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Congressman Akin - infamous for his statement that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape” - coordinates his activities with Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, as reported by Mary Ann McGivern, a blogger for the National Catholic Reporter.

That’s not surprising for a Republican politician with his grasp of science. In fact, many leading Republican politicians coordinate their activities with the Catholic Church.

Earlier this year, a media campaign by the bishops resulted in two Congressional hearings, legislation introduced in the House with 190 cosponsors and the Senate with 29, a lawsuit by seven state attorneys general and the support of three of the then four GOP presidential candidates, over the Affordable Care Act’s mandate of health insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Mitt Romney stated in July that “the president and his administration’s…attack on religious freedom I think is a dangerous and unfortunate precedent…. I feel that we're all Catholic today”

In August, Romney launched a 30-second TV ad featuring President Obama’s “war on religion” including footage of Pope John Paul II. The narrator asks, “When religious freedom is threatened, who do you want to stand with?”

What is surprising are the indications that the alliance forged between John Paul and Ronald Reagan uniting the Catholic Church with the 1% is losing more ground the closer we get to Election Day.

Not only is Obama leading in national polls, but he also holds a lead among Catholic voters, 49 to 41. Among church-going non-Hispanic Catholics Romney’s lead is slim, 46.6 to 45.3. Bush won 56 percent of the non-Hispanic Catholic vote in 2004. “Even Sen. John McCain won 52 percent of the non-Hispanic Catholic vote in 2008, despite running a poor campaign against Sen. Barack Obama’s wave.”

Perhaps it’s because most people know by now that 28 states had already required health insurance coverage for contraceptives with no protest from the GOP or Catholic prelates until this presidential election year which validates the charge that the alliance is, indeed, waging a “war against women.”

Maybe the accumulative effect of the sex abuse scandal has discredited the prelates sufficiently to nullify their influence.

Or maybe it’s just the natural result of what happens when organizations shape themselves into exclusive clubs for rich, heterosexual white guys and reject the rest of us.

Originally posted to Betty Clermont on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 03:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  I just loved (yea, right) it when the (7+ / 0-)

    House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform assembled a panel to discuss the birth control mandate in President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

    Not a vagina present on the committee (well, I think that we can be pretty sure that at least they all looked like men, and we can assume no one had an operation to remove and then rework) to talk about insurance mandated birth control.  Both a joke and a national disgrace, staged by the house rethugs....

    After that charade, nothing along these lines surprise me anymore.  It's getting to the point where almost nothing along any lines are surprising me anymore. I just missed those colorful chimeres and mitres that I thought the catholic bishops would have worn to this hearing.  

    But Obama polling better than rmoney with the church-going, non-hispanic catholic vote, even if just by barely over a point?  

    As all this insanity that is happening, and waiting some 50+ days now for four more years of security (or not if by some curses), how much more of the batshit brained lunacy will still happen?  With the catholic church structurally involved here, there's probably going to be more happening soon.

    •  Yes, the House Committee panel with not a single (7+ / 0-)

      woman was indeed the picture that was worth a million words. And I, too, have been waiting for the bishops to make a stronger "last stand." But so far it hasn't happened and I'm wondering if it's because they don't want to put themselves out there for another disaster like their failed "Fortnight of Freedom" campaign this summer. One small note - it's Romney who holds the one point lead among church-going white Catholics. But that itself is a dwindling demographic which also reflects that the alliance is failing.

      •  oooh.... okay, thank you.... you are correct..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        it's Romney who holds the one point lead among church-going white Catholics.
        needed to read it a bit more carefully....

        however..... this......

        Not only is Obama leading in national polls, but he also holds a lead among Catholic voters, 49 to 41.
        is the good news, (and probably my mix-up with the other) although there, like the demographics overall, is probably weighed with a few more of the women vote.

        Nonetheless, the positives are rolling better and better for Obama and the dems, and maybe by election day, Obama (or most likely rmoney's batshit-brained bumblings) will change that one point behind to several points ahead, and let's focus so that all good karma will result in more pile-on happening here.  

