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The surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York as the president of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has been much in the news. Two main related points dominate the coverage. This year, the bishops deviated from a decades old tradition of elevating the sitting vice president choosing Dolan instead. Some argue that the vice president was too moderate -- and that Dolan is likely to use post during his three year term as a bully pulpit to further the culture wars. That interpretation seems likely. As if to underscore the intentions of the majority of bishops, they also elected as the new veep, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who has led their campaign against marriage equality.

"I mean, we're in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the Depression, and these bishops had nothing to say about that," Jesuit scholar Thomas Reese told The Los Angeles Times. "They did have a lot to say about the defense of marriage, and about their concerns about the healthcare bill funding abortion. ... I think the elections indicate that the bishops want to continue to be leaders in the culture wars."

In some respects, this is really no surprise, even though it has become fashionable not to mention the Religious Right's ongoing war of aggression against democratic pluralism. There have been plenty of signs.

Amidst the euphoria of the inauguration of president Obama, the dour prelates distinguished themselves at their 2009 annual meeting, according to the Associated Press:  

BALTIMORE - The nation's Roman Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights, saying the church and religious freedom could be under attack in the new presidential administration.

In an impassioned discussion on Catholics in public life, several bishops said they would accept no compromise on abortion policy. Many condemned Catholics who had argued it was morally acceptable to back President-elect Obama because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.

And several prelates promised to call out Catholic policy makers on their failures to follow church teaching. Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., singled out Vice President-elect Biden, a Catholic, Scranton native who supports abortion rights.

Unsurprisingly, the bishops fought the administration's health care plan because it was deemed insufficiently antiabortion, even though it was the most draconian antiabortion legislation since Roe vs. Wade (making permanent the Hyde Amendment, which banned any federal funds from being used for abortion.)  During the lengthy debate, a spokeswoman for the bishops took the administration and the Democratic Party's view on reducing the need for abortion to task. I wrote at the time:

Deirdre McQuade, assistant director of policy and communications at the "pro-life secretariat," of the Bishops’ Conference told U.S. News and World Report: "The phrase ‘reducing the need for abortion’ is not a common-ground phrase. We would say that there is no need for abortion, that abortions are signs that we have not met the needs of women. There is no authentic need for abortion."

There are, of course, many Catholics who oppose the hierarchy's approach to among other things, such matters as reproductive rights, marriage equality and separation of church and state. Because that is so, it seems likely (at least to me) that such groups as Catholics for Choice and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice will gain increasing prominence, will play ever more important roles as the hierarchy increases its militancy, and appeals to common ground become ancient history.  Also important will be the work of the progressive Catholic bloggers at Open Tabernacle and Frank Cocozzelli at Talk to Action.

Originally posted to Frederick Clarkson on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (193+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renee, Ed in Montana, Olds88, tikkun, Powered Grace, madmsf, Sprinkles, byteb, LynChi, Troutfishing, eeff, Mnemosyne, freelunch, Ahianne, mjshep, joynow, fedaykin, bronte17, missLotus, BlackSheep1, annrose, Glic, vmibran, chimpy, sngmama, TampaCPA, Iberian, splashy, Tony McArthur, high uintas, Getreal1246, psnyder, nancelot, Dallasdoc, Dr Colossus, JimWilson, dwahzon, alizard, dkmich, Lefty Mama, rmx2630, Gowrie Gal, Big Tex, CPT Doom, G2geek, ExStr8, jabney, radarlady, DianeNYS, Ckntfld, CTPatriot, irate, Superpole, basquebob, terrypinder, TigerMom, Brooke In Seattle, Laurence Lewis, eru, aaraujo, lotlizard, Ice Blue, mph2005, Blue Bronc, RJDixon74135, buddabelly, gwilson, katynka, cybersaur, Clytemnestra, tobendaro, Kimball Cross, tonyahky, Hear Our Voices, buckstop, arlene, fiddler crabby, anastasia p, blueoasis, wild hair, 4Freedom, nonnie9999, Frank Cocozzelli, Preston S, sceptical observer, IL clb, dirkster42, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, fiddlingnero, big annie, Statusquomustgo, Temmoku, slksfca, mapman, OHdog, Pandoras Box, Thinking Fella, dotsright, Cocker Mom, milkbone, blue71340, Jimdotz, terabytes, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, DWG, sfbob, jayden, ubertar, cadejo4, mudslide, jnhobbs, millwood, gchaucer2, OIL GUY, uciguy30, Brahman Colorado, sable, TomP, sand805, Dem in the heart of Texas, JaxDem, wayoutinthestix, poligirl, Tchrldy, bythesea, lineatus, mikeconwell, here4tehbeer, pamelabrown, MrJayTee, TH Seed, bluesheep, Jeff Y, mofembot, luckylizard, LaFeminista, satanicpanic, Danish Brethren, Dirtandiron, The Dead Man, velvet blasphemy, DefendOurConstitution, Daily Activist, elziax, Leftcandid, pyegar, TFinSF, roadbear, imamish, amk for obama, Anima, mollyk, elengul, verdeo, Mike08, sturunner, kerflooey, coquiero, sboucher, StateofEuphoria, AuroraDawn, poorbuster, Situational Lefty, marleycat, susanala, Ojibwa, BarackStarObama, KVoimakas, CKendall, Idgie Threadgoode, tardis10, createpeace, Vtdblue, Keori, bloomin, Miggles, RockyLabor, too young to give up, No one gets out alive, Flying Goat, DeanNC, angry marmot, We Won, ahumbleopinion, The Lone Apple, J Brunner Fan, oneshot, Joieau, farlefty, Road Dog, MartyM, Frank33
      •  it's upsetting to me (33+ / 0-)

        because I'd like to work with Catholics in my neighborhood - we have a coalition of churches that run teen feed, etc. - but the political issue of abortion and gay marriage makes it hard for them to openly embrace the protestant mainline churches. We agree on SO MUCH! but on the priest level they have to do certain amounts of bullshit for reasons of keeping their job.

        This is especially irksome in Ray Hunthausen country. I'd like to roll everything back to the Vatican II years. And I think most of Seattle U. would too. We can do everything we want anyway, because all churches are actually run by the laity - the little old ladies who show up with the cookies.

        In a democracy, everyone is a politician. ~ Ehren Watada

        by Lefty Mama on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:52:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The church is pandering to the political right (50+ / 0-)

        "I mean, we're in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the Depression, and these bishops had nothing to say about that," Jesuit scholar Thomas Reese told The Los Angeles Times. "They did have a lot to say about the defense of marriage, and about their concerns about the healthcare bill funding abortion.

        Silent on poverty.

        Silent on war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Loud against contraception and abortion.

        Loud against Teh Gays.

        It's just pandering to the wingnuts.  The church has turned up the volume on all issues where its doctrine meshes with the political right-wing, and the church has thrown a blanket over the doctrinal issues that political conservatives don't want to hear about.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America this holiday season.

        by MJB on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 12:20:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell me again (29+ / 0-)

          Why is this group of morally repugnant, hypocritical, pedophile retrogrades who are so clearly political tax exempt?

          If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. ~James Madison

          by mjshep on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 12:46:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If churches act like political orgs... (13+ / 0-)

            ...they should be taxed as ones.  

            As an atheist, I'm opposed to religious-based tax exemptions in the first place.

            What should be tax exempt is charitable acts, regardless or religious or secular affiliation.  

            I heard some statistic that 25% of all the land in America can't be taxed because there's a church on it.

            Think of how much that could help the poor if we ended that exemption.

            Proud to share my name with Howard Dean

            by DeanNC on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:59:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not that much value (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Total tax-free property is rarely 25% in any municipality, and those with such large numbers usually have a lot of state or federal installations along with colleges and hospitals. Churches are a large portion, but not the majority in such places.

              The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

              by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:33:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  More than churches (0+ / 0-)

                 A church community might also run a school.  It also might include a non-profit nursing home, hospice, orphanage, etc.  These activities meet needs in the community with the help of some federal funds (especially health care), but they are serving others of any or no faith and using less tax money than an organization funded completely by the government.

                •  Not proven (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rieux, coquiero, sboucher

                  they are serving others of any or no faith and using less tax money than an organization funded completely by the government.

                  Not proven and not universally true. You can look to Caritas in the area of Health Care.

                  Parochial schools are touted as a good alternative to public schools. But if your kid has a problem with reading, or if you have a special needs kid not so much.

                  If you are older than 55, never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time!

                  by fredlonsdale on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:12:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Let's do the math (0+ / 0-)

                    If an institution costs $10/day to run, and it's fully funded by the government, then all $10 comes from the government.  If an institution is run by a church which kicks in $3/day and uses $7/day from the government, then it costs the government less.

                    As far as serving non-members of that faith, walk in and take a look.  You'll find non-Catholics in Catholic orphanages.  You'll find non-Episcopalians in the Episcopalian orphanage.  You'll find non-members in Baptist, Catholic, and other church-run nursing homes.

                    Parochial schools and church-run high schools can be great alternatives - smaller classes, better discipline, etc.  I've taught at two Catholic high schools in different cities.  One was in Jersey City, and many parents wanted their children there not so much because it was Catholic but because it was safer and small enough that teachers could make sure students had what they needed.  Could we provide the support that some special needs kids had?  No.  But by taking 270 students out of the public school system (and no, they weren't always the best and brightest) yet still paying taxes into the system, the parents supported public schools without using its resources.

                    Caritas is now a for-profit business:  

                    Private equity investors did not buy Caritas and turn it into a for-profit medical complex for the purpose of standing still.

                    It is NOT being run by any church.  It seems to me that it's no longer part of this discussion because it would not be tax-exempt.

                    •  Don't think so... (0+ / 0-)

                      The $3 $7 example is simplistic. The church never contributed 30% of the operating budget of any hospital. Sure they raised money to buy/build the facility with naming rights. But the actual money to operate the facility came from patient/insurers and government programs just like any other hospital in Massachusetts. Furthermore, in Massachusetts, hospital financing of "free care" came from required over payments by insurers and patients.

                      BTW, my hospital inundates me with requests for donations.

                      On Parochial schools, I have no problem with people sending their inner city kids to a 'better' school. But it is by no means a dollar for dollar savings to the inner city school system. The inner city school system has costs that do not disappear when kids go to another school. If 10% of the kids leave, costs do not go down 10%.

                      In Concord Mass, there was a town meeting member who always complained about the high education budget and how the teachers were living high on the hog. It turned out that this man sent sent his two bright daughters to an exclusive private school. But his younger boy was had severe mental and physical problems. He was kept in the public schools. He required four attendants plus several special needs teachers. Granted that this fellow was taking advantage of Mass law that requires the cities and towns to assume responsibility for the education of his son. But the guy was a hypocrit in that he was utilizing more school dollars than any other Concord resident.

                      If you are older than 55, never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time!

                      by fredlonsdale on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 03:03:17 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  "Any or no faith?" (0+ / 0-)

                    With exceptions, of course. I applied to live in a long-term women's shelter that was run by a Presbyterian church. My first application was turned down because I told them I wouldn't attend church services. When I appealed, I was placed with the help of the Jewish Community Center's homeless services. But I endured endless ragging from the other women - stealing my clothes, attacking me in group meetings, that kind of stuff - and despite the staff being aware of it, they did nothing to stop it. It was also strongly "suggested" that I attend church, especially when a certain pastor was talking - those were televised, apparently.

                    It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

                    by sboucher on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:17:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  And? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  A church community might also run a school.  It also might include a non-profit nursing home, hospice, orphanage, etc.

                  So fine. To the extent that they are actually providing public services, give them the tax exemptions that apply to those activities. Your rationale does not justify a blanket exemption for all religious property, which is what we're saddled with.

                  [B]ut they are serving others of any or no faith....

                  Unevenly and often poorly. If, say, you're a gay couple seeking an adoption through a (state-connected) Catholic adoption agency, tough shit. They'll take their tax exemption and discriminate against people and things their theology disdains.

                  Atheists and others whose status is considered undesirable by religious doctrine are not exactly in a position to trust that they will be treated equitably by organizations founded on such doctrine. How nice it must be for you to belong to no demographic that is at risk of being discriminated against by faith-based service providers.

                  •  I'm a gay man (0+ / 0-)

                     Catholic Social Services in my diocese doesn't care what your orientation is when providing counseling services, and NO, they don't try to convert anyone in any way.  They don't care about your race, gender, or religion when you ask for financial assistance or when refproviding housing to refugees.  Like it or not, it is a fact that many church organizations help people with no regard to their faith.  Yes, there are groups who do, and they should be ashamed of themselves.  

