Thursday, November 12, 2009

Faith-based Hypocrisy

My outrage over the Catholic bishops forcing a rollback of abortion law as the price of health insurance reform in the House of Representatives is growing day by day to the point I am about to become a bigot.

Yes, anyone has a right to petition government, including religious leaders, as did Martin Luther King, most notably. The difference is that Protestant or Jewish leaders advocating certain social programs are informing their views based on what they perceive as doing good. The Catholic Church, however, is different in these respects:

  • It insists its doctrine become law.
  • It requires politicians to vote according to religious canon over what their constituentsmay want or face damnation, or at least denial of the sacraments. However it will not allow priests to hold high elective office, forcing from the House some years ago Father Robert Drinan – resign or be defrocked – because he was a liberal and, even worse, an intellectual policy expert
  • It ordered 30-some liberal-to-moderate Democrats in the House last Friday how to vote on an amendment that the bishops negotiated, after they had seemingly been all right with a less vicious attack on women’s health the day before.
Shame on the Catholic Church, but bigger shame on the Democrats who violated their oaths of office by paying greater allegiance to the Vatican than to the Constitution.

Shame on the church but bigger shame on the Democrats who violate their oath of office by paying allegiance to the Vatican over the United States.

Then today, the Washington Post reports the Church is threatening to end their faith-based contracts with the District of Columbia to provide social services, including help to the homeless if the City Council passes, as is likely, same-sex marriage legislation that forbids discrimination against like-gendered couples.

Somehow, this seems un-Christian. But acting that way, of course, is the entire history of the Catholic Church, isn’t it?

However, among the institutions lower in my estimation than the Catholic Church is the Republican Party. You want hypocrisy? Take a look at my favorite author’s investigative piece showing that the insurance plan for employees of the Republican National Committee covers abortion.


  1. I am waiting for some member of the DC City Council to tell the Archbishop that he has a choice between acting as a Christian or acting as a Catholic. A little WWJD is in order here.

  2. Jon's article is terrific!

  3. WTF????

    Ira writes:

    "Shame on the church but bigger shame on the Democrats who violate their oath of office by paying allegiance to the Vatican over the United States"

    How the f*** does someone violate their oath of office by following a religious doctrine?

    Let's not even go in to whether or not there is Constitutional authority for the Congress to pass legislation such as this health care bill (which there is not and you know it).

    But how -- under any twisted sense of what you believe is constitutional or not -- is voting in a particular way, because your religious leaders may have encouraged you to do so or not, violating your oath of office?

    Please elaborate. Use specific examples, such as -- The Constitution of the United States, all amendments therof, and the oath of office.

    Please, in 150 words or less -- demonstrate how an oath of office has been violated.

    Your chance - Go.

  4. GG:

    I am surprised that, as a libertarian and as a Catholic who I am pretty sure acts freely in disobedience to the Church, you are not in agreement with me. I also wonder if you support any of the Conference of Bishops other legislative views on things such as climate change, capital punishment and putting the poor first.

    But to respond directly to your comment:

    Posit you are a member of Congress. If a majority of your constituents either are pro-choice or do not give the issue high priority – both measurable by many methodologically sound surveys – and/or you honestly believe in the right to an abortion and vote against it because your bishop has told you to, then that is a violation of the current congressional oath to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution, which, in addition to the First Amendment’s “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” states in Article VI “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under the United States.” (This may be the longest sentence I have ever written!)

    When members of a party vote against their own platform – not because of their personal or political beliefs but because they are told to by representatives of a foreign power (the Vatican) after said members have already agreed to less restrictive legislation already informed by their religious belief -- then they are acting against the Constitution, spirit and letter. Recent history is replete with the Catholic Church ordering politicians how to vote, upon pain of religious sanction, which to any reasonable person is “a religious test” for holding office.

    If a religious issue also becomes a civic issue, then your representative ought to give you his/her best consideration free from the dictates of a religious and foreign power.

    If the House bill is unconstitutional, why is it that God’s Only Party wants to amend it by allowing sale of insurance policies across state lines,” which is prima facie “interstate commerce” subject to regulation under the Constitution. If you object to the bill requiring people to purchase a product, then I suppose the language could be altered to make the tax consequences of not doing severe enough to encourage such purchase. Can a state require it but not Congress? Can a state require you to be quarantined if you have a serious communicable disease?

    Can I find language in the Constitution specifically authorizing health care reform such as passed by the House, but neither can I find language in the Constitution authorizing regulation of anything invented after 1789.

    I find it noteworthy that our differing political philosophies compel us each to advocate policies which actually are harmful to our personal self interests. The difference is that I wish everyone to have the same opportunities as I have had while you believe the opportunities you have had are deliverable from on high.

  5. Ira wrote this astonishing nonsense:

    "... while you believe the opportunities you have had are deliverable from on high."

    Where do get off telling what my beliefs are?

    You've been reading my crap for 13 years, please find *any* instance where I've conveyed any notion of the sort.

    You always try to take things to a personal level, rather than answering the question.

    "Free exercise thereof" pretty much covers representatives voting according to whatever faith they hold.

    Our Masonic framers voted that way regularly.

  6. Anonymous9:57 AM

    @GG: Ira is never much interested in the truth. He's looking more for the "clever" soundbite. If the truth gets in the way, he merely pushes it to the side, hoping no one will notice. It's noticed.