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Concern for Religious Freedom or Preaching Political Messages?

 
 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:23 am
@wandeljw,
So politicians can claim to be christians, but christians cant express their opinions on laws?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 03:54 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

wandeljw wrote:
Personally, I feel that the bishops need not have proclaimed the Obama administration as the enemy.

They didn't proclaim him the enemy, though. They correctly identified him as the author and supporter of a bill they oppose. What's wrong with that?


Separation of church and state?

I'm still trying to tease out the issues.

Mass speaking from the pulpit is, in theory, a pretty major thing to undertake.

Nobody is forcing the church to support abortion etc., they are just no longer allowed to, in effect, refuse their employees access to health cover that includes things the church disapproves of.

I think it's free speech, but an over-reaction.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:02 am
@dlowan,
On a non-rational level, I'm bloody pissed off!
The damage those bastards do with their anti-contraception stance makes me sick. How DARE they try to deny their employees full spectrum health care.

I'd like to smack the Bishops' bottoms.....hard....and make them have seven unwanted babies each.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:14 am
Quote:
Concern for Religious Freedom or Preaching Political Messages?
Does one exclude the other ?
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 05:54 am
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

Either you're naive or just focusing on one religion. Just recently, gay marriage bills have failed in many states because of the pulpit. Abortion, the day after pill, euthanasia, hell go back to prohibition, even slavery, all have been topics pontificated from the alter, by many religious leaders, some more noticeably than other. Religion is part and parcel of the american political history. I'd venture many, many countries have had the same interference.


Everything you say is true. I just wish it were not that way. I would prefer that religions concentrate on lofty spiritual and moral topics.

During the American Civil War, some preachers used the Bible to attack slavery while other preachers used the same Bible to justify slavery.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 06:33 am
My view on this issue is idiosyncratic. I place great significance on the saying, "My kingdom is not of this world." I also feel that combining political advocacy with religious fervor is, in general, a dangerous thing.

The brother of one of my great-grandmothers was a Roman Catholic bishop in nineteenth century Germany. He was the only one of my ancestors who died wealthy.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 06:44 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
I am describing the act of using church pulpits to deliver a political message. This is what the bishops are doing. To me, this is more than out of order, it is dangerous. Framing a political message in religious terms is how I would define extremism.

By this definition, Martin Luther King was an extremist, because he, too, used his pulpit to deliver political messages. Do you really mean that? If not, what's the difference between King and those bishops?
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 06:47 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

I am describing the act of using church pulpits to deliver a political message. This is what the bishops are doing. To me, this is more than out of order, it is dangerous. Framing a political message in religious terms is how I would define extremism.

But all messages delivered from the pulpit are somewhat political in nature. Help the poor, no abortion, etc. The church did not say "vote for Santorum", they said the Obama administration just made this decision that we feel impacts our religious beliefs. Hard to say you can't do that when it's nothing but a true statement. They did not campaign against Obama (at least directly). How is it different from preaching against the "evils of abortion"? Will it make a difference when most catholic women use birth control and are privately cheering? In a few cases maybe but those people are probably already voting against Obama due to his abortion stand so no loss to him.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 06:48 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Separation of church and state?

Separation of church and state is a doctrine of constitutional law that constrains the state. It doesn't apply to churches, and certainly doesn't forbid that churches speak out on state or federal initiatives.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 07:03 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

wandeljw wrote:
I am describing the act of using church pulpits to deliver a political message. This is what the bishops are doing. To me, this is more than out of order, it is dangerous. Framing a political message in religious terms is how I would define extremism.

By this definition, Martin Luther King was an extremist, because he, too, used his pulpit to deliver political messages. Do you really mean that? If not, what's the difference between King and those bishops?


It is a "two-edged sword." Important political change has been encouraged from the pulpit. On the other hand, preachers in 1932 Germany encouraged their congregations to vote for the Nazi Party. I am saying that there is a danger in giving religious fervor to political advocacy.

As a grammar school student, I was inspired to support U.S. involvement in Vietnam because of a priest explaining that we can not allow all of Asia to become communist (the domino theory).
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 07:12 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
The Church of Christ, Scientist (i.e. Christian Science) doesn't believe in medical ttreatment. Should it be able to offer health insurance that doesn't include any medical treatment?


good point.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 07:52 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
It is a "two-edged sword." Important political change has been encouraged from the pulpit. On the other hand, preachers in 1932 Germany encouraged their congregations to vote for the Nazi Party.