                     The original point was that someone found it hard to believe that 25% of land was owned by churches.  My response was to clarify that all of that land was not just houses of worship but other ways of serving the community.

                    •  Great. (0+ / 0-)

                      Catholic Social Services in my diocese doesn't care what your orientation is when providing counseling services....

                      How nice for you. Anecdote not being the singular of data, you think this contradicts my position that religious organizations provide social services "unevenly and often poorly"... why?

                      Like it or not, it is a fact that many church organizations help people with no regard to their faith.  Yes, there are groups who do, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

                      And I'm sure they take their debilitating shame with them, along with that sweet tax exemption, all the way to the bank. Those poor, poor, tax-free unfortunates; I weep for them.

                      My point, which you have ignored, is that the existence of charitable work by religious organizations does not justify the total tax-exempt status of all such organizations.

                      My response was to clarify that all of that land was not just houses of worship but other ways of serving the community.

                      And my response is that that "serving [of] the community" is frequently not as pure as you pretend, and that it would be rather more meaningful for tax exemption to depend upon the legitimacy and even-handedness of the services than the religiosity of the providers. Somehow it appears that your imposing enforcement efforts—i.e., sternly declaring that religious bigots delivering discriminatory services "should be ashamed"—aren't working terribly well.

                      Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington announced today that it is shutting down its foster care and public adoption program. The District of Columbia said the charity would be ineligible for service because of the new law recognizing same-sex “marriage.”

                      “Although Catholic Charities has an 80-year legacy of high quality service to the vulnerable in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Government informed Catholic Charities that the agency would be ineligible to serve as a foster care provider due to the impending D.C. same-sex marriage law,” the organization said in a statement.


                      “Foster care has been an important ministry for us for many decades. We worked very hard to be able to continue to provide these services in the District,” said Ed Orzechowski, president and CEO of Catholic Charities D.C.

                      “We regret that our efforts to avoid this outcome were not successful.”

                      Orzechowski expressed gratitude to the staff and foster families involved in the program.

                      The D.C. City Council’s law recognizing same-sex “marriage” required religious entities which serve the general public to provide services to homosexual couples, even if doing so violated their religious beliefs. Exemptions were allowed only for performing marriages or for those entities which do not serve the public.

                      The archdiocese and legal experts criticized the exemptions for being too narrow.

                      - Catholic News Agency, 2/17/10

                      It's too bad for Catholic Charities, I guess, that you weren't the one running the D.C. government's charities division. Between (1) cracking down on discrimination in services and (2) trying to hurt CC's feelings with "shame" that they dismiss, it's notable which approach actually resulted in gay parents being treated like human beings.

        •  The Catholic Church (4+ / 0-)

          hasn't been silent on poverty or either war.  These got downplayed in the media here, but the Catholic Church has been denouncing the Iraq War since the beginning.

          Same with poverty; the Catholic Church (as well as a lot of other denominations) have been working hard against poverty and haven't been quiet about it.

          •  I attend Catholic mass (23+ / 0-)

            weekly.  I not only go to my home parish but I also attend a variety of other churches in other dioceses, frequently.  I hang with some people who work in my diocese and I donate my time to various agencies dealing with the poor.  I have never gotten the impression that poverty and health care is a serious issue with my church.  Never in my 54 years.  There is plenty of opportunity to jump in and work with Catholics to improve things, donate, whatever.  But it is never a priority to advance these missions by talking them up nor is there any support by the priests to get involved in helping.  It is not a priority with the hierarchy, just occasional lip service.  Plenty of high profile, large advertisement budget, anti-abortion stuff though.  In my area, the bishop does nothing but give the nuns grief.  They do the vast majority of work with the poor and destitute.  One of our own is Sr. Joan Chittister and the men hate her.  

          •  glad to hear it - they should make more of a (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpy, cybersaur, mochajava13, JesseCW

            stink and they should demand war criminals be prosecuted.

            Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. - Kenneth E. Boulding

            by Earth Ling on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:49:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  working hard against poverty? (13+ / 0-)

            Does that include preaching to poor people that they should eshew birth control and embrace large families they can hardly take care of?

            The catholic church has always been stalwart in it's hypocricy and I see nothing to indicate that it will ever change. The so-called "hard work against poverty" is but a smokescreen from their true mission of pushing ignorance.

            It is ignorance that feeds that "church's" collection plates.

            •  That isn't fair (0+ / 0-)

              Catholic charities, including official ones, do a lot of good.  

              For example: Catholic Relief Services


              •  Cause behaviors that make them needed even more (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Big Tex, JesseCW, coquiero

                If the RCC didn't endorse politicians who are working hard at destroying the social safety net, we wouldn't need as much from Catholic Charities.

                The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:24:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Then focus on that (0+ / 0-)

                  but don't claim that the RCC doesn't work to help the poor.  

                  •  The RCC as an organization does not help the poor (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Big Tex, JesseCW

                    Many members do, but in the US the RCC has allied itself with a party that hates to help the poor and the results are that the poor are much worse off since the RCC allied itself with the GOP than they were before.

                    The RCC works to hurt the poor.

                    The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                    by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:03:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Did you even look at the link? (0+ / 0-)
                      •  You don't seem to understand the objection (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I don't care how much good Catholic welfare organizations do. The Bishops do more harm by supporting the GOP and the harm it intends to the poor, the infirm and the elderly.

                        The organization called the Roman Catholic Church is at war with those in need in America. Private charity from its members and associated organizations will not offset the harm.

                        The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                        by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:29:36 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Then I think you miss the point (0+ / 0-)

                          How can you possibly know if the RCC is doing more harm than good if you don't know how much good they are doing or even what it's political stances on poverty issues are?  It seems that you have an objection to the RCC period, without wanting to know its official stance on issues, including its stance on governmental safety net (which it is for and campaigns for), or the aid that the RCC provides directly to those in need.  Your objection to them seems to be that they support some GOP candidates and that they can't use this support as a way to try to get the GOP to agree with the RCC's stance on social justice issues.

                          The RCC's bishops have called for action to contact Senators to extend unemployment benefits, as well as a host of progressive poverty issues.  Don't paint so wide a brush on them without knowing what they do.


                          •  I do know what the Bishops have done (0+ / 0-)

                            They are doing more harm. They run the Church.

                            They wanted their parishioners to vote for Senators who could be relied upon to vote against the interests of the poor, the unemployed, the suffering.

                            Ballots matter. Phone calls? Not so much.

                            The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                            by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:52:02 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK then (0+ / 0-)

                            I've showed you links.  I've shown you links about their policy positions that are progressive towards the poor.  Show me links from the RCC about which candidates the RCC has specifically endorsed.  Because if the RCC, or any charity, backs a specific candidate, they lose their tax exempt status.  Advocating policy positions are fine, advocating for a particular candidate is not.


                            The only thing that I've been aware of is a letter in North Texas about voting against candidates that were pro-choice, but that was from two bishops and it was noted that this was a deviation from the norm for bishops.

              •  Yeah right (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Big Tex, coquiero

                Mussolini made the trains run on time, Adolf build Autobahns and also encouraged public healths, of course that was because he needed healthy cannon fodder.

                Re: the bishops, as my mother says: bunch of unmarried old men, running around in fancy gold embroidered skirts telling women what to do with their bodies.

            •  It does preach (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              self-control and abstinence for those who aren't married and natural family planning (it actually does work) for those who are married.  It also has pretty good marriage-preparation programs till help people better understand what marriage is before they tie the knot.  Both of those programs can help reduce single-parent families which are big contributors to poverty.
               You might not like the method of they offer, but it does work if the individuals actually want to try it.

              •  Ummm (8+ / 0-)

                ...natural family planning (it actually does work)

                Please.  This is supposed to be the "reality based" community.

                  •  also has a very high failure rate (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero, sboucher

                    gotta dig deeper than just that one research paper.

                    It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

                    by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:55:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If I could dig out my textbooks (0+ / 0-)

                      I would.  And I don't have access to pubmed, else I'd post more articles.  That's the first science article that I came across today, and I'm not going to go digging for more.  

                      Condoms also have a high effectiveness rate, but only if used correctly (and I know far too many that don't bother).  So do OCP, except that women have to take it every morning, and most women I know miss a few days.  I hate the pill (it gives me abnormal migraines that resemble temporal lobe seizures).  

                      Nothing, short of abstinence, is 100% effective.  Well, for a straight couple anyways.

                      •  actually, a vasectomy is almost 100% effective (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        couples who don't want children (or any more children) should consider that. :)

                        me personally, if I ran a family planning unit, I would offer any and all methods.

                        It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

                        by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:22:15 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Almost 100% isn't 100%. (0+ / 0-)

                          I'd also offer any and all methods, and I'd emphasize to all women - know your cycle so you don't accidentally get pregnant.  (Unfortunately the desire for sex usually increases dramatically on the days one is most likely to get pregnant.)

                  •  Key words: IF used correctly. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dirtandiron, coquiero

                    And since these so-called "natural" birth control methods involve periods of abstinence, the likelihood that they're going to be used correctly consistently is remote.  I for one don't think there's anything natural about abstinence, and I think the reason that the pill, barrier methods, etc. work better than "natural" birth control is because they don't require people to actively suppress perfectly healthy biological urges like the desire to have sex.

                    Proud member of the unpaid "professional left" since 8/10/2010 / Viva Canadian healthcare! Death to the Pentagon! Free Mumia!

                    by Big Tex on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:57:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  What do you call couples using the rhythm method? (10+ / 0-)


                As for "abstinence for those who aren't married", 1) never in the recorded history of human civilization has any society successfully controlled the sexual impulses of their people in that manner, 2) many of you out there in dKos land are not "married" according to the RC Church (especially if you're divorced), so they don't think you should be having sex either and 3) those of us who are LGBT cannot get married (even to someone of the opposite gender) in the RC Church, so we're supposed to be completely celibate (includes being "Master of my Domain," to use Seinfeld-speak) for LIFE.

                Even with all that, I would not care if the RCs kept their opinions to their flocks. I don't like this institution telling me how to live my life, which is why I left it in the first place. After all, I don't see Orthodox Rabbis out there demanding we all give up bacon cheeseburgers (fill in your own Homer Simpson-ism here). This election is not about the course of the Church, which is dying from the inside, but about how to influence our political landscape. We should all be concerned about that.

                The speed with which someone tells you they're a Christian is inversely proportional to the probability they'll act like one.

                by CPT Doom on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:19:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Natural Family Planning does NOT work (6+ / 0-)

                Unless you mean "never have sex unless you intend to get pregnant or are pregnant".

                There's a reason that rational people do not take advice about family planning from people who don't have any idea how it works.

                The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:29:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  lol. All three of my parents children (5+ / 0-)

                were "natural family planning kids"

                also known as "oh fuck, we're knocked up again! how did the rhythm method/birth control/nursing control/etc cetera not work?"

                after the third, a $300 surgery insured there wouldn't be a fourth.

                It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

                by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:50:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Empty words from the RCC (12+ / 0-)

            The Church has exactly one standard in politics in the United States: "Do you say that you oppose legal abortion?" Nothing else matters. They have made it quite clear with their actions.

            The bishops do not care about war, about poverty, about health care. They don't even care if their priests have been raping kids. They have found a way to make common cause with the Republicans even though the Republicans stand for everything that Jesus condemned.

            The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

            by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:37:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Catholic pedophile church (5+ / 0-)

              They don't even care if their priests have been raping kids.

              So true.
              The Catholic Church has demonstrated by its inaction and active cover-ups of child rape that it is morally bankrupt.

              Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

              by cybersaur on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:11:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Agree about the bishops and republicans, plus (5+ / 0-)

              They are also vying for ecclesiastical power.  The way to get power is to kiss up to Rome and the current regime there is all about regressing to the Medieval church.  Raymond Burke of LaCrosse and St. Louis just made cardinal.  What an evil, misogynistic pedophile protector he is, now ensconced in the opulence of the Vatican.  Hoping to follow in his footsteps is Robt Morlino of Madison.  His new Spanish trained priests are sweeping women and girls off the altar and out of any liturgical role.  I don't even recognize the Church anymore.  

        •  And silent on the rest of HCR (0+ / 0-)

          Though suppose that could be considered a bit of an extension of the war on poverty.

