Saturday, November 15, 2008

If you voted for Obama, prepare for Hell


A Catholic priest in South Carolina is advising his parishioners that they should not take Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because Obama supports abortion rights, and their backing of the Democrat for president "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil." The Rev. Jay Scott Newman (no relation) of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville says those people are putting their souls at risk, according to an AP report, if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote. Of course, in the Catholic world, a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys later, and it's as if their vote never happened. Sweet. Said Newman, "Persons in this condition (those who voted for Obama) should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation." I hope I haven't ingested my own condemnation. That sounds serious. According to polls, more than half of Catholic voters supported Obama, so plenty of people have a lot of 'splainin' to do. I'm curious as to whether the Rev. Newman issued a similar warning about those who voted for President Bush and Vice President Cheney in 2004. I seem to remember something about "Thou shalt not kill," and the war in Iraq that Bush and Cheney led has killed a whole lot of people, not just enemy forces but perhaps hundreds of thousands of civilians. Was there a "but" or "unless" after the "Thou shalt not kill" edict? Also, will the Rev. Newman be issuing the same warning to those members of his congregation who have used condoms, pills or other birth-control methods? Nationwide, that would affect millions of Catholics. In the eyes of the church, haven't they also killed a living entity? While we're on the subject of churches, isn't it about time that churches, especially but not limited to those who engage in political activities, lose their tax-exempt status? And I don't mean just the Catholic Church, but also those "black churches" that went to bat for Obama. Really, I don't think any church should be exempt from paying their fair share to help cover the costs of the communities in which they are based. Surely, it would be a burden for some small churches, but others can easily afford to chip in. An example: In 2002, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago had assets of more than $2 billion - yes, billion. And the churches aren't the only ones who are taking advantage of the public good. Why in the world are wealthy, private higher-education institutions exempt from helping to pay the bills for the communities in which they're located? Washington & Jefferson College just keeps buying more and more properties in Washington and taking them off the tax rolls. The school has an endowment of more than $100 million, yet it pays no property taxes, at least on the vast majority of its holdings, and won't even consider imposing a nominal student fee to help the City of Washington, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, meet its obligations. With more than $100 million in the bank, is that too much to ask? Buying the occasional police cruiser just doesn't cut it.

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51 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Catholics who voted for Obama & Kerry can share a part of hell with all those who mistakenly ate meat on Friday back when that was a sin. As for the churches sitting on vast amounts of money and what to do about it, read "the Shoes of the Fisherman," a 1964 novel about a pope who realizes that he must use the Catholic church's assets to help solve several world crises, even if it means bankrupting the church itself.

I agree -- make the churches pay their share. Especially if they persist in dabbling in politics. Four years ago, I attended a church that unabashedly wraps itself in the American flag every Memorial day and Veterans Day. They insist on reliving 9/11 each year, complete with a 10-minute video of the Twin Towers falling and people screaming. They ran a weekly series that purported to examine other religions, but always wound up by condemning Islam more than any other, saying, "We're in a war for the soul of America." When it came time for the presidential election, the pastor on more than one occasion said, "I am not allowed to tell you who to vote for, but I would dearly love to." Gee, I wonder who he "wasn't endorsing?" I no longer attend that church.

November 15, 2008 at 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many in the South, where I was raised, still think it's 1840 and would support slavery if they had a choice. Sad but true. They will be even more afraid that whites will be the minority by 2050. Shove that up your racist a#$es you bigoted, so-called "religious" southerners (my apologies to those who are not bigots).

November 15, 2008 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that Anonymous brings up slavery in the South. Remember the Dred Scott Act wherein the federal government decided that it had no power to take away the choice of individuals to own slaves? The government reversed itself in 1865 and abolished slavery. Can you perhaps draw a parallel between being pro choice and pro slavery? The South, for the most part, is pro life; sadlly, the Northeastern folks are pro choice. How's that for a reversal of roles?

November 15, 2008 at 9:46 PM  
Anonymous -amom said...

The Sunday before the election my son's priest in Ohio spent the entire homily graphically detailing abortion and its evils and of course without exactly mentioning any names told the members of the parish who not to vote for. Several people walked out. I thought this was inappropriate.

November 15, 2008 at 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First understand the "tax exempt" status that is threatened. To engage in political activity would not end their non profit status, just their 501c3 status. That means you could not write off a donation to these organizations. It would not force them to pay taxes.
Political bodies are non profit also and don't pay taxes.
Secondly, consider that freedom of religion should and has in the past enabled them to be politically involved. Whether that is appropriate or not is a different question.
Given the churches stance on abortion, the Bishop's stance is not surprising and in line with church doctrine.
That is part of the price of freedom, these organizations can make their own rules and statements. If you don't like them, don't be part of their church.