So your problem isn't that Catholic Bishops deliver a political message from the pulpit. It's that you dislike their political message.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 08:59 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
IOn the other hand, preachers in 1932 Germany encouraged their congregations to vote for the Nazi Party. I am saying that there is a danger in giving religious fervor to political advocacy.
That isn't allowed here. The rules in place (and enforced) by the IRS are quite clear that endorsement of political candidates by charities or religious organizations are prohibited. There's nothing, however, to stop pastors from talking about issues pertaining to scripture or church doctrine.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 09:13 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

wandeljw wrote:
It is a "two-edged sword." Important political change has been encouraged from the pulpit. On the other hand, preachers in 1932 Germany encouraged their congregations to vote for the Nazi Party.

So your problem isn't that Catholic Bishops deliver a political message from the pulpit. It's that you dislike their political message.


I would prefer to bar ALL political discussion from the pulpit. It is a bad habit to infuse political positions with religious fervor.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 09:57 am
I disagree, I think where ever people are gathered is the perfect time and place to discuss politics. Politics is about the people, of the people, they have every right to talk about it, preach about it, bar room prophesize about it.. Politics affects us all, religious or not. Whether we agree with what anyone discusses or not, or the conclusions the come to .. politically speaking, at least it's being discussed. I would never advocate limiting open discussion or debate.
wandeljw
 
  3  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 10:09 am
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

I disagree, I think where ever people are gathered is the perfect time and place to discuss politics. Politics is about the people, of the people, they have every right to talk about it, preach about it, bar room prophesize about it.. Politics affects us all, religious or not. Whether we agree with what anyone discusses or not, or the conclusions the come to .. politically speaking, at least it's being discussed. I would never advocate limiting open discussion or debate.


The problem with a church setting is that the discussion is not open. That is why they call it "preaching." Churches are not democratic institutions.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 10:34 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
I would prefer to bar ALL political discussion from the pulpit. It is a bad habit to infuse political positions with religious fervor.


Well, and coming back to Nazi time Germany, if there hadn't been some priest who preached against the Nazis from the pulpit (e.g. Bishop Cardinal Galen began to criticize Hitler's movement in 1934) - who knows ...?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 10:36 am
@Irishk,
Irishk wrote:
The rules in place (and enforced) by the IRS are quite clear that endorsement of political candidates by charities or religious organizations are prohibited.


Didn't almost 200 Evangelical leaders endorse Santorum recently?
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 10:46 am
@wandeljw,
I'd tend to disagree. Not all churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are as tightly wound as you might believe. Regardless of your or my opinion, church goers are citizens and they have that right to gather and speak about whatever issues concern them.
Schools are not democratic institutions either, neither are most workplaces or bars, but politics is a common subject in each of them. Some might argue with the content or the political skew some schools or businesses push. That is again with in their rights.
Many food banks are run by churches. Do you think they don't have a valid idea what poverty is? Or what the lack of healthcare is? How about unemployment, or senior issues... Churches, et al, are places people turn to in times of financial need, they witness the hardships of the parishioners and the neighbourhoods they reside in. Should they be prevented from adding their voice because they also believe in god, or a specific religion.. If so, which ones?
You seem to have a hate on for the Catholic church. I disagree with their healthcare policy and others, like gay marriage and so on, but I would never tell them they can't have a seat at the table. They run hospitals, hospices, shelters, seniors homes and schools.. What would happen if they removed themselves from the equation because they didn't have a voice or the right to run these institutions as they saw fit, within the parameters of the law? Should they be forced to stand back as the secular world tells them how to run these organizations? Why would they bother? Why fund them if they can't do so with a clear conscience. They have as much a stake in the political process as say, corporations - who are, after all, people too..
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 11:35 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Didn't almost 200 Evangelical leaders endorse Santorum recently?
Internal Revenue Service Publication 1828 examines this issue (p.9):

Quote:
Religious leaders can speak their mind and endorse candidates as long as they aren’t doing it as an official representative of the church(i.e. church publications or at official church functions). When speaking/writing their opinions on political issues outside of the church, church leaders are urged to indicate that these are their personal viewpoints and not the views of the religious organization they represent.


Of course, if they're making endorsements from the pulpit, or telling their congregations how to vote (electioneering), then they're in jeopardy of having their tax-exempt status revoked (assuming the IRS finds out).


 

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