        •  Why they're losing parishioners (10+ / 0-)

          People are disgusted with the church's laser-focus on sex to the detriment of what many Catholics see as the church's real strength: the groups within it that deal with social-justice issues. In addition, the issues a bunch of mostly elderly white (entirely) males choose to spotlight also spotlight their hatred and fear of women. That isn't sitting too well with a lot of Catholics I know.

          I do know my own church (Episcopal) is full of Catholics who got tired of the exclusionary crap.

          Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

          by anastasia p on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:00:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's not the whole picture (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think the church goes overboard on these issues because gays and pro-choice forces get so bent out of shape by those parts of their position.

          Let's see what the Church said on HCR:

          USSCB statement on HCR

          I'm not a practing Catholic precisely because of the Church's anachronistic position on homosexuality and abortion.  I support the Church's positions on social justice, undocumented immigrants, war and capital punishment, as do most of the people on this site.

          Remember when Glenn Beck attacked preachers who spoke about social justice.  What a stupid move, the kind of thing the right never does, because they know that getting in pie fights with the largest Church in the United States is bad politics.  You don't see Sarah Palin calling the Church socialist, even though the document I linked to is more socialist than anything the Obama administration has ever proposed.

          It's completely understandable that homosexuals and feminists are personally offended by the Church's positions, but sometimes you need to just agree to disagree in order to win over the people in the political middle of these fights.

          It's called the Dodd-Frank bill. What else do you need to know?

          by roguetrader2000 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:05:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The RCC wants politicians to kowtow (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybersaur, JesseCW, Keori, ahumbleopinion

            They will not compromise. They would rather have a Republican who offers empty promises about abortion than a Democrat who works for all of the social justice issues that the RCC used to support.

            The RCC bishops have abandoned the poor, the infirm, and the elderly. They even attack their own parishioners if the parishioners work together with those who are not "pure" on abortion.

            The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

            by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:41:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ratzinger is a reactionary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW, CajunBoyLgb

          He has been vetting bishops for decades and has remade the College of Cardinals in his own image.

          Dolan is the kind face of the iron fist, however. He is a cheerful, media-savvy conservative who is willing to betray Jesus' teachings about the poor, the infirm and the elderly for his shot as the first American Pope.

          The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

          by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:31:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They know where the $$$ comes from. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wayoutinthestix, CajunBoyLgb

          And it's not from the poor, the sick, the lame, or the prisoners.

          Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. - Dr. Laurence J. Peter

          by ahumbleopinion on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:40:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Vatican helped Bush whip bishops for DOMA vote (0+ / 0-)

          If someone looks back from next century, wondering how and when Christianity left the scene as a mainstream practice, they will see 2004 as a turning point. That was the summer that the Vatican pressured the American Bishops on two important positions. In one, the Church narrowly voted to remain compatible with our secular state, and in the other, it took another step toward its growing incompatibility.

          First, Cardinal Ratzinger chose to interfere with the Presidential election by excommunicating John Kerry. Not directly, but by pressuring the American Bishops to declare as ineligible for communion any politician who they considered (in their words) pro-abortion. They decided not to go along with this, instead allowing each diocese to decide on its own who is eligible for communion.

          The Kerry Affair: What Ratzinger Wanted from the American Bishops

          But the bishops of the United States made a different decision. After months of discussion, and after days of wrangling at their conference's general assembly, held in Denver from June 14-19, they published a note entitled "Catholics in Political Life," which leaves to each individual bishop the decision of whether or not to give communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

          The note was passed with 183 voted in favor and 6 against. During the previous weeks, out of 70 bishops who had expressed their opinion to the task force in charge of the matter, those against the idea of withholding communion had beaten those in favor by a margin of 3 to 1.

          The question had been unleashed with Kerry's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate. Kerry is a professed Catholic and attends mass. But he is publicly aligned in favor of abortion, and in favor of other choices that go against Church doctrine. For this reason, some bishops stated that communion should be withheld from him. Particularly incendiary anti-Kerry comments came from the bishop of St. Louis, Raymond L. Burke, and of Colorado Springs, Michael J. Sheridan.

          Note the phrase, "aligned in favor of abortion," repeated by Reppublica. Not, pro-choice, not "aligned in favor of limited government." This is not a right-wing newspaper, but the phrases and opinions of the right soak all the way through the discourse: failing to outlaw some behavior, even if there is no Constitutional basis for such a law, is to favor that same behavior.

          Also note the opinion breakdown before and during debate: three to one against, meaning 25% of the American Bishops considered it a sin for United States Senators to respect the United States Constitution. As a credit to the Church, some of the Bishops in favor of respecting the Constitution were vocal and eloquent:

          Even many of the bishops and cardinals of "neoconservative" tendency are reluctant to censure publicly the Catholic politicians who are at odds with the Church.

          One of these is the cardinal and theologian Avery Dulles. In June 29 interview with "Zenit", he maintained that by denying them communion the Church exposes itself to the accusation of wanting to interfere in political life.

          Another of these is cardinal Francis E. George, archbishop of Chicago. In an interview with John L. Allen of the "National Catholic Reporter," he said that the limits that should be placed upon abortion within the realm of politics are "matters of prudential judgment about which there can be many discussions" even within the Church.

          Cardinal McCarrick, speaking to the bishops gathered in Denver, made himself the spokesman of the concern "that the sacred nature of the Eucharist might be turned into a partisan political battleground." The real battles, he said, "should be fought not at the Communion rail, but in the public square, in hearts and minds, in our pulpits and public advocacy, in our consciences and communities."

          But, even without formal agreement by all of the Bishops, serious damage was done to Kerry's campaign. The months of debate, and private pressuring all put distance between Kerry and many potential supporters. Those in favor of denying communion were more publicly vocal, and many in the public were still asking, "Has John Kerry Been Excommunicated?"

          Secondly, Bush had Angelo Sodano (Vatican's Secretary of State) pull some strings, to help whip the vote for the anty-gay Defense of Marriage Act. The council did play along here, and transmitted Bush's pressure to various Senators by way of their churches.

          Meanwhile, in the Case of Marriage...

          Unlike the Kerry case, there is agreement among the Vatican, the U.S. bishops' conference, and the Bush administration on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as an exclusive bond between one man and one woman.

          According to John L. Allen of the "National Catholic Reporter," during a meeting in the Vatican with secretary of state Angelo Sodano, George W. Bush complained that "not all the American bishops are with me" on questions such as the defense of marriage, and he asked the Holy See to encourage the episcopacy to be more decisive.

          No sooner said than done. The president of the bishops' conference of the United States, Wilton Gregory, asked the bishops by letter on June 24 to put pressure on their respective senators to vote in favor of the constitutional amendment decisively sought by Bush to defend the institution of marriage and block the legitimization of gay unions.

          (a footnote to the above article on The Kerry Affair)

          Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

          by chimpy on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 09:13:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever - The Church Now Has Zero Credibility (9+ / 0-)

        if not for two of the fastest growing minorities (Hispanics and Latinos) being Catholic, the church would be dead in twenty years.

        observing the Church in action readily reveals the old school corrupt, caucasian, patriarchal power structure which is all about maintaining that power--at all costs.

        in regard to their pedophile/sex abuse problem, the Church has handled like a big corporation would, lawyering up, paying off the victims to the tune of millions of dollars, and cranking up the PR machine to paper it all over.

        revoke the tax exempt status of the catholic church and ALL churches in the U.S..

        "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

        by Superpole on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:56:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because Christ was all about sexual morality... (17+ / 0-)

      Oh, wait. In all of the Gospels he said virtually nothing about sexual morality. He spoke volumes about justice and our absolute responsibility to feed, clothe and shelter our brothers & sisters.

      But about absinence, homosexuality and birth control?


    •  The very reasons I left the Church (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      frigging Catholics.  Get back to social justice work.  

      Remember Jesus married a prostitute!?

      My politics are my own, no party controls them. Ideas do.

      by angry liberaltarian on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:49:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Election Season Fetal War Memorial Crosses (31+ / 0-)

    from Our Lady Of Eternal Subservience To Oppression.

    Image Hosted by

    Just so you don't forget which party to vote against.

    Eternal damnation for peace, healing the sick, clothing the naked and feeding the starving.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:24:58 PM PST

  •  It's the bishops, not the church, (28+ / 0-)

    as you point out in your final paragraph.

    Not being Catholic, I don't really have a dog in that fight, but I do consider it an ecumenical mandate to stand in solidarity with the valiant lay people who are as much the Catholic Church as are the bishops, and who are slogging on for progressive changes in church and society.

    The best one-stop place to find them is the National Catholic Reporter.

    I'm all for fighting the religious right, but blanket statements about "the church" just cedes more ground to the forces that make the religious left invisible.

  •  If these people ever fuck Mormons..... (6+ / 0-)

    ...Democracy is screwed, and a corporate theocracy will reign.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:31:26 PM PST

  •  Watching the Catholic Church strangle itself. (28+ / 0-)

    It's dwindling and aging active membership won't see it coming.

    Young people will just point and snicker.

    Good lord (pun intended), these clueless asshats want to roll back the clock to the "good old days" when a guy in a cassock could play with a young boy's package without fear of reprisal.

    I take a sad pleasure in watching them kill their own institution.

    Even my bot is tired of this shit.

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:42:37 PM PST

  •  Saddens me to no end (20+ / 0-)

    but if you believe this will end the Catholic Church you have no idea of it's long and conflict filled history.

    The orthodox are rallying like mad.  Cheering each other on the further right the church moves.  Feeling the glory of the Tea Party successes, the lack of movement against DADT, the surge in theocratic talk, agreeing it is "God's Will"

    I miss the 70s, and pray for a quick return of the pendulum swing....I know it's coming. Eventually.

    I'm a Kennedy Catholic.

    by EquiStar on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:54:13 PM PST

  •  More links (13+ / 0-)

    Catholics United

    Catholics United Calls on Church Leadership to Recommit to Social Justice Principles at Annual Meeting

    I'm a Kennedy Catholic.

    by EquiStar on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 09:59:07 PM PST

  •  I love it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, coquiero

    The more they embrace the culture wars, the more they will lose the next generation.  The rapid growth of the "Nones" has everything to do with this.  Keep up the good work, Benedict.


    for the poor. Now, that something they might really be able to help with. The 22 documented deaths should be a good beginning. Pope Benedict has not been for the Church or the faithful. He has been a mediocre leader who like many others are really afraid of change so equivocates, and then retreats into old habits of denial and church exceptionalism.

  •  Sweet! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpy, Kimball Cross, coquiero

    We need the GOP to get back into the culture wars, 'cos that's how we made much of our gains the last decade.  The absence of the religious right has really hurt us with indies, 'cos the GOP is less fearful to them.

    Bring back the culture wars, please!!

    DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
    LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

    by LordMike on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 10:55:52 PM PST

  •  Kurtz is apparently another pedophile protector (8+ / 0-)

    just google his name and title

  •  Bishops are just more corrupt priests! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, cybersaur, pyegar

    Repeat after me - Priest - pedophile - priest - pedophile - bishop - pedophile -
    bishop - pedophile.

    Why are Catholic pedophiles above the law?  

    Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently ... and for the same reason

    by Road Dog on Wed Nov 17, 2010 at 11:52:13 PM PST

  •  Welcome this fight, fellow liberals. (15+ / 0-)

    We have reason, science and progress on our side.  They are a bunch of pedophile-enablers.  I grew up Catholic and I can not name one single person of my generation who agrees with their prohibitions on birth control or marriage for divorced people.

    They have no credibility.  They have no true followers.  People pretend to believe out of deference to their families, intellectual indifference and spiritual cowardice.  

    Let them make this a fight.  We can take them.  

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do. " Oscar Gamble, circa 1980

    by Spider Stumbled on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 12:06:02 AM PST

    •  YEAH! Bring it the fuck ON! (6+ / 0-)

      In particular don't stop reminding people of Galileo.

      And in places where the church tries to insert itself into local school district politics, people should go into the churches and protest right in the middle of church services.  Making the point, "you stay out of our schools and we'll stay out of your churches!"

      The power is there if we want to use it.  All we have to do is be willing to go on the attack without compromise.   That means protesting in churches, that means getting personal about it.

      And it means going after their tax exemption.  Even if the legalities aren't precisely clear, what matters is the rhetorical impact.  Change the cultural attitude: get people thinking, "if the Church was paying it's fair share, how many more cops and teachers can we hire?"  

