Brownback’s ‘Real Catholics’ Insult for Real?

A nationwide effort to oppose abortion legislation that doesn’t exist has conjured a controversial anti-abortion fund-raising letter that shouldn’t exist … Continued

A nationwide effort to oppose abortion legislation that doesn’t exist has conjured a controversial anti-abortion fund-raising letter that shouldn’t exist — at least according to a spokesman for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), who purportedly wrote and signed the letter.

The Brownback letter, mailed by a Washington-based anti-abortion group called Catholic Advocate, questions the religious credentials of some of Brownback’s fellow Catholics in Congress:

“Real Catholics need a new voice — not the likes of Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi who have campaigned as Catholics while voting to undermine the values that we hold most dear. The same can be said for the five ‘Catholic’ senators sponsoring the Freedom of Choice Act, namely: Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).”

“Real Catholics” must be Catholics who live in the parts of the country Sarah Palin called “Real America.”

Anyway, the letter goes on to call the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) an “imminent threat,” urges readers to sign and send an enclosed “Stop the Freedom of Choice Act” petition to Congress, and, oh by the way, “consider sending your most generous gift to Catholic Advocate.”

Regardless of Brownback’s actual involvement, the letter clearly is part of the Catholic Church’s campaign against the Freedom of Choice Act, which as Time magazine reporter Amy Sullivan recently explained, “doesn’t exist and wouldn’t have much chance of becoming law even if it did.”

Why campaign against a bill that isn’t? “They’re using this as a fundraising tool, as a way to gin up their relevancy. And unfortunately, some of these groups have the ear of certain bishops,” James Salt, director of organizing for the progressive organization Catholics United, told Sullivan.

Does Catholic Advocate really have the ear of certain Republican senators? A spokeswoman for Catholic Advocate told National Catholic Reporter that the letter was sanctioned by Brownback’s office. But Brownback spokesman Brian Hart said “Our chief of staff … had never seen, heard of, or approved it . . . We are not pleased with the content of the letter.”

Meanwhile, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (there’s a mission) has asked the Senate Ethics Committee Wednesday to look into it. Other groups such as Faithful America and Catholics United are calling on Brownback to “set the record straight” and that funds raised by the letter be returned or donated to Catholic Charities.

I suspect that Brownback, a Catholic convert, will disavow the letter and apologize to his fellow Catholics in Congress. But what he can’t or won’t say is that this happens all of the time. Advocacy groups (and politicians) rely on fear tactics to raise awareness, support and funds. And it doesn’t seem to matter if those fears are real or imagined.

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  • EnemyOfTheState

    Yawn – another day, another right wing canard to scare up money from a gullible public. First it was hate radio condemning a return of the Fairness Doctrine. Never mind that such a bill, like this one, doesn’t actually exist. The truth is irrelevant. It’s all about scaring people into opening their wallets.

  • thornegp

    The fact there are oomments speaks volumes – it’s not worthy of response.

  • with-a-z

    Ohhhhh yes indeed there are REAL Catholics out here, and you better believe it!! We do NOT support same sex marriage. We do NOT support abortion regardless of the reason. We do NOT support a contraceptive mentality of sex with no consequences. And we do NOT wish to stand by and watch these “Catholic-in-name-only” politicians spit all over Christ’s ONLY true Church He left on earth by calling themselves something they CLEARLY are NOT, then presenting themselves for Holy Communion. Good for Brownback if he did write the letter, and shame on you for trying to water down what REAL Catholics DO believe by insinuating that we don’t exist and don’t matter. You can NOT be Catholic and pick and choose what you want to believe and not believe, agree with and disagree with. There is ONLY ONE FAITH with the fullness of Truth – that is the Catholic Faith – and either you ARE or you ARE NOT Catholic. That means the whole deal – not just picking and choosing as you walk down the cafeteria aisle. And may God bless those who have the guts to get out there and say it.

  • mdnc

    It’s time to pull the plug on tax exempt status and start having the billion dollar corporation known as the the Roman Catholic Church (not to mention Southern Baptists, Mormons, etc) pay their fair share of taxes in exchange for the right to lobby the government on legislation and dictate how individuals vote. They’ve had it both ways for entirely too long. Now it’s time to pay up or shut up.

  • Freestinker

    Thornegp,Maybe Biden and Pelosi (along with the majority of American Catholics) disagree with you and the Pope on what it means to be Catholic? In America, individuals get to decide for themselves what name to use to describe their personal religious opinions. If they say the are Catholic, then they are Catholic regardless of whether you and the Pope agree or not. It’s not a question that you or the Pope get to decide.

  • Woodstocknative

    I remember back when I was a Catholic and lying was a sin!

  • vze2r3k5

    Forgot this one:The Treaty of Tripoli”As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries….

  • Common_Sense_Not_Common

    Isn’t there a commandment against lying? Why, then, do these “religious” people repeatedly fail to follow that commandment?

  • fishcrow

    Pelosi, Biden, et. al.:It’s just dumb.

  • catholiclove

    A real Catholic is one who submits in faith to all that the Catholic Church, led by its Pope and bishops in communion with him, holds and teaches to be true. Including that abortion is always a crime.Pelosi, Kennedy, etc. can do as they please. But they are the ultimate hypocrites to claim “Catholic” on the one hand and to deny Catholic teaching on the other. Why not just admit what is evident to everyone?Brownback’s letter only reiterates what several bishops have said all election season: any Catholic who holds office and fails to uphold Catholic teaching on abortion is, de facto, excommunicated.In the Catholic Church, at least, we still stand for something. Like it or not!

  • naturebook

    Come on. These guys are hypocrites. Period. You can’t be catholic and be pro-choice. Or pro-female priests. etc. The rules may be stupid but they are the “club” rules. If you don’t like them get some courage and join another club. This is about catholicism and politics. Pelosi and Kennedy have too much riding politically on being catholic to leave the club so they say they’re catholic but really aren’t.

  • Rehcab1

    I think we should get the opinion of chief theologian Pelosi before drawing any conclusions.

  • gator711

    I cannot be sure where Brownback sounds as he may disavow the letter and the sentiment behind it. But I think ThorneGP and With A-Z do a good job illustrating a radical conservative movement within the Roman Catholic Church that seeks to abandon modern Catholicism for a return to the times where clerical authorities crushed science in the name of “protecting” God. In fact, these conservative “Catholics” are closer to the Southern Baptist faith than they are tradfitional Catholicism. They deny the responsibility of the Faithful to develop an informed conscience to guide in Faith matters. Their view of tha papacy is no different than Jim Jones view of authority within the Jonestown Temple. They remain in open rebellion against the Vatican 2 changes that helped rejuvenate the Catholic Faith throughout the world.They profess immoral views about women (they claim that women lack the God-given grace to be priests) and are openly hostile to the ecumenical movement intended to bring more unity among the worldwide followers of Christ. They reduce the rich tradition of Catholic Faith to a silly checklist of intellectual assertions. Catholic “Faith” has always been more symantically akin to Faithfulness in marriage. Being Faithful to God didn’t mean agreeing with a list of historical assertions from the 4th century. It was like being Faithful to your wife. Disagreeing on controversial political issues or being open to the rich world of modern Bible scholarship does not prove one side or the other Faithful” or “UnFaithful,” just like not knowing your wife’s exact dress size does not make one uunfaithful. The radical conservative wing represented by the above posters has nothing to do with Faith. Only Authority. And they are all about Authority ….

  • markinirvine

    Some of you “catholics” need to read Hans Küng before you attempt to speak about what is and what is not “Catholic”.

  • vze2r3k5

    If you are beholden to Rome and the pope you shouldn’t be in government. The US is a country founded on the idea the man is not beholden to ANY religion. Read the words and understand what the founding fathers thought of organized religion.The held their most excoriating and derisive criticisms for Catholics and Rome. “Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents.”

