For the last several years, Roman Catholic bishops in the US have pretty much taken marching orders from the Religious Right, which ironically is mostly Protestant evangelical and fundamentalist in nature. At least, that’s what I’ve been saying. And people have occasionally called me a fool for doing so. “The Protestants and Catholics hate each other!” I’ve been told. “The Protestants tried to derail John F. Kennedy’s campaign, claiming his election would put the Pope in the White House!”
It is true that Protestants and Catholics have been at odds since the Reformation, and even fought each other in Ireland through much of the 20th century. That the Catholic Church and the various Protestant sects are rivals, is incontrovertible.
Nevertheless, I have never doubted that the mostly-Protestant Religious Right and the Catholic bishops have been allied at least since the late 1990s — and finally some proof of this alliance has emerged. The New York Times reports on this now-overt alliance:
Citing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to civil disobedience, 145 evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they will not cooperate with laws that they say could be used to compel their institutions to participate in abortions, or to bless or in any way recognize same-sex couples.
“We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence,” it says.
The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America. …
The document says, “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent.”
Of course, they’re tilting at windmills, because no one is currently talking about forcing any church or sect to marry gays if they don’t believe in allowing it. (In my home state of Connecticut, where gay marriage is allowed, the state Supreme Court stated clearly that this was not Constitutionally permissible.) There are also no efforts underway, and none even on the horizon, which would force (say) Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. There is also no plan to force euthanasia on anyone — anywhere — whether it be in a religious hospital or any other setting.
This document, then, and the alliance it enshrines, is based on a delusion.
That’s right, a delusion. Pure and simple.
At any rate, I’m not happy to report that my presumed alliance between the Catholic bishops and the Protestants of the Religious Right — along with the Orthodox Church, to boot — has finally been confirmed … but it is.Tags: catholic bishops, dominionism, euthanasia, evangelical, orthodox, orthodox church, pro-choice, pro-life, protestants, religious right, roman catholic church, theocracy