The Catholic blogger Mark Shea, who has for a long time been taking Catholic conservatives to task for supporting torture in the name of protecting us from the jihad, is worried about the signs he sees in the concentration of power in the executive (which accelerated under the last Bush), and Obama’s attitude towards religious liberty. He cautions Catholics not to become hysterical, but says that all of us — not just Catholics — should be watchful and apprehensive. Excerpt:

[T]hey certainly have laid the groundwork for persecution and tyranny with the repeal of habeas corpus via royal fiat, the authorization of murder and indefinite detention on the word of the Dear Leader alone, and this latest move to trample religious liberty. It will take only the right combination of economic, social and political triggers to turn our de jure tyrannical police state into a de facto one. Who will be the designated scapegoats the Dear Leader will select in order to crystallize The People around him will depend on who the Dear Leader is, what precipitates the crisis whereby he euthanizes the last bits of liberty, and what goals he is trying to achieve in consolidating power and crushing opposition as he does so. But our Ruling Class (with our supine “What’s Snooki doing on Jersey Shore?” fat, dumb, and happy help) has come a long way in terms of softening the ground for that. It may well be Catholics who bear the brunt of it, but it may be some other minority instead.