  • AIPACiswar

    Catholic convert eh? What could be funnier! “Real Catholics” get a laugh out of converts! The pomp apparently attracts a lot of fans.Seriously though, life-long Catholics like myself are trained to dismiss the fringe rants of these Super Catholic whackos, and always remain liberal and progressive no matter what the Church thinks. No Catholic is beholden to any belief that contradicts truth or conscience, this is why as goofy as it is, I’m proud to have been raised Catholic.I attended Catholic schools, one uncle was a monsignor, another a teaching Brother. When you grow up Catholic you eventually take the pith of Catholicism and discard the crazy shell, this is Brownback’s problem, he is a newbie. The real fruit of Catholicism is learning, knowledge, truth, mercy, and conscience. Conscience comes before doctrine for real Catholics. When Catholic politicians like Kennedy act with good conscience they do “Jesus’ work” as they say.Brownback confuses Catholics with the sheltered and limited evangelicals with their disregard for science and medieval social mores. Damned evangelicals ruin everything they touch!

  • jp1954

    I’m more concerned about the Catholic Church’s efforts to criminalize all non-procreative sexual intercourse. Abortion is merely the first target; their ultimate goal is Total Control. Over you.

  • MikeL4

    Yeah, I hate to tell you, but Kennedy isn’t Catholic anymore anyway. I think after he Mary Jo Kopecne died in his car at the bottom of the river, things were a little rough for him, but after his divorce and remarriage he quit pretending.Pelosi/Biden and other “Catholics” who do follow the tenets of the faith are free not to. They are also free to join another religion. They should not claim the name Catholic however, if they cannot walk the walk.

  • rwellsrwells

    Isn’t there something about the primacy of individual conscience we should be considering? You actually can be a member of the club and disagree with the rules. If you couldn’t, the Catholic Church would be in the same shape as the Republican Party. Oh, wait, maybe they are…

  • vachemoo

    To all “Real” Catholics, please don’t forget that in addition to proscribing abortion, the Church also believes the Death Penalty to be immoral. The Church is truly pro-life, not just anti-choice.

  • MontaraCA

    I’m fine with people choosing to live true to their own conscience. In fact, the United States was founded on the idea that this is a universal principal. Naturally then, I don’t have much respect for religious nuts that selfishly decide which old testament edicts they can personally ignore while using other passages to campaign against the rights of others to live according to their own conscience. Hypocrisy is the undoubtedly the greatest offense to God. In this regard, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between these self-affirmed “Real Catholics” and fundamentalist evangelicals like Southern Baptists.

  • jnlg

    Aborting an unborn…comes from an evil and wicked mind who does not deserve a place of this planet earth.

  • drihl

    The efforts of the Conference of American Catholic Bishops and groups like Catholic advocate are dripping with inaccuracies or even outright lies. I attend Catholic Mass with my family (They are Catholic, I am not). We were all asked to sign postcards, provided by the Bishop, to advocate for the resistance to the Freedom of Choice Act. If you read the literature, or heard the comments of the clergy, you would think that the FCA was all but ready for a vote, and that it would impose all sorts of terrible requirements on Catholic health providers. All of it is a lie. It didn’t take a whole lot of research to determine that.In a time when we as a nation are faced with huge challenges for everyday life, it blows my mind that the Conference of American Catholic Bishops should focus on an issue that does not exist. This is the first time in their history that they have gone to these lengths to object to a law of issue of this magnitude, and it simply doesn’t exist. There was never a statement against racial discrimination in the 60’s, no outcry about Apartheid, or efforts to help the Christians in Darfur.It is simply a way to generate more funds for a church that is already richer than God. Our priest wasn’t happy to see me in the front pew with my arms crossed while all the other faithful we busy scribbling on their post cards. He didn’t want to hear the truth after mass, and I seem to have lost some of his respect. Oh well, that is a small price to pay to maintain my own dignity and self respect

  • knjon353

    Then, I really must be a true Catholic. My my biological father was a priest, up until I turned 18 years of age. When I attempted to discuss this with him, he made it seem like it was more of a sin to father two kids by a Negro women, than to father us while being a priest. Somehow though I still managed to keep my faith intact. But, the funny thing is now he’s a media big shot. Yikes!(True Story)

  • Diogenes

    The Catholic hierarchy, now, and since its inception, has had as its goal absolute obedience by the laity. Many American Catholics do not, nor will they ever, bend to the will of old men who can’t rid themselves of perverts and pedophiles within their own ranks. Pope Benedict and most of the Cardinals who rule are intent on turning back the ecumenical successes of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) called by Pope John XXIII.

  • billy8

    Sam Brownback is insane. No one should care what he thinks, other than those dumb enough to elect him to office.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    With-a-z You have a brain; USE IT! But if you don’t use it, then please mind your own business when other people use theirs.People believe as they do, not according to what you say is true, but according to their own inner will.This is the major flaw, and the BIG LIE in Catholic theology, that belief can be commanded. If your belief can be maniupualted by command from above, then it is not true belief. Subservience to the opinion of Catholic clergy is antiquated and Medeival. The Catholic Church is not a good fit in a modern democractic and pluralistic society, unless it changes it ways.You are just one more example of a bitter and maladjusted Christian.

  • elsid

    I’m a Catholic, but I live in New England. So I’m disqualified for not living in Sarah Palin’s Real America? Guess the Church no longer needs that weekly contribution then.

  • VARies

    To “with-a-z” : It is this kind of drivel that makes me embarrassed to be a Catholic. I’m a good Catholic and I DO support same sex marriage because the God I believe in teaches me to Love My Fellow Man — REGARDLESS of sexual orientation. I would never have an abortion but I DO support abortion if it will save the life of the mother, or in the case of rape victims. I will not, however, tell anyone else if they can or cannot have an abortion. I DO support a contraceptive mentality of sex because without it there are HUGE consequences – and my daughter has a 15 year old birthmother to prove it. Frankly, the only people who are “Catholic-in-name-only” that spit all over Christ’s legacy are the people like you who can quote scripture, but not apply it in their lives, who will go to church every Sunday, but treat your neighbor like garbage because they come from a different country or have skin that’s darker than yours. Take a deep breath and live your faith — don’t just use it as a stick to beat others you feel don’t measure up.

  • lmwilker

    I honestly think the Catholic Church should ban converts. Bobby Jindal is also a Catholic Convert who took part in an unsanctioned exorcism where a woman was restrained against her will “Catholic convert eh? What could be funnier! “Real Catholics” get a laugh out of converts! The pomp apparently attracts a lot of fans.”As someone who was born a Catholic and attended Catholic schools this comment is just so spot on.

  • underemploid

    The Catholic Church is pathetic. In every way, its numbers are in decline in the U.S. Yet, it tries to browbeat Cathloic leaders here into towing its increasingly antiquated and irrelevant line. Do the Church not remember Henry VIII?

  • IronJohn

    To Varies:

  • bevjims1

    drihl : “…We were all asked to sign postcards, provided by the Bishop, to advocate for the resistance to the Freedom of Choice Act. “Sounds like its time for that Bishop to pay some American taxes. You can’t do that and remain a 50c(3)(c) tax exempt institution.

  • johng1

    VARies, I used to be a Catholic, now a stone cold atheist, but I like and mostly agree with your comments!

  • knjon353

    I guess none of us gave up hate for lent.

  • csdiego

    “Catholic convert eh? What could be funnier! “Exactly. As a cradle Catholic (for what that’s worth to all of you) I’m sick of right-wing extremists like Brownback and other ex-Protestants thinking they can co-opt the Catholic hierarchy for their political purposes. What’s most hilarious is when they try to invite Catholics “back into the fold”. Uh, kids? Nice try, but we WERE the fold way before the names “Martin” or “Luther” had ever been spoken.

  • semidouble

    We still have to give the catholic church immense credit. They are selling an invisible product for 2000 years, based on plagiarized fairy tales, and made a fortune with this scam! They are worth trillions today! The pope could wipe out hunger and desease with one stroke of a pen. But that would mean giving up money, which, according to them, is the root of all evil!

