“Where is the line that separates church and state?” —
It was only a matter of time before church officials expanded their obsessive attacks on presumed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry (a pro-choice Democratic candidate; they are strangely silent about pro-choice Republican politicians) to try to influence the votes of citizens at large. Colorado Bishop Michael Sheridan has warned citizens that they can be denied communion if they vote for politicians who defy church teachings. I’ve left this very distressing item on my notepad for several days while I tried to figure out how to address it. Nevermind. Patricia O’Connell does a pretty good job of briefly spelling out the obvious conflicts and asks:
What are Catholics — and all Americans — to make of this increasing clerical activism in trying to shape their political decisions? The bad news is it shows that the Church — for centuries no stranger to abuse of power, muddled priorities, and interfering where it shouldn’t — seems to be at it again. The good news: Perhaps now the media will stop personalizing the matter vis-a-vis a Presidential candidate and be forced to frame the issue in its proper context: Where is the line that separates church and state?
Where, indeed —
Meanwhile, a Texas comptroller has revoked the tax exempt status of a local Unitarian congregation because the group “does not have one system of belief” and if they extend exemption to them, “any wannabe cult who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween will be applying for an exemption…” (Here’s a little history of court decisions on tax exempt status.)