My hometown of Scranton, PA made national news again, and – big surprise – it wasn’t for anything good. Then again, it also involves the Catholic Church, so how could it have been?
As the Roman Catholic Church observes its annual “respect life” Sunday in this heated presidential election season, the unusually pitched competition for Catholic voters is setting off a round of skirmishes over how to apply the church’s teachings not only on abortion but also on the war in Iraq, immigration and racism.
In Scranton, Pa., every Catholic attending Mass this weekend will hear a special homily about the election next month: Bishop Joseph Martino has ordered every priest in the diocese to read a letter warning that voting for a supporter of abortion rights amounts to endorsing “homicide.”
This should come as no surprise to anyone who remembers the last presidential election; the Pope wrote a very similar letter to denounce John Kerry. They both dance around calling the opposing candidate an agent of Satan, but it’s certainly implied that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for The Prince of Darkness – way to remain apolitical, you tax-exempt douchebags. Here’s a great quote from Martino’s letter…
Being “right” on taxes, education, health care, immigration, and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life. Consider this: the finest health and education systems, the fairest immigration laws, and the soundest economy do nothing for the child who never sees the light of day. It is a tragic irony that “pro-choice” candidates have come to support homicide – the gravest injustice a society can tolerate – in the name of “social justice.”
So all those “rescued” children can be born into a country with no jobs, healthcare, or educational opportunities…what a blessed life that will be. It always comes back to that special brand of Christian hypocrisy that fights tooth and nail for the unborn, but those already out of the womb? Fuck ‘em. (Literally…Who are their priests going to rape if there are no children being born?) They continue to ignore two major arguments of the pro-choice platform:
1. People are going to have abortions anyway. Since when did making something illegal stop it from happening? Hell, in this country, making something illegal seems to encourage people to do it more, considering our crime rates. (No, I don’t think people will start aborting fetuses for fun…although I can’t think if a better way to spend a Friday night.) Abortion isn’t something that “the evil liberals” concocted a few decades ago to further the will of The Wicked One – it has been around long before Christianity could tell us it was wrong, and it’ll be around long after a new mythology emerges to take its place.
2. Pouring more time and money into sex education in schools, cheap/free contraception, organizations like Planned Parenthood, and social programs that benefit the poor (who tend to have the largest number of unwanted pregnancies) will significantly reduce the number of abortions because it significantly reduces the number of pregnancies in the first place. Just as people will have abortions anyway, people also tend to have sex anyway, despite what some self-righteous cross-dresser on a pulpit preaches. I know religion thrives on fear and ignorance, but sometimes you have to compromise with logic if an issue really means so much to you. You can tell your kid not to run in the house all you want, but you’ll usually find the vase on the floor in pieces at the end of the day. You can also tell your kid that sex before marriage, or any sort of sexual pleasure, is a grave and immoral sin, but then you’d be Sarah Palin – abstinence-only education obviously did her daughter a lot of good. And I’m not just talking about promoting condoms and birth control here – sometimes kids just need to know that there’s more to life than being a baby factory. The more opportunities you can offer the poor through grants, scholarships, tax-cuts, etcetera, the less likely they’re going to choose “popping out six kids, aborting six more, and working at McDonald’s” as their profession.
But I guess this is pretty hard to explain to a bunch of old codgers who’ve sworn off sex and will never marry or have children. It’s very easy to pick on those whose shoes you will never have to fill, and it’s even easier to politicize religion, as both politicians and religious leaders are in the same business of controlling the masses. What’s remarkable about this story is not their arrogance or greed, as those are givens, but the fact that left-leaning Catholics are actually fighting back this time. Groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance have been fighting to emphasize health care, employment, and housing as part of that “social justice” the bishop wrote about, and even a nun from my alma mater passed around a petition that discusses racism as another issue that threatens “the dignity of life.” But if you have these values, why call yourself Catholic? Why support an organization that has a history of persecuting those with your beliefs? It seems counterproductive to be fighting amongst each other as opposed to just breaking off and letting the Catholic Church’s reign of intellectual terror diminish to a bunch of spiteful old men in funny hats listening to their own bitching echoing off the ceilings of empty churches. If you want dignity in life, conjure up the pride and self-respect it takes to denounce your religion that promotes sexism, racism, and totalitarianism…then you’ll be doing your cause some real justice.