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Podesta, Wikileaks, and Catholics

church-state-street-signsPeople often get outraged about things that do not outrage me (and, no doubt, vice versa).  Usually, however, I can usually work out the basic nature of the given outrage.  However, I am seeing Catholic friends very upset about a leaked John Podesta e-mail which many seem to be linking to an attack on religious liberty.

The e-mails in question are an exchange between Podesta and Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress.  The e-mail are linked above but also can be found in an NRO post by Jim Geraghty (In the Podesta E-mails from WikiLeaks: Catholic Church a ‘Middle Ages Dictatorship’), which is an illustration of the reactions that prompted this post, although not as dramatic as some (although still pretty dramatic).  I find this particular case interesting as well because it touches a theme I seen more and more recently: claims about threats to religious liberty.

At any rate, the topic of an e-mail to Podesta from Newman was focused on Catholic stances on contraception.  Newman wrote to Podesta, “This whole controversy with the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage even though 98% of Catholic women (and their conjugal partners) have used  contraception has me thinking.”  In his e-mail, Newman talked about a “Catholic Spring” (like the “Arab Spring”) “in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the  Catholic church.”  He also spoke of “how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution, or who would plant them.”

Podesta responded:

We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.

To be honest, Podesta’s response strikes me as actually pretty noncommittal.  It is acknowledging some common ground but basically saying any chance requires popular support (and is basically foisting responsibility off on others politely).  He notes mentioning it to someone else and noting another contact. This does not strike me as evidence of a Clinton adviser who is out to get Catholics/people of faith.

Nonetheless, Geraghty sees Newman’s words a “us[ing] a term more appropriate for the Taliban or ISIS to describe [the] church.”  To me, that is a remarkable level of hyperbole.

Bill Donohue,  president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, responded as follows to the same language:

What Podesta admits to doing is far more serious than any disparaging comments made by the Clinton team about Catholicism. Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary’s communications director, has been incredibly insulting, but Podesta’s role is downright pernicious: He is seeking to foment a “revolution” within the Catholic Church.

If conservative Christians were plotting to sow divisions within the ranks of Judaism or Islam—setting up faux Jewish and Muslim organizations—there would be holy hell to pay. But when left-wing secularists seek to crash the Catholic Church, the media yawn.

Actually, are there not a lot of people who think that conservative Islam needs reformation?  Are there not protestants who want their churches to be more open to homosexuals and the transgendered?  Is not the essence of religious liberty to right to have an opinion on these things?  I recognize that there is a tension between orthodoxy and a pluralistic society, but I would note that it is the pluralistic society founded in basic liberalism that provides for religious liberty while adherence to orthodoxy requires unquestioning acceptance (or, at least, acceptance even if one has questions).

I can understand that many conservative Catholics might respond to the Podesta e-mails by saying that if one does not like the Catholic Church, one can worship elsewhere.  I can understand not liking the term “middle ages dictatorship” to describe the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.  But I cannot see how any of this is an example of religious liberty being threatened.  These e-mails are not about stopping people from pursuing their faith.  They are certainly not about government interference in religion.

Indeed, is not Podesta acknowledging that he is a Catholic, but simply one who want the Church to change?  What is better illustration of religious liberty than citizens having the right to debate what their religious institutions believe and, moreover, thinking that they have the right to try and reform those institutions?  I get it that conservative Catholics do not see it legitimate to ask the Church to change on issues of homosexual rights and contraception.  But, again, how is it a threat to liberty for a faction of the faith to disagree?

I have been struggling to understand how some very religious friends and acquaintances of mine can vote for Trump.  I understand (intellectually) that there is a wager going on here that states that a vote for Hillary is a guarantee of liberal Justices, while a Trump election holds a chance of more conservative Justices.  However, I cannot see how a) anyone can trust Trump’s word on this topic, or b) not acknowledged that his current track record of hiring political advisers is not massively flawed.  As I have noted before, his “campaign CEO” is allied with the alt-right. Further, Trump’s views on any number of other issues (treatment of women, sexual morality, compassion for the needy and the stranger) are well outside Christian norms.  Further, he has displayed clear authoritarian tendencies.  And yet, some are telling themselves he will appoint prudent, pro-life conservatives to the bench.  Based on what?  It seems far more likely he will choose cronies with whom he is comfortable.  As I keep stressing, he is not controllable.  He will not learn.  He is not going to receive wise counsel.

