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Selective Religion

Republicans have been accusing Obama of waging war on the Catholic Church, if not on religion in general, because he won’t let the church have its way on issues like birth control.

However, the same politicians who are attacking Obama have voted against the Catholic Church in a number of other (even bigger) policy issues. Are they waging a war on the Catholic Church, or are they just being hypocritical for political gain?

Juan Cole in AlterNet has put together a list of Catholic teachings that conservatives ignore or reject, while at the same time obsessing about birth control:

  1. Pope John Paul II was against the war in Iraq.
  2. The Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced the Bush use of preemptive war.
  3. The bishops require that health care be provided to all Americans.
  4. The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty for criminals.
  5. The Conference of Catholic Bishops wants the federal minimum wage to be increased.
  6. The same US bishops also want welfare for all needy families.
  7. They also say “the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions…”
  8. The US bishops also demand the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
  9. They also condemn Arizona’s law on immigrants and suggest that it is a harbinger of American Nazism. They say that illegal immigrants should not be treated as criminals.

How do the Republican presidential candidates stand on these issues?



  1. Oregonbird wrote:

    The Catholic Church can go hang itself. It has recruited and protected pedophiles for decades, and continues to do so. It squats on land without paying taxes, it uses our infrastructure, our court system, our schools, without paying taxes, and interferes to our detriment in our politics and the society. Its employees are nearly immune to the secular laws. It takes billions in untraceable cash out of circulation and yet makes no equal contribution to the poor and needy. The opinions of it’s best-dressed leeches mean nothing; however, I enjoyed Pope Ratzo’s Christmas message, in which he informed us that we were making a big fuss about nothing — it was our privilege to provide children to the church for abuse.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  2. Patricia wrote:


    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  3. IL-08 wrote:

    I thought that if churches took political stands, they were no could not keep their tax exempt status. I don’t care what policies the catholic church takes, but if they do take a stance, they should be treated the same as a for-profit industry and taxed accordingly.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
  4. Falkelord wrote:

    Isn’t the Catholic Church technically a foreign business entity? They’re headquartered in another country-state, but they’re allowed to not pay taxes because they’re God’s messengers?

    If any other business doesn’t like the policies in a certain country, they have all the right to leave and not come back. Google pulled out of China, why can’t the Catholic Church leave America if they’re that upset about the policies?

    Oh wait, that’s because they’re not really mad, just being hypocrites for gain.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
  5. TJ wrote:

    Not trying to diminish the hypocrisy of the far right, but the real hypocrites here are The Conference of Catholic Bishops who continue to support the Republicans despite all of those points and many others. How is abortion such a big issue that it overshadows all other humanitarian concerns?

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    TJ, simple — because it works so well as a wedge issue.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink