Nothing like a little Catholic bashing in the morning to start your day
*updated with commentary*

Planned Parenthood Director Kate Looby gets her feelings off of her chest about the Catholic Church in the Argus this AM:
"There are links on there to Catholic Family Services, and there's nobody who's more political than the Catholic church in South Dakota," Looby said.
Read the whole article here.

*update* Ok, so bashing might be a little strong. (Try to remember that this is a Republican oriented blog. If in doubt, I will usually take the GOP stance.) When one of the first things I see in the AM is the Director of Planned Parenthood trash talking my religious affiliation, I tend to be cranky. But I still think calling the Catholic Church political is more than a bit of a stretch.

For example, under the comment section, my friend Todd Epp over at SD Watch has the opinion that Bishop Carlson "knee-capped" Daschle. Sorry Todd, I couldn't disagree more. The Catholic Church does anything but choose up sides. When it's in our favor, we like to think so. But when it isn't, I can't point at the other party and say there's an alliance.

I think one of the anonymous commentors makes the best point. As mediocre of a catholic as I am, even I get it.

The church doesn't espouse the beliefs of one specific political party. They espouse Catholic dogma. Sometimes in the case of a pro-life stance, it parallells the views of many in the Republican Party.

I'm sure Democrats didn't bitch during the food tax debate, when the Catholic Church tended to support their point of view. Social justice is also a major theme with Catholicism, and it's often at odds with the pro-business stance of the GOP. Let's not even start on the Death penalty. The American conference of Bishops voted near unanimously against it. What Republican officeholder is going to publicly agree on that one?

Interestingly enough, I had been interviewed for a position with a branch of the Church (a monastery of all things) and one of the things that was questioned in the intereview was the intent of my Republican political activities. This was a concern because most all of the people affiliated with the monastery were Democrats.

Does that seem like they are favoring Republicans? I think not.

Democrats have held a traditional stranglehold on Catholic denominations for years - part of this this stems back to the fact that many immigrants were A.) Catholic, and B.) instantly recruited by Democrat precinct workers in such major cities as New York as they got off the boat.

JFK's presidency didn't hurt either. It's interesting to see how many older catholics have a picture of Kennedy in their house as "our martyred President".

Some think that traditional party affiliation with the Democrats based on religion has been fracturing. I think the truth is that you never held it as closely as you might think.

The Catholic Church is going to do what the Catholic Church decides it's going to do. And no matter how much I might want them to swing my way, or D's might want it to swing theirs, none of us our going to change it.

Any synergy is temporary. Enjoy it for the moment it lasts.


Anonymous said…
What about the rest of the article PP??? Rounds folds to Bishop Carlson on link to Planned Parenthood but gives Lesslee (sp) Unruh's group link off of Dept. of Health Website. And don't give me that it was mandated by state law crap.

The article this AM was actually well written and had a number of people willing to go on the record to describe the interworking of the Rounds thinktank. Wait? Is thinktank one or two words.
Anonymous said…
I read the article and thought that Kate was factual in her statements. I didn't find anything that was bashing any church.
If Planned Parenthood is off the web site then all lobbyist, including Unruh should be off.
Will said…
Seriously, where is the "bashing"?
pka said…
Those Catholics, when will they learn only secular progressives can have a say in politics?
chad said…
I guess I have the same question as Will ... how is this "Catholic bashing"?
Anonymous said…
The Catholic church is pretty involved in politics in South Dakota. I don't see any Catholic bashing here, either.
Todd Epp said…

I guess Bishop Carlson kneecapping Tom Daschle in 2004 doesn't count, huh?

Todd Epp
Methodist Issues Editor
S.D. Watch
K said…
They have a lobbyist (do any other churches have lobbyists in Pierre?). Seems pretty politcal to me.
Anonymous said…
The Sioux Falls Diocese is not political. The Diocese only states the facts according to God's word. I applaud the Sioux Falls Diocese for standing up and having a backborn to speak the Gospel truth. I am proud to call myself a Catholic from the Sioux Falls Diocese.

Abortion is murder, plain and simple. There is no argument that can refute this argument. We now have medical proof. The Catholic Diocese has been stating this for years. Women do have a choice. The choice is if the male and female want to pull down their pants, or if they choose to keep their pants zipped up. After having sex, they cannot reconsider their choice. Pro-abortion advocates have a real problem accepting personal responsibility. Pro-abortion advocates need to come to the reality that God will judge them harshly at the pearly gates on judgement day!

It's an important choice...choose wisely!
Anonymous said…
The Catholic Church around here has clearly stepped into the political arena. No bashing when someone exposes a truth they wish to sweep under the rug. Maybe we should start taxing them? Didn't the IRS say something about political involvement could violate your tax status?
Nonnie said…
There's a fine but definite line between lobbying politically and lobbying morally. IMO the Catholic Church is protesting abortion because it is a moral issue, not a political one. It deals with preserving life, not with politics.