All I can figure is that many religious conservatives are trying so hard to convince themselves that they have to vote for Trump that they are looking for threats to their religious liberty wherever they can find them.  And yes, I understand that many (but not all) people of faith object to abortion rights and to same-sex marriage.  However, losing the policy fight on these issues in a pluralistic, liberal democracy is not having one’s religious liberty taken away.  And yes, there are issues concerning the execution of civil rights laws as extended to homosexuals, but at the end of the day if the major example of a threat to religious freedom is the baking of cakes, I would say that we are quite a long way away from lion’s dens and clandestine churches.  There are always difficulties weighing rights when they come into conflict, but such is life in a pluralistic society.

Of course, part of my problem with most conversations about religious liberty in this context is that they seem more to mean the imposition of a particular religious point of view on society rather than actual, well, liberty.  Again:  I understand that conservative (and in this sense I mean theologically, although probably politically as well, but not necessarily) Catholics believe that it is anathema to try and change Church doctrine on these issues, but I do not see how people trying to make such changes can be accused of threatening religious liberty.  Liberty and dissent go hand-in-hand.

 

 

 

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. dxq says:

    It’s almost as if there’s no real scandal.

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  2. Andrew says:

    All Holidays Matter.

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  3. Argon says:

    All I can figure is that many religious conservatives are trying so hard to convince themselves that they have to vote for Trump that they are looking for threats to their religious liberty wherever they can find them.

    Remarkably, even Rod Dreher won’t go that far and he’s certain ‘modern culture’ is out to get him.

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  4. al-Alameda says:

    Of course, part of my problem with most conversations about religious liberty in this context is that they seem more to mean the imposition of a particular religious point of view on society rather than actual, well, liberty.

    Steven, I could not have said it better.

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  5. CB says:

    Yeah Bill Donohue can go play in traffic.

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  6. Jc says:

    So its a threat to religious liberty to talk about how a religion could change? So a religion is not free to change? So basically it is a bunch of rules that can never change – Gee, religion sounds fun, maybe I am just a little fuzzy on it. I’ll go read my Two Corinthians

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  7. Lit3Bolt says:

    @al-Alameda:

    Dr. Taylor nails it.

    Religious authoritarians are mourning their inability to enforce their dogma on society and government, not the other way around.

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  8. MBunge says:

    We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United.

    Not to give the general hysteria over religious liberty any credence but I’m pretty sure it’s the “WE CREATED” thing upon which conservatives are seizing. And in fairness, the idea of politicians starting activist groups to try and influence church policy is a bit dubious.

    Here’s a link that explains it.

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5125/fake_catholic_groups_and_the_catholic_spring_emails.aspx

    MIke

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    Is not the essence of religious liberty to right to have an opinion on these things?

    For many of them, no.

    George Lakoff in Whose Freedom makes the case that for conservatives “freedom” doen’t mean what it means to you and Funk and Wagnalls. For them “freedom” means being able to do their duty, as they see their duty. Their duty includes forcing you to do your duty. As they see your duty.

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  10. bookdragon says:

    @MBunge: This is such bull pucky. “We created” doesn’t refer to astroturfing of fake church groups, but to Podesta’s role as a Catholic in founding a group dedicated to a progressive and social justice oriented Catholicism instead of one that cares about abortion and abortion ONLY.

    Not all Catholics are cultural conservatives. In fact of many of them think feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, caring or the least, the last and the lost, and promoting peace are the values Jesus wants them to live and advocate. Those Catholics need a voice too and in the aftermath of Kerry’s loss to Bush many were appalled at the role of various bishops in rejecting a Catholic candidate because he wasn’t “pro-life” enough for them. As I recall, it was from that that CACG sprung. (I’m Episcopalian – Catholic lite! – but I signed up for their newsletter on the recommendation of a Catholic friend).

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  11. motopilot says:

    @gVOR08: You’re free…. if you’re like me. Otherwise there are rules…. for you.