      The most important battleground is the mind of young Latinos, because the Catholic right is trying to be all rainbow with the dominionist right and bring Latinos into the religious right culture.  To the extent that we can reach young Latinos about the value of science and reason, and the sheer absurdity of the church's position on scientific issues going back hundreds of years, we can vaccinate the next generation against that crap.  

      •  Do you even know the Catholic Church's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimpy, the fan man, RJDixon74135

        position on science right now?  Trying to pretend that the Catholic Church doesn't value science and reason just makes you look uneducated about the issue.

        The father of genetics was a Catholic priest.  

        Churches are tax exempt because of the charities that they provide.  And they provide a lot of them.

        •  and Edwin Hubble and.... (4+ / 0-)

          ... the guy who came up with the Big Bang theory.

          Yes, the RCC is better than any of the rightie-winger protestant sects when it comes to science.

          Except when we come to the biggest item of all, where they fall flat on their faces:

          Population growth, specifically contraception and family planning.  

          If someone can prove to me that we can have unlimited population growth on a finite planet, I'll do whatever it takes to get them nominated for a Nobel.   Because in effect they will have come up with the logical proof that you can map an infinite plane onto a Euclidean solid without overlapping.  

          Until then, the science is quite clear about this: overpopulation and overconsumption are threatening a climate catastrophe and other ecological catastrophes that could lead directly to human extinction.

          And trying to ignore that, or whitewash it, or make excuses for it, is if anything worse than threatening Galileo with the thumbscrew and rack, because the entire future of humanity is hanging in the balance and we are living through the critical decades right now and doing just about nothing.

          The single greatest cause of preventable suffering and miserable death today, is lack of access to contraception and family planning.  Bar none.  

          •  Eh, one of many bad actors in this play. Most (3+ / 0-)

            (not all) religions are negative on abortion and vary re contraceptives. Fertility is still seen as a good thing, big families a plus for men in many non-Christian parts of the world. Too bad if women are used as vessels for reproduction. Patriarchy is the root of all evil.

            "Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons."

            by the fan man on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:28:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I did say Popes and Mullahs. (0+ / 0-)

              If not in this posting, then in many others.  

              This is really simple:  religions that recognize the realities of overpopulation and the need for family planning will be adaptive in a darwinian sense and will pass the test of natural selection.  Those that don't, won't.  Nature will take care of this for us one way or another.  

              •  G, your comments are usually pointed at (0+ / 0-)

                Catholicism. My point is simply that "your womb is mine" and "more is better" predates Catholicism, Islam and many other religions. If anything, Catholicism reinforces existing social structures. Having been to Africa, they are one of the least successful missionary groups. Muslims, Evangelicals, Anglicans, and liberal protestant groups are far more dominant in the spiritual land grab. People are pretty smart. Locals may go to Catholic service on Sunday and visit another group for condoms on Monday. The Catholic Church as an organization is extremely backward, almost always has been. Its followers however, are seldom as retarded as its leaders. My liberal bent was informed by my catholic upbringing. As a teen, I knew they had some things assbackwards, but the original message of "love your neighbor" never left me.

                "Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons."

                by the fan man on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 04:35:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  You brought up Galileo and science (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In general, and now you're saying just one topic. And the nation that happens to need it most (India) isn't Catholic.  Cathics teach to not have sex unless you want a child.

            Look, I'm not for the lack of contraception, but I think that also we need a lot more of a discussion about abstinence as a mechanism of birth control. Contraceptions aren't 100% reliable. If we're serious about population control, then we also have to tell women when we should be having sex, because we're only super fertile for a few days.

            And saying that this issue is the greatest preventable cause of suffering? I disagree.

            •  sure, I'll be glad to discuss abstinence.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              .... along with fellatio, cunnilingus, anal sex, and good ol' masturbation (solo or mutual), between any combination of consenting adults of any genders.

              For males, ejaculation three times a week or more reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 50%.  It doesn't matter what brings about the ejaculation, just so long as it occurs, and a left or right hand is as good as any other method.  It would not surprise me if female orgasm had similar health benefits.  

              As for the greatest preventable cause of suffering:  malnutrition, hunger, starvation, cholera, dysentery, other communicable diseases, and resource wars.  All caused directly by population overshoot of various resources.  

              Find me any single cause that produces more suffering and we can talk about that too.  

        •  Most of the $ for Catholic Charities is federal (3+ / 0-)

          Last year, Catholic News Service (CNS) reported:

          Overall, Catholic Charities agencies had revenues of more than $3.9 billion in 2008. Two-thirds of the revenue came from local, state and federal government sources.

          Although many Catholics believe they are supporting the poor via their tiny weekly donations, Catholic Charities (which undoubtedly does much good) is actually a separate corporate entity from the Church and serves mainly as an administator for federal funds. In the recent past, some Catholic Charities organizations have decided to cease arranging adoptions rather than either 1) give up their federal money or 2) place children in homes with homosexuals.

          Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

          by RJDixon74135 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:06:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are other charitiest (0+ / 0-)

            That are tied to Catholic Church. For example - Catholic Relief Services.

            •  CRS also draws mostly on US taxpayer $ (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Catholic Relief Services does a lot of good around the world. However, we (especially Catholics who may be tempted to boast about their charity) should all understand that the huge majority of the work is paid for by US taxpayers. For example, the organization's audited financial statements for 2009  (pdf) show that their total "Private support and revenue" (rounded) was $128,345,000 including $10,815,000 from "Catholic Relief Services collection." For comparison, their total "Public support and revenue" was $612,489,000 including "United States government grants and agreements" of $287,050,000 and "Donated agricultural, other commodities, and ocean freight" of $252,989,000. In other words, US taxpayers donated, mostly unknowingly, more than 5 times the amount the amount collected from Church members alone and more than 50 times the amount Catholics dropped in the collection plate for CRS.

              "Salaries and related benefits" plus "Contracting and professional fees" paid in 2009 totaled almost $134 million for programs and more than $155 million for "supporting services."

              Charity is big business for the Church, paying the way for many of her employees.

              Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

              by RJDixon74135 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:38:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They use less than 5% (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                of their budget for administrative costs.  3% goes to salaries.  That's is a lot smaller than other organizations.

                About half of their donations are from the US government and grants; about 20% is from private donations.


                •  Not according to the 2009 audited financials (0+ / 0-)

                  Actually, 67% of Catholic Relief Services income came from US government grants and agreements plus US government donated agricultral, other commodities and ocean freight. If you add other public grants and public in-kind gifts (states, cities, the UN, the World Bank, etc.), then more than 76% of the income came from general taxpayers, not from Catholics in the pews. In fact, Catholic collections, bequests and private in-kind gifts accounted for only 15.9% of CRS 2009 income. A smaller amount also came from investments and assets released from restrictions.

                  And, again according to the audited 2009 financials (link above), "Salaries and related benefits" plus "Contracting and professional fees" accounted for 36.01% of the total expenses.

                  Who knows where the BBB got their numbers, but clearly, the numbers to go by are those in the audited financial report.

                  One of the most interesting comments in the report, for those who find such things interesting, is the description on page 8 of CRS' use of interest rate swap agreements.  

                  Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

                  by RJDixon74135 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 01:52:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Which shows exactly what's wrong with (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freelunch, RJDixon74135, coquiero

            "Faith Based Charity".

            The taxes we pay to provide relief for someone elses suffering are really being used for Religious Advertising.

            •  Many Catholics are surprised to learn about (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, coquiero

              the high salaries of Catholic Charities executives. Catholic Charities USA, the umbrella organization whose mission, according to Charity Navigator  is "to exercise leadership in assisting its membership, particularly the diocesan Catholic Charities agencies and affiliate members, in their mission of service, advocacy and convening," pays its president, Rev. Larry Snyder $153,793; its CFO $167,401; and its VP 154,756, plus benefits. Each of the diocesan Catholic Charities organizations pays its leadership similar amounts except in the few instances when the organization is headed by a religious priest (monk or brother) since they take a vow of poverty while diocesan priest do not.

              Charity Navigator is an essential tool to use before making a significant contribution.

              Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

              by RJDixon74135 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 09:12:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

                •  And not too impressive for an outfit that's (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RJDixon74135, coquiero

                  supposed tobe "Sacraficing to do Gods Work".

                •  Yes, it is (0+ / 0-)

                  Still, it's surprising to many Catholics who seem to think the clergy live on air. Catholics have notoriously trailed protestants in giving to the Church. According to a 2008 USAToday article

                  Five percent of American Christians overall (8% of all Protestants and 2% of Catholics) tithe, according to a 2008 study of giving by the Barna Group, in Ventura, Calif. Protestants gave their church an average of $1,705 per household and Catholics gave $984, while those in non-Christian faiths gave an average $905, Barna found.

                  When Catholics discuss allowing married priests (not counting clergy who convert from other faiths who are already allowed to be married), one of the objections most frequently raised is the inability of Catholics to financially support married priests. Obviously, at least to me, the prohibition of marriage contributes to the declining numbers of priests.

                  Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction -- Pascal

                  by RJDixon74135 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:28:21 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The RCC has a Bellarmine University (0+ / 0-)

        Either Bellarmine was named by folks who have no sense of history or are opponents of science. If they understood irony, they would have named their science building after Galileo instead of Pasteur.

        The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

        by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:48:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well that's a gross overstatement (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, the fan man, Dirtandiron

      I know quite a few people in my generation (born in the late 70s/early 80s) who truly follow the Catholic Church and are active members.  I also know quite a few that agree with the prohibitions on re-marriage.  

      We shouldn't be welcoming this fight; a lot of religious lefters like myself would leave.  I'm Protestant, not Catholic, very liberal in my political beliefs (but not necessarily my religious ones) and having non-Christians discussing how I should view my religion is the number one way to get me to stay away at the polls.

      •  I can't get married because of your religion (6+ / 0-)

        so, yes, count me as one of those who will happily bring it on.

        It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

        by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:47:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's a big difference (0+ / 0-)

          between the secular laws of a society and what an individual believes is or is not a sin.

          I'm Protestant, which includes the Episcopalian Church of the US.

          Attacking the religious beliefs of a group is the number one way to ensure the people of that faith won't vote for that side, even if they agree with the policies.  

          •  *shrug* (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freelunch, chimpy, JesseCW, coquiero

            you're actually right, there is a big difference. However any argument against marriage equality always boils down to religion. The Prop 8 trial proved that. The sad the conservatives are having over that outcome was based entirely on "what about our freedom of religion? We're not allowed to have our freedom of religion anymore!" I follow the antics of NOM. It's entirely religious based now, with a bit of "what about the children?!"

            even the thin "scientific" evidence again, boiled back to religion. Although I did find their "5,000 year tradition of one man and one woman marriage" amusing. There's a lot of polygamy in the Bible. On the other hand, unlike them, I don't think there's a lick of the Bible that's actually true, so, they could have that argument if they wanted to be really cynical.

            In Maine the Catholic Church actively campaigned against a right that was given to the people, and won. The Mormons did the same in California. Protestants did in Mississippi and Alabama and Texas and across the South (three places, I should note, where the average person marries at least twice and three plus times are not uncommon), 31 states and counting, and almost all were based on religion. I mean they may claim otherwise, but it's really just not true. That remains deeply insulting and demeaning. It is so insulting and demeaning that emigration is my number one long term goal in life. In fact it's my only goal. And I'm not supposed to consider that bigoted, because the animus comes almost entirely out of the Old Testement, because "we might lose votes?" Wow.

            I'm aware that there are Christians don't have a problem with homosexuality and are pro-marriage equality. I love them, I even considered joining them before I fully realized God wasn't real. And I wish there were more of them.

            Also, as the Eddie Long scandal proved, it's not just the Catholics who have pedophile/pederast problems.

            It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

            by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:45:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Catholics and Mormons, in California. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chimpy, terrypinder, coquiero

              The Knights of Columbus ponnied up millions in pro-8 cash.

            •  Why do you care what someone believes? (0+ / 0-)

              Religion is not the problem. The problem comes when we all share one government, and we all want to legislate our own prejudices and cultural habits.

              Religion is belief. I can be ok with something, I can be a little queasy with something, or I can believe something to be an abomination. I probably couldn't get myself to eat worms. I think VI is a very limited text editor, and developing a major project without emacs might reduce me to shallow, gasping breaths. I don't get the whole thing about wearing toupees, and frankly, some of them kinda creep me out. But, your own beliefs are none of my business.

              I'm aware that there are Christians don't have a problem with homosexuality and are pro-marriage equality. I love them, I even considered joining them before I fully realized God wasn't real. And I wish there were more of them.

