Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stupak’s Shenanigans: Thumbs Down


Five reasons:

1. He has been closely associated with The Family and their C Street residence.

He’s now trying to downplay that association, while centrist Catholics are helping him with this disingenuous cover-up.  The Family is an overtly theocratic religio-political organization that espouses political and economic positions wildly at odds with core aspects of Catholic teaching. 

2. He is not telling the truth about what the health care bill will do, vis-à-vis abortion funding, and he’s not telling the truth about the Hyde amendment. 

When we have to resort to lies to defend a position we want others to regard as ethical, what we’re really admitting is that we don’t have a sound basis for the ethical positions we want to impose on others.  We’ve lost the battle, when we need to lie to promote a position we wish to represent as ethical. 

3. Stupak is carrying water for the U.S. Catholic bishops, who are doing incalculable harm to American society as well as to the church by their behind-the-scenes arm-twisting and bullying tactics. 

It is cowardly to refuse to permit open public discussion of issues—e.g., abortion and sexual ethics—about which many American Catholics raise questions that deserve serious consideration as we formulate ethical teaching.  We cannot convince the American public to buy into an ethic of life when our own behavior, at a fundamental level, militates against such an ethic by the use of contemptuous political tactics as arm-twisting and back-room bullying.

4. The bishops’ persistent animosity towards gay and lesbian persons and their attacks on the rights of gay and lesbian persons are radically undermining their attempt to promote a credible consistent ethic of life in American culture.

If the bishops really want to demonstrate to the American public that they value and promote a consistent ethic of life, they need to stop the attacks on the human rights of gay folks.  Immediately.  They’re losing the battle, and their pro-life agenda is going down the drain along with their credibility, as they keep the attacks up.

5. Effectively—using Stupak as a tool—the bishops are playing partisan politics with the issue of health care. 

This is lamentable when millions of Americans have no access to ongoing basic health coverage.  It is evil.  Rather than seeking to build a healthier democracy, through their partisan attempt to undermine health care reform, the bishops are contributing to the demise of democracy.