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  12. DrDaveT says:

    @MBunge:

    Not to give the general hysteria over religious liberty any credence but I’m pretty sure it’s the “WE CREATED” thing upon which conservatives are seizing

    I think you’re right. Note how, in the Bill Donohue comment, this organization is then characterized as “faux” [Catholic] — not actual Catholics interested in reforming their religion, but the dreaded outside agitators pretending to be real Catholics in order to sabotage the True Faith. It’s that infiltrate-and-subvert narrative that has people all hot and bothered.

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  13. appleannie says:

    Almost 50 years ago, I told my uncle – a Catholic monsignor – that I had too many differences with the pope and the official line to consider myself Catholic anymore. He told me to find a priest who thought like me because they were certainly out there and he was right about that. His younger sister – a nun – belonged to an order that fought to bring the Church into the 20th century. Almost as long as I can remember, there has been the faction that wanted changes and the faction that said it couldn’t happen.

    Personally, I’m a little tired of Bill Donohue and his persecution complex.

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  14. MBunge says:

    @bookdragon: This is such bull pucky.

    I’m not defending the position. I think the paranoia over religious liberty is a crutch being used by conservatives who don’t understand why they lost the gay marriage argument.

    But I think it’s worthwhile to at least understand what people are upset about, even if you disagree with them. And I have to say that Podesta is not just some Catholic. He is a major political figure in the Democratic Party and it appears his involvement in these groups was not widely known or acknowledged. It’s very much like pro-choice complaints about pro-life “crisis pregnancy centers.”

    Mike

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  15. Pch101 says:

    If Catholicism was traded on an exchange, I would avoid investing in it and would be tempted to short it.

    The number of parishes on the decline, the percentage of the population that is Catholic is about the same as it was 50 years ago, the population of the Church is aging and those who remain as members are less likely to attend services.

    In essence, it’s out of touch with reality. If it wants to maintain some of its positions, then it will either lose members or else maintain members who are just paying them lip service.

    It sounds as if Podesta and others are trying to save the institution from itself while traditionalists play smug as it fades away.

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  16. An Interested Party says:

    But I think it’s worthwhile to at least understand what people are upset about, even if you disagree with them.

    Really? If that’s true, maybe you can understand Hillary’s penchant for secrecy and defensive attitude about the press and political enemies…not that I’m defending her positions…

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  17. Joe says:

    @bookdragon: Kaine played an interesting liberal Catholic trick in the VP debate. He started his answer by talking about the hardest issue he has had to deal with as a Catholic elected official: and when everybody thought he would say abortion, he said the death penalty – something he actually had to administer as Governor of Virginia. When he explained that the Catholic Church opposes the death penalty I bet it was news to a great number of politically active, pro life Catholics.

    Many Catholics and many voters obsess about a few issues to the exclusion of a larger picture that totally undermines their bigger goals.

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  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Joe: That’s why I admire “seamless shirt” Catholics. I may not agree with some of their opinions, but at least they are consistent.

    It’s the ones who are anti-abortion but pro-death penalty, pro-war, pro-torture that make me pull my hair out. (And yeah, usually they’re not Catholics, but some form of Protestant)

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  19. bill says:

    @dxq: not when a slew of women just realized they were groped by trump……..i mean really- imagine if they didn’t remember this stuff!?
    and steve, your days late on this, were you were too busy pretending to be enraged by what trump said 11 yrs ago, when he was a democrat- and not a politician. or gasping on your pride as you heralded george will!?
    how anyone can fake that kind of rage at mere speech vs. the actual events that happened in the oral office 20 yrs ago is nice, albeit shallow or totally naive……oh, liberals- that’s it.

    @Joe: they’re called “sunday catholics”- they show up at church for appearances only, like the kennedy/cuomo clan.

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  20. Sleeping Dog says:

    However, losing the policy fight on these issues in a pluralistic, liberal democracy is not having one’s religious liberty taken away.

    It is to the Christists, to borrow a term from Andrew Sullvan, as someone mentioned above Freedom, for some of the religious right means being able to impose their social views on the rest of the populace.

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  21. dxq says:

    not when a slew of women just realized they were groped by trump……..i mean really- imagine if they didn’t remember this stuff!?

