The Bishops

Damn would I love to see the IRS remove the tax-exempt status for the Catholic Church.  There is absolutely no doubt that this bishop is clearly advocating for a particular political candidate (the idea that one should have to use the words “vote for” or “vote against” is beyond ludicrous).  From the Post:

A number of Roman Catholic bishops are making forceful last-minute appeals to their flock to vote on Election Day, and their exhortations are increasingly sounding like calls to support Republican challenger Mitt Romney over President Obama.

The most recent example: a letter from Illinois Bishop Daniel Jenky accusing the administration of an unprecedented “assault upon our religious freedom” and implying that Catholics who pull the lever for Democrats who support abortion rights are like those who condemned Jesus to death.

“Since the foundation of the American Republic and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I do not think there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present,” Jenky writes in the letter, which he ordered priests in his Peoria diocese to read at all Masses on Sunday (Nov. 4).

In the letter, Jenky blames Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate for trampling on the Catholic Church’s rights and moral convictions by requiring health insurers to provide contraception coverage. Jenky also compares abortion rights supporters to the Jewish crowd in Jerusalem that pledged loyalty to the Roman Empire and demanded that Pontius Pilate crucify Jesus.

“For those who hope for salvation, no political loyalty can ever take precedence over loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his Gospel of Life,” Jenky writes.

Jenky’s broadside is especially powerful and — to his critics — partisan. But it is not an isolated case.

On Thursday, the bishops of Pennsylvania — a crucial battleground state where most Catholics are currently supporting Obama — released a letter to voters declaring that policies on contraception, abortion and gay rights backed by the White House and Democrats meant the nation was “losing its soul by little steps.”

Oh, there’s something losing its sole here by little steps.  The hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  Heck, just for arguments sake, I’ll give ’em abortion, but the idea that we should be more concerned about banning contraception and preventing gays from marrying each other takes precedence over how we care for poor people is just completely offensive.  I only remember Jesus talking about one of these topics.  And he talked about it a lot.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to The Bishops

  1. Mike in Chapel Hill says:

    I wish someone who agrees with the claim that “there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present” would be more specific as to which freedoms are going away.
    It is this type of religious political activity that prompted me to give money to organizations fighting to maintain the separation between politics and religion. And I am no longer ambivalent about being an atheist. Nothing has driven me away from every aspect of religion than religion itself.

    • Mike from Canada says:

      Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Catholic bishops campaigning against Obama allowed Romney to win and helped fundamentalist Christian Protestantism eventually become the state church in several US states?

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