  • victorlove1

    The catholic church wants to “Talibanize” America and “bundle” people of other faiths and beliefs into their fold by force of doctrine or bombs, they don’t care which. Their church doctrines already hold their patrons accountable, but they want protestants, muslims, jews and all other faiths, including non believers to be pseudo catholics.They cannot point to a single person on the hill who is not in volition of Gods seven deadly sins,The church and the followers are guilty of most if not all of these sins, and your votes put these people in office, confession won’t help you with God, These traits are built into your doctrine. I only have to point to this article

  • Alcatraz14

    I just don’t understand why it is so important to liberal catholics to continuing being of the catholic faith. It seems to me that if one disagrees with central tennants of a religion, such as the Pope is theoretically Gods word on Earth, then one should just consider themselves something else. Most liberal catholics sound like someone claiming to be part of the democratic party while arguing against taxes, expanding government programs and increased environmental regulations. Sure, one could continue to register as a democrat and hold these views, it just seems that at some point she or he should throw in the towel and jump over to the republican party.Today, most of the more thoughtful religious people I talk to sound spiritual more than religious. I think it’s great to have one’s own unique and individual beliefs regarding morality, justice and the afterlife, but that is actually not what religions are about. Religions DO set out a series of beliefs which a member of that religion is supposed to agree with. Obviously, churches need money and have lightened up a bit. They turn a blind eye when members adamently disagree with the church.Liberal catholics seem to remain of the religion more because it is a tradition than because it coincides with their beliefs. Is it really so bad to say,

  • heathroe2

    Anyone who believes in abortion has missed the central point of both Christ’s teachings and liberal philosophy. The central point of both is the ultimate validity of the human individual and their freedom of choice. Killing a person for being inconvenient is an incontrovertible violation of that individual’s rights. As a liberal and a Catholic, I am at a loss to understand the bile that flows forth from the mouths of folks claiming to be open minded and intelligent.

  • adrienne_najjar

    You know, the country is going to hell in a handbasket, and all the repugnicans can do is fall back on religion. Hey! I got news for you: There is no god. You self-delusional jerks are living in the dark ages,

  • arosscpa

    bevjims1 Sounds like its time for that Bishop to pay some American taxes. You can’t do that and remain a 50c(3)(c) tax exempt institution.You need to read the law more carefully. A §501(c)(3) may not spend any funds campaigning for a candidate for office. A nonprofit may expend some of its funds supporting issue-related campaigns, i.e. lobbying. There are several tests as to whether a nonprofit is within limits, but most nonprofits satisfy the safe-harbor requirement that 30% or less of total expenditure went to lobbying. You may determine how and by how much an organization satisfied this test by reading the annual 990.

  • Alcatraz14

    Unfortunately Knightstale, I don’t share your belief that reflection, questioning and an open discussion of differeing thoughts and opinions is a sign of blaten arrogance. It seems to me what we don’t have enough of in this country is this exact type of disccusion. Spend some time in bars and cafés accross europe and you’ll find them having real conversations about topics such as religion and politics. Certainly some of these posts have been out of line, but questioning others beliefs (especially public figures), as well as one’s own, ought to be encouraged. Also, once one claims membership with a particular group or organization then people will talk of these affiliations. Politicians make a point of saying what religion they are and play it up in the public sphere, which I think gives us every right to discuss these affiliations and what they may say/mean regarding that individual.

  • TerryOakland

    Atheist in the house.It’s always amusing when people of “faith” denigrate, banish, or damn others from their True Club of Clubs.Elsewhere among the comments is a listing of the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s a nice list. Worth living by. “Deadly Sins” is a bit harsh, though. Maybe it needs to be marketed better:”Seven Ways to a Flatter Stomach”There! Now go in peace.

  • dmm1

    At least Henry VIII had the guts to admit he was no longer Catholic.

  • arosscpa

    underemploid The Catholic Church is pathetic. In every way, its numbers are in decline in the U.S. Yet, it tries to browbeat Cathloic leaders here into towing its increasingly antiquated and irrelevant line. Do the Church not remember Henry VIII?1) The Catholic Church sees a substantial increase through adult conversions every year. Average parish sees annual class conversion of 3-8 adults, not counting youth confirmed.2) Most dioceses are seeing a 4-fold to 10-fold increase is the annual number of priestly ordinations,3) Some dioceses now have waiting lists for their permanent diaconate programs.4) Many schools of theology are substantially increasing their physical plant and other resources to accommodate greater numbers of clerical and lay students.5) Most of the more conservative religious orders note an major increase in the number of applicants.All of this at a time when the Church has seriously tighten the processes by which one must be vetted for pastoral ministry.Yep, we’re going down the tubes!

  • rb-freedom-for-all

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”I gave up “real catholics” for lent!

  • agolembe

    thornegp : ____________________________In the hereafter is exactly where judgment should be. It’s Biden’s problem if he doesn’t follow the tenents of the church, not yours. You make yourself as bad as you consider him by being judgmental and damning. The church has it’s views and the US government is secular. It’s up to each Catholic to define how they choose to obey the church but as congresspersons they represent their constituents. If the church thinks they are anathema, let them ex-communicate them. If Catholics get to dictate abortion can Hindis dictate that cattle should roam the streets?

  • ArtKelly

    What do you mean the legislation does not exist?The Freedom of Choice Act is a major initiative of the abortion rights movement. It would invalidate all state restrictions on abortion.During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said that, if elected, this would be his first priority.The bill has not yet been introduced this session, but it will be. And anyone concerned about this hideous legislation must act NOW to oppose it.No Catholic in good standing with the Church can be for this terrible bill.Accordingly, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, and John Kerry should join the pro-abortion Episcopal Chruch. They would feel right at home with those people.It is true that Anglicans do not have apostolic succession, as the 39 Articles do not consider Holy Orders to be a sacrament. But since Pelosi, Kennedy, Biden, and Kerry do not accept Catholic dogma on abortion, why would they accept Catholic pronouncemnts on the invalidity of Episcopal sacraments?Pelosi, Kennedy, Biden, and Kerry should switch to the Episcopal Church, which considers abortion to be A-OK.Or if they wish to remain Catholics, then they need to support legislation to end abortion and oppose horrible bills like the Freedom of Choice Act!

  • knjon353

    I guess now of you gave up hate for lent. Too bad ignorance is not a sin.

  • abqcleve

    It’s startling to observe how many folks professing “true faith” (no converts allowed) here seem to have completely missed the fact that it’s not Brownback, the convert, who is the rabid zealot in this case. He disavows the over-zealous lies in the Catholic Advocate. He’s the rational, true American here. (And I’m no Brownback fan, believe me.)When I listen to Raymond Arroyo on Laura “Catholic Radio” Ingraham, I just shake my head. How is it that a significant, vocal minority of the American Catholic Church–historically quite different than Rome–has become utterly in synch with Southern Baptists?

  • Jimbo6

    “…the letter is clearly is part of the Catholic Church’s campaign…” Talk about a journalistic leap of faith. Just because a group call itself “Catholic Advocate” does not mean it is affiliated with or supported by the Catholic Church. Is “Catholics for a Free Choice”, a group that is pro-choice, a part of the Catholic Church? No. You might be correct but please first do basic homework as a journalist before tarring the Catholics for this.

  • knightstale

    Alcatraz14: There is a big difference between debating a politician’s actions and debating their personal connection to religion. A politician’s religion or their public claims to a religious life are of little concern to me. Ultimately what action they take on legislation is what matters. Whether or not café culture debates the religiosity of political figures is beside the point. To remark “I can’t believe Sen. X is sponsoring a bill on sex trafficking considering he was in a prostitution scandal” is far different from spending, time, money, and precious energy railing about politicians’ religiosity. Life force is always better spent doing something yourself rather than focusing on what someone else is doing.I’m speaking of people on this site, or the Jerry Falwells of the world, who spend inordinate amounts of time obsessing over the actions of other people rather than examining their lives and debating with their own consciences. I’m all for debating (and clearly you have a Socratic bent) but I have a certain importance threshold with what I think is worthy of active debate.The great irony about this whole controversy is that the Catholic Church is by far one of the most morally blemished institutions in human history. Perhaps the church itself should practice the reflection and debate you so earnestly advocate. Before a bishop crows that politicians should be denied Communion for their political actions, perhaps said bishop should wonder aloud if he himself is worthy of that same sacrament

  • arosscpa

    VARies You need to go back and read the answers to the questions that you a gave at confirmation, and the answers you give every time you renew your baptismal promises. The next time you recite the Creed, you need to think whehter you are part of an empty ritual, or you are just lying. Get a copy of the Cathecism. Read it, and decide if you can indeed “believe and profess all that the Catholic Church holds and teaches.” I would hate to see you leave the Church, but you not helping yourself nor anyone else by pretending you believing something that you publicly recanted in what you just wrote.

