public would vote down if it were put to a public vote? I don't see it.
If there are puppet masters pulling the string of some of our elected officials on some issues, I don't see any strings going back to Rome. Maybe a few to China. Maybe a few to a few secret societies with their secret handshakes. But the Vatican is underachieving what a 25% voting block ought to entitle you to. If they even have some strings in the mix, they are doing a bad job of pulling them.