    If you’re trying to surpass Jim Hoft as the Stupidest Man on the Internet, I have to say, you’re crushing it.

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  22. An Interested Party says:

    @bill: Ahhhh, the sweet-tasting sour grapes of someone who knows that the train wreck at the head of his party is going to lose spectacularly and take down plenty of his fellow Republicans with him…isn’t it funny how both Trump and Sanders weren’t previously part of the political parties they ran with this year…at least the Democrats were smart enough to nominate the real Democrat…the Republicans, not so much…so sad…

    they’re called “sunday catholics”

    Indeed, like those who support the death penalty and wars but who don’t do much or want to do much to help the poor and downtrodden in our society…

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  23. Guarneri says:

    It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your president, presidential candidate and NBC are colluding to bury the truth?

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  24. Pch101 says:

    @Guarneri:

    What could a Zero Hedge devotee like you possibly know about the truth?

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  25. An Interested Party says:

    Speaking of religion, here is quite the contrast…which one do you think is closer to the tenets of his faith…

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  26. barbintheboonies says:

    When did people feel the need to wear their religion like a badge of honor. I hate when I meet someone new and they feel compelled to tell me they are a Christian. I feel like saying I don`t give a shi& Or they say I was at church the other day blah blah Just to feel you out. Or my favorite the new neighbor who wants to start a bible study group. Most of these people are the biggest busy bodies that turn their noses up to anyone who doesn`t believe as they do. It`s like a cult or maybe it is one. Being raised in Boston when I was young it seemed everyone was Catholic. We went to church on Sunday, raised heck all week confessed our sins on Saturday. I figured I would go to Heaven some day after a stint in Purgatory for the few sins I forgot about. I never cared what other Religions did, it never affected me. I say keep it to yourself and answer to yourself. God will take care of the rest.

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  27. Matt says:

    @Pch101:

    If Catholicism was traded on an exchange, I would avoid investing in it and would be tempted to short it.

    TSAR used to say that same line about various political people/groups..

    I’ve often wondered what happened to that character.

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  28. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: How many times have you been groped?

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  29. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    If the orange baboon didn’t insist on throwing scat around his cage and masturbating in front of the children other stories might gain some traction. As usual, you’re clueless. But that’s how we like you, Drew, cryptically dumb.

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  30. Han says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Note how, in the Bill Donohue comment, this organization is then characterized as “faux” [Catholic] — not actual Catholics interested in reforming their religion, but the dreaded outside agitators pretending to be real Catholics in order to sabotage the True Faith. It’s that infiltrate-and-subvert narrative that has people all hot and bothered.

    Actually, this is incorrect, insofar as Donohue does not believe you can be an actual Catholic if you are interested in reforming your religion. These are people that want to roll back Vatican II. So no, it’s not infiltrate and subvert.

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  31. Han says:

    @Pch101:

    The number of parishes on the decline, the percentage of the population that is Catholic is about the same as it was 50 years ago, the population of the Church is aging and those who remain as members are less likely to attend services.

    Well, it didn’t help the previous Pope had a policy of fewer, better Catholics…

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  32. appleannie says:

    @Han:

    “Actually, this is incorrect, insofar as Donohue does not believe you can be an actual Catholic if you are interested in reforming your religion. These are people that want to roll back Vatican II. So no, it’s not infiltrate and subvert.”

    Exactly.

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  33. DrDaveT says:

    @Han:

    Actually, this is incorrect, insofar as Donohue does not believe you can be an actual Catholic if you are interested in reforming your religion.

    Isn’t that what I just said? Donohoe and his ilk characterize such people as faux Catholics, and consider them to be an external (not internal) threat to Catholicism.

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  34. @DrDaveT:

    consider them to be an external (not internal) threat to Catholicism.

    This is how my conservative Catholic friends seem to see this situation. I find it a puzzling position, but understand why they prefer to think of it that way.

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  35. DrDaveT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I find it a puzzling position

    ‘Reform’, as a concept, is fraught with peril in any strongly authoritarian group. When group membership is defined as loyalty to the authority, even desiring change is tantamount to treason.