  • pogo2

    In my opinion, Catholicism should be considered a cult, although a large one. Their Pagan rituals, and audacity to declare “saints” by such as their current fascist pope should be treated as a financial enterprise by the federal government. Tax exemption for one of the largest land owners in America is an affront to true Christian and patriotic citizens.

  • abqcleve

    ArtKelly Author Profile Page:What do you mean the legislation does not exist?The Freedom of Choice Act is a major initiative of the abortion rights movement. It would invalidate all state restrictions on abortion.During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said that, if elected, this would be his first priority….You are correct, sir, and the article is wrong: FOCA does exist. It’s S. 1173 and was first introduced in the 108th, but has subsequently died in committee. I don’t know, under the current economic crisis, that he’s going to hold to a previous statement that signing it would be his first priority (where have you been the past month, Mr. Kelly?); but he does say this on his web site: “When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.”One thing opponents and supporters of FOCA agree on: it would serve to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade, which is under constant threat though that decision is the “settled law” of the land.

  • arosscpa

    rwellsrwells Isn’t there something about the primacy of individual conscience we should be considering? You actually can be a member of the club and disagree with the rules.The primacy of conscience is a central dogma for Vatican II Catholics who have not gotten around to reading Vatican II. One’s conscience can have primacy only after its has been formed according to the precepts and teaching of the Church.Primacy of conscience almost always turns into making two sins out of one: 1) not following the moral law, and 2) the sin of pride for believing that in your brief life you have come to understand the human beings more than all of the Christians who have lived before you.

  • arosscpa

    markinirvine Some of you “catholics” need to read Hans Küng before you attempt to speak about what is and what is not “Catholic”.Maybe you did not get the memo, but the Church repudiated Hans Kung over 2 decades ago. (Several years before Prof. Charles Curran incurred the same penalty.)Prof. Kung has visited once or twice with his former professor, Benedict XVI, since he moved to his new quaters, butI haven’t heard or read anything suggesting that Kung’s rehabilitation as a theologian is imminent.

  • roboturkey

    The Catholic Church is not relevant to our era of history. Let’s call bs on these pederast Holocaust-denying science hating bigots. If they want to play in the poltical arena, start taxing the Catholic parishes that are home to Cahtolic Advocate cells.

  • Citizen_of_the_world

    What is really disturbing to me as a catholic, is that opposing abortion is the Vatican first priority when, in respect to the dignity of a human life, the charitable way to handle such a dilemma would be to prevent unwanted pregnancies, bring chidren to the world thay will be loved and cared for, and by the way stop the spreading of VD and AIDS that kills so many grownups.

  • sithole

    The religious right knows nothing but the Gospel of Division – far removed from what Christianity is all about.

  • jerry1567

    Get over it, you insist on regulating the lives of others. God is our judge and God does not need the help of priests, papacy or thee or me. Live your own life and lighten up on others; it’s a free country!

  • freund3

    If Brownback does have such strong allegiance to the Catholic church, and hence the Pope, he should be removed from office as an enemy of the USA.

  • SteveL5

    Why would anyone take seriously what Brownback says about anything? He has exhibited an extremely narrow perspective on everything for years. He’s a disgrace to his constituents.

  • bfjam

    Sen. Brownback is treading a fine line in insulting his own faith. I suspect he is not as good a Christian as he thinks he is. Jesus wanted nothing to do with politics, he was apolitical. Brownback should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. As a practicing Christian I am disappointed that he is trying to capitalize on his faith for votes. Practice your faith, whatever it is, or lack of a belief, but do not judge others or use religion as a political tool. It’s distasteful to say the least.

  • grouse1

    Folks, focus on the Catholic doctrine, cathecism, tradition and dogma before you go spouting off what kind of Catholic you are or others are. First look at yourself, then go out from their.Most of the people on these On Faith sites are atheist faith bashers that really have no place in the discussion. It is about faith. If you have none, go play on an atheist site or a druid site or a somewhere else where your opinion is relevant or even wanted. You are just littering the space here. No one cares what you think about the Christian or Catholic faith. In short you are irrelevant to the discussion.Next, you are a Catholic when you strive to live according to the tenets of the faith. Part of that faith is an inherent obedience, yes obedience, to the magisterium of that faith, in this case the Papal See and the magisterium of the RCC. When you refute the basic tenets, repudiate the Pope, and make up your own rules, sorry, you are not acting as a Catholic. Going to school, being raised, going to Church on Sundays, does not make you Catholic. This is akin to saying you are a runner and then sitting on the couch and eating fast food because you do not agree with the running part of being a runner. There is no such thing as a self-proclaimed Catholic. You watch the feet; not the mouth. So while some on this post wear some mantle of Catholicism to try and lend legitimacy to their ramblings, they also really belong with the druids and others. Littering the space.As for members of Congress, the Catholic doctrine is clear and old and seasoned. You either believe or you dont. But if not, dont claim to be. It is very simple. There is no such thing as a right wing of the RCC. It is the RCC.

  • fr3dmars

    There’s a reason for separation of church and state. Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Sufi, whatever. Don’t you dare attempt to legislate your morality, much less your warped historical views as science! I sincerely hope that your faith brings you comfort, fulfillment and a greater sense of unity with that which is, but face it, empirically, the tenets of your faith have no greater validity than those of my secularism.

  • RPW3

    In the Catholic religion hate/wrath is a deadly sin, yet the Catholic clergy sanctions hate/wrath against abortionists. This is a religious channeling of hatred towards one object, and it succeeds in getting a majority of its followers to hate abortionists (who can hate nothing, which is the Christian ideal?). Abortionists are the only people Catholics are allowed to hate without losing their place in heaven and being sent to hell by God.This is not difficult to understand. It is the only outlet they are allowed for their frustration and hatred. Those who believe differently will continue to be the target of their harassment and wrath and will just have to learn how to put up with it without getting too worked up.It’s just one of those things Americans have to put up with since we want to preserve 1st Amendment rights for everyone.

  • spidermean2

    The Vatican would give the world a very good service if it can make a strict accounting of what its priests all over the world do, especially on sexual matters.Majority of their priests, if not all, commit illicit sex. “But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn (in hell).” (1 Cor 7:9)To their flock this seems to be their edict :”Breed and we’ll be in charge to doctrinate them with lies. Contraception is a grave sin but fornication is not. When we priests fornicate, we don’t commit sin because we don’t use contraception”.

  • fmjk

    Isn’t it a tenet of “real” faith that we have not been been put on this earth to judge our fellow man? Hasn’t that always been God’s role?

  • wmnathe

    I think it should be obvious to anyone who listen that the Catholic Church has no idea what they are talking about. Who is the Catholic Church, anyway?

  • nodakboy

    Mr. Waters: If you wanted to honestly report about this letter: establish the facts of your assertion that it’s “part of the Catholic Church’s” effort against FOCA…. please cite chapter and verse; that’s like using your rather thin piece of reporting as clearly part of a campaign by the mainstream media to attack the Catholic church unfairly.

  • rbaldwin2

    How long is it going to take for folks to finally realize that Brownback is an ASS. He believes only what his talking points folks tell him to believe on a specific day..Good (kinda) for talking points for the press but bad for reality because there is none.All hate – all the time is what he thrives on – just look at his record.

  • bobbyvalenz

    Sooner or later we will face judgment whether by whom it doesn’t matter; the Catholics will be judged by God and the atheists by the devil. I might be right or i might be wrong but I would rather face God than the devil. Whew, let the hate begins.

