Some people insist that America is a “Christian” country founded by religious pioneers who wanted to create a society that abides by rules spelled out in the King James version of the Holy Bible. You hear that myth all the time from the evangelical community – usually members of a Baptist group or some other Protestant denomination.
The truth, as you know if you studied history, is that America was founded by people who wanted to get away from religious intolerance, who wanted the freedom to worship God in any way they chose – or not to worship Him at all if they preferred.
As far as I know, nobody has suggested that America was founded on the tenets of Roman Catholicism.
After the ravages inflicted by Catholic monarchs like England’s Bloody Mary and the atrocities perpetrated by the Spanish Inquisition, early Americans wanted nothing to do with the Church of Rome (see historic cartoon at right). Indeed, as evidenced by that all-seeing eye on the U.S. dollar bill (picture below), America’s founders were Masons, and Masons are anathema to Catholics.
I have a lot of dear friends and close relatives who belong to the Catholic Church. My mother was a devout Catholic, as I’ve mentioned before. My first wife, who died recently, was also a Catholic, and I am confident that both she and my mother have gone to Heaven, where they will undoubtedly find a lot of good Catholics – and Protestants. For all I know, they might come across Muslims, Buddhists and members of various other faiths there, too. God moves in mysterious ways and I am not about to second-guess His decisions.
But I find the current “Christian” revolution in America totally abhorrent. The conspiracy between some extreme evangelists and power hungry Catholic clergy is not only disgusting but also extremely frightening. To find out about one manifestation of this obscene alliance, you can Google “C Street, The Family.” You will learn about a seditious movement that seeks to control America’s government by the indoctrination and manipulation of elected representatives, a political organization that describes itself as a “church.”
The influence exerted by The Family (known by a variety of other names including The Fellowship) is blamed for an unholy alliance between Catholic and Protestant politicians that is attempting to roll back the clock and take away the reproductive rights of women, as decreed by the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade. A Catholic representative named Bart Stupak and a Protestant representative named Joe Pitts teamed up to get an anti-abortion amendment attached to the health care reform bill in the House. The amendment would not just prevent women from spending government subsidies on insurance policies that cover abortion but would also ban anyone receiving a government subsidy from spending their own money to buy such coverage.
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Lurking in the shadows is a group of Catholic bishops who are pressuring politicians to include an anti-choice amendment in any health care legislation that gets passed. According to news reports, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was instrumental in forcing Democrats to accept the Stupak-Pitts amendment as the price for passing the House health care bill.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid is seeking a compromise that abortion rights supporters can live with: allowing coverage for abortion in federally subsidized health care plans, provided that beneficiaries’ own funds are used to pay for the procedure. The bill would forbid including abortion coverage as a required medical benefit.
But that’s not good enough for the bishops (photo at right). Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid’s compromise “is actually the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues.” He called it “completely unacceptable.”
So you can expect a stand-off between “pro-choice” and “pro-life” groups that will probably stymie health care reform after all the time, chatter and money wasted in getting to this point.
I don’t like the health care bill being pushed through the Senate. I didn’t like the one passed by the House. I think they’re both shamefully weak, amounting to little more than a giveaway to the health insurance companies. But I am dismayed by this blatant attempt by a religious group to dictate the U.S. Government’s policies.
Still, perhaps the bishops are doing Americans a favor. Perhaps voters will be so outraged by their presumptuousness that they will purge political representatives who owe their allegiance to religious groups instead of to the people who elected them. And perhaps they will also oust the representatives who gave their allegiance to the golden calf of the health care industry’s campaign contributions. Perhaps.