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March 20, 2009

Mixing religion and politics

In his “As I see it” column “Why Gov. Sebelius should refrain from Communion” (3/15, Opinion), Archbishop Joseph A. Naumann does not ecclesiastically ex-communicate the Kansas governor, as he could have done. Instead, he blusters and lectures.

One of the wonderful things about America is that all religions are free to promulgate their doctrines. Roman Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and even atheists and Scientologists each claim, to one degree or another, to have the one and only truth that can lead to salvation or to a successful life. Adherents to these groups may accept these various claims to one degree or another.

Many of my Catholic friends saw the bishop’s remarks as way out of line. As for me, I celebrate that whenever a religious partisan tries in this public way to influence public policy, we citizens are free to challenge, criticize and disagree.

Richard M. Childs
Fairway

As the highest teaching authority in his diocese, Archbishop Naumann is compelled to defend the integrity of the sacraments of his church and, in accordance with his conscience, label such practices as gay marriage, embryonic stem cell research and abortion as “intrinsic evils.” Gov. Sebelius, on the other hand, represents all the citizens of Kansas, many of whom do not the share the faith or the interpretations of the faith’s teachings as pronounced by the archbishop.

The archbishop apparently feels that to be a Catholic by his standards, the governor must vet all her votes and policy positions by his standards, or not go to Communion. The archbishop is not God, nor is the Catholic faith the only path to God. The governor needs to find another teaching authority within her faith more compatible with her responsibilities as governor or find another path to God.

Jack Whitaker
Leawood

Although I greatly respect most ministers, I’ve had a long policy of not voting for any to public office. Why? I believe it creates for them moral and ethical dilemmas when there are conflicts between their personal views and their constituents.

I don’t believe that one votes for the person and then they owe us their best judgment and can vote their conscience. I believe that all elected officials should set aside their beliefs and strictly represent the views of their constituents. If they can’t do that, they shouldn’t stand for election and ask for my vote.

The views of Catholic bishops Joseph Naumann, Robert Finn and others about elected Catholic officials greatly concern me. I’ve never had an issue voting for Catholics for public office until now, but if Naumann and Finn have their way, I would have to reconsider and probably no longer support any Catholics for public office.

This isn’t personal or religious. I just believe it’s wrong of them to cross the line into public politics. I certainly think that Naumann’s and Finn’s comments should come at a price by losing their dioceses’ tax exemptions.

Lynn Alsup
Lee’s Summit

Comments

bud 25

You answered none of my questions, thank you. It’s obvious that you have not thought about what will happen if we ban abortions, this issue will not just go away. But if we were to ban it what’s the worse that could happen, right? How about women taking untold concoctions to prevent pregnancies, coat hanger abortions, alleyway abortions, and jail populations going astronomical: all because of your self righteousness. I see NO reason I can take away a woman’s choice to decide what happens to her body, whether I agree with the decision or not. This is a decision that should be made between her, her doctor, and her family.

I am sorry that your brother-in-law and his to women friends do not share your view points on sex. So since this does not fit your idea on societal values we should make it illegal? It sounds to me like you want the government to tell me how I should think and live my life. I also fail to see how you can not make the act illegal but punish them if you do it; I believe that is making the act illegal.

But cheers to a country that puts a woman’s fetus above her own

Lost_In_Ambivalence

And I think as a society, we have every right to determine whether any action you have chosen to undertake, is in violation of our societal values. If so, we can choose to make it illegal.

NOTE:

We cannot stop you from trying to partake in said action only decide on a punishment if you pursue it. This is the way all societies work.

Cheers.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

Bud

I have a brother in law who went through comprehensive sex ed. He now has 2 children by 2 different mothers. Both women went through comprehensive sex ed and each have at least two kids from different men. Clearly education is not the problem, it is the idiots involved in the sex.

bud 25

I would still have a problem with because your rights end where my body begins. While I don't agree with abortion, I see no reason that I have the right to tell someone what they can or cannot do with their body.

If we ban abortion would we be obligated to investigate all miscarriages? Who do we arrest if an abortion is performed, is it the mother or the person who performed it? If found guilty what do we do with them?

Instead of banning abortion lets give people the full knowledge of what constitutes sex, how to prevent STD's, how to prevent pregnancies, and that abstinence is the only 100% way to prevent both. With this you can reduce the numbers performed and possibly bring it to a point where only rape victims, incest victims, and moms whose life is in jeopardy of carrying to term. But I suppose the catholic church is against all sexual education and the facts on what causes STD's and pregnancy, because what other choice do we have if we follow the church.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

Bud_25.

Christianity, Judaism, Buddism, Hinduism and Islam are religions.

Abortion being wrong is a belief. Regardless of the source of that belief, banning abortions is not establishing a religion any more than allowing abortion is.

What if it were a non-Christian who came to this conclusion based on the teachings of Jesus as a philosopher as opposed to the Son of God, would you still have a problem with it

bud 25

Mark you are trampling on my rights by saying your church, which I do not attend, has the right to make their religious belief a law. The first amendment states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". To ban abortions, stem cell research, and denial of gay rights is all religious beliefs; and to make it a law is respecting a church. That is the separation of church and state that the founding fathers wanted.

You tell us to not attend the catholic church if we don't want to, then stop making your religious beliefs MY LAW and I won't have to attend your church!

Mark Robertson

By the way, they aren't just Archbishop Naumann's personal standards, he, unlike many bishops, is doing his job of following the Canon Law of the Catholic Church.
The K.C. area is blessed to have the very strong and courageous Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Finn. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson
Independence

Mark Robertson

Hey Lynn, do you mean "Catholics" like Kennedy, Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, Dodd, Reed, (of RI) Leahy, Collins,("Rep") Harkin, MiKulski, Landrieu, Daschle, Durbin, and of course local "heroes" Sebelius and McCaskill,
and many others in congress and other offices who are pro-abortion/
And "nice try" on your tax exempt claim. That's "original." Thankyou.

Mark Robertson
Independence

Mark Robertson

Of course Catholics or anyone else can and should be part of the public square, however, Archbishop Naumann's proper public action dealing with Governor Sebelius has nothing to do with politics or the public square.
It has to do with the fact that Sebelius is a public figure who supports the right to abortion. Any bishop is obligated to take such action against any public figure who publicly supports abortion and other anti-life abominations in word and/or action.
This is done to avoid scandal. Other Catholics would see a public Catholic supporting abortion and great confusion would occur. It is also done to protect the Holy Eucharist and to attempt to save the soul of the misguided public figure.
Besides the fact that the separation of church and state is not in the U.S. Constitution, Archbishop Naumann's actions related to Governor Sebelius aren't related to the fallacy anyway.
Archbishop Naumann is just following the Canon Law of the Catholic Church,(Canon 915) no matter how many know-it-alls try to deny it.
Lot of ignorance going on out there. Many of the falsehoods though are purposeful propaganda against Archbishop Naumann. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson
Independence

Roger Lambert

If citizens don't like the Catholic Church, then don't attend their services or give them money.

At the same time, the Catholic Church has every right (and duty?) to demand that their members don't trash their most sacred teachings. Abortion is anathema to the Catholic Church.

Kee

Lets see now the Catholic Bishop cannot "cross the line into public politics".....hmmm, can you say Bill and Hillary Clinton how many churches did they campaign in? How about the Beaver Cleaver?? Come on Lynn if it is sauce for the goose so it is also for the gander.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Cross the line into public politics? So we should instill no moral compass within our fabric of society. I get it, advocate promiscuity, rather excuse it and reward it.
Religion can like anything go overboard and is often hypocritical which makes it a perfect component for society and politics to embrace.

 
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