Bishop Tobin is having a hissy fit. He doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state, while too many of the rest of us do. Ignoring the fact of course that it’s in the Constitution which makes it law rather than belief.
Normally, I wouldn’t care what the Bishop thinks but he’s crossing a line that our ancestors put in place for a very good reason. They put “separation of church and state” in the Constitution because many of them had been persecuted for their religion and fled to America seeking freedom of religion. I deeply appreciate that protection as it enables me to enjoy freedom from religion, but if lawmakers succumb to this kind of pressure I wont be able to vote for anyone but an agnostic, an atheist, maybe a Scientologist but I don’t know what their thing is. In any case, it’s not supposed to matter!
The Bishop’s target-of-the-moment is Patrick Kennedy, a Catholic lawmaker who supports health care reform. The nation’s Bishops oppose an overhaul of the health care system unless there are tighter restrictions on abortions. Ouch. The Taliban in collars! Tighter restrictions for whom?
There’s no law that you must have an abortion so if your faith demands that you take a pass, don’t have an abortion. But leave the rest of us alone. The Nation of Bishops is putting pressure on Catholic lawmakers and the lawmakers don’t seem to understand that they have nothing to fear. They can represent all of the people, which the law of the land demands and go to hell. Or they can quit their jobs and do something else. I should point out here though that the Catholic church can’t make up it’s mind about the death penalty so maybe going-to-hell over abortion is negotiable.
As for the Sacred Wafer, the Busy Body Bishop doesn’t want any priest to give holy communion (the sacred wafer) to Patrick Kennedy. The Bishop clearly doesn’t understand that lawmakers must represent everyone and he seems to be inordinately invested in his anger. I got out of the Catholic church when I was fifteen years old. They all scared me half to death. The day I decided to quit, I was walking home from church and stepped on a five dollar bill, just laying there by the side of the road. A five dollar epiphany. I’ve made my own decisions since then and I must say I’ve had a very happy life.
With all the other faithful though it’s hard to tell if it’s just the taxes or something more ominous. Americans are really weird about the tax thing. If they don’t have children in school they don’t want to be taxed for schools. There are people who don’t want to be taxed to pay for health care for the un-employed or poor people. The faithful don’t want their tax monies used for abortions. I personally don’t want to pay for the Forever War. But it would be pretty difficult to manage a cohesive government process if we opted in or out based on hundreds of personal preferences, agonized consciences, or even just Too-Much-Me. It’s how we do it with Propositions in California and look where it got us. We’re broke, we can’t get along, and there’s Too-Much-Me in every single issue…except for the boring stuff that nobody cares about.
But are public monies really the issue? Maybe we should do this one thing, just once. Let the faithful off the hook and instead, have them pay for something else. Like adoption services. That might cool down the spiritual tempers and make abortion possible for those who don’t see it as an affront to God. It also might serve to smoke out the real agenda. It’s possible that the faithful don’t want anybody of any faith or no faith at all to do what they think is an affront to God. I’d like to know for sure if that’s the real issue or not.