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Threat of Eternal Damnation met with Big Yawn by Catholic Voters
2 years ago

From Church & State, December 2012



Of Bishops And Ballots: Election Results Show Voters Are Weary Of Church Politicking

     Political pundits are still poring over the results of last month's election looking for deeper meaning. Here's one lesson they shouldn't overlook: Americans don't want religious leaders telling them how to vote.

    Consider the case of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Several bishops and priests spent the lead-up to the election promoting Republican hopeful Mitt Romney. Some bishops went so far as to issue letters warning parishioners that if they voted for candidates who support reproductive rights and marriage equality, it could put their souls in jeopardy.

     The threat of eternal damnation was met with a yawn by many Catholics......In a poll issued before the election, a whopping 86 percent of Catholics said they believe they are under no obligation to follow a cleric's instructions on how to vote.

    

     How will the bishops react to this rebuke? Unfortunately, they will probably ignore it. That's too bad because Americans are sending an importnt message to religious leaders who presume to tell their congregants how to behave in the voting booth. That message is "Stop it."

     Not only is such activity illegal - federal law bars tax-exempt entities from intervening in elections - it's also arrogant. All too often the bishops {and their allies in the Religious Right} obsess over a handful of social issues, chiefly legal abortion and same-sex marriage.

     These religious leaders elevate their political concerns above all others. Yet many Catholics say they see other issues as equally compelling or even more important - social and economic justice, for example. Others argue that the church puts too much emphasis on political issues and needs to get back to spirituality.

    

     No matter how they phrase it, the vast majority of Americans who hold religious views are clear about one thing: They are tired of church-based politicking. They are weary of members of the clergy who smugly believe they can issue political marching orders to their flocks. They've had it up to here with churches becoming cogs in some candidate's political machine.

     A slim minority of ultra-fundamentalists are ready to follow their pastors lemming-like into any political swamp. Everyone else has had enough. Some are doing more than just ignoring the clerics' advice; they're voting with their feet and their wallets.

     ..........The results of Nov. 6 indicate that their flock is trying to tell the hierarchy something. If only they would listen.


[Church & State is the newsletter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State - or Americans United, or AU for short]

Don't support the people and groups who hate you
2 years ago

50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church | Alternet
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Among the 50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church
2 years ago

20. They demanded that Sunday school teachers sign a loyalty oath agreeing to submit "will and intellect" to the proclamations of church leaders.

21. Some top church officials, including the current pope, have advocated denying communion to politicians who support progressive and pro-choice political ideas. Notably, although the church also opposes preemptive war and the death penalty, no conservative politician has ever been denied communion on this basis.

22. They've cracked down on American nuns for doing too much to help the poor and not enough to oppose gay marriage, condemning them for displaying a seditious "feminist spirit."

More Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church
2 years ago

24. In America, bishops have compared Democratic officeholders, including President Obama, to Hitler and Stalin and have said that it jeopardizes a person's eternal salvation if they don't vote as the bishops instruct them to.

25. They fight against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. It's not enough for the Catholic church hierarchy that they refuse to perform church weddings for gay and lesbian couples; they want to write that prohibition into the civil law and deny marriage equality to everyone who doesn't fit their religious criteria, and have invested vast amounts of money and effort into doing so. In the 2012 election cycle alone, the church spent almost $2 million in an unsuccessful fight to defeat marriage-equality initiatives in four states.

26. They've compared gay sex to pedophilia and incest and called for it to be forbidden by law, saying that "states can and must regulate behaviors, including various sexual behaviors."

27. They've shut down adoption clinics rather than consider gay people as prospective parents. The church's official position, apparently, is that it's better for children to remain orphans or in foster care than to be placed in a loving, committed same-sex household.

28. They barred an anti-LGBT bullying group, anti-teen-suicide foundation from a Catholic school ceremony, explaining that the group's mission is "contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church."

29. They told a teenager he wouldn't be allowed to go through confirmation because he posted a pro-gay-rights status message on Facebook, and they expelled a preschooler from a private Catholic school because his parents were lesbians.

Progressive Voters - LEARN from their DOOM!
2 years ago

Catholic voters who voted the "wrong" way being marched into HELL.

Irish Catholics Abandoning Religion and Catholic Attitudes towards Gays & Women
2 years ago

A headline in today’s Belfast Telegraph announces: ‘Republic of Ireland Abandoning Religion Faster than almost any other Country.’

Breda Heffernan and Colm Kelpie report on an international poll conducted by Red C, which found that:

An overwhelming 69% of Irish people declared themselves to be “a religious person” in the last survey conducted in 2005, but this has now plummeted to 47%.

According to the data, only Vietnam is experiencing a faster drop in religiosity than the Republic. The Red C poll is based on interviews with more than 51,000 people worldwide, including 1,000 respondents in the Republic.

The Telegraph article attributes much of this recent decline to the impact of the child sexual abuse scandals in the Irish Catholic Church, which is one plausible explanation.

There’s nothing surprising about this poll, as it confirms the findings of a series of recent polls that have charted the decline of the Irish Catholic Church. While the Red C poll measured how many people identified themselves as ‘religious,’ other polls have asked Irish people about their feelings on some of the specific teachings of the Catholic Church.

If decline can be fairly measured by people’s disagreement with particular church teachings or disillusionment with the ‘institutional’ church, the decline is steep indeed.

For example, in February, a survey carried out by market research group Amarach on behalf of the Association of Catholic Priests(a group often considered at odds with the hierarchy, and which includes priests like Redemporist Tony Flannery, who has been ‘silenced’ by the Vatican), found that the Irish public did not agree with the Catholic hierarchy on issues including married priests, women priests, the election and term of office of bishops, and attitudes towards homosexuality.

In March, the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk 106-108 FM surveyed Ireland’s Catholic priests on a variety of issues, finding that 61% of priests feel that the hierarchy doesn’t understand the challenges they face, 63% thought that the church has handled the abuse scandals poorly, 60% thought women should be allowed to become priests, and 78% thought priests should be allowed to marry.

In November 2010,  a study by the Social Attitude and Policy Research Group at Trinity College Dublin revealed that most Irish Catholic women think that their church does not treat them with respect. A stunning 74% of Catholic women said that the Church did not treat them with “a lot of respect” compared to just 6.3% of Protestant women. 

In addition to that, previous sociological studies have shown that Ireland has been secularizing at a faster rate than other countries in Europe.

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