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Concern for Religious Freedom or Preaching Political Messages?

 
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 10:15 am
Quote:
In 2001 Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., a Republican from North Carolina, introduced the “Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act,” which would amend the tax code to allow churches to engage in political campaigning for candidates as long as such actions “were not a substantial part” of the churches’ activities.

After failing to pass, the bill was reintroduced in 2003 and again in 2005. The 2005 bill was modified to focus on the actual content of presentations made during worship time.

Proponents of this bill say it is needed so that churches may function in their prophetic role by encouraging parishioners to vote according to the dictates of their faith. They claim the church has a long history of political activity, including campaigning, and that the restrictions on campaigning were not introduced into the tax code until 1954.

Opponents say restricting churches’ ability to campaign from the pulpit protects the integrity of both the church and the political process. They also point out that most clergy do not support the bill (77% disapprove of it, according to a 2001 Gallup/Interfaith Alliance Foundation poll) and that it is based on a poor understanding of current law. Currently, churches may speak out on social issues, but they cannot mention or campaign for specific candidates by name.
--Source: John Ferguson, FirstAmendmentCenter.org
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 11:08 am
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Currently, churches may speak out on social issues, but they cannot mention or campaign for specific candidates by name.
And, as you know, that law applies across the board to non-religious 501(c)3's as well. There were actually more referrals for the latter in the 2006 election (the last election cycle for which the IRS has actual recorded statistics).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 11:18 am
@wandeljw,
Stop talking to me at all, you moronic clown.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 11:22 am
@revelette,
Where did i say that that was said in the "heading?" Argue with that straw man if you want, but that's not what i was talking about. My point is that religious people are entitled to preach a political message. Sure, their tax status prohibits outright campaigning for a candidate, but nothing in law or morality prohibits them from preaching a political message. Many people of faith and good conscience are opposed to the use of torture. Not only would it not be morally or legally wrong to preach against the use of torture by our government, it would seem to me that the morality of christianity would require that.

At no time did i state or imply that the religious freedom of those concern was being infringed. That's another straw man on your part.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 12:43 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

... Not only would it not be morally or legally wrong to preach against the use of torture by our government, it would seem to me that the morality of christianity would require that.



While Christianity does adhere to moral principles, I thought some "brands" (i.e., salvation by faith alone) do not believe the "mission" of Christianity is anything but spreading the Gospel.

I believe that if someone of the Jewish faith would be proselytizing against the use of torture by a government, the reaction by some would likely include the thought that "that Jew should mind his/her own business." Yet, Judaism would not condone torture, and for two-thousand years found the crucifix, being a device to implement torture, a symbol that was not really understandable for many Jews, as a religious symbol.

But, Christian preachers must have been referred to initially. Never mind!
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 12:47 pm
@Foofie,
Foofie, a day late and a dollar short, as usual. The original article refers to Catholic bishops, in fact. Given your well known racist and religionist bigotry, you should have a field day with that. At any event, i was referring generically to idea of whether or not there is anything wrong with preaching a political message--and i say it is not.
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 07:05 am
Quote:
Religious liberty and credibility
(Brian Cahill, Opinion Essay, San Francisco Chronicle, February 21, 2012)

The recent compromise by the Obama administration on its proposed mandate of contraception was an appropriate response to legitimate and widespread Catholic concerns about religious liberty. Most Catholic organizations affected by the mandate found the compromise acceptable. The major holdout is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Even though the bishops have no credibility with their teachings on contraception, they were supported by the majority of Catholics in their initial response to the mandate. Now the conference is hanging out there all by itself with little Catholic support, not just because the great majority of Catholics have long rejected church teaching on contraception, not just because 95 percent of Catholic women of child-bearing age use contraception, but because American Catholics now know that 28 states, including California, have had similar mandates in place for some time.

And now American Catholics and the rest of the country know that the real agenda of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is to stop any government health care mandate. This is sad and ironic because the Catholic Church has historically been a strong advocate of health care access for those who need it. Worse, the conference is specifically demanding an exemption for any employer who would have a "conscience" problem with providing contraceptive coverage for employees. In other words, in the name of "religious liberty," these bishops want to force their religious belief on employees who do not share their belief. Not only is this effort turning religious liberty on its head, but it ignores the reality that affordable health care, including contraception, is the most effective way to significantly reduce abortion.

It has been clear for some time that the conference does not speak for the majority of American Catholics. There is no great evidence that the conference even speaks for all the bishops. The problem is that the bishops running the conference - with their overt political activism, with their inflammatory language and with their lack of pastoral sensitivity - have little credibility as true Catholic leaders. And it's not just in the area of contraception.

The conference freely jumps into the political arena on most sexuality issues, but has refused to issue a public statement condemning bullying of gay and lesbian youth.

Even after the contraception compromise was offered, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago described the Obama administration as making a "severe assault on religious liberty." This is the same bishop who only a few months ago expressed concern that a gay pride parade could result in anti-Catholic violence and compared the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan. And Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia described the contraception mandate as the "embodiment of culture war." Four years ago, he told Catholics not to vote for Obama.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is the president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Last year, in an interview on "60 Minutes," he compared homosexuality to incest. And the other day, in attempting to defend his position against the contraception mandate, he assured us, "We bishops are pastors, we're not politicians," and later, "it's not that we hold fast, that we're stubborn ideologues, no."

There are many good bishops in this country who are pastors, who operate out of compassion, who are not ideologues and who understand that a necessary part of shepherding their flock, and a necessary part of serving those in need, is a willingness to manage the tension between Church teaching and how Catholic health and human service providers carry out their mission in a pluralistic society.

I am a Catholic. I go to Mass. I love my Church. I love its rich history of serving the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized. I am not leaving.

