Bishop threatens voters

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Dros, May 15, 2004.

  1. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #1
    CBS news

    The Colorado bishop is telling Catholics they cannot take part in Communion if they vote for politicians taking stands against Church teachings. Interestingly, he limits the "issues" to abortion, stem cell research, and gay marriage, while conveniently not mentioning the death penalty. Guess he isn't so much a Catholic as a Republican.

    Several of the races in the area are between two people, both of whom are for one of the "evil issues". So Catholics can't even vote in those races?

    I can accept religious leaders telling followers that they cannot receive Communion if they themselves act against Church teachings. But to deny a vote... should Catholics shun every person not following all the teachings as well? It seems to be moving into the same territory of how many people feel about the Taliban putting forth edicts on all aspects of public and personal life.
     
  2. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #2
    i dont think its the bishops place to judge who can or cannot receive communion because of political beliefs; although the church is clear on abortion. i guess its a real testy issue
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #3
    So sad that Faith is being used in such away. There are many Catholics that will follow the Bishops call, right or wrong.
     
  4. AhmedFaisal Guest

    #4
    The genuine problem of the "book" religions is...

    ... that the priests pretend as if those scriptures are written by god himself. Big news, they are not. They were written by humans, with human views and human ideals, and written by humans with much less knowledge about nature and geography as we have now. Events that were unexplainable back then and seemed so severe that the whole world (or better the whole known world) was affected by it are now well understood to have a much simpler, more worldly cause. What the Thora, Bible and Koran basically are is history books, written under the views, knowledge and expression of the times they were created in and should be interpreted as such. Besides giving people a wrapup of history of the world as it was known it was also a guide for life in society at that time and can not always be transplanted word for word into our times. Some things in these still hold universal truth, some were written under the impression of past events were only valid under these circumstances.
    The problem is that for some reason the Bible, Thora and Koran are not interpreted and read in the same way as great philosophical works of equal age and often greater truth such as the writings by Seneca and other great Roman and Greek philosophers but with a fanatic absolutism that isn't justified by the content.
    Would the men, often men of great knowledge, that wrote the paragraphs about the creation of the world still have written what they did had they known Darwin and all the other research on evolution and genetic selection and had they had the knowledge about paleontology and biology? Probably not.
    Accepting current scientific and social knowledge as reality doesn't mean you are denying god or lack faith, on the contrary. Many scientists are deeply religious for they see the greatness of god's design in the fact that it didn't require god to tinker about every nitty little detail but that his concept of creation was so grand that it just needed setting off with the Big Bang and then unfolded itself without his constant intervention. That is by far more divine and amazing for me than the story of creation in the Bible.
    I find it sad that many religious people both in the church hirarchy as well as the common flock have still not realized that analysing and understanding gods creation is showing much more appreciation than just accepting things without asking.
    It is sad that the church still hangs onto the idea that the desire for knowledge is a sin (ref.: Apple & the Snake) rather than what makes us humans.
    As for the social issues that the church adresses, I too agree that abortion is evil, but as we are humans, creatures with flaws that make mistakes and false decisions it is a necessary one. The church would do better if instead of condemning abortion they would accept the reality that people have sex and want to explore their sexuality and give them the spiritual guidance they need to explore it without fear and without endangering themselves or their partners (that includes accepting and actually promoting contraception).
    As for stem cell research, again I do see the stance that the church takes on the issue and many of its arguments are valid, yet when I have to decide between a blotch of cells in a test tube and preserving the life of a human being, with a personality, a family etc. my choice is clear. Life is about the choices we make, another thing that church needs to realize.
    The last issue is gay marriage, where again I have to say not everything the church states is absolutely invalid. However, unlike back during the times of the Bible we know now that homosexuality is not a result of a distorted character but a result of genetics and as such not something people can willingly change, and we all need to accept that. I find it more important that heterosexuals realize that marriage should be something not easily done, something you can throw away when you don't like it anymore but a bond that should last for a lifetime then the issue if gay couples should be able to marry or not. Marriage should again become what it was supposed to be a comunity of shared fates, hope, sorrow, joy, fear, burden and profit for a lifetime and not a question of convenience and tax advantage as it is now. In my opinion it should be made sure that people want to marry out of the right motives rather then because of what gender they are.
    At any rate, since the church neglects its real duties to society and like politicians hides behind its dogmas it is up to oneself how we wish to lead our lives. That truth, ironically comes from the Bible as well, were Christ teaches that you should pratice faith for yourself, in your chamber and not throw it in everyones face to demonstrate how pious you are.
    Regards,

