13 May, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI as Political Puppeteer

JSYK* As a non-practicing Catholic, I want to first state that my opinion hereafter has nothing to do with resentment for mistreatment by nuns in grade school or any such nonsense. (*Just so you know)

It is my theory that Pope Bene is trying to divide the Catholic Church. He is drawing hard lines and making no apologies for it. I don't agree with the Church's position, but I do know where that line is drawn. This is why I am non-practicing. I cannot imagine that there will not be a break in the Church because of this hard line.

I am concerned however when Pope Bene uses his papacy to influence American Politics. As if we did not have enough trouble with the drug companies, NRA, and our own home grown 'religious right', now the Pope is talking about ex-communication for politicians whose views are at odds with the church's teachings on abortion. Maybe the separation of church and state thing eludes him. This is a frightening predicament.

It puts me in the mind of the Salem witch hunts. No, there was no sarcasm there. I could just imagine Catholic politicians having to face their local Diocese after every vote. Talk about influence.

Again, I understand the theory, but to put it into practice is dangerous. There are people everywhere who compromise their personal values in order to do their jobs. It would be wrong of me to judge other peoples lives based on my values and belief systems. It is wrong to set 'Catholic-ly correct policy' for everyone whether Catholic or not. If a politician decides that it is OK for his constituents to have abortions that is not the church's business. If that politician decides his mistress should have an abortion, then that is another matter altogether.

I don't want Pope Bene influencing my politics. So now what, are we going to have to know every one's religion before we can vote for them? Are there some people who will have a problem having to disclose such information?

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