Sunday, February 24, 2008

Are You Damned?

Fortunately for me, the tenets of my faith (Methodist) are more lenient on my soul's future than that of other faiths. As Joe Feuerherd reminded us in todays WaPo, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that Catholics voting for pro-choice candidates (such as the two finalists in the democratic race) just might endanger their souls.
It's not only lawmakers and candidates who risk damnation, 98 percent of the U.S. bishops agreed last November, but the voters who put them in office. "It is important to be clear," the bishops said in a 44-page statement titled "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," "that the political choices faced by citizens[emphasis added] not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual's salvation."

To Catholics like me who oppose liberal abortion laws but also think that other issues -- war or peace, health care, just wages, immigration, affordable housing, torture -- actually matter, the idea that abortion trumps everything, all the time, no matter what, is both bad religion and bad civics. It's not, for God's sake, as though we're in Nazi Germany and supporting Hitler.

Or is it? Amazingly, at least one influential bishop has made just that comparison publicly, and it's a good bet that many others believe it privately.

"In our country we have, for the most part, allowed the party of death and the court system it has produced to eliminate, since 1973, upwards of 40 million of our fellow citizens without allowing them to see the light of day," wrote Rockford, Ill., Bishop Thomas Doran in 2006. "No doubt, we shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death." He continued, "We know . . . that adherents of one political party would place us squarely on the road to suicide as a people."

That Doran forgets his history (five of the seven justices who supported Roe v. Wade were actually appointed by Republican presidents) doesn't obscure his point. He is not alone among Catholic bishops in his attempt to anathematize the Democrats, to make the party and its candidates illegitimate in the mind of the electorate. George Weigel -- papal biographer and intellectual guru to the new generation of conservative bishops -- said as much, as the wafer wars reached a fevered pitch. "The Republican Party is a more secure platform from which Catholics can work on the great issues of the day than a party in thrall to abortion 'rights,' gay activism, and a utilitarian approach to the biotech future that is disturbingly reminiscent of 'Brave New World,' " he wrote in his syndicated column.

Best of luck to my Catholic friends voting for democrats this November.


Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

I'm definitely damned on all the counts outlined above.

The catholic church has been on a totalitarian tear for quite some time now, at least since '04, when the leadership decided that no one who supported abortion rights could receive the church's sanction OR sacraments. that meant john kerry was officially persona non grata as a candidate. more recently, the archbishop of st. louis revoked permission for senator claire macaskill's daughter's high school to ask...senator macaskill to speak at her daughter's graduation. senator macaskill supports a woman's right to choose, you see, which is anathema to this vatican leadership.

time was, the vatican took care to stay OUT of domestic, it would impose its will on all catholics in all circumstances, everywhere.

which only leads you to wonder about priorities...opposing abortion more important than opposing a discretionary war? they're kidding, right?!

5:43 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

This could not be a better demonstration of the wisdom of out founding fathers in that they included the 'establishment clause' in the First Amendment.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Karlo said...

Do those Catholics voting for waterboarding and the killing of innocents for money and prophet get an extra star on the halo?

12:25 PM  

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