God is Not Spelled G.O.P.

All right that does it I had more than my fill of the Catholic Church. Before you label me a Catholic basher know that I spent fifty years doing penance in that faith before I left. I will save all the reasons for another post, as they will be lengthy. What I want to address is the harm they are presently doing by getting involved into politics.

Rev. Jay Scott Newman a South Carolina Roman Catholic priest distributed a letter to parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote for Barrack Obama. Fr. Newman says Catholics should always vote for the pro-life candidate, as any other issues don’t count.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City, Kansas said politicians “ can’t check your principals at the door of the legislature.” Naumann has said repeatedly that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic Democrat who supports abortion rights, should stop taking Holy Communion until she becomes pro-life.” They cannot call themselves Catholic when they violate such a core belief as the dignity of the unborn,” Naumann said.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops told Catholic politicians and voters that the abortion issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights. Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 was criticized for supporting abortion rights, with a few Catholic bishops saying Kerry should refrain from receiving Holy Communion because his views were contrary to church teachings.

This act of Catholic priests telling you who to vote for is not new to the elecpencil. I attended a small Catholic church in Warren Ohio for a number of years. In 1988 I was appalled when one of the priests at mass told us we had to vote for George H. Bush because he was pro-life. Sadly, this priest went to another Warren parish where he claimed two African American kids knifed him. It was soon learned he lied and had actually tried to commit suicide. That lie almost erupted the city into a race riot.

On the very day of the 2008 election I heard a bishop I believe to be Naumann from Kansas City interviewed on a Fundamentalist Christian radio show syndicated by local 1440 AM. He said to Catholics considering a vote for Obama: “Give consideration to your eternal salvation.”

Despite the Catholic Church’s claims that abortion needed to be the one issue that Catholics voted on, 54 percent of Catholics chose Obama. In a poll of likely Catholic voters, 70 percent said that the views of Catholic bishops holds no weight in deciding for whom to vote and 73 percent said they believe they are under no religious obligation to vote the way the bishops recommend.

The Catholic Church has a proud history of standing up for many movements of social justice. These are issues like: peace, justice, racial equality, workers rights, the fight for raising the minimum wage, health, safety, homelessness, poverty, environmental issues, corporate responsibility etc. The Catholic Church needs to remember that Republicans have always been the ones on the other side of these issues fighting back. That has not been lost on Catholic voters just the churches hierarchy. As far as the issue of decaying morality, let’s put the blame where it belongs, on conservative values, which promote greed as good, looking out for number one, and the support of an economic system that puts profits before people. Conservatives, I’ve come to realize confuse G.O.P. and GOD.

Since 9/11 I have heard hatred, racism and religious intolerance from people of many faiths. The most shocking to me were some things I heard a couple of years ago on the Catholic Church’s radio station, “”Stations of the Cross.”” On various programs on the station I heard: A Catholic Priest (who was a former Episcopalian Priest) criticize Episcopalians and Lutherans. I heard one host trashing Mormons another Moslems. I heard an author interviewed who was promoting his book, which would arm Catholics with information to combat those “pesky” Jehovah Witness missionaries when they come to your door talking religion.

It is time to realize there can be no peace and tolerance among nations if there is neither among religions.

As I go to print this it’s ironic I received information about a priest I have met and respect more than any other one I’ve ever met. I’m talking about Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of the School of the Americas Watch in Columbus Georgia. Fr. Roy leads yearly demonstrations against the School of the Americas that trains death squads for third world dictators. Despite all the great work that Fr. Roy had done he is being threatened with excommunication by Pope Benedict XVI (who as a cardinal was the one who hid the pedophile priest problem). This is because Fr. Roy has spoken in favor of ordaining women as priests.

I am saddened by this threat as I have been saddened by the second-class treatment of women in the church and the church’s stand against gays. With all this talk of denying parishioners communion and excommunication I would ask if the Catholic Church excommunicated pedophile priests or forgave them as Christ would? If the Catholic and other Christian churches are going to excommunicate liberal members who are pro-choice and use birth control, and conservative members who use birth control, are pro-war, pro-death penalty, and pro-pollution of our planet by corporations, all things opposed to Christian church teachings, I think you’re going to find the pews pretty empty.

With all the hate and intolerance I’m hearing from various religions that may not be such a bad thing.

I think these churches that want to get involved in politics should lose their tax exempt status. what do you think?

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