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Political preaching

Discussion in 'The Lord's Table - Liberal Catholics' started by tadoflamb, May 5, 2017.

  1. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    Now that our priests and deacons are allowed to preach politics, do you want them to?

    I can't say that I'm that interested in political preaching. The two worst homilies I've heard were both political in nature.
     
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  2. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    It would surely create polarization, and, I imagine, some defections from parishes and congregations.

    My pastor read an article from U.S. Catholic the week before election day basically calling for discernment and conscience.

    And I don't mean coerced conscience--I mean REAL conscience.

    I guess some conservatives were like, "What? We can't bully and put - down Democrats anymore?" But I was glad.
     
  3. Shiloh Raven

    Shiloh Raven Don't let the Muggles get you down.

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    I doubt this will turn out well. I think it will be disastrous for this country if Christians or any other religious group starts pushing for special privileges for their own religion through a political candidate while purposely trying to exclude other religious people or non-religious people they theoretically disagree with or disagree with another person's lifestyle. We should already be wary of the right winged religious political agenda coming from the Trump administration. This move will only open Pandora's Box because power corrupts.

    And in an after thought, Christians should not be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people and use their Christian belief as means to justify their rude behavior and actions. LGBT people should be treated with respect and dignity and not face discrimination based on who they are, especially here in a country that loves to brag about its freedom, liberty and justice for all.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  4. Fish and Bread

    Fish and Bread Dona nobis pacem

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    There have been serious issues in this country in the past with clergy who have essentially told people they are going to hell if they don't vote for a certain political party's candidates and don't repent of voting for the other party's candidates, just barely not mentioning the parties and the candidates by name. The Catholic Answers (Which is a Political Action Committee, not a Church organization) pamphlets some parishes allow to be handed out in their parking lots should be banned from parish property (And to their credit, many priests have banned them). The recent changes in the law could make this worse. A lot of good Catholics have been lost because a church that until the 60s associated itself much more with the Democratic Party, practically became an arm of the Republican Party in this country for a while- not completely, but in some respects. Perhaps even worse, there were a lot of good people who were misled into thinking that they had some sort of religious obligation to support the Republicans and that their souls were at stake.

    I mostly am using the past tense there, because Pope Francis has cleaned a lot of this up. Cardinal Burke, one of the worst offenders, has pretty much been assigned to do nothing these days. The Pope has sent a clear message that has been clearly received by the episcopate in this country that they are not to act as an arm of the Republican Party.

    So, I guess, to put it simply, I am against any church telling anyone who to vote for. I'll admit, I'd naturally have more tolerance for being told to vote for Democrats and less tolerance for being told to vote for Republicans, because I'm a Democrat, but I don't feel as though it is the place of the Church to tell people to vote for either party.

    I used to, years ago, belong to an Episcopalian parish that refused to politicize itself. The priest's only "electioneering" was asking people to consider the issues as adults, and vote their conscience, and to remember to vote, whichever way they felt was best. I had a private conversation with him where I off-hand mentioned I was a Democrat and he said "I know a lot of good people who are Democrats" (He was clearly a Republican [It was conservative for an Episcopalian parish, just happened to be the one I lived closest to], but would have never admitted it, because he understood he was there to represent Christ, not a political party). That's the right approach IMO.

    This is an example of what has happened in the past when the Roman Catholic Church has become too associated with right-wing political movements:

    Austrian Clergy's Support for Hitler Detailed

    I realize that's uniquely horrifying, but it's important for people to remember that it happened. And it wasn't just the Catholic Church- there are Lutheran and Reform congregations in Germany that to this day have swastikas they carved into their buildings, left over from the Nazi era, and images of an Aryan Jesus surrounded by his disciples and a brown-shirt SS Nazi solider looking on and the like (To be fair here, the reason these survive to this day is because some of them are embedded into the structures of these buildings in such a way that they can't get rid of them without totally destroying the buildings and rebuilding, which they I would assume can't afford to do- I think it's a source of embarrassment to them now, and something they would strongly renounce, but it did reflect the reality of the way things were in the 1930s and 1940s).

    People's faith can motivate them politically, and I think the Church has a role in speaking out on some issues. However, they should not endorse political parties or candidates or tell people who to vote for IMO, not even with a wink and a nudge. It's too dangerous of a path to tread. There be dragons there.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  5. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm against the politicization of religion. I don't understand exactly how this will work in the end or exactly how restricted anyone was until now, but I don't think this is good. At all.

