Rush Limbaugh, long-time leading conservative talk-show host, passed away this morning after a year-long battle with stage-four lung cancer. I first started listening to him on WMAL about 25 years ago. He was a lone conservative voice in the midst of a liberal-dominated media mode.
His radio show, plus some of the smaller Catholic newspapers (such as Wanderer and Catholic Family News) existed some time before the internet became available. They paved the way for those of us providing alternatives to the mainstream media and its leftwing slant. Rush spoke truth to their falsehoods, often using cutting humor to make his points. He grew in popularity with those of us who often thought ourselves alone in the liberal jungle. For that, he was hated and vilified by the left-wing moguls who saw their holds on the populace being thus challenged and weakened.
When Bill Clinton took the White House in 1992 Limbaugh opened his show with the statement, "America held hostage for x amount off days" during Clinton's term. In 1994, conservatives seized both the House and Senate, along with many state governor seats. No doubt they were rallied in no small part by Limbaugh and some others who were coming on the scenes.
I don't believe Limbaugh was a saint; he had his flaws, as we all do. While he voiced belief in God, I'm not sure he adhered to any particular denomination (please correct me if I'm mistaken). That said, he was an example of someone with honesty and clear thinking being able to comprehend and appreciate natural law - hence his conservative and patriotic principles. I don't think I'm alone among Catholics who will say that Limbaugh was more helpful to my thinking than many quisling prelates were. Both Old and New Testaments are replete with accounts of God's people being assisted by non-believers of good will.
Let us pray that Limbaugh had the grace of final repentance and conversion before he died, as well as peace for his family. Let us also pray for some progressives who are literally cackling in glee over his death, forgetting that death will one day come for them as it will for us all.
Today is Ash Wednesday. We can now take this opportunity to ponder our own preparation for our end. "Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverim reverteris."