Should religious leaders be able to order you to vote for a particular presidential candidate? Should they be able to deny communion to any parishioners who defy their decree??
These are not hypothetical questions, this very thing is happening right here, in the good 'ole U-S of A! You can read about it - right here.
In a pastoral letter issued by a Roman Catholic bishop in Colorado state, one Bishop Michael Sheridan, in Colorado Springs, orders that parishioners voting for officials supporting abortion rights be denied communion. The bishop also would deny communion for supporters of stem-cell research, gay marriage or euthanasia.
So, according to Bishop Sheridan - you can't vote for any presidential contender who happens to feel that a woman should be able to make up their own mind with regard to abortion... or who won't force-apart a couple who love differently from "the norm"... or for someone who refuses individuals the choice to say "Enough pain" when science can keep a body alive longer then perhaps it should be, or allow science the ability to perhaps help cure that person in that terrible, hopeless pain.
It seems that the good Bishop would rather have us vote for someone who has extirpated an entire country, in a war that's been waged under dubious pretense, against world opinion, and has killed over 10,000 civilian souls, and hundreds of our own.
I agree with what the Bishop has to say in his letter, with regard to voting - we need to become informed about the issues, and we need to go to the poll, and vote for, who who we believe in our hearts will lead our country in the direction we'd like to see the country go in... But the Bishop is making the very same mistakes he warns his flock of... he's making his judgements on just a few of the issues that he feels are absolute paramount, and is, in effect saying - "think like I think - or you won't be a full member of my church, and you'll probably go to hell".
Am I missing the point here - is the Bishop partaking in a bit of spiritual coercion?
Personally - I'm a real fan of the seperation of Church and State... how about you?
posted by Jon C. [link] | |