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It's going to be interesting to see how the GOP, especially Catholic Republican politicians, respond to the recent 'pro-life' directive from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that appeared on their web site Sunday. From their news release:


For millions of American workers and their families, economic hardship continues and grows. The US Catholic bishops have long advocated that the most effective way to build a just economy is the availability of decent work at decent wages,” wrote Bishop Blaire in a December 12 letter to Congress. “When the economy fails to generate sufficient jobs, there is a moral obligation to help protect the life and dignity of unemployed workers and their families.”

More details below the squiggly:

Actually, the bishops sent a previous letter to all members of Congress back on December 12, 2011. I have to wonder (don't you?) why this particular issue has gone unmentioned by the Catholics on the campaign trail. Could it be that in an uncharacteristic moment of religious pluralism, they decided to follow Mitt's Mormonism on this? After all, the bishops hardly minced words back in December:

I strongly urge you and your colleagues to find effective ways to assure continuing Unemployment Insurance and Emergency Unemployment Compensation to protect jobless workers and their families.

The median length of joblessness has reached 10 months, and economists estimate that there are over four job seekers for every opening. Pope John Paul II, who called such prolonged and pervasive economic pain “a real social disaster,” said:

The obligation to provide unemployment benefits, that is to say, the duty to make suitable grants indispensable for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families, is a duty springing from the fundamental principle of . . . the right to life and subsistence. (Laborem Exercens No. 18)


Something tells me that reducing the money allocated for health care for poor children won't meet the bishops' standards for "effective ways to assure...."

This could be the cue for Protestant fundamentalists to come in to the conversation. Anyone else remember when the main concern was that a Catholic president might be guided by Rome?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 09:22:17 AM PST

  •  I'll take the Catholic Church's moral authority (6+ / 0-)

    seriously when they refuse communion to pols who vote against extending unemployment benefits or slash Medicaid or Medicare or school lunches.  The ONLY sin they'll do that for is voting pro-choice.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 09:30:58 AM PST

    •  True, and more ... for me, they'd also have to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dksbook, phonegery, Stude Dude

      drop the homophobia and fire the bishops who helped the priests sexually assault children. In fact, I oppose the whole notion that people are born sinful, but then I'm not a religious person. I do find it interesting when politicians' avowed religious principles come back to bite them in the butt.

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 09:44:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was thinking more of doctrinal stuff--but if I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery, RJDixon74135

        hadn't left 42 years ago over doctrine,  the pedophilia cover-up would have sent me racing from the pews. But even if there hadn't been themassive disregard for the welfare of children in the name of protecting the church's good name, I would still find the church challenged when the only sins that matter to them, according to their actions, are abortion and birth control.  

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 09:59:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'll expect to hear a letter read from the pulpit (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135, glynis, dksbook, imokyrok

    this Sunday, right?? Yeah, right. The only thing we ever hear about is abortion and birth control.

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

    Good try, fellas.  

  •  When you've sold your soul to the Devil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    like so many Bishops did in the birth control debate and pedophilia scandals, it's really hard to regain the moral high ground.

    “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”― John Steinbeck

    by JAM11 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:16:53 AM PST

  •  Bishops of the RCC, repent! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You pronounce the Bernadin/JPII "seamless cloth" doctrine in that all life issues are sacrosanct, from conception to natural death.  But then you pronounce that issues related to sex and reproduction are of greater gravity than issues of social justice.  Thus a pro-life politician who votes for gay marriage is currently debarred from Communion.  (The same does not apply, as of yet, to nonpoliticians).

    So, what results is a bunch of politicians who toe the bishops' "pro-life" line get elected.  Thus the systematic grinding of the poor, the torture and cold-blooded murder of prisoners and the scandal of the homeless, the needlessly ill and the hungry in a country swimming in wealth are all laid at your door, along with the ruined innocence of young boys and girls.  You hound old parishioners who fear for their children out of your churches, and your pet politicos hound new parishioners out of the country.

    Thus, bishops, your words on social justice thus become sound and noise, signifying nothing.  They sound like a pitiful and cynical attempt to avert the judgment of history and the Judge who cannot be bribed.

    (And now, time for me to repent.)

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:35:29 AM PST

  •  I love it! The GOP has used the Catholic bishops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in an effort to drive a wedge re freedom of religion.  And at the same time they think they will be able to ignore them about unemployment?  And they think the bishops won't make a stink about it?  First the Tea Party and now the Bishops to pander to.  And right in the middle of the GOP primaries.  

    “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction … everything else requires time.” ~ First Lady, Michelle Obama

    by ParkRanger on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:21:19 PM PST

  •  Boehner is Catholic. I know he's gotten letters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from them before.  This is so interesting.

    “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction … everything else requires time.” ~ First Lady, Michelle Obama

    by ParkRanger on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:22:52 PM PST

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