  • lftwng

    This letter, issued by a 501(c)(3) organization and allowing contributors to take a tax write-off, appears to cross over the line between Issue Advocacy and Political Campaign Intervention, given the repeated identification of political affiliation of democrats (which it appears to be targeting) and sponsorship by a republican (which it appears to be supporting). I’m wondering if the IRS should take a look…

  • michael_from_sydney

    fishcrow said below:”If you think abortion is not a sin, then you’re not a ‘Real Catholic’.”True. However, just because you recognise something is a sin, dosn’t mean you need to support any particular, specific method for the secular Government to prohibit it. For example, all Catholics would agree that it is clearly a sin to deliberately tell a falsehood – ie, to lie. Why, then, don’t “real” Catholics run around petitioning the Government to outlaw lying, if they are so concerned about sins being sanctioned by the criminal law? Surely lying causes harm to our neighbour, and (more importantly) offence to God?If, then, “real” Catholics are expected to go to the political barricades in support of laws forbidding the commission of sins, why turn the other way about the sin of lying?

  • B2O2

    I’m trying to think of something more hilarious that Republican pseudochristians pretending to speak for what Jesus wanted (assuming that Jesus Christ has something to do with their beliefs, which they keep insisting – with little to no evidence to show for their claim), and I can’t. Maybe that old Monte Python skit where John Cleese does the Funny Walk is more amusing. But little else can hold a candle to this sorry band of hypocrites who stick up for the wealthy moneychangers, continually turn their backs on the sick and poor, jump into war at every chance they get to enrich the military industrial complex, and seem to thrive on judging everyone for their personal and sexual choices. PLEASE HELP: I’m looking for SOMETHING, ANYTHING that is even remotely Christian about being Republican. I’ve asked this question for years and years, and gotten no answer. It’s like these poor FauxNews detainees are just so lobotomized that they cannot see the utter and thorough incompatibility between Christianity and conservativism. How can a homo sapiens be that devoid of brains that they can’t see that? Please, one of you fine conservative “Christians” let me know how you reconcile your faith and your politics. Even an articulate grunt will be welcomed at this point. The bar is very low.

  • VARies

    arosscpa : Thanks for the advice, but I don’t need to read the answers to to the questions I gave at confirmation or my baptisimal promises…and by suggesting that I do you’ve made my point. In my world, being a Catholic isn’t about being able to memorize and repeat back what Sister Caroline taught me in the 6th grade — it’s what I hold in my heart and how I live my life. I don’t believe my faith is determined by “believing and professing all that the Catholic Church holds and teaches”. I stopped believing in that sort of blind obedience when our parish priest tried to have sex with my brother.I have no plans on leaving the church but recognize why we wacky, free-thinking Catholics irritate you into wishing we would…and contrary to your note, I am helping myself – and others – every day…because it’s through giving that we receive.

  • seasalt

    Faith is a crutch for the mentally handicapped.

  • rcairo

    I am astounded at the level of anti-Catholicism I see dripping from some of the comments here. I am a life long Catholic of Italian American heritage who treasures his faith for its teachings and also because my faith is part of who I am and where I came from. I’m proud to be a Catholic and to proclaim that fact to others. The men who run the Catholic Church are just that – men. They have foibles, they make mis-judgements, they don’t always act correctly. But that is because they are men who like all men are prone to mistakes and errors. But the Church itself was founded by Christ to minister to us all and give us his sacraments. So do not condemn Christ’s Church because the men who minister it have made some mistakes. I believe strongly in religious tolerance, which I believe is an inherent American value given to us by our constitutional fathers. What I saw in some of these comments is a religious intolerance that reminds me of the time when intolerant non-Catholics were burning crosses on the front lawn of our newly built Catholic Church in Enola, PA. It is truly disturbing because I thought we had put those kind of things behind us since the days of JFK.

  • lufrank1

    Ah . . .Religion . . . the tool of charlatans, and root of heinous evils.

  • bucknelldad

    I’m not Catholic, but I am amazed at how all the anti-Christian bigots (including Mr. Waters) here are quick to engage in name calling, but not even come close to addressing Brownback’s point — that religious faith should mean something, and inform how all of us think and act. Doesn’t anyone find it hypocritical that politicians conveniently call themselves Catholic (or Christian) but do and say things that are totally contrary to their “professed” faith? Where I come from, that’s called hypocracy. Don’t bother responding if you’re just going to do a Bill Maher and trash Christians and Catholics with the usual turgid name calling.

  • kurtzu2

    Brownback and his ilk are the bottom of the human barrel. he’s one of the most hypocrytical pseudo-christians in public life. like his peers in the religious right, he is so bound up in telling others how to live that he ignores the foundational principals of christianity to love thy neighbor, and like the pharisees, spends all his time condemning those he thinks do not uphold his idea of “the law” of God. Shame on this man.

  • jhadv

    Whomever wrote the letter like many Baptists is closer to a Gnostic than a Christian. So long as the baby is in the womb it is sacred and a thing to be revered and worshiped. As soon as it is born however it becomes part of the World so to Hades with it. Beat it, starve it, impoverish it, deprive it, abuse it, if it misbehaves give it the death penalty etc. Gnosticism.

  • bevjims1

    catholiclove wrote: “Pelosi, Kennedy, etc. can do as they please. But they are the ultimate hypocrites to claim “Catholic” on the one hand and to deny Catholic teaching on the other. Why not just admit what is evident to everyone?”Well, I find it interesting that Pelosi and Kennedy are being bashed for their Catholicism based on this legislation just weeks after a holocaust denier was welcomed back into the church. You know, Richard Williamson, who Argentina just expelled for his views? If this is who the Catholic church welcomes, and patriots like Pelosi and Kennedy are vilified, then the Catholic church has changed from the one I grew up in. You can check out what Williamson’s own students have to say about this Real Catholic:

  • herzliebster

    Those of you who are posting diatribes against Brownback: did you read the article? His chief of staff never heard of the letter. He may not have even given permission for his name to be used.That said, yes, he’s a self-righteous right-winger, with all that that entails. But that doesn’t prove he was behind this letter, which is a scare tactic based on a bill that doesn’t exist, quite likely (according to the article)using his name without authorization.

  • cletus1

    I grew up Catholic, but left as an adult because I didn’t believe in god anymore. I don’t like Brownback’s social conservatism much, but they are no more annoying than the self-rightious liberals. The Catholic church has a hierarchy that sets the rule — that’s always been the deal with it. If you think they are bad rules, leave. Don’t pretend to be a part of it just so you can whine about it.It didn’t take long into the new administration to remind me how much I hate liberals. It’s too bad there are not more viable political choices in this country.

  • bevjims1

    bucknelldad wrote: “I’m not Catholic, but I am amazed at how all the anti-Christian bigots (including Mr. Waters) here are quick to engage in name calling, but not even come close to addressing Brownback’s point — that religious faith should mean something, and inform how all of us think and act.”But what Brownback is not saying is who he serves and who Pelosi serves. Catholics are not pure servants of God, doing his bidding via orders from the pope. Remember that this is what many thought John Kennedy would do if elected in 1960. Kennedy put that to rest with most Catholics agreeing that a government representative serves his constituents, not his religious institution, so evidently Brownback thinks Kennedy was wrong. bucknelldad wrote: “Doesn’t anyone find it hypocritical that politicians conveniently call themselves Catholic (or Christian) but do and say things that are totally contrary to their “professed” faith? Where I come from, that’s called hypocracy.”Do you know Brownback, before becoming a Senator, was a lawyer defending drunk drivers? Did you know he says he is somewhat against the death penalty, due to his belief in a culture of life, but has voted twice to limit a death row inmate from appealing his sentence? So there is what you call “hypocrasy” on all sides. Brownback would probably say that he was just doing his job, representing his constituents. He’d be right. Why can’t Pelosi do that too and be a Catholic?

