Monday, March 29, 2010

Remember when President Kennedy had to reassure the nation

That his Catholicism would not affect his ability to be president? (my bold):
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe.
Thank you, President Kennedy. Now look at who had the attention of Rep. Stupak:
Doerflinger has a lengthy title—he's the associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. But he's better understood simply as the point man on abortion issues for the most powerful institution in the US Catholic Church. Most people have never heard of him. However, Doerflinger helped write the Stupak amendment in the House bill that placed tight restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion. He amplified spurious charges that the Senate bill would use government money to fund abortions. Doerflinger fought to the bitter end for the Stupak amendment to be included in the final legislation—even after Stupak himself had abandoned the fight. By refusing to compromise on what was, in the end, a minor difference between the House and Senate bills, Doerflinger—the man behind the curtain of the abortion imbroglio—very nearly killed health care reform.
Which America do you want to live in?

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