Friday, November 08, 2013

Quote of the Day

. . . I'm sure it was in the interests of not judging anyone that the USCCB [United States Conference of Catholic Bishops] weighed in on the Senate's attempt to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act otherwise known as ENDA. The input of the bishops was not successful in the Senate as ENDA passed 64-32. An amendment by Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa) to broaden the religious exemption aspects failed to pass as well. The vote in the Senate reflects the attitude of the general US population – including the Catholic population – with regards to ENDA. But of course ENDA still has to pass the House and the House more closely reflects the attitude of the USCCB. I'm sure the bishops' letter will have a much better reception in the House where Majority Leader John Boehner refuses to introduce the bill.

. . . I don't know whose tune the USCCB is dancing to, but it doesn't seem to be the one being played by the Papal piper in Rome. I hate the thought of what will come out of next week's USCCB meeting in Baltimore. The entire agenda, except for the approval of more Latinized English for a couple of sacraments, is all pelvic issues. Why this obsession with sex? Of course, that question could be asked of the Church in general and for too much of its history, but the USCCB is going beyond the usual.

I'm hard pressed to think of another national conference of Bishops using the gay wedge issue to the same extreme the USCCB is. I couldn't help but notice in the NCR coverage of Cardinal Dolan's letter to John Boehner on immigration reform that Dolan included the following line: He called for expediting the reunification of families, but emphasized the policy must be "based on marriage as the union of one man and one woman." I'm sure John Boehner gets the reason for this line. He can be assured the USCCB will not support immigration reform if it contains anything about gays getting the same protections as straights. It sets up yet another Obamacare/contraception religious freedom fight that was so useful to certain Republicans in the Tea Party in the last elections and this current debacle we call Congress.

I really do want to know who benefits from the constant attacks on gay rights, and why it's only the USCCB that pushes this issue to this extent in Roman Catholicism. One beneficiary is obviously the Republican party and yet, this doesn't really explain what the USCCB is getting out of it. . . .

– Colleen Kochivar-Baker

Related Off-site Posts:
Imbalance Between Francis, U.S. Bishops Undermines Religious Liberty Campaign – David DeCosse (National Catholic Reporter, October 23, 2013).
Majority of Catholics – But Not the Bishops – Support Passing ENDA Today – Jamie Manson (National Catholic Reporter, November 7, 2013).
As Catholic Bishops Meet, Culture Wars Trump Poverty – John Gehring (Time, November 7, 2013).
Pastoral Priorities from Pope Francis for the US Bishops – Thomas Reese (National Catholic Reporter, November 7, 2013).
USCCB Chairmen Oppose Senate Passage of ENDA – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (November 7, 2013).
Why Bishops’ Religious Liberty Arguments on ENDA Fail – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, November 9, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
What Part of Jesus' Invitation to "Be Not Afraid" Don't the Bishops Get?
Doug Mataconis on the Bishops, Religious Freedom, and Living in a Civil Society
Responding to Whiny Catholic Bishops Who Cry Victim
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Progressive Perspectives on Archbishop Nienstedt's Ant-Gay Activism

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