Grandfather Tree

Now having come to understand that we are all spiritual beings who have chosen to temporarily live a physical existence on this planet, certain musings are inevitable, and shared here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Catholic vote

For some reason I have been listening to Catholic radio lately. I don't know why exactly. I grew up as a Catholic and I always felt a certain respect for the intellectual integrity of those in authority. Yes, doctrine was important, but I was lucky enough to be among Catholics who welcomed critical thinking and argument. I guess they felt confident enough in their faith to do so. I must say that lately I have been terribly disappointed in that respect. Maybe those who go on the radio are the most conservative of the Catholics, or maybe Pope Benedict has moved the Church further in a weird direction, I do not know. When I was a kid, most Catholics I knew were Democrats. There was an understanding that the Democratic party was for the "little people," the working people, those who wanted some fairness, some government protection at times for the greed and influence, the brutal disregard for human rights of those with the money and power. Justice was an important moral principle.

Now it seems that the Catholic hierarchy and their spokespersons on the radio have simplified things. Now we are told that there is room for disagreement on most moral issues. For example, a Catholic can believe that it is morally acceptable to, unprovoked, invade a sovereign nation with the most deadly military force on the planet and kill thousands of civilians, and then occupy that country for six years, or a Catholic can believe that it is morally wrong to do so. A Catholic can believe that it is morally acceptable for the state to execute a man in cold blood or a Catholic can believe that it is wrong to do so. A Catholic can believe that public policy that rewards greed and creates the condition of 45 million people without health insurance is morally wrong or a Catholic can believe that it is morally right to do so.

However if a lab technician discards embryos, a Catholic has only one choice. He or she must believe that the technician is a murderer. If a 14 year old girl is brutally raped by her father and takes a "morning-after pill," a Catholic has only one choice and must believe that that girl is a murderer because she took a chemical that made her uterine wall inhospitable to any conception that might have taken place. The Catholic is of course able to decide whether it would be morally acceptable to execute the lab technician and the girl or not.

If a man forms a monogamous bond with another man or a woman with another woman and wants to sanctify that union, the Catholic must condemn this and must insist that it be criminalized. The Catholic has no other choice. In some unknown time and place, God has decided to be absolutely clear about homosexuality and abortion and the Church bears witness to that, but has decided to allow everything else to be a bit gray and ambiguous. And the Church becomes upset when people question that or when people say, "Are you kidding me?" I never thought I had to leave my brain at the door of the Church when I was a practicing Catholic. Now it seems that Catholics are asked to do so. [7129]


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