If you see liberal political consultant Bob Shrum in the street, please do not approach him. Call CMR immediately. Bob Shrum is a rabid victim of “Catechismentia.” His speech patterns make little sense and he will invent insults and hurl them at you for no apparent reason.

CMR has dealt with this before. There are protocols. We triangulate the afflicted creature, employ blow darts at twenty paces filled with tranquilizers until we bring the raving beast down and place him in the “McBrien/Kmiec” wing of the CMR Institute of Liberal Logic Dissection.

We’ve been trying to take down Nancy Pelosi for months now, but that woman sees us coming every time.

But evidence of Shrum’s “Catechismentia” is in his recent column in The Week where he writes that “Neo-Caths” are playing “Sharia Politics” when it comes to how they’re reacting to Notre Dame’s honoring of Barack Obama.

Like I said, logic is the first casualty. But Shrum’s column is impressive only in that, typically when someone is this insane they take to writing messages down on cardboard in magic marker, holding it up in the street, and spitting on people. Shrum is still using a keyboard and spitting on people which is impressive.

Now, two questions. What the heck is a neo-Cath? I’m serious. He uses the term but never defines it. I’m thinking he thinks its bad though. I picked up on that much. Yeah, I’m quick like that.

But what does he mean by “Sharia Catholic?” Is there a gang of Catholics running around chopping up heretics? Albino monks, maybe? Oddly enough, I’ve never heard of Shrum worrying about Sharia practicing Muslims who actually chop people up, but maybe that’s his next column.

Or maybe Shrum sees an equivalence between Catholics writing letters and protesting peacefully to Muslims running around chopping each other up. But that doesn’t make sense. Shrum writes:

Notre Dame’s decision to confer an honorary degree on President Obama has engendered resistance from a counter-reformation blessed by prominent members of the Catholic hierarchy. The fight against Obama is being advanced by a band of neo-Catholics who adhere to the radical notion that sectarian doctrine must be written into public policy.

Don’t worry. This is fairly typical among Democrat Catholics. They start nonsensically accusing Catholics of attempting to make Catholicism law because Catholics don’t support the killing of babies.

My goodness, somebody stop them. Catholics don’t want people to destroy human life! The horror.

Bob Shrum seems unfamiliar with Catholicism. It could be because he went to Georgetown but when he’s talking about leaders of Catholicism he doesn’t bring up Pope John Paul II or St. Francis. No, for Shrum the North star of Catholicism is found elsewhere in the likes of Teddy Kennedy and Mario Cuomo.

The bishops and their acolytes succeeded in battering pro-choice John Kerry in 2004, when a majority of Catholics joined the Rovian Republican base that narrowly delivered a second term to George W. Bush. Kerry, a faithful church attendee, declined to retract his support of the Constitutional guarantee of a woman’s right to choose. His position was consistent with the view, articulated more than twenty years ago, by two of the nation’s most prominent Catholic political leaders—Edward Kennedy and Mario Cuomo. They had argued —at Notre Dame and elsewhere—that in a free and pluralistic society, political leaders cannot impose their religious beliefs on a majority of citizens who disagree.

I know how easy it is to get confused between Pope Benedict XVI and Ted Kennedy. I mean just see the similarity between these two quotes. One is from Pope Benedict and the other is from Ted Kennedy. See if you can even tell the difference:

A) “God’s love does not differentiate between the newly conceived infant still in his or her mother’s womb and the child or young person, or the adult and the elderly person. God does not distinguish between them because he sees an impression of his own image and likeness in each one.”

B) “This morning I entered a plea of guilty to the charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Prior to my appearance in court it would have been improper for me to comment on these matters. But tonight I am free to tell you what happened and to say what it means to me…Only reasons of health prevented my wife from accompanying me.

Wow. I mean, you can hardly tell the two quotes apart. That’s freaky, huh? (For those keeping score at home Pope Benedict was Quote A and Kennedy was Quote B.)

But oddly enough, bishops don’t take their cues from Kennedys. At least Nancy Pelosi attempted to quote Augustine. She misquoted him but at least she was looking in the right direction.

