Monday, October 22, 2012

Christian Churches and Election 2012

Our country has distinct rules on the separation of Church and State, but to a large degree these rules seem to be clearly disregarded in some cases and grossly misunderstood in others.

The Church of the Valley, Leakey, TX blatantly breaks the rules that say churches, as non-profit entities, can not endorse a political candidate. Coming out loud and clear for Republican Candidate Mitt Romney, the church's outdoor sign gives the following "instructions" or guidance to its members and anyone else who want to listen:  Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim. The Capitalist, not the Communist. Church in the Valley should have its tax-exempt status revoked straightaway, at which point Pastor Miller can go ahead and spout whatever ridiculous, anti-Obama lies he'd like without the tax protections afforded him by the same government over which Obama now presides. And thus a town of population 387 is given a national stage to proudly spew its ignorance, hatred, and bigotry.

It's consistent with Republicans. The rules don't apply to them. You get a feel for where they come from when you watch Mitt Romney during the debates.  Whatever the rules he's agreed to say, the candidate makes his own rules as he goes along. Guess what? The Republican base loves it.  Even when Romney's son Tagg says he wants to take a swing at the President, it's acceptable to the Republicans who cheer something like that on.When the Wisconsin Republican Senatorial candidate's son suggests that Republicans take up a collection to send "Obama back to Kenya". Did you here the audience voice their support? His remarks drew laughter and light applause during a brunch attended by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus in Rep. Paul Ryan’s district. Of course, the son "apologized" the next day, so everything is okay... right?

For the first time in history, Black clergy are telling their church members to stay home and not vote in the Presidential election...or so the media says supposedly quoting Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant of Baltimore. Supposedly disengaged by President Obama's support of gay marriage and "unable" to support Romney because he's a Mormon, the media continues to report that Black Clergy are urging their congregations to skip the 2012 Election. Rev. Bryant — and the other black pastors who were interviewed — never said that black clergy had in fact told their congregations not to vote. Still, select members of the press argued this baseless point across media outlets across the country. Several decades of voting patterns suggest blacks will stick with their economic interests to guide them at the poll over anything else.

The Catholic Church is suing the White House for provisions in the Affordable Care Act that they say violates their religious freedom. In what's being called the largest legal action of its kind, 43 separate Catholic institutions filed lawsuits in a dozen different federal courts this week. They are challenging the federal mandate in President Obama's health care law that requires employers to cover contraception in their employees' health plans. The Obama Administration tried to smooth things over with the church when the issue first bubbled over. As a compromise, they said insurance companies would have to provide contraception for employees who wanted it - so Catholic employers could avoid directly providing birth control. But that wasn't good enough for the church. Experts are split over whether these lawsuits will succeed, but either way it can't be helpful for the president in an election year.

The Election will be concluded in just a few weeks and maybe the hatred, bigotry and scandalous behavior it has spawned will fade off in the sunset. Unfortunately, more than likely, it probably will thrive for some time to come.

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