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.