    (…which is the cue for someone to once again invoke Lakoff’s “Strong Father” characterization of conservative politics…)

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  36. @DrDaveT: You are, of course, correct. I guess my puzzlement is when people I know have the intellectual capacity to make these distinctions willfully choose not to do so.

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  37. Han says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Isn’t that what I just said? Donohoe and his ilk characterize such people as faux Catholics, and consider them to be an external (not internal) threat to Catholicism.

    I don’t think so. Perhaps I’ve misread, or perhaps my reading was colored by your approving quote of Mike’s “WE CREATED” and link to a website of lies. Regardless, Bill Donohue is not hot and bothered by an infiltrate -and -subvert narrative. He’s the one creating that narrative. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t consider progressive-minded Catholics as an external threat, because how could Pope Francis be an external threat? It’s internal. He’s trying to sell it as external, because it’s easier to sell a war against the heathens than it is a civil war.

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  38. john430 says:

    Perhaps you folks don’t understand Catholicism as we Catholics do. Circulating in all Catholic churches is a “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics: It states: As the Holy See has pointed out: ” “Democracy must be based on the true and solid foundation of non-negotiable ethical principles, which are the underpinnings of life in society”

    Currently, there are five issues involving non-negotiable moral values to help Catholics narrow down the list of acceptable candidates. The Guide also states: “As far as possible, you should vote for those who promote policies in line with moral law.”

    Essentially, citizens must vote in the way that will limit the harm that would be done by the available candidates.

    It is noted that the five issues are intrinsically evil and must never be promoted by the law.
    The five non-negotiable moral value issues are:
    1. Abortion
    2. Euthanasia
    3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    4. Human Cloning
    5. Homosexual “marriage”.

    When there is no “acceptable” candidate you may vote for the candidate who takes the fewest positions of immoral law, or you may choose to vote for no one.

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  39. DrDaveT says:

    @Han:

    And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t consider progressive-minded Catholics as an external threat, because how could Pope Francis be an external threat? It’s internal. He’s trying to sell it as external, because it’s easier to sell a war against the heathens than it is a civil war.

    OK, that’s a reasonable theory. You could be right.

    (And my agreement with Mike was limited to agreeing about the importance of the claim that organizations of Catholics who disagree with traditional Church positions are a creation of liberal outsiders, not of actual Catholics.)

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  40. Mister Bluster says:

    @john430:..Homosexual “marriage”.

    You can use “scare quotes” to qualify words if you want to.
    Much as you want to demonize the United States Supreme Court it will not work.
    If you want to live in a place where your Roman Catholic Church controls the lives of citizens and dictates sexual behavior you can move to Vatican City.
    No degenerates there.
    Well, at least not sexual.

    Cardinal Elio Sgreccia told La Repubblica: ‘It’s a controversial, perverse decision to say the least’.
    New plan to open McDonald’s in the heart of Rome right next to the Vatican comes with a side order of outrage
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3839669/New-plan-open-McDonald-s-heart-Rome-right-Vatican-comes-order-outrage.html

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  41. john430 says:

    @Mister Bluster: I guess you’d certainly be familiar with degeneracy, wouldn’t you?

    The Catholic Church has the right to protest or do you want to do away with that too? It also has the right to offer guidance to it’s followers or is that to be outlawed? The entire history of Judeo-Christian thought notes homosexuality as profane. Wanna outlaw all of them too?

    Your “progressivism” is a new upstart religion in itself but lacks God and morals.

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  42. Mr. Bluster says:

    @john430:..The Catholic Church has the right to protest or do you want to do away with that too?

    Please show where I have ever advocated to deny the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    You cannot. Because I have not. Stop lying.

    It also has the right to offer guidance to it’s followers or is that to be outlawed?

    Please show where I have ever stated opposition to the free exercise of religion.
    You cannot. Because I have not. Stop lying.

    The entire history of Judeo-Christian thought notes homosexuality as profane. Wanna outlaw all of them too?
    Wanna outlaw them too? What are you talking about? Nowhere have I advocated to outlaw anything. STOP LYING!

    My? progressivism? I do not practice religion or worship gods.
    Degeneracy? You got me there. I lived with a woman for 16 years. We never did get married.
    See you in hell LIAR!

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  43. Mr. Bluster says:

    Won’t be long and Johnny Telephone will advocate to outlaw pizza and the Boy Scouts because they are profane!