But it seems to me that the Catholic bishops who have led the charge on this issue have succeeded only in showing how wide the gap is between the Catholic faithful and some of its bishops, have left the impression that the issue of conscience only seems to arise over matters of sexuality, have ended up intentionally or otherwise in bed with the likes of Newt Gingrich, have inadvertently become a potential obstacle to affordable health care for those most in need, and have further diminished the moral influence and teaching authority that many Catholics used to respect and desire from their bishops.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 09:07 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Foofie, a day late and a dollar short, as usual. The original article refers to Catholic bishops, in fact. Given your well known racist and religionist bigotry, you should have a field day with that. At any event, i was referring generically to idea of whether or not there is anything wrong with preaching a political message--and i say it is not.


If you mean "preaching" by clergy, and Catholic clergy specifically, I find that interesting, since back in the mid '70's I do remember someone of the Catholic faith explaining to me that it is usually the right-wing conservative Protestants (aka, Southern Protestants) that mix religion with politics, and Catholicism just preaches a theology that focusses on one's way to personally live one's life, so they eventually have whatever salvation there is to have.

So, if you can today say that Catholicism should preach a more temporal gospel, I just find that interesting.

In the way of analogy, it is usually the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community that sees their lives fulfilled by religion only, while it is some of the Reform Jewish community that oftentimes think of Reform Judaism, in my opinion, as a reforming voice amongst all the other liberal voices in the society. If the analogy holds true, then Catholicism was more like ultra-Orthodox Judaism fairly recently, but has been moving towards the more reformed version of thought that part of the "mission" of Catholicism is to correct the world's ills.

Perhaps, one difference between the two versions of Christianity (Protestant and Catholicism) might be that Catholicism wants to correct the world's ills, and Protestantism (in America) might just focus more on the ills of the U.S.? Analogous to the "charge" that many Jews have greater allegiance to Israel, than the U.S., is it really wise to want to correct the ills of other sovereign nations with great gusto?

And I say this in context of some secular bible scholars (not an oxymoron) that may think Jesus was an "anti-Roman zealot," aside from his teachings that were more religious oriented and peaceful. Can one really be an anti-Roman zealot and proselytize "turning the other cheek"? So much is lost in the history that is handed down to us, I believe.

And, your using the quip, "A day late and a dollar short" was just too tame for many of your retorts? I hope you are feeling well.





Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 09:16 am
@Foofie,
As usual, nothing to say worth reading. Scanning it was boring enough.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:17 am
The bishops, if they're paying attention, will probably see this as a victory for their side (and you know they're paying attention).

Quote:
A federal judge declared on Wednesday that a Washington state rule requiring pharmacists to dispense emergency contraceptives against their religious beliefs is unconstitutional.

In a decision with national implications for the role of personal morality in the workplace, U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton also imposed an injunction blocking enforcement of the regulation.

Leighton said he struck down the state rule because it trampled on pharmacists' right to "conscientious objection."

The ruling only applies to Washington state but is sure to reverberate nationally, as it comes in the midst of a roiling political debate about a new federal regulation mandating that all health insurance plans - even those sponsored by religious employers - provide free birth control.

Several religiously affiliated universities have sued to block that insurance regulation. Their arguments are similar to those that prevailed in the pharmacy case - namely, that the government has no right to compel individuals to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

More from Reuters
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:46 am
@Irishk,
I don't see how anyone can read that ruling without any sense of panic. I mean, where would this picking and choosing of what pharmacist and employees and even insurance object to end? They could claim anything is against their religious or moral objections. Talk about your judicial activism.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:47 am
@Irishk,
Interesting, Irishk. The argument for such legislation has always been that since Emergency Contraception is time-sensitive, a pharmacist’s decision not to dispense it can have devastating effects.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 10:56 am
@revelette,
Don't Christian Scientists object to pretty much everything?
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:14 am
From the news story provided by Irishk:
Quote:
Leighton said he struck down the state rule because it trampled on pharmacists' right to "conscientious objection."


The pharmacist would be filling a prescription authorized by a doctor. Why should a pharmacist's conscience take priority over the consciences of a woman and her doctor? State rules concerning emergency contraception take into account the time-sensitive nature of such contraception.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:24 am
@Setanta,
Give you your point about you not mentioning the title of thread.

However, you still seem not to grasp what the author of this thread argument is. He was not talking about rights, just questioned the motivation of the religious leaders who talked about the mandate of contraceptives. Whether it was a political motivation or concern for religious freedom motivation.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:26 am
@revelette,
I don't know what the hell you think you're talking about. I did mention the title of the thread. I am responding to the issue of preaching political messages. It is neither illegal nor immoral, and that's the point i'm making. I'm not interested in the motitvation of the bishops referred to. Whether or not they prate about religious freedom, or acknowledge preaching a political message doesn't matter to me. They have the right to preach a political message.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:27 am
@wandeljw,
Maybe the Supremes will take a hand in this and really **** things up.
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:28 am
@izzythepush,
exactly
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:29 am
@Setanta,
Ok, they have the right to preach a political message.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2012 11:47 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
Why should a pharmacist's conscience take priority over the consciences of a woman and her doctor?
Interesting point. If I were to take a wild guess, I'd say the ruling is specific to the conscience rights of the pharmacist, which don't necessarily interfere with those of the doctor or patient, since it's not a request that abortifacient drugs be banned altogether. The pharmacy owner just doesn't want to sell them. The doctor is still free to exercise his conscience beliefs to prescribe, and his patient is still free to exercise her conscience belief to acquire the drug elsewhere.

But, the findings of this particular court will probably be appealed and I'd be surprised if your point wasn't considered. I could see several scenarios where it might be pertinent.
0 Replies
 
 

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