    •  Maybe us women...and supportive men should (4+ / 0-)

      Do our own web video....

      "I'm not a catholic, and I don't want the pope in Rome, dictating my access to health care"


      "I'm a the saying goes...I did not leave the catholic church, it left me"

      "why do our elected official coordinate with the Vatican for access to women's healthcare"...Show pictures of all the repukes rep that you mentioned here!

      And a "those guys"part dos....same theme. Those guys show pictures of the pope and bishops and the republicans coordinating on denial of birth control to AMERICAN women!

      Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

      by totallynext on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 06:27:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great idea! The pope appoints the bishops and sets (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest, SeaTurtle, ardyess

        their agenda. The bishops swear obedience and loyalty to the pope. I like your idea very much because, in fact, it is the pope who is "dictating my access to health care."

      •  Comes off like GOP attacks on JFK back in the day (0+ / 0-)

        Not wise.  Not wise at all.

        "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

        by KateCrashes on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:45:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except Pope John XXIII had no lust for power, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          no interest in interfering in U.S. politics, and no "agenda" other than internal reform of the Church and promoting international peace. Likewise, the bishops in the time of JFK would never have considered directing U.S. elections to favor their wealthy donors. Those bishops sincerely cared for the commonweal of this country. Finally, JFK would not have paid any attention to Catholic hierarchs even if they wanted to influence him. All in all, an entirely difference situation and era and of no comparison to the present day whatsoever.

  •  I wonder if Akin justifies pedophilia like many in (7+ / 0-)

    the Vatican also...

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 04:03:16 AM PDT

  •  Which is why... (6+ / 0-)

    Tax exemption should be lifted from ALL religious groups.

    "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

    by buffie on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 04:04:07 AM PDT

    •  I would set the limit at.... (11+ / 0-)

      ... $500K / year of gross income, and ownership of at most two pieces of real estate.  

      That would enable small local churches to function more or less normally as they did decades ago, with one or two pastors, a secretary, a teacher if they held any kind of classes, and reasonable expenses.  

      And I would also tighten up the political advocacy limits such that no church funds or properties could be used for advocacy for or against any candidate for public office or ballot measure, or they lose their tax exemption.

      As for the mega-churches, big-box churches, and great-big churches, yeah, it's time to tax them until they squeak.  Though, at that point some of them would go overtly political in a way that we have never seen before.

      So in the end, someone needs to do some serious research to ascertain whether taxing them and thereby unleashing them could have worse effects than just strictly enforcing the laws that presently exist and perhaps tightening them up a bit, so the loss of tax exemption remains a viable threat to use against the Big Ones.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 04:24:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds good (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, G2geek, SeaTurtle

        There are some wonderful small parishes (Jan Hus in NYC) who have community outreach, clothing drives etc. This would be a good solution-and I agree:tax the megachurches up to their eyeball-and watch their pastors flee to the Caymans for their ill-gotten gains!

        "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

        by buffie on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 04:53:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes Protect the Small Ones nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        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 Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 05:44:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure I WANT small churches to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        prosper. Down here in the SOuth, those are usually the moot right-wing because they're crazy non-denominational  churches with self-ordained loony pastors or their Church of God.

        I'd limit deductions to the interest on the church mortgage and money spent on actual charitable works like soup kitchens or Big Brother programs.

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

        by irishwitch on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 02:04:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's another good proposal: (0+ / 0-)

          Limit the deductions to mortgage interest and actual charitable works.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 07:36:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  disagree for First Amendment reasons (0+ / 0-)

      The major rationale for the tax exemption is that lifting it would mean the government would get access to all the internal records of the church, and would be in the position of judging which activities were closely enough related to the church's (synagogue, mosque) core mission. That means the government bureaucrats are in the middle of complex theological issues, which violates the First Amendment thing that government should not be entangled with religion.

      As a member of a religious body that is often at odds with the government on one thing or another (the draft, taxes for war, torture, to name just a few), I really don't want the IRS mucking around in our business.