    Boy Scout Troop Leader And His Eagle Scout Son Deliver Pizza To Gay Couples Waiting To Get Married
    http://wordpress-80960-242333.cloudwaysapps.com/boy-scout-troop-leader-and-his-eagle-scout-son-deliver-pizza-to-gay-couples-waiting-to-get-married/

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  44. Han says:

    @john430:

    Perhaps you folks don’t understand Catholicism as we Catholics do.

    Please don’t presume to speak for all Catholics. And worse, follow it up with some publication put out by a grifter rather than the actual Church.

    Oh, and nice list, BTW. Somehow the death penalty seems to be missing from it. You cafeteria Catholic, you.

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  45. An Interested Party says:

    The five non-negotiable moral value issues are:
    1. Abortion
    2. Euthanasia
    3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    4. Human Cloning
    5. Homosexual “marriage”

    Oh really? What about the death penalty? What about waging war? What about the evils of capitalism? What about taking care of the environment? What about taking care of the sick and the poor? These are all issues that the current Pope has talked about extensively…

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  46. Han says:

    @john430:

    The Catholic Church has the right to protest or do you want to do away with that too? It also has the right to offer guidance to it’s followers or is that to be outlawed?

    The Catholic Church did not put out that publication. It does have a right to speech, but does not have a right to a tax-exempt status. Which is why it is usually careful about not advocating for particular candidates.

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  47. @john430: I understand where you are coming from, but you have to admit that while some Catholics vote this way not all self-identified Catholics do–indeed, we know that a large number of Catholics vote Democratic.

    Now, one can argue that they are not real Catholics, or good Catholics, but it doesn’t take away the fact that while one can speak of an ideal Catholic, reality diverges from that ideal, yes?

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  48. john430 says:

    @Han: The Church put it out and it DID NOT endorse a candidate as per the law. Discern facts before shooting off mouth.

    @Han: The Church’s guide list the 5 issues as non-negotiable. Period.

    Pope Benedict noted that issues such as the death penalty are of lesser rank and allow for difference of opinion. This is the case with the questions of when to go to war and when to apply the death penalty. While the Church urges caution in these matters, it acknowledges that the state has the right to employ them in some circumstances.
    But…no leeway with regard to abortion and euthanasia. That instruction is included in “The Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion; General Principles. by Pope Benedict

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  49. john430 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The Church does not endorse a party or a candidate. The bulletin also says that one should not vote for a candidate simply because they call themselves Catholic. This is a direct quote ,”Unfortunately, many self-described Catholics reject basic Catholic moral teaching.”

    The Church is neither Democrat or Republican.

    But IMHO those who cannot abide by the 5 moral issues should refrain or be refused from receiving the Eucharist.

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  50. Pch101 says:

    Sometimes it is wrongly said that the Catholic Church opposes stem cell research. In fact, the Church supports ethically responsible stem cell research, while opposing any research that exploits or destroys human embryos.

    United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

    John430 needs to learn about the church that he claims to support prior to telling the rest of us that he speaks on its behalf.

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  51. john430 says:

    @Pch101: Yoo hoo! Stay awake and try to keep up! My post specifically mentioned EMBRYONIC Stem Cells as the non-negotiable issue.

    Sign up for remedial reading lessons, Pch101

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  52. Pch101 says:

    @john430:

    I’m not finding any sources that supports your view that John430 has the authority to decide who can take communion or that opposition to capital punishment is less important than any other issue

    You speak only for yourself. Don’t pretend that you speak for anyone else, because you don’t.

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  53. Han says:

    @john430:

    The Church put it out and it DID NOT endorse a candidate as per the law. Discern facts before shooting off mouth.

    That guide was put out by Catholic Answers, a Laity-run organization NOT The Church. It was founded back in the 70’s by a lawyer who got pissed off his car was leafleted by Protestants, decided to get back at them by printing up his own leaflets, and now makes his living telling the Faithful how they’re not good enough and need to be better Catholics. I also never suggested that “guide” endorsed a candidate. So I would suggest it is you who should discern some facts before shooting off your mouth.

