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A Sunday sermon made the news on Tuesday, as seen here, when a catholic bishop compared Obama to Hitler, and essentially told his flock to vote against Obama this fall. And after the Last Word yesterday, I expected some backlash against Lawrence O'Donnell when he called the bishop and the church out on violating their tax-exempt status.

I don't expect it to go anywhere, but Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a formal complaint, so I suppose time will tell.

Lawrence O'Donnell addresses the subject of bishop Jenky's political advocacy early in this clip. He cites the rule prohibiting intervention in any political campaign, in support or in opposition to any candidate.

This drew the expected response from conservative catholic blowhards...

Peoria Bishop Jenky recently said that President Obama’s radical secular agenda is violative of the First Amendment. Moreover, he warned that this path to religious intolerance had been followed before by the likes of Hitler and Stalin. Anyone is free to agree or disagree, but it is just plain stupid to argue that Jenky is putting the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church in jeopardy. O’Donnell obviously knows nothing more about the First Amendment right to free speech than he does the right to religious liberty. Maybe Rev. Al can educate him.
...with the thoughtful, reasoned argument of 'you're stupid!' Nice job, fellas. And anyone is free to agree or disagree, but then this is a catholic bishop telling his flock what to do, and not just that.
May God have mercy especially on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.

As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and be ready to fight to defend our faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction.

So, Peoria catholics are free to disagree with their god. I'm sure they feel bracing waves of freedom to do so! Well, if there's one thing the church does well, as I know from personal experience, it is the guilt trip.

Anyway, in what may be the punchline for the story this week, Americans United etc. has called the church's bluff and taken it to the IRS.

An IRS document on political activity warns non-profit groups not to engage in any issue advocacy that “functions as political campaign intervention.”

The document goes on to say, “Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate.”

Jenky’s comments, Lynn told the IRS, were obviously designed to express opposition to Obama’s candidacy.

The bishop's full preach is available at Right Wing Watch, and I look forward to the church, the IRS, and most likely the President for that matter to completely ignore this issue and allow it to go away. Even though the bishop is apparently caught dead to rights, I can't see the administration taking any steps that would even slightly risk alienating catholics -- even if this particular odious twit, er, bishop richly deserves to be sanctioned for his political pandering from the pulpit.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tytalus - you are right (6+ / 0-)

    The smart political move is to ignore this.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:38:00 AM PDT

  •  If memory serves, his archdiocese (14+ / 0-)

    was home to at least three fucking perverts who used their collars  and inherent power related to religious orfice to abuse innocent children. I wonder if he ever apologized for that.

    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 Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:39:42 AM PDT

  •  In my daughter's church (19+ / 0-)

    her pastor preached politics from the pulpit all the time.

    I know because when I've asked her where she receives the outlandish information, she had told me, "My pastor."

    And yet nothing is being done about those churches.

    The problem I have is the rhetoric.

    Nobody is saying Catholics cannot practice and believe their faith.  But the constitution clearly states that Catholics cannot demand and expect the rest of us to adhere to their faith.  And that's the issue that is getting confused.

    And I was raised a Roman Catholic.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:45:53 AM PDT

  •  I'm amazed you didn't point out this genius is (8+ / 0-)

    from my home state, and the President's, Illinois. Motto today: "Yes, We Also Have Redneck Idiots"

    We also lay claim to an idiot pharmacist who refuses to fill women's prescription birth control.

    Anyone know what it takes to visit Canada? I'd love to spend a few hours in a sane country...

    •  Thought about it... (4+ / 0-)

      I was re-reading Hunter's earlier diary and decided to copy his tags. I don't mind it being added, though.

      It's ok. A lot of states are sporting some crazy these days. Being from AZ I know the feeling.  :)  I was amazed to see the news yesterday that Jan Brewer actually vetoed the guns in public buildings law. Did not see that coming.

      "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record." -- Answers in Genesis

      by tytalus on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:53:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Might get you more readers, who knows? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, sfbob

        And I think you still outcrazy us. :D

        Huh. Brewer has limits? That amazes me.

        •  I know, right? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allergywoman

          http://thinkprogress.org/...

          Hopefully someone will diary about it today. Jan Brewer cites Scalia of all people and rebuffs the gun lobby.

          "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record." -- Answers in Genesis

          by tytalus on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 10:16:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I know nothing about the bill, but from the title (0+ / 0-)

          perhaps she's just concerned when someone toting a gun comes to where she works.  She might not be so concerned when people bring guns everywhere else in Arizona.

          •  AZCentral article (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ColoTim, allergywoman

            cited by Think Progress, has some background on the bill. It was never a question of guns in the state capitol; I think they already have metal detectors and security guards there. Easy enough for them to protect themselves with the big state budget; not so much for the rest of the state.

            House Bill 2729, sponsored by Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, was pushed by the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group. It proposed making it legal for people to enter public property with a weapon unless the property was secured by either a state or federal certified law-enforcement officer or an armed security guard and metal detectors.

            National and state gun-advocacy groups supported the bill. Cities, counties, law-enforcement agencies and business organizations opposed it, saying they would have had to either let guns into buildings where the public would rather not have them or pay millions of dollars to provide the security required to keep them out.