              So do I, but I'll settle for more of them who don't care either way. I don't need them to be pro- anything. I just need them to respect the limits that the Constitution puts on my government's authority.

              Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

              by chimpy on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:21:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't care what they believe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chimpy, coquiero

                it's just that their beliefs are what pushed 31 states (and counting, we'll likely add New Hampshire next year and Pennsylvania by 2013 to the list) to ban marriage equality, and that belief is almost entirely religious.

                It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

                by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:24:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think the wedge is at first amendment (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  None of us, or even all of us collectively, are up to the task of changing half of the country's beliefs. I can't walk up to even one racist old bigot and make him happy to see a non-white person serving as President. I can't stand up in front of my former congregation and convince any of them to wake up from their tribalist habits of belief, and be happy about their gay neighbors.

                  What I might be able to do, is to remind a Catholic neighbor how much they appreciate that the "No Irish Need Apply" signs were gone by the time their own grandfather got to America. Or that a culture once so thoroughly Protestant, that a joke about Catholics could be come as popular as the Hokey-Pokey?

                  Yes, it might be Catholics that help the Protestant fundamentalists in finally destroying this country's tradition of secular state and independent churches. But, once that wall is down, they should not expect mercy from the victorious hordes.

                  Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

                  by chimpy on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:45:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Can you think of ANY (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that agree with their birth-control views?  I mean, it's hard to go 0 for 200 million, but that's about where they are at on that one among educated people under 40.

        "They don't think it be like it is, but it do. " Oscar Gamble, circa 1980

        by Spider Stumbled on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:02:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OH, PA, MI and WI have large Catholic Populations (8+ / 0-)

    It is not in the best interests of the Democratic Party to go to war with the Catholic Church.

    Catholic voters comprise a large segment of the independent voters in Midwestern swing states.  Democrats will need at lease a significant chunk of these voters to win in 2012 and beyond.

    The way to win these voters is to present a strong economic plan for the working/middle class and then minimize the issues that the bishops usually speak on - abortion, gay marriage, etc.

    The 2008 Obama campaign was the blueprint for this.  Catholic voters were willing to downplay the social issues because the economic issues were so in favor of the Dems.

    And then just a little bit of outreach to the pro-life Catholic Dem leaners was enough to push them over the top.

    Many Catholics do not like the way the bishops run the show.  But there are also many Catholics who would vote Republican if the bishops became a punching bag for progressives.

    by DingellDem on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 12:57:02 AM PST

    •  then do it CAREFULLY. (5+ / 0-)

      Do it ever so carefully.

      Have groups that are not formally affiliated with the Democratic party wage the culture war, starting with the pedophile scandal and cover-up.  Keep that in the news.  That will wear down the church hierarchy trying to defend themselves.  

      Also go after the contraception issue, with emphasis on married couples choosing how many children to have.  

      Then the D candidates themselves, and the party, and all of the party grassroots apparatus, can stay way the hell clear of that stuff and stick to the economic issues.  

      •  That would not work (0+ / 0-)

        First, people already know about the pedophile issue and aren't happy with that.  

        With contraception - that isn't going to fly either, because the Catholic Church's position is that if you don't want a child, don't have sex.  Or try the rhythm method, which actually works if used correctly.  Trying to pretend that contraception is the only way to not have children is a great way to get Christians to tune you out.

        If you want Catholics in the Democratic fold, you need to emphasize the good works part of Christianity, not criticizing what Democrats should regard as personal private choices for individuals.  

        •  Aboslutely 100% wrong (11+ / 0-)

          MOST Catholics — meaning somewhere near 90% — do NOT support the church's contntion that only the rhythm method should be used. This is probably the main area where the flock deviates from the Vatican. And certainly the larger body of "Christians" will not "tune out"  on this. You are making the right-wing argument against pregnancy prevention plans, which are in fact the ONLY practical way to decrease abortions. The opposition to pregnancy planning and birth control is a veil for hatred of women and no, it isn't an area where we need to be "careful" and quiet and not talk about it. Women are in full revolt in Ohio over this. It was the Democratic Party's failure to understand that they MUST strongly and ALWAYS support access to contraception that led indirectly to our narrow but across-the-board losses here in Ohio. In fact, we need to do exactly the opposite of what you are suggesting or we lose our base. We will never get the hardline anti-choicers who oppose contraception. You have just described the blueprint for the losses we just suffered.

          Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

          by anastasia p on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:21:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How is emphasizing the good works part wrong? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I was responding to the post above mine which said to emphasize married couples choosing how many kids to have is the way to go to "war" with the RCC and gain voters.  I don't agree; I think the way to gain support of liberal Christians, including Catholics, is to emphasize good works, including charities.  Focusing on social issues is not going to get Christians, in my opinion.  

            I don't think the way to gain support is to use the RCC as a punching bag; regardless of how one feels about that position, I doubt most Catholics would be OK with secular people trying to tell the RCC what it's religious positions should be.  And that includes the RCC's stance on contraception.  The flock deviating from the Vatican is a lot different from someone outside the flock trying to direct religious policies.

            For the record, I am not Catholic (I'm non-demonimational Protestant), nor do I agree with the RCC's stance on contraception; but I do see their point religiously (even though I disagree with it) and I don't think it's based on "hatred of women."

    •  Lots of Catholics are at war (8+ / 0-)

      with the Catholic Church.  I'd like to know how many Catholic voters in these areas actually toe the Vatican line on issues.

      Catholic Percentage of Population: (ARIS 2008)

      PA: 31%
      OH: 20%
      MI: 20%
      WI: 29%

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, mochajava13, Dirtandiron

      Many Catholics do not like the way the bishops run the show.  But there are also many Catholics who would vote Republican if the bishops became a punching bag for progressives.

      Purity over effectiveness is highly overrated

      by SpamNunn on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:21:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Bishops have gone to war against Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Thanks to Ratzinger's decisions over the past two decades, the US Conference of Bishops has become a very reactionary organization that has allied itself with the GOP -- allegedly over one issue -- even though Catholic teaching historically has opposed what the GOP supports on the whole.

      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

      by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:52:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's reasons like this that I left "The Church." (11+ / 0-)

    The year after I was confirmed, the abuse scandal erupted in Massachusetts -- where I'm from. There were priests in neighboring parishes that were caught up in the scandal. These scandals keep erupting, country after country, year after year --- and the Church has the audacity to double down on social issues. If it can't control its own mess, it has no rights -- as far as I'm concerned -- to comment on anything else.

    The church is governed by hypocrites.

  •  the church's shame (9+ / 0-)

    The Catholic church heirarchy lost any credibility about "protecting lives" when they ran interference for child molesters in Roman collars. Instead of belly aching about the lower Manhattan Islamic center people should be trying to put distance between Catholic churchs and elementary schools.

    •  Amen to that! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annrose, cybersaur, coquiero, Keori

      Every time the RCC comes along with a proposal to build a church, someone needs to raise a stink about the elementary schools nearby and the molestation and cover-ups.   Don't give them a single minute of peace on this issue.  

    •  This is HR worthy, IMHO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mochajava13, Dirtandiron

      Purity over effectiveness is highly overrated

      by SpamNunn on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:21:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not HR worthy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fiddlingnero, JesseCW, coquiero

        What was said that isn't true? It is a FACT that the Catholic church hierarchy... ran interference for child molesters in Roman collars. Given the pervasive pedophilia practiced by priests, not wanting a Catholic church near an elementary school is perfectly reasonable.

        Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

        by cybersaur on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:41:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is, too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's not "pervasive".  

          The incidence of pedophilia among Catholic priests is extremely rare, affecting only 0.3% of the entire population of clergy.  This incidence rate is actually lower than that of the general population.  

          Source:  Pedophiles and Priests, Philip Jenkins.

          Coaches and teachers are much more likely to be pedophiles, because pedophiles gravitate toward professions that allow them to be around children.

          By your reasoning, no one should be allowed to go near an elementary school.  

          This Catholic bashing here has to stop.  

          Purity over effectiveness is highly overrated

          by SpamNunn on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:20:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not proud of the way my church handled this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Remembering Jello

            scandal, but Catholics are not the Vatican, they are a community of, for the most part, very good people.  Just like any other community.  

            If you have a problem with the Vatican, join the club.  A lot of us do.  

            Don't bash Catholics, in general, though.  

            Purity over effectiveness is highly overrated

            by SpamNunn on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:24:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you don't endorse the actions of your leaders (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Why are you a member?

              No one forces you to be a member of that church. There are thousands of choice in the US. If you choose to remain a member of an organization that is known to be run by corrupt individuals, why would you expect other people not to assume that you endorse or tolerate their corruption?

              The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

              by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:40:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am a Democrat, too. What's your point? (0+ / 0-)

                Purity over effectiveness is highly overrated

                by SpamNunn on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:44:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm glad you are a Democrat (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Fifty years ago, the Democrats could be rightly tarred as the part of racists. Those who opposed racism were still complicit by not speaking out against the racists who they were allied with. We eventually reformed ourselves and got rid of those racists. Now, the Catholic Church is a church of corrupt executives. As long as members say nothing about this corruption, they are as complicit as progressive Democrats were half a century ago.

                  The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                  by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:48:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Have you left the US yet? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                My family is within the Church. I grew up in the Church. It's a pert of my life, though I'm pretty lapsed at this point. The moral referances that I use to understand the world around me are Catholic in nature. I see things in terms of sin and grace- which are other words for wrong and right.

                I disagree with the leaders of the Church on many issues. I disagree with my national government on many issues. I feel that some of the leaders of my nation are criminals, as well as some of the leaders of my church.

                I don't intend to change my relationship with my faith, any more than I intend to renounce my citizenship.

                Why do you continue being an American citizen, knowing that we as a nation have sinned as greatly as any faith?

          •  If that were true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybersaur, JesseCW

            Catholic churches wouldn't have to institute rules preventing priests from being alone with children.

            I don't know of any schools with rules like that.

            You can quote all the statistics you like, but the fact is that my parents always warned me never to be alone with a priest, and my husband's parents, who are devoutly Catholic, wouldn't let their four boys be alter boys because they knew exactly what happens to alter boys.

            This was in the '70's.

            If pedophilia among priests was so rare, this wouldn't have been the case.

            I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

            by coquiero on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:28:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  How many bishops were punished for their crimes? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, coquiero

        I don't expect any organization to be perfect, but I do expect them to follow the law when their employees break it. Hiding child rapists is evidence to me that the bishops are immoral.

        The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

        by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:53:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What will happen to liberal nuns? (11+ / 0-)

    Some of the most dedicated phone bank volunteers I worked alongside on the Obama campaign were nuns from a convent about 15 miles away from our office.

    I always wondered if the bishop knew what they were doing and if they would be punished for supporting Obama, who they thought was a better choice based on social justice principles.

    •  they'll be threatened with excommunication. (6+ / 0-)

      Watch and see.

      So I'd say it's time for the nuns in those areas to go into open revolt mode if that happens, and that includes taking over their convents and refusing to leave.  

      The power is theirs if they choose to use it, rather than going meekly along.  

    •  aren't nuns in this country (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosabw, Dirtandiron, JesseCW

      under investigation by the Catholic heirarchy?

      US Nunsa Facing Vatican Scrutiny

      "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

      by Pandoras Box on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:30:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  er...nuns...NOT Nunsa (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (??? - more coffee for me!)

        "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

        by Pandoras Box on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:30:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not "investigation" but "visitation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pandoras Box

         The Vatican is visiting different religious communities of women to see if they're living out their constitutions and mission statements.  It's not a witch-hunt, and I think that's pretty clear since there have been much in the news since the visitations began.  The Vatican did the same thing with seminaries (all men, not all liberal) about five or six years ago.

        •  It's not a witch hunt because RCC says it isn't (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandoras Box, JesseCW, coquiero

          Soon the majority of nuns will be retired. The RCC has been historically unwilling to pay for these retirements, expecting the working nuns to deal with it. Will nuns be starving?

          The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

          by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:56:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do you mean? (0+ / 0-)

            I'm really not sure what you mean by "The RCC has been historically unwililng to pay for these retirements . . ."  The Catholic bishops take up a collection every year specifically for retired religious (sisters, brothers, priests).  Many religious orders are able to take care of their own, and those that can help out those who can't.

            •  Yes, they take up special collections (0+ / 0-)

              God forbid the bishops take responsibility for this.

              The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

              by freelunch on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 10:34:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe you didn't understand the comment (0+ / 0-)

                 The bishops DO encourage collections and ways of helping retired religous.  Collections are how the Church raises money; it's how the bishops raise money.

