Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Last-Gasp Frenzy

Whenever the leaders of religious or political movements feel threatened, they become extreme, support wild rhetoric, and formulate positions that are oppressive and totalitarian: Stalin, Hitler, Calvin, Joe McCarthy, Jerry Falwell, Gov. George Wallace, David Koresh and James Jones, to mention a few. To that list we can add The Roman Catholic Church and the Republican Party. Despite demands from their constituents for moderation, both the RCC and the GOP are forging ahead with policies that the majority of Catholics and American voters are against. A recent Gallup poll shows that 78 percent of American Catholics want the next pope to allow Catholics to use birth control, 63 percent say he should let priests marry, 59 percent believe he should have a less strict policy on stem cell research, and 55 percent think the next pope should allow women to become priests. And in Europe the way Europeans view the Vatican is no better. This morning in the WaPo, George F. Will said, “Vatican City is 109 acres of faith in a European sea of unbelief.” A Gallup poll on April 1 showed that 48 percent disapproved of the way George Bush is handling his job as President, 54 percent disapproved of the way he's handling the situation in Iraq, 55 percent disapproved of the way he's handling the economy, 57 percent disapproved of the way he's handling Social Security, and 53 percent disapproved of the way he handled the Schiavo case. And yet, next weekend in an excess of error in judging support for both religious fanaticism and White House policies, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), will engage in a telecast sponsored by the Family Research Council to rally the far-right to “rein in our out-of-control courts.” Frist says Bush's judicial nominees are being blocked “because they are people of faith and moral conviction…we must stop this unprecedented filibuster of people of faith." The RCC and the GOP justify being out of touch with mainstream thinking because they are in a position of power and they can do whatever they want. So, what're ya gonna do about it? The folks have already done what they're gonna do. They've turned their backs on Catholicism and are worshipping in other churches. And voters have turned away from the GOP in disgust and embarrassment. When will the RCC and GOP realize their pews are empty? When only the people on their payroll bother to show up.

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