November 16, 2008 at 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Steelerfan43 said...

Hypocrites! Can't say anymore than that. Take anyway you want.

November 16, 2008 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

You're absolutely right, Steelerfan. This particular "transgression" is targeted while others are ignored.

November 16, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the church is not being hypocritical, all the things that you brought up (using condoms and such) are mortal sins in their eyes and hence you should confess them before taking the sacrament. As stated, you don't like it, don't go. But don't expect the Catholic church to change for your beliefs.

A very non-Catholic who tires of the Catholic church being bashed for being true to it's beliefs.

November 16, 2008 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

The big deal was made over a vote... endorsing someone who would maintain the status quo regarding abortion... There was NOT a similarly big deal made about the use of contraception... that would be a mortal sin in the FIRST degree as opposed to nominating a third party to "permit" the abomination... Therefore, I find it hypocritical that such a fuss would be made over sin by proxy as opposed to actual, first person sins committed by people sitting in the congregation.

November 16, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous NonCatholicButNiceAnyway said...

I think there is a big difference between trying to prevent a pregnancy from starting and killing a baby after it already exists............

November 16, 2008 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

And yet, you go to the same hell...

November 16, 2008 at 3:44 PM  
Anonymous noncatholicbutniceanyway said...

says who?
i see nothing in the Bible about preventing pregnancy....am I looking in the wrong chapter/verse?

November 16, 2008 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Better ask the Pope.

November 16, 2008 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger VCTMbrian said...

This is hypocritical on so many different levels. One could go on for days about it.

November 17, 2008 at 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, it is only because you are defining the hypocritical by your standards, not the churches. Because a priest speaks of one sin and in the same speech does not bring up another, does not exclude both from being sin and need confession.
Please consider your own biases against religion and its methods before continuing with anti-clerical positions. To have not made this stand would have been the traditional, hypocritical stance (or political). The Catholic church is finally being true to its positions.

November 17, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So few are given the opportunity to vent their opinions on a pulpit every week for so many to see. So many to not have a voice. Now if they would just allow priests to be in committed relationships instead of feeding this socially, sexually, emotionally repressed cycle of Catholic pastoral tradition maybe we'd see a smaller number of priests ruining a little one's life by molestation. Oops, I forgot, priests are only gravely sorry when they're caught, right? If they just go to confession and move them to another parish the church will not hold them accountable. Makes even the good priests look bad. Sad.

November 17, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Also, you have to wonder how many heterosexual men feel drawn to the priesthood but ultimately reject it because of the prohibition on marrying and having a family. But that's up to those who run the church.

November 17, 2008 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 17, 2008 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

Anon of 8:37 a.m. said: So few are given the opportunity to vent their opinions on a pulpit every week for so many to see.

If somebody is providing only opinion from the pulpit, then why is anybody returning to this church week after week? If only opinions were being preached, the congregation would dwindle and die.

Preaching from the pulpit is a high calling, not a place for opinions. If the man in question that prompted this story is offering his opinion, then his congregation should take a stand, get up and leave him standing alone. That is not his role. If his members are allowing him to offer opinion week after week, then shame on them. They are responsible for holding him accountable to preach the Bible, not offering opinions. The people sitting in the pews are just as much to blame as the priest himself. Where do they find in their Bible anything that should permit opinion to be preached? Numerous places in the Bible, the exhortation is made to preach doctrine, preach the truth, stand firm on the Word of God -- it says nothing about offering opinion. Why do the people put up with a priest who chooses to be willfully disobedient? Why aren't they interested conforming to what the Bible says about these matters?

The subject of his message has nothing to do with my point. The point is only directed to the role of the preacher, and the role of the people sitting in the pews.

November 17, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

roger, i think i love you :)

November 17, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Rev. Newman got it right. Too bad more preachers did not speak out before the election. 50 million babies killed since the churches gave up their voice in exchange for tax-deductibility right before Roe v Wade was passed. There is no other social/economic/political issue that can top abortion. The Iraq war toppled a vicious dictator that was killing his own citizens. Yes, we have lost precious souls in this war. Just as precious as the souls killed by Hussein (Saddam, not Barack).

You got hold of one sermon, and you determined that Rev. Newman never preaches on any other sins. Interesting - how did you determine that? The sacrament of Reconciliation is available to all Catholics, for any sins. Clearly you do not understand the sacrament, for it does not make sins disappear as if they never happened. It provides forgiveness for the truly repentant. Being forgiven does not mean that you do not have to deal with the worldly repercussions of your sins.