    Oh, and by the way, you seem to love quoting Benedict. You might not have noticed, but there’s a new sheriff in town…

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  54. @john430: I can’t decide if you are missing my point, eliding it, or proving it.

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  55. john430 says:

    @Pch101: Of course I’m speaking for myself. IMHO means In My Humble Opinion. Sheesh! You ARE slow.

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  56. Pch101 says:

    It’s not advisable to claim that “you folks don’t understand Catholicism as we Catholics do” while forgetting that the church strenuously opposes capital punishment.

    Such a statement also asserts a claim to authority that you don’t have, which only hurts your credibility further.

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  57. john430 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’m not involving political parties, just dealing with the morality issue. If Catholics vote Democrat, so what? If, however, they vote because they approve of issues favoring abortion, gay marriage, etc. they are contradicting Catholic moral law, and as such cannot be considered worthy of receiving Holy Communion.

    As I mentioned previously, not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. Consider waging war and the death penalty. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or have recourse to capital punishment.

    There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    Unfortunately, many Catholics have not developed their consciences adequately regarding key moral issues. Thus, they are violating Church principles and contradicting the moral teachings of the Church, which are considered absolute in such matters.

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  58. john430 says:

    @Pch101: See my remarks to Steven Taylor.

    If the big words confuse you, try to understand the first sentence of the second paragraph..

    You do know what a paragraph is, don’t you?

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  59. @john430:

    Unfortunately, many Catholics have not developed their consciences adequately regarding key moral issues. Thus, they are violating Church principles and contradicting the moral teachings of the Church, which are considered absolute in such matters.

    But this is rather the point: many self-described Catholics are not in concert with the Church on these policies areas and vote (and behave) accordingly. It also explains the topic of the original post.

    Further, while these teaching may be “absolute” there is really no way to enforce them this side of the grave.

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  60. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @john430: Wow, I didn’t know you’re a Catholic; that caught me completely by surprise.

    Seeing how you’ve behaved on this thread, I think I will maintain my skepticism about your faith.

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  61. Mister Bluster says:

    If the big words confuse you, try to understand the first sentence of the second paragraph..
    You do know what a paragraph is, don’t you?

    I wonder if it was the nuns at Saint Facetious Grade School that taught him to be such a condescending prick?

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  62. john430 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Well then. Your screen name is quite apt.

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  63. john430 says:

    @Mister Bluster: No. It was your mama. She never loved you, you know.

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  64. Pch101 says:

    John doesn’t recognize his own Dunning-Kruger tendencies, which make for some rather ironic posting.

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  65. Mister Bluster says:

    John must have met my mom when he was a patient at one of the several mental hospitals she lived in before the drugs were developed to manage her schizophrenia.

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  66. I typically do not “tone police” the comments. However, I would note that it is possible to discuss this stuff without getting personal/insulting. There are several unnecessarily rude comments from numerous persons in this thread.

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  67. Mister Bluster says:

    John must have met my mom when he was a patient at one of the several mental hospitals she lived in before the drugs were developed to manage her schizophrenia

    Please John. Don’t go after my dear departed mama.

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  68. Mister Bluster says:

    I wonder if it was the nuns at Saint Facetious Grade School that taught him to be such a condescending prick?

    Please John, don’t be so disdainful.

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  69. Mister Bluster says:

    Hey John, I’ll meet you in Hell, Michigan at Screams Ice Cream and buy you an ice cream cone covered with bat droppings.
    http://traveltips.usatoday.com/things-hell-michigan-55641.html

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  70. Electroman says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I’m not sure that “self-described Catholics” are the ones being talked about here. You may know this, but to the Catholic Church, once you are confirmed you *are* a Catholic for all eternity unless you have been excommunicated.

    The term for Catholics that have turned their backs on the Church is “lapsed Catholic” and the Church most definitely considers them to be Catholic, regardless of the wishes of the individual.

    I suppose it’s possible that someone never confirmed, or excommunicated, to describe himself as “Catholic”; if so they would be a “self-described Catholic”. I suspect that there are few of these.

    The idea that a political position would turn someone from a Catholic into a “self-described Catholic” is in fact not in accordance with the doctrine of the Church at all. So it seems that john430 is somewhat of a heretic himself. 😉

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