Catholic Church returns to “mandatory” politics

When it comes to America’s most famous Catholic family, no true compass guides the Roman Catholic Church. After Ted Kennedy’s death, that’s clearer than ever.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley presided over the funeral of the world-famous US senator, who also happened to be an abortion rights advocate. When challenged by conservative Catholics, O’Malley defended his participation as a way to promote civility when discussing divisive issues…

With Patrick Kennedy, the cassocks are off.

After Representative Kennedy of Rhode Island questioned why the church is vowing to fight any health care bill that does not explicitly ban the use of public money for abortions, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence fired back. Tobin called Kennedy’s support of abortion rights “a deliberate and obstinate act of will’’ that was “unacceptable to the church and scandalous to many of our members…’’

It’s an echo of what happened in 1975, when the bishop of Fall River denounced Ted Kennedy for supporting Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion…

More important, that decision legalized women’s right to choose. Something the Catholic Church and their Bible Belt allies fear.

The fight between Patrick Kennedy and the Providence bishop signals the start of another new day.

Echoing his father’s letter to the pope in which Ted Kennedy acknowledged human imperfections, Patrick Kennedy wrote his own letter to Tobin, saying “I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.’’

Responded Tobin: “Sorry you can’t chalk it up to ‘imperfect humanity.’ ’’

For the church, the time for comfort and civility is over. That’s using the compass of expedience.

Reactionary politics remain consistent over time. Just as McCarthyism was characterized by red-baiting, the Republican Southern Solution was defined by race-baiting, today’s single-issue clerics rely on fear and obedience to affect broader political issues. Healthcare reform being the best example.

The most absurd and unnecessary amendments take up half the debate, distract any reasonable concern over corporate profiteering – all in the name of a religious crusade. Meanwhile, prescriptions prices are inflated, hospital and home-care prices go through the ceiling. But, the holy bigots don’t consider real human needs important in comparison to their God’s mandate.

Nor do very many politicians have the gumption to stick to the issues in the face of a braying crusade.

12 thoughts on “Catholic Church returns to “mandatory” politics

  1. Mr. Fusion says:

    The Catholic Church’s influence has waned considerably since even Ted Kennedy in 1975. It is the acts like this that are driving people to question the whole organized church thing.

    While the evangelicals may also have some sway, they too have been steadily falling out of favor. Their closeness to the Bush Administration really hurt their credibility over the past four years as has so many of their scandals.

    I would not be surprised if within ten years more than 50% of people admit they do not believe in a superior being.

  2. gordeecampbell says:

    Well this is what happens when you deprive the cassocked of the annual quota of altar boys. They have no outlet for their hormones other than to harass.

    • Mr. Fusion says:

      It has only been the weakening of the Catholic Church that has allowed the abuse to see the light of day. Even 50 years ago no one would dare suggest such a thing, no policeman would dare investigate, no newspaper would publish the accusation, and every parent would be in denial. At most, the offender would be transferred to another parish.

      While the vestiges of that power still remain, I wish every bastard that took advantage of a child could see the inside of a jail.

  3. Ryan Humphries says:

    This is deliciously hypocritical. By uncritically marginalizing groups which made rational arguments – albeit erroneous ones – and doing so without any rational criticism whatsoever – you are then free to simply dismiss the entire moral right – which by poll data represents the moral opinion of more than 50% of Americans as imbeciles…

    The ignorance and hypocrisy is absolutely comical. Thx for the post.

    • Mr. Fusion says:

      -you are then free to simply dismiss the entire moral right –

      Since when did pedophiles, wife abusers, adulterers, science deniers, hypocrites, and television thieves ever have a lock on morality?

        • Mr. Fusion says:

          Did you want a list?

          Catholic Clergy sexual abuse,.

          Oh, you didn’t know?

          Wife abuse in the Catholic Church?

          A goddess wants control, a humble wife submits. A goddess wants to be adored, a humble wife loves her family with all her might. A goddess wants to retain her power, a humble wife gives everything, even her physically fit body in the act of motherhood.


          … I want to say a word about the recent Barna Research study that claims Christians are even more likely to go through divorce than non-Christians, with Baptists having a higher divorce rate than other denominations.

          Science deniers?

          Creation. there, nuttin more needs be said.


          Television thieves.

          Oh geeze, this one is the biggest con going on for the past 1800 years. And as strong as ever.

          You name it, Christians are more prone to do it.

    • god says:

      The simple majority of fools dedicated to defending superstition through whatever sophistry available are scrambling to utilize the single poll from one surveying firm – in the decades of evidence to the contrary – to claim a majority of Americans now oppose a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Or not.

      Although that’s consistent with their hypocrisy on similar issues – “Thou shall not kill” comes to mind – as amended for every war politicians have seen fit to inflict upon the people of this planet.

      Nice try for a note of irony, Ryan. But, I’m afraid it reflects most of all upon your own convoluted statements of attainder.

      • Ryan Humphries says:

        So, if I understand right – those who disagree with you – who humbly denote yourself ‘god’ – are wrong, even if they are in the majority and have publically stated and rationally supported opinions. And because a whopping 1% – 2% of that number prove to be very bad people that should somehow effect the validity of the rational claim…

        Got it – Just want to make sure I’ve got all my facts straight.
        Thx again.

        • god says:

          Maybe English is your second language, Ryan. I’ll repeat it, slowly.

          There has been a “single poll from one surveying firm – in the decades of evidence to the contrary – to claim a majority of Americans now oppose a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. Or not.”

          Not that I think we should run any nation on popularity contests. I would have thought that after 8 years of an administration ruling our nation as a fundamentalist fiefdom, removing support for education and opportunity to all who support a woman’s right to choose an abortion – that sole poll declaring 50% + 1 might have come about sooner.

          The fact remains that all other national polls do not support your declaration of support for anti-abortion politics. And since the original Roe v Wade in 1973, the majority of public support for choice has been pretty steady.

          So, if you wander by, again – bring some facts to sustain your hopes and opinions. Time and history are not on your side. Churches, religions, comparable backwards ideologies continue to diminish in political power around the world, even in the USA.

          As education grows, your priests continue to fade away.

        • Mr. Fusion says:

          And because a whopping 1% – 2% of that number prove to be very bad people that should somehow effect the validity of the rational claim…

          How many of those 98-99% “others” were in favor of invading Iraq?

          How many of them are still in favor of war / violence against Muslims?

          How many of them watch internet porn?

          How many of them stop off for lunch on their way home from church every Sunday?

          And the list goes on.

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