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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Tax the Catholic Church

posted by Jazz at 10/17/2004 06:10:00 AM

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The time is long since past. This year what was once merely obvious has become blatant and insulting. The Catholic Church is one of the largest, wealthiest and influential organizations in the United States and, for that matter, the world. If they wish to fully participate in the political process in this country as a lobbying group, they should be free to do so. This is a right that everyone in the country has, and Catholics no less so. However, in doing so, they surrender any pretense that they are still in line with the separation of church and state which the founders of this nation held so dear.

In his recent NYT interview, Archbishop Charles Chaput was asked about voting for Kerry in light of his support of freedom of choice and his stand on expanding stem cell research. His opinion was that casting such a vote would require confession before receiving communion.

"If you vote this way, are you cooperating in evil? Now, if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes."

In the past, the church at least made a transparent attempt to feign non-partisanship by simply advising the faithful on general policies. It was still a clear indication of how they wanted you to vote, based on which candidate supported which policy, but they mostly left names out of it. Now, having such a high ranking representative of the Pope telling people that a specific vote for Kerry is a sin in the eyes of God, the church has cast aside any pretense that it is not a politically active interest. Considering the deficit we are currently burdened with, taxing the coffers of the Catholic Church in America couldn't hurt a bit.

This attitude, cultivated heavily by the conservatives, seems highlighted in President Bush's numerous comments about how his acting "under orders from God." In her column today, Maureen Dowd sums it up nicely.

"The president's certitude - the idea that he can see into people's souls and that God tells him what is right, then W. tells us if he feels like it - is disturbing. It equates disagreeing with him to disagreeing with Him."