    Ahmed
     
  5. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Ahmed are you a history major or something? Well said.

    I gave up on organized religion a long time ago. I think that there may be a God but I believe that the puny human mind can not comprehend God itself. Sure, we can play with God's end results but how can you truly comprehend God?
    No way.
    And any person who says that they know the truth about God is either a zealot or a lunatic in my opinion.
    Funny but I think the ancient Greek philosophers were the ones on the right track in the first place. It's just that religion is just easier to believe in. Here's a set of rules; follow them.
    I hate to say it but most people just aren't smart enough to philosophize, so that is why organized religion is here to stay.
    Let the flaming begin.
     
  6. AhmedFaisal Guest

    #6
    In fact no, I am a biology major, however a critical one, and I do have a thing for history, always had.
    I don't think having a set of rules is a bad thing in itself. There is a couple of universal rules that will always be true, whether you are christian, muslim, jew, buddhist or whatever. These rules will never change. You should not steal, you should not kill, you should not desire another's wife etc.. These rules are universal because they are what make a stable and peaceful society possible. Other rules however are not so universal and are the result of circumstances and need to be constantly examined whether or not they are still praticable and necessary.
    What people, no matter how intelligent they may be however need to realize is that they can only be good citizens and human beings if they don't follow what others tell them to do but by acquisition of knowledge and information from various and diverse sources find their own truth.
    Regards,

    Ahmed
     
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #7
    this is why i bailed on christianity a long, long time ago.

    it's now a sin to be liberal. congratulations, catholics.

    paul
     
  8. Dros thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I didn't want this to get too much into a "bash religion" thread. Some people like having their faith in the context of a tradition, and in the context of an authoritarian structure. And I have mixed feelings about people that want to be part of that sort of group and pick which parts they want to adhere to. If you want to be in an authoritarian religion, it isn't up to you.

    But this bishop also wants to pick and choose. It is pure hypocrisy. His favorite candidates are for the death penalty, so he ignores that aspect of certain politicians platforms and instead takes a very hard line on everything else.
     
  9. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816

    ColoJohnBoy

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    #9
    Wow. I feel so proud to be from Colorado. First we have Amendment 2, which allows discrimination against homosexuals, then we have Marilyn Musgrave and Wayne Allard introducing a federal amendment with the same tone, and now we have a religious leader dictating how people may and may not vote (How did John F. Kennedy put it? "I don't speak for the church, and the church does not speak for me").

    Yup. It's blast to be liberal in Mile High Country.
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #10
    I think that the Catholic Church has a right to expect it's congregation to follow church teachings. The heir-achy throughout history has always ruled with a strong hand. They seemed to have become lax lately. One example is the abuse scandal. Need to cleanup from within also.
     
  11. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #11
    ::sigh::

    it's a shame that people have to try to force what they think on other people so... forcefully.

    at least there is really no way for them to know if/for whom you voted. of course, if i were a catholic, i would not want to take communion at any church that had such rules in place anyway (regardless of how i would be voting).
     
  12. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #12
    Just work on Salazar's senate campaign and we will see if the Bishop, Allard, and Joe Coors get the last laugh. There are still lots of liberals and lefties in the Rocky Mountains.
     
  13. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #13
    Where in the bible does it say that it's the church's responsibility to withhold a sacrament because of political affiliation? When did Christ say that pro-choice people were not welcome? It would seem that this is actually against Christ's teachings. Landover, the parody site, never seems more relevant, their "Unsaved Unwelcome" banner...