      I would not mind the IRS policing the line about how much you can be doing overt lobbying (10% is usual guideline) and support for candidates (ZERO).

      •  As soon as a religious org. incorporates, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle, Don midwest

        it accepts all the restrictions and benefits granted by the state to corporations. What I am suggesting is that the IRS change its tax code so that all corporations must provide full financial disclosure. If any religion wants to hide where the money comes from and where it goes, than it should eschew the benefits of incorporation.

        Re: support for candidates. 99.9% of religious orgs. never state their support for a candidate. The plan is to have "issues" identified with the GOP (abortion, gay rights, religious freedom) so that the clerics lobby for "issues" not candidates.

  •  The U.S. Constitution, including amendments, (4+ / 0-)

    addresses the behavior of the federal agents of does not tell either individuals or private corporations or even states what to do. That is why states have their own constitutions and private corporations have charters outlining their duties and obligations.
    Telling Congress not to mess with churches does not preclude churches from messing with Congress.
    Whether an establishment of any kind can speak is another question. Whether an establishment has a right to speak is another. The "speech" of commercial establishments is properly restricted, or should be. The question is whether rights are associated with the natural functions of human beings or with the ability to be perceived. Is speech what a person says, or what can be heard? The electronic media prefer the latter. So does the Catholic Church,which presumes to speak ex cathedra.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 04:10:13 AM PDT

    •  Rather than taxing all churches for the sins of (4+ / 0-)

      others, I favor a regulation that all non-profit corporations, including religious orgs, be required to make public and full financial disclosures. This would also solve some of the problem with Rove's and others' "social issues" PACs. Maybe it wouldn't take all the money out of politics but it sure might give donors and the groups pause if the whole world was going to know where their money was coming from and where it was going.

  •  The Catholic church is racing to extinction (11+ / 0-)

    The Church is losing members and losing member compliance even faster.  Their horrifying record on priestly pedophilia is one reason but their policies are also to blame.  They are stuck in the 19th century it seems, no longer denying science but still demanding compliance to doctrines that cannot satisfy a no-longer poor, ignorant, and awe-struck membership.

    The Church and the GOP are racing to demographic extinction as their most committed adherents age and younger people increasingly find them archaic and foreign to their experience.  Both will survive as ineffective organizations representing only a radical minority unless they abandon their current extremism and find a way to better meet the needs of the majority of their potential members.

  •  Catholics - sex and the environment (4+ / 0-)

    I recently heard the environmentalist David Suzuki speak at Case Western University about the human caused envrionmental biosphere.

    He was born in 1936 when the population of the earth was 2 billion. Now it is 7 billion.

    Birth control is a global, ecological necessity. The Catholic's stance on this issue is enough by itself to lead to a rapid decline in their relevance. That is, if Americans and others in the world understood climate collapse.

    Human civlilzation could be destroyed by what is going on right now.

    It takes hundreds, thousands or some times tens of thousands of years to get carbon out of the atmosphere.

    At least the climate collapse this summer got the attention of a few more people. What will it take?

    Here is a question: how much does the Catholic church get from the 1%?

    •  The Catholic Church gets alot from the 1% (7+ / 0-)

      The first thing Bush did after being elected was institute the Faith Based and Community Initiative which, unfortunately was continued by Obama. The result is:

      The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received $69,377,785 (a little over 31% of total revenues) from government contracts and grants in 2010, up from $58,327,207 (40% of revenues) in 2009, per their latest financial statement.

      Also controlled by the bishops, Catholic Charities USA, the umbrella organization for all the diocesan Catholic Charities, received $2.90 billion (62% of revenues) from the government in 2010 and $2.64 billion (69%) in 2009; Catholic Relief Services received $517 million (56%) in 2010 from the government and $361 million (61%) in 2009, according to Forbes list of the 200 largest U.S. charities.

      Then they have Republican legislators approving vouchers and other tax mechanisms to maintain their schools.