I guess I don't think Looby's statement is actual bashing, but I would bet that she bashes them in private off the record. You can bet that she doesn't appreciate them or any other church who says anything against abortion, but she has to couch her statements to the press. I'd love to be a mouse in the corner of her office!
Will said…
Think again, Pat. Here's an article for you to read:

An excerpt:

"This is particularly clear in a Vatican statement issued in January 2003 by the authoritative Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and signed by the pope. In this statement, Roman Catholic politicians are told they aren't being faithful to church teaching if they vote against the church's position on issues such as abortion. "A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals." This reiterates church teachings that no division of public and private morality can be allowed."
Will said…
One more:

An excerpt:

"In 1983, the bishops purchased five acres of land in Washington, D.C.--only a few miles north of Capitol Hill--where they built an imposing edifice to house the NCCB/USCC. In this building, which rivals those of large trade associations in size and appearance, the heads of the American Catholic church operate as a single body. The NCCB/USCC employs about 300 people in Washington.

From these offices comes the bishops' work: congressional testimony, litigation, lobbying, media outreach, monitoring of federal legislation and regulation, participation in federal regulatory proceedings, conferences and seminars, educational ministry, pastoral letters, publications, migrant and refugee services, and grass-roots organizing. The bishops' legal office is here; in 1992 its budget was $1 million. The publishing and promotion office spent $5.4 million; media relations, $952,000; and the lobbying office, $486,000. The NCCB/USCC's total annual budget was $40 million."
sioux fails said…
Please, the hubris here is incredible. The Catholic church was not created for the sole purpose of involving itself in South Dakota politics.
It is run by 2000 years of doctrine that for the most part does not change. What changes are the tenents of the two parties within the system we employ in this Country.
The Church has little if any interest in either party, it is only interetsed in it's teachings and which ever party defines itself more closely to those teachings. The Republican and Democratic parties change the Church does not.
The Church is exercising it's right to free speech and so is Looby.
She has a proclivity to mix it up with the church because it it is diametrically apposed to what she believes they will never become approbative and to be honest, quarreling with smaller organizations doesn't get you in the press.
Anonymous said…
to Nonnie:
You have a point about what Kate says in public and what she says in private regarding the Catholic church and for that what it matters other organizations as well, we all do.
The difference here is that she has a fiduciary role in that she represents Planned Parenthood and what she says on and off the record counts. It isn't a issue until and unless she says something to the wrong person.
A good Lutheran said…
The bigger question concerning the Catholic Church’s involvement in politics is one of consistency. If the church is going to say (as they have done) that anyone who votes for a pro-choice candidate should not present themselves for communion but remains silent on candidates who support the food tax, death penalty, war in Iraq or any other issue that the church claims to have taken a stand on then they have set themselves up for charges of partisanship. When I hear the Bishop say that any Catholic elected official who supports the death penalty should not call themselves a Catholic, I’ll shut up about it. Until then, the church is being very hypocritical.
Chad said…
I think I agree with "good lutheran". The problem with the Catholic Church's political activity is the fact that while they have position papers and such on social justice issues, they only activate their members on issues where they find themselves on the side of the Republican Party. They only call out politicians when they are at odds with Catholic doctrine when it is aligned with the Republican Party.

I would argue the Catholic Church is one of the most potent political forces in this state. If you don't believe it, attend a mass in the weeks prior to a hotly contested election. You'll see they've thrown social justice out the window.
Todd Epp said…

Being just a lowly Methodist, I didn't understand your retort to me in your update. Please explain. Or was it in jest? I may have caught Sibby's inability to detect irony.

Todd Epp
Irony Poor Blood Editor
S.D. Watch
K said…
If they were consistant, I would be fine with that. But Travis Benson is simply not putting the time and energy into ending the death penalty, abolishing the food tax, etc., that he is to fighting a woman's right to choose. I know many non-hypocritical Catholics, but the church, especially in this state, is not in line with them.

And once again, I think the fact that they have a lobbyist makes them inherently political. My church has doctrines, too, but we don't pay people to try to make POLITICAL deals to force our doctrines on everyone else.
Anonymous said…
Looby's comments were certainly meant as bashing. When you accuse someone of doing something that isn't true or a gross mischaracturization of the truth, it's meant to bashing.
Call it what it is and leave it at that.
Anonymous said…
Lobbyist = political

Catholic Diocease has a lobbyist.
Alpha Center has a lobbyist.
NL said…
"The choice is if the male and female want to pull down their pants, or if they choose to keep their pants zipped up. After having sex, they cannot reconsider their choice. Pro-abortion advocates have a real problem accepting personal responsibility. Pro-abortion advocates need to come to the reality that God will judge them harshly at the pearly gates on judgement day!"