    Politics around here is hardly a subtle matter. The bulk of it is just shrieking and group identity with a sheen of ideology. Any pastor that starts spewing politics of any stripe might as well just be showing pornography. I mean that. It has no place in church.
     
  6. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    I think I may have written once or twice about the pastor of a nearby Catholic church that, during the Bush/Kerry election, wanted his staff--paid and volunteer--to sign an "oath" promising that they would only support "pro-life" candidates (meaning HIS version of pro-life, basically anti-abortion). The pastor then planted a Bush/Cheney poster on the rectory lawn.

    How did it work out? The very talented organist quit and went to a larger Catholic church nearby. Other volunteers left, too. Some of them said MYOB. Some of them said MYO*B. When he was transferred to another parish they returned to their home parish.

    I could totally understand why they didn't want to work with this petty dictatorial priest when there were other churches nearby where their consciences were respected.

    Of course, we are now in 2017, and Bush, and even the odious Cheney, seem tame in comparison with a president whose behavior could be described as sociopathically narcissistic.

    If a pastor had put a Trump poster on his lawn in the last election I would have seriously questioned his suitability for the priesthood.
     
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  7. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No pro-war candidate has the slightest right to call him- or herself pro-life. Neither have they any right to pretend, as some do, to follow RC teaching.

    The story @Fantine tells above reminds me that there are plenty of Catholics with vigorous consciences, even if some of the more visible politicians don't match that description.
     
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  8. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    One of our pastors (the activist one) did the same thing. He simply reviewed all of Catholic social doctrine.

    Listening to some of the comments afterward, I could tell he was well received as some of our faithful were obviously being blown by the winds of every doctrine.
     
  9. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    I know what you mean. I was watching a documentary on the rise of ISIS the other night and they had some old footage of President G.W. Bush. He seemed normal compared to what we've been presented with today and I actually started to miss the guy.
     
  10. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    I've said it before, but St. Vincent de Paul forbid his priests from talking about politics because he knew how divisive they are. I agree with everyone who has responded so far that introducing politics into the Church would be polarizing. I can't think of anything that would get me to abandon the pews quicker than political endorsements from the pulpit.

    My pastor tells me that the root word for division is also the same word for the devil. At the risk of adopting the language of the political right, I can only see this as coming from the enemy.
     
  11. tadoflamb

    tadoflamb no identificado

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    I'll add that I was disappointed to see the Little Sisters of the Poor let themselves be used as political pawns by the White House.
     
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  12. Fantine

    Fantine Dona Quixote Supporter

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    The real plaintiff was a large insurer of Catholic organizations. They searched for the plaintiff client organization most likely to win. First priority--reside in a federal judicial district with conservative judges...

    They knew if it fell for one client it would for all the others.
     
  13. Fish and Bread

    Fish and Bread Dona nobis pacem

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    Upon reflection, because I want to make sure I don't just assume people know things that provide context for the above, I should mention that many Catholics opposed Hitler strongly. Saint Maxillian Kolbe, a Catholic priest, was actually made a prisoner in a Nazi death camp, and volunteered to take the place of a Jewish man who guards had selected to be part of a group that would be locked in a room with no food and made to slowly starve to death (Kolbe ultimately died in the man's place).

    Pope Pius XII disguised Jews as Catholic seminarians (Students for the priesthood) and shielded them in the Vatican, in essentially the center of fascist Italy. He also told churchmen outside the walls of the Vatican to discreetly shield Jews if possible, and condemned anti-semitism. People say he should have come out more strongly against facism and done more, and perhaps he should have, but its important to keep in mind that the Vatican City-State where he lived is really a defacto part of Rome, Italy (Although its technically a separate country) and is very dependent on, and surrounded on all sides by, them. If I recall correctly, at least at that time, the Vatican's electric was actually transmitted from a power plant in Italy, etc.. And, in what may or may not have been known to the Pope at the time, it was learned by the wider world sometime in the last decade that Hitler had a plan to kidnap or kill the Pope and replace him with a Nazi Pope who'd reign from Germany (Or keep Pius XII in Germany under duress) if he perceived Pius XII as becoming too much of a problem (Enough Cardinals were in fascist controlled territory that a conclave could have been held and they could have been forced to vote for the chosen candidate for Pope at gunpoint). So, the history here is complex and it's possible that Pius XII was trying to safeguard against the possibility of an actual Nazi Pope by being more low-key than he'd otherwise have been in opposition to what was going on.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  14. Genersis

    Genersis Person of Disinterest

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    Meh.
    It's not like religious organisations hadn't backed political campaigns before.
    So they can be more overt, I doubt much will change.
     
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