      Republican legislators also vote to squelch extensions of statutes of limitations which would result in more lawsuits from their victims and disclosure of hidden information from the Church.

      Besides tax breaks, most importantly, the Church gets to keep their finances hidden so no one can see how many of their 400 organizations in this country receive and pass money onto Republican politicians - the greatest SuperPAC in this country.

      Finally they receive Republican obsequiousness to their mysogynist and homophobic charities and political agenda as noted in this article.

  •  Long past time to ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, rubyduby7, SeaTurtle

    ... sue to remove tax exemptions from churches that actively support candidates. It wouldn't take much, in my view, to stop this dangerous activity. They love money above all else.

  •  I am involved with my parish. (7+ / 0-)

    Many, many people I have spoken to in the last few months are disgusted that a) our priest spoke of politics from the pulpit and bought into the religious freedom crap. and b) Romney is going with it.  Many conservative Catholics are truly as disgusted as us lefties.  The pedophilia scandal is really coming home to roost as the credibility issue is becoming huge to every Catholic.  For myself, the sex scandal was pushed back into my mind as I stopped giving to the Church and simply help keep my small parish going.  I give no money to any Catholic cause except the nuns.  That was my way of dealing with it.  The religious freedom thing has stirred it all up anew and my pastor siding with the hierarchy and spouting off in sermons was a turning point for many.  We don't want to be a part of any of it and the church is losing members.

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

    by tobendaro on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 06:05:37 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for your stellar research (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    as usual Betty.

    This is really an important dot to connect.  I wonder how much money the rcxch is giving Aiken through the backdoor?

    How powerful is the Missouri rcxch (Carlson)?  Is Carlson Opus Dei as Finn is?  Would love to know more re. Missouri and the below the scenes work that is going on with re to the xch.

    That Finn was recently found guilty was a huge step forward.  People are now trying to get him to resign as I understand.  

    I found this comment especially interesting:

    Wow! didn't realize how much Catholic Church gets (2+ / 0-)
    And they can keep their books hidden.

    Thanks for the facts on this.

    by Don midwest on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 09:15:38 AM EDT

    [ Parent | Reply to This |

    My own eyes popped out of my head to read the figures:
    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received $69,377,785 (a little over 31% of total revenues) from government contracts and grants in 2010, up from $58,327,207 (40% of revenues) in 2009, per their latest financial statement.
    I paused for a moment and wondered how many poor children were denied food with that 69$Million?  

    That would be a great point to diary??????? (if I may make a little suggestion?)  :-)

    Hurricanes, Flooding, Frying and Drying = Climate Change! Call it like it is! Our Survival Instinct can and will conquer Greed.

    by SeaTurtle on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 08:08:44 AM PDT

    •  Because finances are hidden, we'll never know how (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      much tax payer dollars go to feeding hungry children or how much goes to GOP war chests. We MUST find a way to demand full financial transparency for all non-profits including the "social" SuperPACs and religious orgs.

      As always, Sea Turtle, you ask the great questions. The St. Louis Archdiocese is VERY powerful, once virtually in charge of the entire rcxch (Catholic Church) west of the Mississippi. Raymond Burke, since promoted to the Vatican, was archbishop before Carlton and you can be sure he put the entire archdiocese in service to the 1% and that Carlton does the same.

      I no longer think it matters whether or not a prelate is a member of Opus Dei or not since each man is selected and promoted based on his entire dedication to promoting and maintaining the plutocracy's world domination.

  •  The fascinating thing about this talibangelical (0+ / 0-)

    alliance with official Catholicism is that deep down most of them don't consider Catholics to be actual Christians. I live among them in GA and they are just as bigoted against Catholics as they are against liberals--but they'll use Catholics if it gets them what they want. Same with Hispanics--the fundy churches are courting them like crazy, offering English classes and services in English.

    Luckily, there are far more Phil DOnahue Catholics than Bill Donahue types--and Catholic women use birth control and are pro-choice for the msot part. Naturally Obama will carry the majority.

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

    by irishwitch on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 02:00:45 PM PDT

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