            "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record." -- Answers in Genesis

            by tytalus on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:30:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe he's planning to join Pulpit Freedom Sunday (7+ / 0-)

    Some churches/pastors are deliberately testing the IRS rules on political speech. Sponsored, and legal defense provided by, the fine folks at Alliance Defense Fund

    ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and direct litigation. We defend Our First Liberty – religious freedom – by empowering our allies, recognizing that together we can accomplish far more than we can alone.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 10:03:37 AM PDT

    •  Conservative xian outfit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, Catte Nappe, opinionated

      Looks like it's right up their alley. I wonder if they would defend a preacher who mirrored their approach and advocated for Obama? heh.

      "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record." -- Answers in Genesis

      by tytalus on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 10:07:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  they tried this last October I think and it was a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus, blueoldlady, OldDragon

      huge bust; my guess is the IRS is going to let them push the envelope until they get so far out there that there can be no question that they are violating church/state separation instead of merely placing a timid toe over the line

      •  It's an annual thing every fall (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, entlord

        Last year would have been the fourth or fifth, I think. They are proud of how the movement is growing - gone from under a hundred up to 500+ so far.

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:54:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think the appropriate response (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, OldDragon

        is to begin to charge "taxes" on Church properties to cover police and fire protection, upkeep on municiple infrastructure and fees for government aid or interaction.  If you are going to play, then you must pay.

        And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

        by tobendaro on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:54:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the history (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, blueoldlady
        In 2008, 33 pastors from 22 different states participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday. The participating pastors preached sermons that compared the positions held by candidates with what Scripture says about those issues. The pastors then made specific recommendations about those candidates (including recommendations about whether the congregation should vote for or against them). Finally, the pastors brought their sermons to the attention of the IRS in the hopes that an audit of their churches would spark lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Johnson Amendment.

        In 2009, more than 80 pastors participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in 2010, nearly 100 pastors participated, and in 2011 the number of participating pastors skyrocketed to 539 pastors. As of this date, none of the participating churches have had their tax exemption revoked – nor have any received penalties from the IRS for what was said during their sermons.

        http://speakupmovement.org/...

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:58:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thank you; my guess is the IRS is waiting for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tytalus, Catte Nappe

          some large churches to cross the line so egregiously that any court case would be a slam dunk, rather than going after small fry and scofflaws.

          Each year these people allege that the IRS is going to drag them out of the pulpit for their comments and throw them in jail, which is what they want.

          •  There's one mega group ready to go (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tytalus, entlord

            Riggles, and his Grace churches - two in Houston, two in California. And they each had multiple pastors at multiple services doing their civil disobedience.

            from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

            by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 12:47:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This makes me so angry. This Bishop (aka idiot) (4+ / 0-)

    is making a mockery of not only faith in saying,

    As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us...
    then going on to say that our president is akin to Hitler or Stalin (um, hey, no difference there!!!  Sheesh...) given the church's history.

    As a Christian myself, I believe it is time to thoroughly investigate the RC church AND remove tax exemptions. I can probably be moved even to the point of saying ALL churches should lose their exemption status.

    If he wants to use the bully pulpit, quite literally, in church, then Jenky should have to do like the rest of us and pay

    Otherwise, he needs to STFU.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:28:13 AM PDT

    •  The sermon irked me for many reasons (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, blueoldlady

      Particularly preaching to catholic men (it was after a catholic men's march) essentially in service of oppressing women; and preaching the church's victimhood from barbarians, revolutions and war...something the church has more than passing familiarity with, itself.

      "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record." -- Answers in Genesis

      by tytalus on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:35:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed. It's one thing to believe in God and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, opinionated

        quite another to accept being ruled OVER by men.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:44:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Christian Rightest are engaged in push back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, Catte Nappe

    Last October, they had a special Sunday when they encourage ministers to publicly take political stances in a dare to the IRS to do something about it.  They are pushing the envelope constantly hoping the IRS will enforce the rules and then produce martyrs for them to exploit

  •  My friend lives in his diocese. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, Catte Nappe, OldDragon

    She is very Catholic and has degrees and advanced studies in theology, and she is sooooo embarrassed!

    I would hate for my little parish to lose its tax-exempt status because of fools like him, but I'm about ready to concede that nothing else will stop them from escalating this nonsense.  Of course, IRS sanctions will be further evidence of the "persecution" of Catholics, but I don't care.  Those over-fed and under-thoughtful idiots who think they're being martyred wouldn't last a few seconds under real persecution.   I'm getting really tired of their whining.  It's so disrespectful of those who really have suffered for their faith (any faith - or none at all).

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 12:15:38 PM PDT

  •  Michele Bachman was endorsed by her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus

    preacher once Sunday during the sermon at her local church.

    He even had her present as he did so ....

    and complaints were filed and nothing was done...the IRS was too busy investigating a retired Episcopal Bishop who had preached against the Iraq war

    it is time to end all the tax breaks and other exceptions for the church ... in a way, providing these exemptions, the govt is discriminating against non-believers.  Make tax exemptions for actual charities, like the Red Cross, United Way, food banks, etc.   Churches could get exemptions for all money actually used for charitable causes such as food banks, soup kitchens, etc.  But not for Church property or the rector's salary or his/her car ... such things should be taxed just like all other businesses and individuals ...

    I worship in a small congregation really struggling to make ends meet... so this might hurt them, but in the end I think we would have more committed believers if the donation we make came from love...

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 03:44:36 PM PDT

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