This week, the lines between church and state were muddied again. While it is the Catholics who are triumphing right now, this is a situation not exclusive to them. They just get the spotlight right now.
In Maine, the campaign to deny gays the right to marry was led by the Catholic Diocese (you may recall that one year ago in California it was the Mormon church spearheading the battle). They went so far as to have sermons on the topic and to pass along collection plates targeted at funding advertisements to “save” marriage. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I tend to agree with the cartoon above that we heterosexuals have pretty much done in marriage quite well on our own thankyouverymuch! Anyhow – the point is – just how far can a church go and still maintain it’s tax exempt status? Sermons telling you how to vote? FundraisingCollection plates? C’mon now!!!
Of course, I think the right to marry is one of those basic inalienable rights that the we shouldn’t even be voting on. Tyranny of the majority denying rights of the minority and all that. And this particular right is my Achilles heal when it comes to being pragmatic. No, I cannot see your side. No I will NEVER understand your side. And yes, you are being exclusionary and bigoted and supporting hate and discrimination. No, I will not budge from that position. Yes, I do lose some respect for you if you are willing to fight to deny gays their rights. Yes, that includes you President Obama.
Moving on, this next piece may be even more disturbing, and also may have almost NO light shone on it by the media. In fact, one never hears *any* sort of complaints about this example which happens most likely with nearly every piece of legislation. In the course of the Health Care debate, one of the GOP’s favorite points of contention is abortion. Even though it is legal. Even though there is already a law in place preventing Federal funding of abortions. Now they want to make sure that any insurance plan which may participate in the proposed public option marketplace will deny abortion coverage. Why? Because they want to appease the Catholics! Seriously – check out this article in Politico. Particularly this paragraph:
Ellsworth worked closely with Pennsyvlania Rep. Mike Doyle and others to craft a compromise that the Catholic church could accept. But a critical bloc of Democrats wouldn’t sign on to the plan unless the Conference of Catholic Bishops could endorse if. Therefore, party leaders once again bowed to political pressure from their own rank-and-file to make a concession they didn’t want to.
There are Representatives who will not vote on a piece of legislation unless a religious lobby endorses it??? And no one sees any problem with this??
I wonder how the conservatives would view things if the Catholics actually did lobby according to Christian values and insisted upon caring for the poor by expanding government services to provide for the homeless and jobless? Isn’t that what Christ taught? How would they feel about the So Called Separation of Church and State then?