Sep 29 2012

Keep it up, Catholic bishops!

The Catholic bishops seem to be going all in against president Obama in this election, with the issues of same-sex marriage and contraception services taking precedence even over that old standby, abortion.

NPR had an item describing the steps that various bishops are taking.

[Archbishop John Myers, of Newark, New Jersey] says same-sex unions undermine traditional marriage and conflict with both Catholic teaching and natural law. He says if a Catholic rejects a core teaching there should be consequences.

The new Archbishop of San Francisco wants to deny communion to any Catholic who is in an active gay relationship. The Archbishop of Baltimore co-hosted a fundraiser last night to fight gay marriage in Maryland. Bishops in Nebraska are encouraging priests to preach against Omaha’s new law that bans discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is leading the fight. And it comes on the heels of the bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom Campaign, in which they say that the Obama administration’s birth control mandate threatens religious freedom.

Although the church cannot explicitly advocate whom to vote for without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status (which is what they really care about), they make it pretty clear what they mean. For example, a bishop in Springfield, Illinois compares the two party platforms, finds that the Republican one contains no “intrinsic evil or a serious sin” unlike the Democratic one that does, and then warns Catholics that they are placing their immortal souls on the line when they vote, saying,

“Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”

This is pretty heavy stuff. Unfortunately for the bishops, it seems like Catholics in the pews are treating their immortal souls somewhat cavalierly. Catholic support for Obama is actually increasing even as the bishops ramp up their opposition, with them favoring him over Romney 54% to 39% in September, up from 49% to 47% in June.

So keep it up, Catholic bishops! Just like Mitt Romney is systematically alienating all segments of people from voting for him, you are steadily driving people away from the church.


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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    The new Archbishop of San Francisco wants to deny communion to any Catholic who is in an active gay relationship.

    Good idea! Also, everyone who is divorced, or uses contraception.

    If you’re really smart about how you do it, you can help millions of people decide to leave your dumbass religion.

  2. 2
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Never give an order you know won’t be obeyed.

    It’s a common leadership tip, because when you do, you inevitably weaken your own authority.

  3. 3

    The new Archbishop of San Francisco wants to deny communion to any Catholic who is in an active gay relationship.

    Good idea!

    Indeed it is.

    Excommunicate anyone who doesn’t obey the myriads of pointless rules of the RCC, especially against divorce and contraception.

    There goes the vast majority of their members.
    No members = No money = No church.

    Which is already happening anyway. In recent years the US RCC has lost 22 million members, 1/3 of them.

  4. 4

    Supposedly churches can’t endorse candidates without losing their tax exemptions.

    It’s really blatant how the fundies, Catholic bishops, and Mormon churches have edged or violated this rule this election.

    They clearly aren’t worried about the IRS doing anything. Correctly, of course. They clearly could care less what the law says or what they agreed to in the past. The IRS is so cowed, they rarely do anything to anyone any more.

    They really should take away their tax exemptions for violating the laws against politics so blatantly. I’d love to see the IRS do that. It won’t happen for a few centuries if even then.

  5. 5

    It’s always amusing in a dark sort of way to watch the churches.

    They claim to be in it to save your soul.

    What they really look like they are in it for is the usual human drives; power, money, and sex.

    The twisted old men that run the RCC and LDS churches look more like power hungry madmen than anything else.

  6. 6

    The meanest rats are the last to abandon ship.

  7. 7
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Oh my, yes, nothing at all intrinsically evil in that other party’s platform. Nothing at all.

  8. 8
    Corvus illustris

    The archbishop of San Francisco, leading the pack (the other wearers of pallia will follow shortly). Excuse me, I need to find the spare fuse for my irony meter.

    Of course he’s entirely correct theologically, and the gay communicants of his archdiocese, as well as their straight friends and sympathizers, should take appropriate action.

  9. 9
    Corvus illustris

    The twisted old men that run the RCC and LDS churches look more like power hungry madmen than anything else.

    I’ll see your power-hunger and madness and raise you an “obsession with sex” (other people’s).

  10. 10

    In the last election the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops tried this guilt trip tack and it failed miserably. I guess they figured it would be more effective if it came from individual bishops this time. They just don’t get it. People really, really, REALLY don’t like to be told how to vote.

  11. 11

    And what moral high ground do they have again? Oh, right, it’s that pit on the campus green at Penn State…

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