Friday, November 9, 2012

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Oh, Religious Liberty....ZZzzzzzzzzzz......."

At National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters, who will not give up the religious liberty charade to save his soul, writes, 

Looking at the exit polls, the issue that dominated this election, as most elections, was the economy. Religious Liberty was not on the list. Why is that?  . . . Making the Catholic community aware of the deep danger of threats to religious liberty will take time.

And reader Allison Maloney responds,

Oh, religious liberty....ZZzzzzzzzzzz.......... 

Michael Sean Winters thinks that "the Catholic community" just doesn't understand.  "We Catholics" just don't understand "the deep danger of threats to religious liberty" that he and the bishops did everything short of standing on their heads to explain to us during the election cycle.  But Allison Maloney suggests that we who are the Catholic community on whose behalf Winters speaks do, in fact, understand very well what the highly partisan religious liberty charade was all about.

We understand, and we expressed our opinion of this bogus and entirely partisan episcopal show, through our votes.  Keep telling us we don't understand, and we'll continue to respond just as we've been responding: ZZzzzzzzzzzz.......... 

As Vincent Miller notes, the bishops have forfeited considerable moral authority by mounting this partisan charade (my words, not Miller's: Miller, in fact, thinks the concerns about religious liberty are well-grounded).  Their historic partisanship in this election crossed a line, and the defeat of candidates on whose behalf they tried so hard to browbeat Catholic voters now poses a serious question about their already waning influence as moral teachers.

And as Sarah Posner concludes, citing Jon O'Brien, 

It was just about a year ago that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launched its “religious freedom” campaign in earnest. Cloaked in hyperbolic language about loss of religious liberty, it was really about the contraception mandate and gay marriage. What do they have to show for it? A record 19 women (update: now 20) in the Senate. Marriage equality in four states. As Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien said in October, about a poll showing large marjorities of Catholics rejecting the bishops’ politicking in the pulpit, “the bishops are trying to bully Catholics to vote in a certain way. This poll shows that the bishops’ efforts have been a spectacular failure.”

And so I repeat: Michael and your episcopal bosses, do you hear what "the Catholic community" is saying to you through its vote in this election cycle?  You say, We need to make you aware of the dangers about which we've been screaming.

And we keep responding: ZZzzzzzzzzzz.......... 

This is a propaganda battle you've royally lost, and if you have any scrap of integrity or any sense at all, you'll lay it to rest.  You'll stop talking down to and start listening to those on whose behalf you claim to be speaking.

If you have integrity and sense, I emphasize.

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