                •  But it's special (0+ / 0-)

                  It's not just a basic part of the dioceses' budget.

                  The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                  by freelunch on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 09:26:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No - because religious orders are distinct from (0+ / 0-)

                    a diocese.  Yes, a bishop can tell a religious order to leave his diocese, or he can invite one to enter.  But the religious order usually funds all of its own projects and ministries.  The members of a religious order are under obedience to their own heirarchy (a local superior, a provincial, and then the overall leader who is usually in Rome).  For example, a Jesuit teaching at the college in my town, doesn't answer to the Archbishop of Mobile.  He answers to his local superior at the college community.  Then he answers to the provincial in New Orleans, and then he answers to the Father General in Rome.  The bishop can't send him on a mission or assign him any duties whatsoever.

                     Given the way religious orders are distinct from dioceses, it's not surprising that the bishops aren't putting a line-item in their budget.  Nevertheless, they do raise awareness and help raise funds for retired religious.  It helps to know how the structure of the Church when deciding who's fulfilling what responsibilities.

    •  They will go their own way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, StateofEuphoria

      It seems that's what today's nuns do. If they are forced out of the church, they will continue their work outside of it.

      Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

      by anastasia p on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:23:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They already are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelunch, StateofEuphoria

        I actually met some very cool older nuns (one of them an out lesbian) this past weekend at a community organizing event to benefit the children of immigrants in the area.

        Their biggest beef is with Ratzinger and his Storm Troopers. The nuns just want to be left alone to be the liberal, community-organizing, peace-loving hippies they always have been.

        When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

        by Keori on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:56:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Aren't we being rude (0+ / 0-)

          Is it right to note that the Bishops goose-step in formation behind the Pope?

          It may be rude, but it appears to be necessary.

          The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

          by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:57:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I thought it was self-evident (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Seriously, how far do you have to look to see that Bishops are merely power-hungry, money-grubbing, pedophile-enabling criminals, and that they do this at the behest of their pope?

            When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

            by Keori on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:03:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I know two nuns who are defense attorneys. (0+ / 0-)

        One of them lives in a small community of other nuns and they are self-supporting it seems.  

  •  If it's war they want, they'd better watch out. (9+ / 0-)

    What WE need to do about this is stop playing defense and go on the attack:

    Progressive Catholics: stop tithing, give to progressive Catholic organizations instead.

    Everyone:  keep that phrase pedophile priests in the news constantly.  Every time those bishops make noise about "unborn children," make louder noise about molested children and cover-ups.  Every time they go off about marriage, make louder noise to the effect that if they let priests marry they wouldn't have so many child molesters in the priesthood.  And keep on it about what Dolan and Kurtz had to say and what they did while all those priests were molesting all those kids, and all those other Vatican officials were covering up for 'em.  

    Everyone:  it's time to go after the RCC's tax exemption.  That should be a constant topic, raised every time anything comes up about the church's involvement in politics.  One place to start would be to find the valuation of all church properties, and calculate the tax revenues that would accrue directly to local government if they were paying their fair share.  Nationally that is going to come to a huge number, that will easily translate in terms of police officers, school teachers, and other vital public employees who can't be hired so long as we are subsidizing the Vatican.   (The legal technicalities of this don't matter at the moment, what matters right now is the rhetorical value in terms of stirring up cultural attitudes.)

    Everyone, and especially progressive Catholics:  This is how the religious right is going to try to spread itself into the Latino community: by linkages with the Catholic right.  So it's time to start vaccinating Latino Catholics against religious right bullshit, using whatever strategies and tactics will work.  

    •  I think there's a role here too... (5+ / 0-)

      ...for progressives who grew up Christian and still identify with that religion, but who may have left the church for some reason.

      And the role is this: Come back to church.

      Specifically, come back to a liberal church.

      Find your local Episcopal or UCC church and start going there. Get to know your neighbors who go there. Bring your kids to the Sunday school. Support their Latino outreach programs. Speak out in the church for health care for all, for labor equality, for social justice generally; you'll likely find a fertile field.

      If we're not going to support liberal churches, we shouldn't be surprised when the conservative ones take over.

      What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

      by mistersite on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:01:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if the Pope ever heard of Jesus' (11+ / 0-)

    teaching.  First remove the beam from your eye, then try to remove the speck from your neighbor's.  Seems to me they need to clean up the pedophile issue, then they can lecture others about morality.

  •  It's not like the SCOTUS is stacked with Roman (8+ / 0-)

    Catholics...oh wait.

    God Help Us!!  Or Lucifer!!  Anyone!!

    The United Church and States of America.

    Seriously, I'm so sick of Religion.

    "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

    by Jose Bidenio on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 03:05:16 AM PST

  •  My good news of the day! (6+ / 0-)

    I like Catholics, by and large.  But if the Church that's now more famous for coddling pedophiles than for helping the poor wants to lead the wrong side in the culture wars, that's OK by me.  

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 03:49:06 AM PST

  •  Actually the cultural wars HELPED the Democrats (5+ / 0-)

    in 2010.  I would argue one of the reasons why Senators like Bennett won was because Independent women didn't want their abortion rights taken away.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:12:17 AM PST

  •  4 words --- Shut up and adopt! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's all we need to say to pro-lifers.

  •  Don't look at the Philadelphia Grand Jury report. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PapaChach, JesseCW

    Don't look.

    Look at the disordered homosexuals and Catholic women aborting over there; they sparkle, they glimmer, they are the real big sinner.

    Just in case anybody does not get what the RCC is and does, I provide the report. If you read it, it will make you cry.


    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:19:09 AM PST

  •  Happy to be an Ex Catholic here!.. (6+ / 0-)

    one of the best things I've ever done

  •  They tried this in Brazil... (6+ / 0-)

    ...even the Pope himself got involved, announcing the week before the election that Brazilian bishops should "orient their congregations" regarding who to vote for in the election.  Yes, it was that blatant, and it came directly from the top.  And this was all about helping the far-right and screwing the poor (again).

    As one commenter on a Portuguese-language board noted: "This should be good news for Dilma - the Pope is always telling everyone not to use condoms, not to have sex outside of marriage, etc... and look how well Brazilians follow that advice!" (And he turned out to be correct).

    The Catholic Church that Hélder Câmara (see my sig) was a part of is no more.  There's no mystery why it's shedding members in Brazil at am accelerating pace...

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." -- Dom Hélder Câmara

    by SLKRR on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:25:25 AM PST

    •  I see something similar in Guatemala (4+ / 0-)

      Most of my friends are Catholic, good people all. You hear the most preposterous bunk from priests when you have to listen to them at a funeral or wedding, but everyone just rolls their eyes, looks embarrassed and forgets about it. My sense is that most Catholics revere the church's deeper mysteries (like communion), but are deaf to the arcane political messages. That was certainly the case in Argentina, where the (mostly Catholic) legislature rebelled against the hierarchy on marriage equality and gave them an earful for attempting to meddle in secular affairs.

      "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

      by cadejo4 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:30:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't it ironic? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That in so many countries that were conquered by the church and forced to accept the "church" at sword point are now catholic instead of being fervent followers of their own religions?

        •  The Church was always very good (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          at incorporating "pagan" traditions, and there was, only a few years ago, an announcement about recognizing some hybrid traditions from Latin America and the Caribbean. I have personally gone with a "Maya priest," at that time more than 80 years old, to see one of his rituals, conducted in a grotto near his home, in which he lit 20 candles for days of the Maya calendar and recited their names, lit a copal fire and read from the Latin text of a Catholic Bible.

          "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

          by cadejo4 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:58:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Iemanjá (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The Yoruba Goddess of the Sea is revered by millions of Brazilians and has been conflated with Nossa Senhora by many Catholics.  Brazilian Catholicism has a very strong syncretic tradition, as does Catholicism in many other places in Latin America (as you mention).  The right-wing factions that have taken over the Church leadership are quite alien to a large percentage of the populace.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." -- Dom Hélder Câmara

            by SLKRR on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:18:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A complex subject in Guatemala (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The subject of syncretism is quite complex in Guatemala, and there are many misconceptions about it, as there are about the Maya people. One of the most highly conserved elements of Maya culture was the calendar in its short form of 13 numbered permutations of 20 days. Amazingly, that was kept and passed along from generation to generation, among elders, heads of families and, in the case of my friend, healers and diviners, often with an odd overlay of Catholicism. Local deities, as such, are practically non-existent, with the exception of a strange character known as San Simón, or Maximón, who crops up in two villages and may actually be a weird remnant of Saint-Simonism brought here by German immigrants. As with all things Maya, I tend to tread very carefully. Most interpretations of their culture are so highly colored by the observer's misconceptions that they are useless. Catholicism was never very strongly embedded in any form among the Maya and a sizeable percentage, probably a majority, have turned to protestantism.

              "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

              by cadejo4 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:08:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  sheeesh (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Why have the turned to Christianity, the religion of their conquorers and inquisitors in any form whatsoever. I don't care how many local traditions have been incorporated. . .it is still the very religion that slaughtered your ancestors.

                I just don't get it. My ancestors were forced to flee France. I want nothing to do with evil.

                •  they didn't have a choice (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SLKRR, coquiero

                  it was convert or die. Most religions are like that

                  however most religions generally just absorb the traditions of the conquered. Thus why we have Christmas at the same time as Saturnalia, and Voudoun is a mish-mosh of African and Catholic traditions, the Islam in Indonesia being way different than elsewhere, and so on.

                  It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

                  by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:27:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But they have a choice now (0+ / 0-)

                    They have the choice to divorce themselves from such rubbish.

                    Get behind me satan.

                    •  heh. (0+ / 0-)

                      i say the same thing, but also know people tend to just do what their parents did, and so on.

                      i'm the only atheist in my family.

                      It's like we're all part of some avant-garde role playing story called "The Election" by Franz Kafka.

                      by terrypinder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 09:08:19 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hehe (0+ / 0-)

                        While not strickly an atheist. . .I think there may be a god & perhaps not. I also think no one on earth knows one damned thing about it. Thats the way it has always been & will forever remain. I also think ALL religions are nothing more than frauds.

                        And, on Thursday, I will go to yet another family Thanksgiving and someone will say a prayer to god, which I really don't mind so much, and end it with "in the name of our savior, Jesus Christ", which I do mind quite a bit. He is not my savior and no one ever asks what I think about it. Where I to say a prayer to Zuess, I am certain the holiday would desend into chaos.

                        I commend you for searching your conscience instead of simply going in on an insane myth about walking on water & bringing dead rotting corpses back to life.

    •  The Institutional Church has always (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      supported Right Wingers.

      When Government provides no relief for the poor, and no education, the Church is more powerfull.

  •  Why I'm an atheist... (6+ / 0-)

    Religion is the root of all evil; and the sooner we put it in its place with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, the sooner the planet can return to sanity.  Here's a revenue generator - let's tax the hell out of all of the churches - all denominations.  No exceptions for anything except "charitable expenditures".  Education - nope!  Don't need them to educate anybody on anything - particularly gays and abortion.  I can't believe anybody actually pays any attention to these inflated men in costumes.

    Don't tax the rich, starve the poor.

    by dkmich on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:29:07 AM PST

    •  HUMANS are the root of all evil (0+ / 0-)

      See the atheist Stalin for an example.

      Churches get tax exempt status BECAUSE of their charities.  Such as soup kitchens, homeless help, free counseling, etc, etc.  

      Want to fight religion? Then you've got to fight the fact that most major religions teach to put others ahead of yourselves, to donate time and money (even if yours is scarce) to help those in a worse position than you, and have the most active charities around.

      •  No, 501(c)(3) applies to any church (5+ / 0-)

        regardless of whether they perform charitable acts or not.  Having a religious purpose is good enough for tax-exempt, tax-deductible 501(c)(3) status.

        The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.  The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

      •  Honey, there was a time when the Church ruled (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, coquiero

        We call it the Dark Ages for a reason.

        When are you going to understand that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage. - Practical Magic

        by Keori on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:00:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who's advocating for a return of the Church rule? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not even Catholic, and I agree with the separation of church and state.

          I was responding specifically to someone saying that religion is the root of all evil, a belief that I strongly disagree with.

          Churches in our society do a lot of good.   I'm trying to point that out to people who want to ignore that.  

      •  If that was true, Churches would have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        no problem operating like any other charity.

        Instead, they've lobbied to make sure they never have to open their books to the public, or even the IRS, to same extent all other charities do.