  • Bob22003

    In case anyone hasn’t noticed, Brownback is a total nut job. This is a guy who doesn’t accept the theory of evolution. Of course, in his case, it’s entirely possible that he is from some earlier point in human evolution…like perhaps Neanderthal.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Is the Pope gay or not? He impresses me as an elderly gay gentleman. In fact, I am sure that the is gay.Is my opinion on the Pope’s sexual orientation an attack on him, showing that I am anti-Catholic? If you are anti-gay and think that it is bad to be born gay, then yes, I would be insulting the Pope. But if you love gay people and think that it is no big deal to be gay, then no, I am not insulting the Pope, but merely making an observation.Yet the Catholic Church is, as a whole, anti-gay and homophobic. In fact, the Catholic Church is the most prominent promoter of anti-gay bigotry in the world.According to the Pope and the Catholic Church, gay people are “intrinsically disordered.” This is a careful, well thought out, and sneaky choice of words, boxing in the spiritual status of gay people, so they cannot be considered mentally ill, nor can they be considered guilty of a sin, which is forgivable, but that they are created in a state of deformity for which there can be not rescue nor restoration but that they are God’s mistakes, and throw away people; they are “intrinsically disordered.” I bet a whole committee of lawyers thought long and hard to come up with his clever wording; I am quite sure it was not by any devine inspiration.And yet, this pronouncement of the “intrinsic disorder” of gay people is a sail with no wind, a balloon with no air; it is without crediblity and a lie. It is all these things because the very Pope himself, who promotes this idea, is himself, apparently gay.Catholics who are proud of their devotion to the Pope and to Church doctrine and theology have no basis for their pride, because the people who devise and promote Church doctrine are themselves disconnected from it, and pursue its implemenation in bad faith.Do all these things make me anti-Catholic? I do not think so. I am pointing out some observations. If Catholics do not want to be bashed, then they should not bash. If Catholics do not want to be seen as homophobic, then they should stop being homophobic.

  • blankinships

    I find the comment in the article above: “‘Real Catholics’ must be Catholics who live in the parts of the country Sarah Palin called “Real America” ignorant and offensive. I consider myself a ‘real Catholic’, and I do presently live in the ‘real America’ but I am not a ‘real American.’ To do that, I would have to convert to one of the Evangelical religions or the Latter Day Saints.I am pro-life, but that doesn’t automatically make me a Republican. To buy into the Republican Party these days means to back a religious faction that would ban the Catholic Church in America if its goals were ultimately met. Moreover, the Republican laissez-faire ideology goes against several passages in the Gospels – a contradiction that biblical literalists ignore in their political marriage of convenience with business executives, intellectual conservatives, and Wall Street.Although FOCA may not be real, I would not consider a ‘real Catholic’ a public official who is pro-choice. My denomination believes that abortion is effectively infantcide, and I share that belief. Politicians have the right to profess any belief they want, but if they go against the teachings of the Catholic Church, they are not good Catholics, and perhaps should not be Catholics at all.But this point about so-called ‘Catholic’ politicians being pro-choice is a moot point. The Northeast, where I lived for 17 years, has largely become only nominally Catholic, and in a generation will become, like Western Europe, post-Christian. Then pro-choice ‘Catholics’ will drop their religious affiliation and the farce will end.

  • usapdx

    HOW MANY CATHOLICS ARE BAPTIZED BY THEIR OWN CHOICE ? HOW MANY CATHOLICS BELIEVE IN ALL ( 100% ) OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHINGS? HOW MANY CATHOLICS KNOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HISTORY? HOW MANY WILL ASK QUESTIONS TO A PRIEST OR HIGHER? WHAT IS A REAL CATHOLIC? WHY ARE SO MANY IN CATHOLICS IN EUROPE VOTEING WITH THEIR FEET? WHAT RIGHT DOES A HUMAN TO MAKE A RULE THAT WHEN VIOLATED IS A SIN? ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS AND KNOW YOUR HISTORY.

  • dkmjr

    Looking at the letter, it looks to me as if that is the same signature that is on other things that Mr. Brownback has actually written. But that is beside the point. The real point is that either Brownback’s spokesman is lying when he denies that Brownback wrote the letter or Catholic Advocate is guilty of forgery. Which it is needs to be clarified.

  • rb-freedom-for-all

    – the effect of abortion on politicsCCNL:”BO’s “gods” and “goddesses” are the members of the Immoral Majority who put him in the “Blood” House i.e. the 70 + million voting “mothers and fathers” of 35+ million aborted womb-babies slaughtered since 1973 at a rate of ~one million/year. “And the final vote count:”69,456,897 votes for BO”59,934,814 votes for JM”Yes, voting is more complex than pro-choice vs. respect for life but the final number count adds some credence to its effect on the election.”*******************************So how did Bush ever win an election? Oh, I forgot, the alcoholic vote.

  • poorrichard

    Let’s separate the theatrical smoke from the serious issue here.Brownback’s comments reveal again that the cynical coopting of a portion of the American Catholic community by the Bush Administration and the conservative Christian movement in order to create an environment to elect and support by association that adminstration despite its records of Human Rights abuses, willingness to engage in fundamentally immoral ‘pre-emptive’ war fare, and intentional and aggressive actions to dismantle social and environmental stewardship programs. Clearly their efforts were motivated by political expedience rather than a true ecumenical spirit. The enthusiasm and support to these disguised conservative movement initiatives given by out Bishops is and continues to be inexcusable.Sadly even His Holiness’s recent de-excommunicating of conservative bishops whose positions don’t condemn the Third Reich’s obvious and tragic crimes against Humanity does nothing but reinforce the truly regressive thinking of the Chuch hierarchy.It was not that long ago that these same “Christians” were burning crosses in front of Catholic homes. It happened in our neighborhood as late as the 1930’s.

  • mmm1110

    It is amazing that so many people love to bash Catholics. That is a form of bigotry. Catholics have the right to be liberal, conservative, moderate, pro-choice, pro-life, etc. Everyone has the right to his/her views. On another board, the topic was about Muslims. On that board, I am supposed to bend over backwards to tolerate barbaric practices, including beheadings. The country has gone nuts. Someone mentioned JFK. I think the country was more advanced when he was elected than it is today. As a former Catholic, but never a religious peron, I believe that all religion is irrational. Every single religion is based on irrational ideas.

  • semidouble

    The so called ‘pro lifers’ aren’t really pro life at all! They are pro fetus. As soon as a child starts breathing, the concern has all but disappeared! It matters not if the child is starving to death (28,000 a day) or if it has disabilities. The stem cell of a fetus is more important that a paralized 10 year old!What a fu*&ed up world!!!

  • tonyprzy

    Look, when the president has been quoted as saying, “The first thing I’ll do is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” it is reasonable to conclude that the proposal and passage of such legislation is imminent. Should we wait until the bill is in committee, on the floor, or perhaps on the president’s desk to get the word out to the voting public? The Freedom of Choice Act may not exist per se at this very moment, but the idea of such legislation has been around for about 10 years. It doesn’t take a mathematician to count up the pro-choice votes in congress and see that the way is clear now. We’re trying to organize an opposition, and we need to start earlier rather than later.

  • Freestinker

    Why can’t you Christians ever agree on anything? From these posts, it’s clear that Catholics can’t even agree on the basics of their own religion. If it’s the one true faith as you all constantly proclaim, it seems like the least you could do would be to agree among yourselves what it is before you condemn the rest of us to eternal damnation for not believing what none of you can even agree on in the first place?And we’re supposed to take you all seriously? Please.

  • washpost18

    tonyprzy:Sure, and that’s fine for yourself right up to the point where one is collecting money, appropriating someone elses name for “the cause”, and attempting to speak for others at which point the reasonable thing to do is spend the minimal amount of effort to see if such a thing even exists instead of blindly listening to whatever mouthpiece your ideology binds you to. The failure to exercise even the smallest amount of due diligence in this situation and the ensuing actions that would appear to at least border on fraud is what this story is about.