    Every time the catholic church has taken a firm stance on something, that's when the problems started. Lots of atrocities, you know what i'm talking about. And it's a little annoying that you continue to bring up the abuse scandal when it's not relevant, except that it's the same church. Liberals receiving communion have nothing to do with the church condoning and concealing sexual abuse of children.

    paul
     
  14. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #14
    Its all been done...

    Back in the dark ages the pope got King of France in St Peter's Square in sackcloth and ashes in February. The pope had refused sacraments to the entire empire. I can't remember why though.

    Communion is a sign of heterodoxy with the church, a unity of beliefs. St Paul admonished people to examine their souls before communion.

    Should the church be meddling in politics? Probably not. You've heard the old saw, lie down with dogs...

    This is not unprecedented. It could be viewed as allowing people to be in communion, to be presented as being of like mind as allowing for their espoused beliefs.

    It is probably a step to far to ban people from communion for voting for a pro-choice candidate. There is a line to be drawn there someplace. Because the church should stand for what is right.
     
  15. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #15
    You see there is a reason for the seperation bewteen what powers the church has and what the church doesn't have.

    On abortion fine -- Its become a political issue, but saying that people from one spectrum are suddendly not allowed to take part of a religious ceremony?

    :eek:
     
  16. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #16

    I belong to the LCMS. We have been known to keep people from the ELCA from taking communion. (There was a funny bit on Cheers once where Woody and his girlfriend said the other was going to hell because he was LCMS and she was ELCA, Frasier tried to commiserate saying he was Episcopalian and Lillith was Jewsish. Woody said that it wasn't the same.)

    :)

    LCMS = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
    ELCA = Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
     
  17. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #17
    so mongo, is your entire argument that because other churches do it in some sense, and since the catholic church has done it in the past, that it's justifiable, despite nothing biblical to support this?

    Frankly, a person can morally believe a lot of things contrary to whom they vote for... for instance, i'm pro-life, but i would not vote for a pro-life candidate. It's not a question of a direct vote, do you think abortion should be legal? It's a question of voting for candidates that support and reject different positions with different degrees of intensity. Voting for a pro-life president won't make abortion illegal, will it. But voting for a pro-life candidate (combined with the other restrictions) means you MUST vote republican.

    paul
     
  18. Dros thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Well, the Catholics differ from, say, fundamentalist Christians in how much the bible itself is considered the absolute law. If a person is Catholic, isn't the Pope the supreme judge of what is allowed? So I'm fine with the Catholic church telling people to follow church law or get out. People can always find some denomination that suits their needs. Of course, it is tough for some people that grew up in a particular tradition to leave it.

    But the key here is that the Bishop is not threatening to withhold communion from people that, say, are pro-choice. He's saying if you are pro-life and yet vote for someone pro-choice, then you can't have communion (I think you get this, Paul, I was just reiterating it for some others).
     
  19. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #19
    I'm a practicing Catholic, and that's just embarassing, not to mention more or less against any Church doctrine I'm familiar with.

    Though I still believe religion, even formal organized religion, isn't the problem--it's just the fact that greedy, self-centered, and generally stupid humans find it far too easy to abuse the positions of respect that formal religion puts them in. People suck, and even if you put the word of God in their hands, they still can't get it right nine times out of ten.

    This case is particularly stupid, since almost every political candidate goes against several fundamental rules of Christianity, let alone Catholic Doctrine. Last I checked, one of the Ten Biggies in the Old Testament is "Thou Shalt Not Kill". That would seem to unequivocally preclude not only the death penalty, but also participation in war in any form whatsoever. Last I checked, Jesus also made some pretty strong points about forgiving everybody, yet there are probaby a dozen political candidates in the US who *don't* espouse the "throw away the key" line for imprisoning criminals. When was the last time you saw a politician visiting prisoners? Not to mention that Jesus described communism as the right way to live (no, not the mess that is Marxism, the basic communist principle of to each according to their need, from each according to their ability), and yet most "fundamentalist Christians" seem to think communism in any form is akin to devil worship.