  •  Here's what it sounds like to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosabw, Dirtandiron, JesseCW

    "I mean, we're in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the Depression, and these bishops had nothing to say about that...They did have a lot to say about the defense of marriage, and about their concerns about the healthcare bill funding abortion. ... I think the elections indicate that the bishops want to continue to be leaders in the culture wars."

    We know that American politicians like to talk about helping the poor and unemployed but they cannot empathize with them.  During the Great Recession, our politicians' wealth grew by an average of 16%, while the bottom fell out for everyone else.

    Their tone-deafness to the plight of the poor and unemployed is understandable (though still inexcusable) in this context.  They hear people talking about how bad things are but they don't feel it at all personally, their collective net worth keeps going up.

    I suspect that there is a similar dynamic at play with the bishops; they aren't wealthy men but they surely live more comfortably than many in their congregations and therefore, don't have any skin in the game.  They are tone-deaf to the plight of the suffering because they cannot empathize.

    And so we get stories like this, that their most important issue is the culture war.

    I must say, as an atheist this is all darkly comic.  It would be riotously hysterical if there wasn't, you know, actual suffering involved.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:42:45 AM PST

  •  The catholic church started the culture war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, JesseCW

    Through their minion, "The Knights of Columbus", they quietly spirited in a change in the national motto from "E pluribus unim" (out of many, one) to "In God We Trust". At the time, I am sure it seemed like a good idea to most. . .a benign little change for the common good of anti-communisim.

    But what that little change did was harbor an entire generation of ignorance towards the original framing of the Constitution as a purely secular government. . .the first of it's kind on earth. Instead, we now have a whole segment of country bumpkin wannabes (most have never seen the inside of an outhouse) waving their flags and insisting there is no "separation of church & state".

    That little change marked the first salvo of the culture war.

    •  To the Final Mutation in These End of Days (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "...Through their minion, "The Knights of Columbus", they quietly spirited in a change in the national motto from "E pluribus unim" (out of many, one) to "In God We Trust". At the time, I am sure it seemed like a good idea to most. . .a benign little change for the common good of anti-communisim..."

      In these end of days, they've even managed to mutate the national motto into "Gott mit uns."  At least, that's how it feels when the state and church mind meld.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:38:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many people thought the change was a bad idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but they went along with it anyway, figuring that allowing "In God We Trust" on the nation's coinage was a relatively harmless way to shut the theocrats up.

  •  Don't forget the National Organization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg, JesseCW

    for Marriage... Those pig-fuckers sent me a text-message on the Saturday before the election reading "Tell Mark Dayton (D-Gov-MN) to stop attacking Catholics!".

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:48:16 AM PST

  •  Guns for fetuses! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR, annrose, susanala, J Brunner Fan

    If they're people, how can you deny them their second amendment rights?

    I, for one, welcome our new hillbilly overlords.

    by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 04:56:42 AM PST

  •  I am sick of everyone! (2+ / 0-)

    How about no NEED to let a child go with out medical attention for lack of health care - you freaking bigot.

    Thats what they are - they are so wrapped up in their little mission for the unborn that they are prejudice against the living.

    Takin it to the streets....Doobie Brothers

    by totallynext on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:08:41 AM PST

  •  this is why enlightened people have fought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, JesseCW

    the church for centuries, and must continue to do so.

  •  The Supreme Catholic Court... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and don't forget that the 5 "Opus Dei" Catholics on the Supreme Court will control this society for generations.

    And nobody blinked when Bush completed the takeover with Roberts and Alito.  

    Then there was Citizens United...etc. etc. etc.

    Abortion Clinics OnLine, the world's first and largest source for online abortion clinic information.

    by annrose on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:29:54 AM PST

  •  Longing for the good ole days (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

  •  Seems to me that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, katynka
    ...Christians of all stripes would be at least as concerned about the current economic crisis and the dangerous amount of wealth accumulated in a few hands...Nawww..I must be dreaming.

    Culture wars trump practical action with them.

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

    by QuestionAuthority on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 05:58:29 AM PST

  •  There are a lot of pro-choice Catholics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hear Our Voices, Dirtandiron

    including me. Another thing about Catholics; we support social justice. Republicans are not for social justice.

  •  Well, noone really gives a f*ck anymore (0+ / 0-)

    These men act like its half a century ago, when everyone waited in breathless anticipation for their latest brow furrowing missives.

  •  There is a reason (0+ / 0-)

    that in the old writings of 17th century Americans, the pope and "papists" were seen on an equal footing with the devil.

    "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Richard Cheney

    by psnyder on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:11:52 AM PST

    •  Oh yeah, none of THOSE people doing that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      writing ever did anything wrong.  No witch burnings, no persecution of Catholics and dissenters, no Nativist attacks on Irish immigrants in later centuries.  They were SO tolerant of others - not like the papists. All one has to do is read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to understand the great enlightenment of the religious beliefs of said 17th century writers.

  •  what's the culture wars? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hear Our Voices, PapaChach


    Seriously though, I wonder how long it will take to sink in to our discourse that the majority of Americans alive today have no memory of the 60s. We don't care about skin color or sexual orientation or genitalia or your whatever other irrelevant nonsense.

    I mean, the Catholic Church is basically relevant to Catholics. I bet most non-catholics have no idea who is in church leadership or what they advocate. Heck, most Catholics ignore the teachings of their leaders they think are silly.

    Unless you think Catholics would never use birth control or engage in pre-marital sex.


    Substantively, I do want to push back against this meme:

    Unsurprisingly, the bishops fought the administration's health care plan because it was deemed insufficiently antiabortion, even though it was the most draconian antiabortion legislation since Roe vs. Wade (making permanent the Hyde Amendment, which banned any federal funds from being used for abortion.)

    Abortion is a red herring. The issue is money. Catholic hospital chains are big business. They want the ability to earn government revenue without being subject to public pressure. Abortion is simply a hot-button way of framing it to distract attention from the crass monetary calculations going on.

    Ask your Member of Congress what they're doing to put Americans back to work.

    by washunate on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:13:05 AM PST

  •  left the church (7+ / 0-)

    I tried to stay a catholic even though i disagreed strongly with some of their dogma.
    When they became overyly involved in our elections i just could not deal with the church any longer.

    Two bishops declared that communion should not be served to John Kerry during 2004.  What???? you mean pedophiles can have communion, serve communion, and be hidden from prosecution and you HAVE THE NERVE to treat anyone this way?  They proved that the church is NOT what Jesus had in mind.

    I am baffled that Michael Moore can tolerate the intolerable.

    thanks for listening.

  •  The Catholic Church knows nothing of morality (9+ / 0-)

    The best example of this is from Sam Harris's "The Moral Landscape,

    the Vatican is a organization that excommunicates women for attempting to become priests but does not excommunicate male priests for raping children. It excommunicates doctors who perform abortions to save a mother's life - even if the mother is a nine-year old girl raped by her stepfather and pregnant with twins - but it did not excommunicate a single member of the Third Reich for committing genocide (pp. 34-35).

    That's right. The Vatican never excommunicated Hitler!

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:22:26 AM PST

    •  If Hitler was no longer a practicing Catholic, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      then he had already excommunicated himself.  Yes, he had been a Catholic at one point, but was he trying to attend mass as the Furher?

      •  Many German Catholic bishops were pro-Hitler (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, StateofEuphoria

        I don't think anyone would say that Hitler was ever a practicing Catholic in his adult life. But he was popular with a large part of the German Catholic hierarchy. Here's a particularly damning foto of enthusiastic bishops; Josef Goebbels is at right.


        The Protestant hierarchy was also compromised, but the most well-known Christian clergyman who resisted Hitler was a Lutheran, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He didn't go around giving the Hitler salute. He was killed by the Nazis in 1945 for suspected complicity in the July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler.

        "Para dialogar, preguntad primero; después... escuchad." - Antonio Machado

        by Valatius on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:15:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You know the Pope had no problem with Fascism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Getting formal recognition from Mussolini that their pitiable 'country' was a country was of more value to them than any moral integrity.

        The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

        by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:19:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Until They Get Their Own House In Order (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djMikulec, cybersaur, anastasia p, JimmyP

    They need to leave ours alone.

    They ignore raping little boys for decades, but they're worried about abortions.  God have mercy.

  •  How many are they and how do they vote??? (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone have the number of catholic voters in this country and how they vote?

    I'll estimate off the top of my head and say that there are 40 million catholic voters and they vote at least 60-40 for the GOP.


    The smarter and harder I work, the luckier I get!

    by JimmyP on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:32:50 AM PST

  •  The Catholic League is doing so as well (5+ / 0-)

    They recently sent indoor nativity scenes to every state governor, undoubtedly to gather fuel for the fire about "anti-Christianity" and "war on Christmas." They know full wells that some states cannot legally display religious artifacts such as that under their Constitution.  

    They have no interest in building a better union. They want to divide and sow strife.

  •  I teach Religious Ed (6+ / 0-)

    at my Catholic Church.  Attended Catholic School for 16 years.  I see where our Church is headed.  I see the flyers in back of Church to stop "Obamacare."  And yes, I do turn them over so nobody sees them.  I see the pamphlets on "how Catholics should vote." And yes, I do turn them backwards so nobody will take them!  I haven't left yet because I don't want to let the crazies win.  The Church I grew up in taught me that "I am my brother's keeper", "whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do unto me."  Being a Catholic and a Liberal Democrat were not incompatible but how much more of this can I take?  Very discouraging, very sad...I wish I could have a good conversation with some of my past Jesuit teachers and some of the nuns I had as teachers. All of the money spent on abortion could have helped so many people in need.  

    "Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others." St. Augustine

    by wsbuffalo on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:34:56 AM PST

  •  Health Care Is a Privilege - Not A Right is.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex

    what I found on a big sign at a catholic high school my family is considering sending my kid to.

    That turned me off!

    Is this how most of them feel???


    The smarter and harder I work, the luckier I get!

    by JimmyP on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:38:45 AM PST

    •  Hell, no (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, Augustine, Dirtandiron, JesseCW

      It isn't even an accurate statement of Catholic doctrine, which is a lot closer to "Health care is a right, not a privilege."

      •  I hope so! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The smarter and harder I work, the luckier I get!

        by JimmyP on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:42:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately, as a friend of mine often remarks, (6+ / 0-)

          Catholic social teaching is among the best-kept secrets of the Catholic Church. A few relevant citations:

          Beginning our discussion of the rights of the human person, we see that everyone has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and finally the necessary social services.

          Therefore a human being also has the right to security in cases of sickness, inability to work, widowhood, old age, unemployment, or in any other case in which one is deprived of the means of subsistence through no fault of one's own.

          --Bl. John XXIII, Pacem in terris (1963), #11

          First among these are the rights to life, food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and basic education. These are indispensable to the protection of human dignity. ... All persons have a right to security in the event of sickness, unemployment, and old age ... the right to healthful working conditions, to wages, and other benefits sufficient to provide individuals and their families with a standard of living in keeping with human dignity, and to the possibility of property ownership.

          --United States Catholic Conference, pastoral letter, Economic Justice for All (1986), #80

    •  They are contradicting the bishops (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The U.S. bishops might have had qualms about certain aspects of the Health Care Reform bill that they did not understand, but the bishops have been advocating for universal health care for about 30 years in the U.S.  Archbhishop Donald Weurhl (Washington, D.C.) is no liberal, but he was publishing pamphlets supporting the need for reform (and abortion was only one small part of it - he stressed the need for coverage of immigrants as well as citizens).  It was available in the cathedral of my archdiocese in Alabama.

      •  They did all they could to undermine it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Their obsession with abortion is so great that they chose to fight even the smallest sign of tolerance in the bill rather than take what they claim they want -- universal health care. Their deeds show that their words are hollow.

        The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

        by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:45:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely not. This is a misstatement of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      long time position of the Catholic church, from the Popes on down, that there should be universal health care for all.  Just read any of the "Social Encyclicals" starting with Pope Leo XIII in 1891 with his ground-breaking encyclical "Rerum Novarum".  Pope John XXIII in 1963 published "Pacem in Terris", which continued his ideas about the obligations of the rich toward the poor from his 1961 "Mater et Magistra".  From "Pacem in Terris":  

         Once again we exhort our people to take an active part in public life, and to contribute towards the attainment of the common good of the entire human family as well as to that of their own country. They should endeavor, therefore, in the light of the Faith and with the strength of love, to ensure that the various institutions—whether economic, social, cultural or political in purpose – should be such as not to create obstacles, but rather to facilitate or render less arduous people's perfectioning of themselves both in the natural order as well as in the supernatural.