But the pro lifers will claim that the abortion ban isn't about imposing a religious belief on others?? It doesn't get any clearer that the comment above.
Anonymous said…
A little tangental to the conversation but can someone tell me when Coat Hangers at Dawn speaks of the Taliban, who are they referring to?
Also, why are there never any comments posted by them? Are they not publishable or is it that no one sends any in?
PP said…
Anonymous 4:20 said...

Lobbyist = political

Catholic Diocease has a lobbyist. Alpha Center has a lobbyist.

So, by that definition, the American Legion , the SD Police Chief's Association, the Grain and Feed Association, the Alzheimer's Association, The American Heart Association, Enterprise Rent-a-car, and the YMCA (among others) are all poliical.

Without a doubt, that is silliness.
Anonymous said…
Is the Catholic church in politics? Should it be? Lets see.
There are 68 million Catholics in the U.S. That is a quarter of the population.
1 million are born into the church every year.
75,000 Christians convert to the Roman Catholic church each year. There are 7,000 elementary schools teaching 2 million children.
There are 1,300 high schools teaching 650,000 young people.
There are 250 colleges teaching 700,000 students with over 175,000 teachers in all.
The church runs 600 hospitals who serve 82 million a year. And finally there the Church's social services arm serves 25 million of the countries less fortunate.
There is no larger group in the U.S. including ARP's and collectively are or serve over 40% of the U.S. population.
We are a democracy where the majority rules, I thought.
Don't get me started on separation of church and state. It is a mute argument. Sorry.
Source: Archdiocean Archives (St. Louis)
Anonymous said…
Uh, your point?
Anonymous said…
I checked on the definition of political to quantify things a bit. At the bottom is the definition.

Yes, it is silly PP, all of the associations you stated are political.

If you don't think they are, try passing a city or county ordinance or legislation impacting any of the entities you named from the Alzheimer's assn to the YMCA and you'll find out how political in a hurry.

That the Catholic Church is political is a GIVEN. It's an organized entity that is self-serving. That's not wrong, it's part of what this country is founded upon.

Tax status is a separate issue that falls under the IRS code. It's not pertinent in this issue.

Personally, I rejoice that I live somewhere that Kate Looby and Bishop Carlson can sling verbal rocks at each other in a public forum.

The Gov is pro-life. So is the Catholic Church. Planned Parenthood and their various supporters are Pro-Choice. ALL ARE POLITICAL.

Sheesh, grow up people. You pro-lifers ... expect some verbal shots at you, you won a major victory. You pro-choicers, expect entrenchment and a concerted ignoring of your arguments.

In short, when the big cowboy at the bar punches the little cowboy, he shouldn't be surprised when the little guy comes up swinging.

Just don't act shocked. That's silly to me.

~~~Happy Trails!

2 entries found for political.
Of, relating to, or dealing with the structure or affairs of government, politics, or the state.
Relating to, involving, or characteristic of politics or politicians
Relating to or involving acts regarded as damaging to a government or state: political crimes.
Interested or active in politics:
Having or influenced by partisan interests
Based on or motivated by partisan or self-serving objectives
Bob Newland said…
Politics is exactly this: the continuous argument over who gets to do what to whom, for how long, and against what degree of dissent.
Anonymous said…
To "I checked the definition":
You are exactly right.
The world is what the world is, deal with it.
The stats on the Catholic church from the previous anonymous are amazing, I had no idea. In any other country they would be ruling "everything". It suprises me that they are not more prevalent in our daily lives.
Maybe that says something about them, I don't know.
My advice to anyone at this point is to live your life as best you can, treat everyone the way you want to be treated, hold the 1st amendment close to your heart and hold your kids closer.
PP said…
anon 9:15 -

Realize that was one of my friends giving me a lot of sh*t.
Anonymous said…
Just because I was giving you a hard time PP, doesn't mean that I didn't believe every word.

Hold the First Amendment close and the Second closer. ;)

~~Happy Trails
Anonymous said…
I am 9:15 and I am sorry but we have never met, I would like to someday but as of now that has not happened.
K said…
Last time I checked, Anon 5:47 PM, we lived in a democracy that protected the rights of the minority. The United States is not run simply by the will of the majority. But you don't seem to have much of an understanding of the foundations of our government, so it's probably a "mute" argument.
Anonymous said…
Ask the pro choice group if they feel their rights were protected.
K said…
Okay, let me rephrase that. We live in a democracy that is *supposed* to protect the rights of the minority. Obviously, that doesn't always happen around here. I suppose whether SD is a functioning democracy or not is arguable.

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