Also, the Catholic Church is not seeking to impose doctrine on the country. It’s asking America to live up to its promise of the right to life. But to Bob Shrum, the protection of life is “absurd.” (He seriously said that)

And Shrum doesn’t have a problem with liberals imposing higher taxes and punishing certain behaviors but like I said, logic is the first victim.

But if you’re not convinced yet that Shrum needs to be blowdarted and dragged to our Institute he also shows classic signs of believing that the world started in the 1960’s and either nothing happened before that or that everyting that did happen was bad. He wrote:

The neo-Caths reject John Kennedy’s classic formulation on church and state. “I believe in an America,” he said in 1960, “where no Catholic prelate would tell the President—should he be Catholic—how to act.” Kennedy pledged to follow the public interest “without regard to outside religious pressures.” The speech, which was drafted with the counsel of the great Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray, was a political Magna Carta for American Catholics, freeing them to participate in American politics to the fullest.

Because before that Catholics were actually chained up on election day and weren’t allowed to vote or run for office. (And again with the Kennedy obsession. Is it possible, Shrum doesn’t know any other Catholics?)

But approaching Shrum is dangerous because at this stage of dementia he is likely to see any motion from you as an attempt to harm him or silence him. Folks like Shrum are obsessed with “being silenced.” We don’t want to silence you. We just want you to shut up for a little while. There’s a difference.

The neo-Caths at least claimed a rationale in 2004. Because Kerry was a Catholic, they contended he could be disciplined publicly by church authorities. But as the Notre Dame commencement nears, they have widened their crusade to attack Barack Obama, who doesn’t fit Kennedy’s description of a President who “happens also to be a Catholic.”

In the neo-Caths’ view, if Obama disagrees with Catholic doctrine, he must be condemned and silenced—even if he’s not a member of the Church. This assertion of an almost limitless role for the Church in public life comes perilously close to reviving a nineteenth century Pope’s position that “Americanism,” which values individualism and separation of church and state, is heresy.

We do not seek to silence the President. Catholics are discussing whether it is right for a Catholic institution to honor people who find the protection of life “absurd.”

Obama is almost besides the point in this entire Notre Dame debate. This is not an Obama scandal. It is a Fr. Jenkins scandal, a Notre Dame scandal, and a Catholic scandal. Obama is anti-life. We know this. The argument being held by Catholics about a Catholic institution is whether we should honor such a man. Choosing not to honor someone is hardly silencing them.

In fact, Shrum is seeking to silence Catholics. By calling anyone who opposes Democrats names like “Sharia Catholics” or “neo-Caths” he’s attempting to intimidate them into silence. And to me, being Catholic means not being silent.

But in the end, Shrum makes the extent of his sickness clear by reversing roles by now claiming that he’s only raising this issue because he cares so much about the Catholic Church. He’s a champion of Catholics now.

Similarly, the neo-Caths would reduce the Catholic university to a caricature—a center of dictat, not dialogue, and a place for closed minds, not open debate and discovery. Obama opponent Mary Ann Glendon has declined to appear at the graduation, invoking the hierarchy’s warning that people like Obama “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

But the American people have already given Obama the world’s biggest platform, which he earned with the support of 54 percent of Catholic voters. The Notre Dame student body supported him at an even higher level— with 57 percent of the vote. Obama will now honor them by speaking at their graduation.

But once again, Shrum misunderstands Catholicism. It shouldn’t matter if Obama got 99% of the vote. If he is anti-life, he shouldn’t be honored by a Catholic institution.

To Shrum, everything is a numbers game. All things are an election to him, which is a surprise considering that he’s lost so many of them. Shrum worked on the Presidential campaigns of Dick Gephardt, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, Bob Kerrey, and John Kerry. Please notice what links together all these presidential candidates.

So maybe, Catholicism has never had it better. Hey, anytime Bob Shrum is against you it means you’re going to win. Hold off on the blowdarts boys. Let him run wild.