  • bevjims1

    tonyprzy wrote: “Should we wait until the bill is in committee, on the floor, or perhaps on the president’s desk to get the word out to the voting public? The Freedom of Choice Act may not exist per se at this very moment, but the idea of such legislation has been around for about 10 years. It doesn’t take a mathematician to count up the pro-choice votes in congress and see that the way is clear now. We’re trying to organize an opposition, and we need to start earlier rather than later.”But the Brownback letter says the legislation is being “considered” NOW. He also refers to it as the “Partial Birth Abortion on Demand Act”. How can he do that if the legislation has not even been written? That is the point of this article. No on is saying the Catholic church should not oppose legislation it disagrees with. The problem is there is nothing yet to oppose except an idea, but Brownback’s letter makes it sound as if a vote is imminent on an existing bill. This the question: What is the purpose of the letter? If you read the Brownback letter it seems obvious the answer is (B).Do Brownback, and the Catholic church by passing this letter around, support lying to it flock about what is happening in Congress, and if so, why?

  • MeatSweats

    As far as I’m concerned, Scientology is just a young Christianity. Both are fictional stories about mythical figures that were written by science fiction writers for the purpose of gaining power and money. Using hate and fear, they pander to the weak minded to create an exclusive cult that looks down on others. Sad.

  • arosscpa

    Varies:Not to confuse you with facts, but “believing and professing all that the Catholic Church holds and teaches,” is the oath you took, the promise you made at Confirmation and at every renewal of your baptismal promises. In your posts you objectively repudiate that vow.You can give money to the homeless, etc., all day long — so do some atheists. Christianity, and in particular Catholicism, teaches that conversion is required in the will and the intellect. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds.”Disregarding the issue doesn’t make it go away. At some point you must face the contradiction in your life gives the lie to the sacramental commitment you have made.

  • melbach

    It would be nice if you were to consider the “Freedom of Choice Act” that President Obama intends to sign is for employee union elections and has nothing to do with abortion at all. Please get it straight.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Arosscpa “Christianity, and in particular Catholicism, teaches that conversion is required in the will and the intellect.”How would you “require” anything in the will? This amounts to “coercion.” This is the unpleasant and tragic history of Catholicism.People have brains; they can use them. Suppose someone’s will cannot be required to “conformity” of thought that is your “requirement” for being a REAL Catholic? You do not get to say what goes on inside of another person’s head. And you do not get to judge what relgion a person claims. People claim their own religion; you do not assign it for them. There is a sense in all of your comments that you are very intersted in mind control and seek to command to people what they ought to believe, and if they do not, then make pronouncements about them, that they are not Catholic, or Christian. Shouldn’t you leave all this up to Catholic “officialdom?” Is it really your place to speak so authoritatively for the Catholic Church? As hard as it may be for you to believe, religion is speculative in nature. EVEN Catholicism is speculative in nature. It is merely a part of the process of growing up and gaining maturity about life and world that people come to realize this.All of the Catholics whom you condemn for not being REAL Catholics were raised up and nurtered within the Catholic Church and in Catholic culture. Who are you to negate all that they have experienced? You are better? I do not think so. You are corrupted by Catholic insistence on conformity of thought and regimentation of belief. This is abnormal. What is normal is for people to think. Thinking is part of what makes us human beings. It is what separates us from the other lower animals. Your objection is with this capacity of free and creative thought that makes us human. You, yourself, have a brain too. Use it. The exercise of your mind in free thought is not bad, no matter where it takes you. Did it ever occur to you that some aspects of the Catholic Church might actually be wrong, and should perhaps be changed?

  • CCNL

    Hmmm, read this in a hurry as apparently the reality of gay sexual activity i.e. “mutual masturbation” is no longer a permissible topic on this thread. Ditto for the various aspects of the respect for life. How sad to have this happen in a “free society”!!!

  • washpost18

    Anyone else getting the suspicion that one of the C’s in “CCNL” is for “clueless”? Looks/acts/sounds like another spidermean2 sock puppet. Lesson learned. *plonk*

  • Garak

    Were the priests who were guilty of molesting children “real Catholics”?

  • kase

    Just ANOTHER reason to root for the Lions in the toga pictures.

  • phjesuswarrior7

    Real Catholics better have the same representative as real any other denomination claiming Jesus as lord and savior. In case you are confused Jesus is the answer, you can have all the friends you want none of them qualify to get any Christian to heaven nor offer repentance for any sins. Only Jesus is God witness of the things of heaven, hell and the earth. Jesus started in heaven, volunteered to come to earth for the purpose of offering the gift of salvation, got on the cross -suffered, died, and was buried. While his bones laid in the tomb, he went to hell snatched the keys of life from satan, returned to the body in the tomb. He then awoke from death, hung around for forty days then returned to heaven. As a christian I do not need a representative to speak for me nor will it stop those deceiving anyone else from going to hell.

  • apolen

    And this guy wants to be governor of Kansas

  • washpost18

    CCNL: “your love of gay people is fine but you therefore love/approve of gay sexual activities.”Why is it people like you take such perverse pride in displaying your complete lack of an ability to apply elementary school level logic? “[CCNL] simply reviewed the specific meaning of gay sexual activities.”tl;dr but obviously you spent an obsessive amount of time researching your “position”. Something you want to share with the rest of us? Clean the sticky off your keyboard too, freak.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLI do not understand how your personal drama relates to my comments.

  • coloradodog

    Catholics condemning gays, judging others and bullying politicians with threats of eternal damnation while the old Nazi Ratzinger reinstates an anti-semetic bishop and looks the other way as Mahoney and Rivera of Mexico continue to hide a pedophile priest – how typical.”Christ’s Church” indeed.

  • truecatholic

    I am still the same Catholic I was when I was baptised 64 years ago. The same catholic, who went to all those catechism classes, the same Catholic that was told about the greatest commandments, the same Catholic that was told by my Irish P P to hate Jews because they killed the baby Jesus………….. except I realised in the end how stupid that was.With that exception, I am still the same Catholic. It is not me that has changed it is my church.

  • US-conscience

    Real Catholics stopped being Catholic about 400 years ago, and Catholic theology and doctrine ( heresy ) stopped being Christian about the same time.

  • legendarypunk

    “No, your love of gay people is fine but you therefore love/approve of gay sexual activities. We simply reviewed the specific meaning of gay sexual activities.”*shrug*Since I have nothing against gay people, by association that means I also have nothing against whatever it is they do in the bedroom. Just as I have nothing against whatever anyone else does in their bedroom.”BTW, one of my best friends was gay. He tragically died from AIDS many years ago.”Plenty of gay people die from natural causes as well. Also, heterosexual people die from AIDS.

  • persiflage

    While Brownback is currently a Catholic fundamentalist, he’d be a fundamentalist in whatever faith he subscribed to. Individual religious styles goes to character and personality (‘authoritarian’ is a good personality overlay for a Republican, as an example). Religious converts are often more inflexible, rigid, and absolutist when it comes to doctrinal/theological matters. The Vatican positions on abortion and homosexuality are probably what attracted Brownback to the Catholic Church in the first place – although Vatican objections to war was probably not quite so high on his list of favored Papal policy positions.Funny, I always thought Brownback was a Southern Baptist living in Kansas.We don’t much respite from all that flatulent yammering from the GOP right – I can already hear the din increasing as we approach 2012.

  • bentz7

    A new inquisition.