By the way, contraception does not kill a living being. Rather it prevents the chance of conception (you know, that point where life begins), which is part of the church's teachings on sexuality between a husband and wife. I would guess that Rev. Newman would not be afraid to address his congregation on this matter.

Please do not expect your intolerant diatribes to change the church. Somehow it is acceptable for you to mock, criticize and spread misinformation about the church. I would ask that before you continue your attacks please get your facts straight.

We have lost the ability to distinguish between good and evil in this country, and alot of the credit for that goes to the media. We can see how impartial and objective you really are. I am not sure why we spent all of this money on an election. The media had chosen their winner well in advance of November 4. The mindless masses absorbing your agenda just followed along.

Regarding the more than 50% of Catholics that voted for Obama, I guess I know alot of people that call themselves Catholic yet do not know or understand Catholic doctrine. Sincere and practicing Catholics cannot justify a vote that will undoubtedly increase a culture of death that has no respect for human life.

Go Rev. Newman!

November 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

"Somehow it is acceptable for you to mock, criticize and spread misinformation about the church."

I'd replace the word "acceptable" with the word "easy." :-)

Also... Abortion trends move independent of electoral cycles... May I ask... if someone the right abhors, such as, oh, I don't know... Michael Moore ran for president against Obama... ran on the same platform, except was pro-life instead of pro-choice... would you vote for him?

The problem with the abortion issue is that nobody is going to sway anyone's view on it... so to focus the political spectacle on something like that is disenfranchising the franchise...

November 17, 2008 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I'm not a single-issue voter. Nor am I in favor of unfettered abortion. But trying to stop women from having abortions or trying to get in the way of a marriage between two men or two women are way down on my list of priorities, considering the challenges this country faces. I have not had the "pleasure" of hearing all the Rev. Newman's sermons, but I'm willing to bet a body part that he didn't rail at his congregants about condom use the way he did about voting for Obama. The Catholic Church made up its anti-birth control edict out of thin air. There's no such directive in the Bible. Just as they decided that since a long-dead guy was single, priests can't marry. As for the Iraq war, we're pretty choosy about which deadly dictators we choose to bring down. Why not some of the African countries, or China or Burma? Hmmm? We can split hairs all day long about Catholic doctrine, but I'm guessing that if McCain had won, the Rev. Newman wouldn't have delivered that sermon, even though McCain favors allowing some abortions. As for the media, some papers have a clear Democratic leaning, some tilt Republican, and some try to play it down the middle when it comes to their editorial opinions. All good newspapers try to keep the news pages free of opinion. But even if some dumb sheep are "brainwashed" by one of the evil liberal media outlets you refer to, how is that different from dumb sheep who absorb their opinions from right-wing talk radio? It cuts both ways. And when you criticize other Catholics for not following Catholic doctrine and being sincere in their faith, I guess that comes from someone who lives his life in full accordance will all the teachings of the church. As I've always said, if I want to find a hypocrite, the first place I'll look is in a church.

November 17, 2008 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Also, anonymous, I gather that you were in favor of the invasion of Iraq. So the killing that went on there was OK, even though the country posed no immediate threat to us, but to have an abortion is sinful? Is this correct? To me, it should be either "Thou Shalt Not Kill" or "Go For It." One or the other.

November 17, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Catholic Church made up its anti-birth control edict out of thin air....."

The story of Onan in Genesis 38:8-10 specifically refers to contraception. Onan refused to father a child by his deceased brother's wife (required in Jewish law since his brother died childless); he practiced coitus interruptus ("withdrawal") rather than father a child. Jewish law is interpreted quite broadly in this instance, and thus prohibits "destruction of the seed" .

November 17, 2008 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

And a church would base a ban on birth control on THAT?!?!

November 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judeo-Christian is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, and considered, often along with classical Greco-Roman civilization, a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. In particular, the term refers to the common Old Testament/Tanakh as a basis of both moral traditions, including particularly the Ten Commandments; and implies a common set of values present in the modern Western World.

November 17, 2008 at 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, no, I was not in favor of the Iraq invasion. But for me the greater evil is abortion. Neither party is perfectly inline with my personal beliefs. I will, however, vote for life.

Again, I am amazed at your hatred for the church. You are not exactly open-minded and are looking for fault with the church. Do not tell me you can possibly ignore such strong bigoted feelings at the door when you arrive at work.

When you decide to look at the people of faith without your hostile-glasses on you can find out that the Catholic church is based on Scripture, but also tradition.