    Heck, I'm against abortion myself, but I'm not about to start voting Republican, since every single other part of the party line goes fundamentally against everything I see taught in my own religion.
     
  20. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

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    #20
    why do people feel the need to go to a church, temple, mosque, etc. in order to worship? if you truly believe there's a god, and you love him as much as you pretend to and you truly follow your beliefs, then he will love you equally without requiring you to pray and offer worship and sacrifice in his name.

    not to be sexist by using the masculine reference, i truly believe "god" or whatever you'd like to call him, would have no sexually defining characteristics at all.
     
  21. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Hell, I'm not even a liberal, and they get mad at me because of how I may occasionally vote. I think most politicians are crooks, and I vote for the one that seems the least crooked. I am against abortion, but I will not sit back and vote for an anti-abortion politician for that reason alone. One politician cannot end abortion. I will vote for my choice, and if he or she supports abortion, tough. It is already happening, anyway. My vote isn't going to kill a single baby. I voted for Bush, and all he has done is kill babies with brown skin and a different religion. And his partial birth abortion ban won't last because it forces women to die for their unborn children.
    The first neighbor to jump on me for voting for a moderate to conservative democrat was indeed Catholic. But, there is a Catholic church in Lexington that is taking all kinds of crap from the right-wingers over inviting a gay couple with an adopted child to attend their church. So, I'd say Catholics are the same as whites, blacks, straights, gays, muslims, etc: You've got you're good ones, and you've got your bad ones. Personally, I think a true believer would never deny an innocent child the word of God even if they did think that the parents were commiting a sin. Let's see, daddy and daddy are bad, so you get to go to Hell, too. Jesus loves you!
     
  22. applebum macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Actually the commandment is "Thou shalt not murder", which is how you can get around war and even the death penalty. The Catholic Church does not support the death penalty, but they don't say that it is wrong for individuals to support it. There is certainly justification for it in the Christian faith, as the death penalty was used frequently in the Old Testament. One of the confusions in Christianity is that God said one thing in the Old Testament, then Christ often said something opposite in the New Testament.

    Also, one thing most people don't realize is that while the Catholic Church often has a uniform set of rules, they are almost never applied consistently from Church to Church. This Bishop is going well beyond what is acceptable at most Churches. The problem is when someone like this makes the news, everyone thinks this is the way all Catholics are. This is just one Bishop's interpretation of what he feels is the proper way to proceed. As with any church, if one doesn't like this, he/she should find another Catholic Church where the priest is not so harsh. Also, the key point in Christianity is that we have been given free will. The Church can give its opinion, it is our choice wether we follow that or not. In any Religion, people who follow doctrines without giving any thought to them are just scary.

    Religion is a very personal thing. One should always choose a denomination/faith that best suits his/her needs and brings added value to their lives. I don't judge religion based on what makes the news - I would think it is all crap. Luckily I have know wonderful people of many faiths. I have clearly seen how religion can really enhance people's lives. I accept religion based on the individual and how they live their lives.
     
  23. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

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    #23
    We have our pro-life democrats here, in KY. But, they'll fight to the death against the republicans on other issues. (Part of the reason we are on a second consecutive year without a budget being passed at the end of the regular session.)
     
  24. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Looking at church the way I do, as a business, this is a good idea. They offend their customers, customers leave, they go out of business. But, if there really is anything to the church, it is kind of sad that they will change the rules to remain popular. But, I don't think that if there is a God he is anywhere near as hateful as many Christians, Jews, and Muslims want you to believe. And, I also think the church is just the world's largest corporation. Sorry, Wal-Mart. But, that's just me.
     
  25. applebum macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Why do people give their moms cards and gifts on Mother's day? If you love your mom as much as you pretend to and you truly do things to help her, she will love you without requiring you to get her a card and/or gift.

    It is called respect and love. In both cases, we don't do it because we have to, but because we want to. Anyone who goes to church thinking it will make God love them more or get them to Heaven, doesn't understand what church is for.
     

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