Thursday, 13 May 2010

Pelosi Welcomes Church's Role — When Convenient

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on May 6 addressed the Catholic clergyman at the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill, where she attempted to use the Christian leaders' belief system to push her liberal agenda.

Pelosi remarked, “The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me … say, ‘We want you to pass immigration reform,’ and I said, I want you to speak about it from the pulpit. Some (who oppose) immigration reform are sitting in those pews, and you have to tell them that this is a manifestation of our living the gospels.”

Speak from the pulpit? Educate parishioners sitting in their pews? Up until now, hasn't the Speaker of the House been a major proponent of the “separation of church and state”? Yes, indeed. In fact, when ranked by the AU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, she was assigned a grade of 100 percent for her strict adherence to this maxim.

Of course, anyone who has read the Constitution knows that the axiom “separation of church and state” is nowhere to be found. The Constitution’s reference to religion is simply that Congress cannot establish a national religion, nor prohibit the free exercise of religion. But for years, the constitutional language has been misconstrued to serve the progressive agenda and the First Amendment morphed into the liberal rallying cry “separation of church and state.”

But all of a sudden, believes Pelosi, the Church and state are partners. Pelosi obviously wants to use the church to push the agenda of the state, but she would like to pick and choose when the church can play such a role. She said, “I think the Church is going to have to play a very major role in how we, in how people, are treated.”

Yet, that role is completely discretionary to Pelosi. For example, in her 2008 appearance on Meet the Press, she insisted that the church could not be the moral authority on abortion. Tom Brokaw pointed out that on the issue of abortion, “The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that life begins at the point of conception.” To this, Pelosi replied, “It shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of Denver issued a statement entitled, “On the Separation of Sense and State”, wherein he criticized Pelosi for her views on abortion. The statement reads:“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of Church and state’. But their idea of separation often seems to work one way.”

Chaput added that while Pelosi possesses a variety of skills, “knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”

In the same interview with Meet the Press, Pelosi added, “It is also true that God has given us, each of us, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions.”

That last statement is particularly confusing, since virtually everything on the progressive agenda involves the violation of free will, from forcing Americans to maintain a healthy diet, to “protecting” us from the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet, to forcing us to redistribute our wealth.

Progressives like Nancy Pelosi defend the violation of free will under the guise of “social justice,” which they interchange with “charity.” But they would not be able to find anything in the Bible or Judeo-Christian tradition indicating that the government should force people into charity, aka “redistributing their wealth.” In fact, forcing people to be charitable violates the very definition of charity, which necessitates a voluntary component. Senator Pelosi is free to funnel her own money into causes she deems charitable, but she is not exhibiting charity when she votes to use the power of the state to take from some to give to others.

Many conservative Catholic groups and individuals continue to call for the excomunication of Nancy Pelosi for her views on issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and human cloning. Likewise, her recent hypocritical comments to the Catholic Community Conference have received a great deal of media coverage on the radio, television, and Internet, with the notable exception of certain fawning pundits at the most liberal media outlets.

Examining Pelosi’s remarks to the Catholic Community Conference does more than reveal her hypocrisy, but also exposes her disconnect from the Biblical teachings. Jesus Christ preached “justice,” not “social justice.” Progressives like Pelosi attempt to use the terms “justice” and “charity” as if they are one in the same and redirect Biblical teachings about spirituality and eternality to focus on the secular.

At least her propensity to misconstrue esablished principles is not limited to the Constitution, though that is not a very comforting sentiment. 

Photo: Nancy Pelosi, along with an unidentified priest in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 2007: AP Images

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