OK, I'm going to say it.
The Catholic Church is the bully in eyeglasses.
At least sometimes.
Pushing people around on the playground, picking on the smaller kids -- kids who are not Catholic, I should point out -- and when somebody stands up and challenges him, he cringes, raising an arm, saying, "You wouldn't hit a man in glasses, would you?"
The church, both fists bared, wades into the political arena. The pope announces that politicians working to relax South America's cruel abortion laws, laws that put women in prison in some countries, might get hurled out of the faith.
"Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist," read a Vatican statement.
Yet should anybody -- such as me -- react to this, why, we're not criticizing an international political powerhouse, but venting hatred on a religion. It isn't right. It isn't fair.
By focusing on leaders, the Vatican corrupts the whole idea of religion. Is not the point of religion that the great and the humble, the powerful and the weak, all stand as equals in God's eyes?
There is not one morality for the president, and another for the White House janitor.
If the church is threatening politicians who advocate liberal abortion policies with excommunication, it should excommunicate the women who have the abortions, plus the husbands and boyfriends who support them.
But it doesn't. The church says that the women "excommunicate themselves," then immediately invites them in for forgiveness, without the humiliation being dangled over politicians. Otherwise, they'd be chucking out the faithful by the millions, and that isn't good business. So instead they blackmail and bully political leaders by publically questioning a private matter -- their supposed salvation.
Freedom of religion is a beautiful thing. But it stops at the church door, and when you press non-believers to obey the dictates of your faith by pressing on government officials, that's politics, glasses or no.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Reviving the color yellow
...in journalism....Here's Neil Steinberg in the Chicago Sun-Times and the dust-up over the Pope's abortion/excommunication imbroglio: Vatican fights dirty--Threat against pro-choice politicians in Mexico amounts to bullying