9/29/2004
Church and State
Anyone who has been paying attention to the current fight to release churches from their imposed restriction on saying things political is aware of how powerful they are.

Case in point, the US Bishops have gone out of their way in the past 30 years (since Roe v Wade) to tell us faithful Catholics that our faith must inform every action that we do, and that this necessary includes involvement in political life. As a matter of fact, since the political scene is such an important one because it affects so many aspects of the issues that the Catholic Church is rightly concerened with, they have given our political involvement higher play than usual.

Well and good. But then at the same time we are told that we cannot endorse political parties or candidates due to a law that was passed with the intent of muzzling powerful religous organizations.

Why this conflict? How can we be encouraged to go full bore into something but yet, at the same time be barred from doing one of the most important things that one can do in political life, endorsing and supporting a particular candidate?

Now we are told that this is OK, as the Church would not want to endorse any particular party because there is not really a Catholic position on what the minimum wage should be, and that Catholics of all stripes can disagree on what it should be. Fine. But why are we willing to submit to this restriction meekly and in fact have allowed so many clergy mento use it as a crutch to NOT get involved in political life. As if the mission of the Church is so much different than the mission of our government. After all, both receive the law from God and both are tasked with making sure that the law will be carried out and protected.

We should not have this law hanging over our heads. It is an unconstitutional invention that unfairly suppresses free speech and that for too long has paralyzed Churches into meek submission of phantom threats of IRS dismantling of a 501 C 3 status.

Maybe the Church should not endorse candidates or political parties. But the CHURCH should decide that, not the government.

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