  • Cbailey21

    It is incompatible to be pro-choice and Catholic. Catholics who find themselves believing in pro-choice policies owe it to themselves and to study the Catholic tradition and faith and have the spine to decide whether they want to change their politics or cease to be Catholic. To claim to be Catholic and pro-choice shows either a shocking lack of knowledge in the faith they claim to support or a shocking amount of apathy, or worse yet, political calculation. It’s fairly straight forward: Catholics believe that what makes humans special is our soul, a unique soul created by God and breathed into us sometime before our birth (Church says point of conception…I personally don’t have the slightest idea). It is the soul that leaves our body when we die, the soul that enters into heaven (your body ain’t going anywhere), and the soul that shares in the divine life. The value of the soul is not linked to brain development, to your location (in the womb vs. bassinet), or how old you are (70yrs=5yrs=prenatal). If you don’t believe in a soul, you aren’t catholic. If you don’t believe a soul is a special, unique, one-time thing, you aren’t catholic. If you don’t know when a soul enters the human body, you should probably defer to the Church or operate with caution (isn’t that the principle against the death penalty – depriving one innocent person of their life makes it unjust), especially if you think its above your pay grade. If you’ve never really thought about the soul vis-a-vis abortion but support it because it seems to make sense, you probably should think about it. Ignorance or apathy is no excuse. There are plenty of belief systems out there that allow a spiritual defense for abortion (including atheism, existentialism, etc.); they have their own logic and being pro-choice is not incompatible with that system. That is NOT the case with Catholicism. Catholicism is not a culture like Judaism (you can be Jewish (culture, ethnic group) but not Jewish (religion)).Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden should have the intelligence and courage to admit they hold incompatible beliefs and make a choice between the two.

  • elife1975

    I wanted to reply to those posters who are upset and confused as to why there are so many anti-catholic and anti-religious messages posted. Those of us who are non believers will continue to voice our frustrations at the church and other similar institutions until they begin to actually practice what they preach. So long as they continue to discriminate and oppress others and allow child molesters safe haven while still continuing to accept my tax dollars, myself and others like me will voice our displeasure and disgust.

  • bevjims1

    Cbailey21 wrote: “It is incompatible to be pro-choice and Catholic.”No, it is incompatible to have an abortion and be Catholic. Pro-choice do not require Catholics to have abortions. Imposing Catholic law on American law would open the doors to any religion imposing its laws on American law. Do you want to have a law outlawing eating meat on Friday’s during lent too?Cbailey21 wrote: “Catholics who find themselves believing in pro-choice policies owe it to themselves and to study the Catholic tradition and faith and have the spine to decide whether they want to change their politics or cease to be Catholic.”What about those Catholics who practice birth control (pills/condoms/etc), against church law? Should they leave the church too? If they did you’d only be left with few Catholics.Cbailey21 wrote: “To claim to be Catholic and pro-choice shows either a shocking lack of knowledge in the faith they claim to support or a shocking amount of apathy, or worse yet, political calculation.”To be Catholic and hold certain principles of the church for YOURSELF is not antithetical to holding a political office and representing your constituents properly. Unless you think we elect leaders based on their faith (religious test) and our wanting them to apply that faith to American law.Cbailey21 wrote: “If you don’t believe in a soul, you aren’t catholic. If you don’t believe a soul is a special, unique, one-time thing, you aren’t catholic.”True.Cbailey21 wrote: “If you don’t know when a soul enters the human body, you should probably defer to the Church or operate with caution (isn’t that the principle against the death penalty – depriving one innocent person of their life makes it unjust), especially if you think its above your pay grade.”Well, there’s the rub. Why are Catholics voting for republicans who support the death penalty (killing people with souls) yet want democrats who are pro-choice excommunicated? It seems Catholics turn a blind eye to the documented killing of innocent people on death row yet have a tizzie when a 3-cell embryo is aborted. And the church has had varying positions on when a soul enters the body/fetus, but no one questions whether a prisoner, guilty or not, has a soul.

  • reasonisstupid

    It just wouldn’t feel right if a single day went by at the Washington Post without bashing the Catholic Church.

  • vercinget

    Yes. I am now totally agnosthic. But I grew learning the catholic christianism for long years. A catholic woman cannot abort. This is the mandate. And following JesusChrist’s New Deal any catholic is enforced to spread that belief. But in the way JesusChrist spoke and did. First. Never run away of those sinning. You must be there to spread your belief. Second. The objective is not penalizing them but convincing them. Any catholic must believe in the force of JesusChrist learnings and not any other earthly means. Moreover. Few faith can have any Christian trying to impose his beliefs by earthly means.

  • snews52

    You may call them phony or defiant, but stop saying these members of Congress are not Catholic. That’s inaccurate. Abortion takes a life…sometimes…always…never? Everyone has an opinion, including religious leaders, whose moral authority and organizational clout plays big. Personally, I think it does take a life, and would support it only under extraordinary circumstances. For Catholics, like myself, to support abortion rights could lead to excommunication. That means you’re really a bad example of what a good Catholic should be, and have lost the privilege of receiving the sacraments, including holy communion – with the exception, I believe, of last rites. NONE of the Catholic Senators has been excommunicated. And even if they were, they would still be considered Catholic. In the eyes of the Church, if you are Baptized Catholic, you are Catholic until you die.The conservatives want to stomp out all dialog and discussion about abortion in the Church. The dissenters may go away, but the questioning won’t. Disagreement and discussion is healthy, and was more tolerated under popes before John Paul 2. The campaign to call out and shun liberal Catholic Senators has odious effects. It fuels the argument that the Church is trying to force its morality on the public at large, and empowers those who hate the Catholics Church.

  • washpost18

    CCNL pounded out: This from the clown demonstrating they have no understanding of transitive logic. Educate yourself first cupcake, then perhaps you can have a discussion with the adults. Until then feel free to continue engaging in your homoerotic fantasy creative writing projects, just don’t do it here m’kay?

  • ridagana

    Next time have a discussion if brown shoes go with a green tie or if soup before dinner should be veg or non-veg. The insanity of “believers” is getting boring – get a life.

  • StephenBWise

    Given where we are in history, it’s important for people to dicuss and discover what constitutes “authentic Christianity,” as well as “healthy spirituality.”In recent years, American society has been driven largely by religious extremism and non belief. The result is a caricature, where people are less alive and “real” — individually and collectively. Unyielding willfulness has made people uncorrectable, as they seek self-interest and race toward self-destruction. In the words of Lou Reed: “we have been swallowed by the night.”Any toolbox for renewal of persons and society has to include a clear understanding of what constitutes healthy spirituality, along with a desire to live — really live!Stephen B. Wise

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    CCNLYou accuse me of loving gay people like that is something bad. But I do love gay people, and so, your accusation is a dud.

  • dkmjr

    There seems to be a disconnect here. SNEWS52 tells us that once a Catholic, always a Catholic, but someone else says that a Catholic would never have an abortion. Actual research shows that of the three main religious groups in the US, Jews, Protestants, and Catholics, Catholics have the highest rates of abortion, primarily because they are least likely to use contraception. And when it’s come to Jesus time, they opt for an abortion rather than another kid they can’t take care of.As for those of you going on and on weeping and wailing about an abortion taking a life, why do you assume that life begins at the moment when a sperm reaches the nucleus of an egg? Isn’t it more reasonable to say that life begins when an egg or a sperm separate from the host cells and begin an independent existence? Or if you don’t like that, how about once a fetus is able to live outside the uterus? Both of those make more sense than fertilization as the point at which independent life begins.

  • Nosmanic

    I hate the cafeteria Catholic like there only democrates. Republicans are cafeteria Catholics too or would someone like to explain why the Prince of Peace would approve of the these two wars, or enhances integration techniques. I can go into the gospel but I’m not a scholar and I don’t care for something that has to be explained like common sense isn’t good enought, killing, rape and lieing are bad and the Bible only denouces two of those.

  • TomfromNJ1

    I have been a real Catholic all of my life and my representative is the person for whom I have voted. Over many years, that has included Protestants and Jews as well as Catholics. I am quite capable of thinking for myself and analyzing voting records. i do not need someone to tell me that i can judge someone’s Catholicism by where he or she lives! And I judge Catholicism by following Jesus’ teaching so I would certainly want someone who opposes unnecessary wars, favors civil rights, opposes guns as in beating swords into plows, is very understanding of people’s sexual sins while coming down hard on hypocrites among the establishment, does not claim that somehow that there is a connection between Christianity and taxes (as in “Render unto caesar…” when He was tried to be tricked into such a mixture of religion and politics, who favors the kind of socialism we read was practiced by the early Christians in Acts and does not see any connection between Christianity and laissez-faire capitalism — indeed the concept did not even exist through most of Christianity. So if Brownback can’t agree to these principles, then it is HE who cannot represent Catholic views!