      There is a long history in the Catholic church of supporting the right to universal health care and this was especially clear when Cardinal Bernardin (RIP), was head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

      I feel the American Bishops have lost their way.  They've allowed the right wingers to take over and focus on their single issues to the exclusion of the other strong interests of the Catholic church in things like social justice and outreach to the poor.  Cardinal Bernardin used to say that to be pro-life one had to believe in the sanctity of human life on multiple levels, that one could not simply focus on the fetus without also being concerned for the welfare of its mother and its community.  He opposed (as is the Church's official stance) capital punishment and advocated social justice.  I miss the guy.  

  •  Ratzie wants the Church to regain it's temporal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    power over the nations, just like in the good old days -- before the Age of Reason.

    Kissing Republican ass gave Obama a Boehner.

    by The Dead Man on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 06:44:22 AM PST

  •  Who cares about them anymore, criminals allnt (0+ / 0-)
  •  The Arms of Jesus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karenc13, Big Tex

    Somebody ask one of these high priests why abortion isn't a sacrament...
    After all...
    Upon abortion, the fetus-soul flies straight into the arms of Jesus and avoids the hazards of a life that could damn it to perpetual torment.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:14:05 AM PST

  •  I listened to a fascinating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, Dirtandiron

    hour long NPR interview with the "interfaith amigos," a rabbi, imam and pastor.  Incredible men who have made a remarkable personal and spiritual journey to understand their own faiths and those of others.  While I am sure there are a number of Catholic priests who might have joined this group, I was relieved not to listen to one.  The other three were able to talke about respect for individuals of faith and non-faith.

    I'm looking for the silent schism of nuns turn into a more vociferous one.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:24:40 AM PST

  •  It looks like they're getting ready for 2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, JesseCW

    They just want to run up some wedge issues.

    "Can you get out of your jammies now, Daddy? It's almost time for school." ~My Daughter

    by otto on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:26:10 AM PST

  •  Cross-post request (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson, Dirtandiron

    if possible, could you cross-post over on Street Prophets?


  •  At least Catholics like drinking. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, agnostic, Dirtandiron, coquiero
    That's a saving grace in my book.

    Electing Republicans to run our government is like hiring an arsonist as Property Manager.

    by Grumpy Young Man on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:30:34 AM PST

    •  heh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grumpy Young Man, coquiero

      Ok, you made me smile.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:48:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like Catholics... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freelunch, Grumpy Young Man

      I do not like your Catholic Church.  

      Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

      by Fury on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:02:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wisconsin History (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, Grumpy Young Man

      When German Catholics and Lutherans came over to Wisconsin from the Old Country, they brought their prejudices with them, but two things helped them get over it:

      1. The Bennett Law which made it illegal to teach school in any language but English. This also applied to the many parochial schools that both German Catholics and German Lutherans had. The legislature had a remarkable transformation the following year.
      1. Prohibition. People of Prussians and Pomeranian ancestry liked their beer as much as those of  Bavarian. Germany may have been divided by prince and by religion, but they were never divided about whether beer was good.

      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

      by freelunch on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A confession, of sorts. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djMikulec, Fury, cybersaur, coquiero

    I was dunked, dragged to  the altar-native universe to hear robed pedophiles preach, and was duly punished for asking questions or independent thinking by nasty ruler wielding penguins at school.

    When I was old enough,  around 4th grade, the parental units moved to the burbs, and I left the house of torture and found myself in a public school. Almost immediately, I learned that there were two answers to so many of my burning questions:

    How old was the universe?

    Cath: "Have faith"
    Pub.: "Many billions of years"

    Why is the sky blue?

    Cath: "Have faith"
    Pub.: "The makeup of the atmosphere (mainly nitrogen, then oxygen) causes certain wavelengths of light to make the air appear blue.

    Can you really walk on water?

    Cath: "Have faith"
    Pub.: "If the ambient temperatures are low enough, for a long enough time, water crystalizes and becomes a solid, sufficient to hold the weight of a walking person.

    etc., etc., etc.

    The idea that research and learning could provide me with answers, even those that I had problems grasping, instead of simply having faith, made me realize that the church was a fraud, a money grubbing, evil institution that exists solely to enrich itself and empower those who control it.

    Some might suggest that religions do some good. Bullshit. Religions, all of them, replace a curious mind with mindless, faith-based, irrational view of the world, explaining the unknown with fairy tales, and opposing those who dare inquire into areas that the religions deem to be their territory.  Like life choices, science, and more.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 07:47:58 AM PST

    •  It's either/or with me. (0+ / 0-)

      Can you imagine the mayhem without religions at least setting some baseline rules?  It's a necessary evil!

      Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

      by Fury on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:04:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I completely disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        look at our legal system. Over centuries, we have developed certain guidelines of what constitutes acceptable behavior.  Our legal system, both civil and criminal provides the guide of what is right and wrong.

        These rules were not created by some fairy tale god, etched in a couple of stones, and given to some bearded bohemian, on some abandoned mountain top. They were the result of experience, knowledge, trial and error, and rational decision making.  Our legal system is the highest level of our efforts to maintain an ethical, rational, civilized society.

        Fuck all churches. they don't provide baseline rules. They provide baskets for tithing, and brainwashing for the yute. Are you telling me that you cannot tell right from wrong without a church telling how to answer? Seriously?

        Bah. and because of the season, humbug.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:18:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Part of what reminds me why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, cybersaur, coquiero

    for decades I refuse to set foot in any church.

  •  Catholic Church is foolish to align itself with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    other rightwingers just because they share a common penchant for authoritarianism, homophobia and misogyny. Yesterday I posted a comment on another diary showing how Glenn Beck has plagiarized from  a truly  crazy andvirulently anti-Catholic "expert" to prove one of his latest bizarre links.

    Beck is always creating vast conspiracy theories.As shown by his "Puppetmaster" series on George Soros, he is quick to go after Jews. He will be just as quick to go after the Vatican and its minions if it suits his purposes.

    If you want your head to spin, here's Glenn Beck's Lessons from the Tower of Babel, which he stole entirely from the anti-Catholic site

    "Para dialogar, preguntad primero; después... escuchad." - Antonio Machado

    by Valatius on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:02:06 AM PST

  •  Are these cultural warriors for or against child (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Gimme a break!


    A Recovering Catholic wondering why no one has started a 12-step program yet

    "We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist" --- President Barack Obama, 1-20-2009.

    by tier1express on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:05:54 AM PST

  •  The war against rule of law is quite obvious (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, terrypinder, CajunBoyLgb

    from the Catholic Church, and not just in the USA.

    This is why there's this sudden 'interest' in politics on the part of the Church, after decades of slapping down 'political activism' from the left. Politicians in places of influence and power can protect guilty parties from prosecution.

    Ask the Irish people how that's working out for them, as the Catholic Church avoids prosecution for the tens of thousands of cases [probably a gross underestimate] of heinous child molestation charges and other criminal activities that should be brought against it.

    The hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church is little more than a corporate network, which is run like a crime syndicate and protection racket.

    The Republican Party and these fake 'moral leaders' from the American Taliban (the world's biggest group of stinking filthy hypocrites) is the Catholic Church's 'Get of Jail Free' Card.

    It's not a culture war.

    This is a political war, a war against the rule of law and decency, to legally absolve the individuals at the top of the power structure of the Catholic Church from paying the price for the damage they have done.

    Fixing the US and world economy is easy. Tax speculation, not labor.

    by shpilk on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:09:07 AM PST

    •  culture war is a term of convenience (3+ / 0-)

      And I agree that this is not a culture war. Rather, it is a religious war and it is understood as such by one side and its allies and not the other. I wrote a whole book about it.  

      We like to think that we are past such notions as theocracy (for many, theocracy is an epithet and not a term to be much taken seriously) but in fact, theocratic politics has merely evolved. The word is not nearly as important as what it means in a contemporary context.

      •  I think that most of the Church's/Bishops (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are truly fighting a religious war.  They truly believe that innocent unborn children are being murdered in an abortion.  Within the church, this teaching must be accepted and is not subject to the conscience objections of other church teachings. If they truly believe children are being murdered, this is the only stance that makes sense.  

        where the church starts to veer into culture wars is in the issue of homosexuality.  There is nothing remotely similar between the issue of homosexuality and the issue of abortion.  From what I can understand, there is really no theological reason for the strong stand against homosexuality.  Many, Many priests are celibate homosexuals, and this has never been a big problem in the church until recently.  

        Homosexuality is an issue similar to fornication and adultery in church teaching.  (sexual act outside of marriage)  Yet, the church chooses to focus on only the homosexuality issue.  I can't remember the last homily on adultery or fornication.  I have heard 3 or 4 this year on homosexuality.

  •  Thank You - N/T (0+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 08:22:48 AM PST

  •  a culture war they are losing by the day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yea Catholic leadership

    keep demonizing consensual homosexuality between adults and pardoning your own clergy's criminal sexual abuse of young boys

    Keep bitching about legal abortion while supporting republicans who take us into war

    Keep your anti-women policies while you cynically pray to Mary

    And above all, keep your opulent lifestyles while your small local parishes crumble

    yea- keep doing all the things that will continue your slide in irrelevance

    •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

      Over these nine years, the Catholic presence in the world has grown from 1.045 billion in 2000 to 1.166 billion in 2008, an increase of 11.54%. Considering the statistics in detail, numbers in Africa grew by 33%, in Europe they remained generally stable (an increase of 1.17%), while in Asia they increased by 15.61%, in Oceania by 11.39% and in America by 10.93%. As a percentage of the total population, European Catholics represented 26.8% in 2000 and 24.31% in 2008. In America and Oceania they have remained stable, and increased slightly in Asia.


      The Church may or may not be losing ground in North America, but there is a whole world out there... I'd say the US is losing relevance quicker than the Church.

    •  Your comments indicate that you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are seriously uninformed about the Catholic Church.  

      Yes, the church has reacted badly in the case of homosexuality and in its handling of sexual abuse cases.  However, the church did not support the war in Iraq, and does not support the escalation in Afghanistan.  Catholics do not worship Mary, and prayers are not directed to her in that way. I don't have any idea where you got the idea of the opulent lifestyle, but the Catholic clergy does not live oppulently.  On the contrary, they live very difficult lives, full of sacrifice.  While some live in nice rectories, they are far from oppulent.  

      You have valid criticism of the Church's hypocrisy on homosexuality, and its handling of the sexual abuse scandal.  The rest of your points are just incorrect anti-Catholic rhetoric, that will only serve to anger Catholics.

      •  "Catholics do not worship Mary, and prayers are.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        not directed to her in that way."

        the only response for this.

        "Hail Mary full of grace, blessed art thou, and blessed is the fruit of thy whomb, jesus. Pray for us sinner's now and at the hour of our deaths, Amnen"

        and to be fair- I never said CLERGY lived opulently, I said the Leadership, meaning  Bishops, cardinals and the pope.

        •  The OP is correct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Frederick Clarkson

          Catholics do not worship Mary. Worship is reserved only for God. Catholics pray to Mary and to the saints to pray for us to God, as part of the belief in the communion of souls that links the members of the Church now living in the world and the saints and other faithful departed in the next world. See, e.g., the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 971:

          The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs.... This very special devotion ... differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration. (Emphasis added; internal citations omitted)

        •  Oh, and if you're going to quote it, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, oneshot

          could you please quote it correctly? The full text of the Ave, Maria is as follows:

          Ave, Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus.

          Sancta Maria, mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

          Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

          Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

        •  The Bishops, cardinals and pope are clergy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, Benintn

          Definition:  the group or body of ordained persons in a religion, as distinguished from the laity. They often have comfortable living arrangements, but opulence is really hyperbolic.  They own very little, and their living quarters are usually very basic.  

          Catholics say the Hail Mary.  It is a prayer to ask Mary to intercede on behalf of the petitioner.  It is the same thing as asking your friends or relatives to pray for you.  (for those who are religious)  

          Clearly, you are not Catholic, so please refrain from telling Catholics what they believe and how they live.  

  •  I imagine all the Catholics on the SC (0+ / 0-)

    Is wonderful in their eyes. They have a solid majority now, which probably doesn't bode well for their decisions. I'm not particularly happy about it, considering their stance on women.

    You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. - Eric Hoffer

    by splashy on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 03:36:49 AM PST

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