As far as living in full accordance with the church - I try, but I am imperfect. Trying and failing are better for me than not trying at all. I am sorry that you have such a poor outlook on people who go to church. Yes, there are many hypocrites in church. But Jesus came for the sinners. That is exactly where the hypocrites should be. Join them sometime!

November 17, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

You cite the story of Onan as a basis for a ban on birth control, but do you still require the brothers of a deceased man to try to impregnante the widow? Do you still stone people for working on the Sabbath? Of course not. Did the Catholic Church suddenly decide to remove the prohibition on eating meat on Friday outside of Lent? It sure did. So why in the world does the church cling to its prohibition on birth control in a modern age severely troubled by the afflictions of overpopulation, food shortages and the destruction of our environment? It borders on the criminal to encourage people to have more and more children in the world we know today. But of course, I'm guessing most Catholics, at least in the Western world, just pay no attention to that rule. Pick and choose. Pick and choose.

November 17, 2008 at 4:31 PM  
Anonymous JustMe said...

I am very very pro-life. But, I've become increasingly convinced that there is no one to be elected that will change the law. Bush was there for 8 years and didn't change it. What we need to do is educate women on the full spectrum of choices (adoption, etc.)
And exactly what is happening during the abortion (killing a baby). And the possible ramifications it could have on her (PTSD, increase risk of infertility, etc.) Support these women and girls who are scared. Give them help spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially....
If we wanna save the baby, we have to love the mama.....

November 17, 2008 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we should vote for Palin who's daughter...

Or McCain who has no problem with us occupying a country for another 100 years? Who also had extramarital affairs.

November 17, 2008 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

The candidates' morality aside, I think it's true that as long as any of us live, abortion will remain legal somewhere in this country. The goal, as always, should be to minimize the number that are performed. Perhaps one way to do this is to have better sex education in our schools, but when you have people who demand abstinence-only education, you end up with a lot of Bristol Palins, some of whom will choose abortion. I don't think there's anyone who likes the idea of abortion, but we have too many people for whom it's an all-or-nothing proposition. Neither side wants to support restrictions on abortions, because one side wants no controls whatsoever, while the other refuses to accept anything but a total ban.

November 17, 2008 at 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Brant you are wrong. The pro-life movement has pushed for a variety of legislation that limits abortion. It does not change the fact that they desire abortion to end entirely, but they have accepted incremental changes. The pro-choice movement has acted much like the gun lobby and accepted no changes as their mantra.

November 17, 2008 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I should have been more specific, saying that there are fringe elements on either side who refuse to budge one iota on the issue. There are, indeed, people more toward the middle who are willing to compromise. We need more of them on this issue and many others. Unfortunately, we don't get much of that these days in Washington, from the Democrats or the Republicans.

November 17, 2008 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I would be one of those ones who would favor absolutely no restrictions on abortion... ask me why... "because I like to kill babies" is not one of the reasons...

November 18, 2008 at 8:09 AM  
Anonymous NonCatholic said...

So you're saying that an abortion doesn't 'kill a baby'?

November 18, 2008 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Your rhetorical leap astounds me...

November 18, 2008 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might astound you, but it is to the point and usually the point that those that favor abortion without restriction wish to avoid.

November 18, 2008 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

You still haven't asked me why...

November 18, 2008 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish the church would get out of my bedroom and out of my personal business. How dare anyone, personal ethics aside, tell me what to do with my body. Let's also push for mass vasectomies and castrations...tit for tat.

November 18, 2008 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Steelerfan43 said...

I'll ask why ellipses?

November 18, 2008 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ell...great smart@ss comment, not much of an argument though

November 18, 2008 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I don't know what you mean by the smartass comment thing...

Anyhoo... sorry I didn't get to play with you guys on this today... I was tied up for the better part of 10 hours...

November 18, 2008 at 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"tied up for 10 hours"
well, i hope you paid her well.

November 18, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I just put her abortion on my Discover Card...

November 19, 2008 at 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mass vasectomies? Yikes! Better not touch my little swimmers. They just learned the backstroke. Makes me think think though, thanks.

November 19, 2008 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't you say your wife just had a baby.(on another blog)

November 19, 2008 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Yes... he is 23 days old...

Are you not allowed to have kids if you are pro-choice?

November 19, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure, i guess that means you just made the right choice.
congratualtions.
ps you don't have to be so hostile.
geesh

November 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Sorry... with so many rainbows and puppy dogs, it's refreshing to trade face slaps :-)

November 19, 2008 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ok, I'm a big girl,I can take it. :o)

November 19, 2008 at 2:09 PM  

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