Thursday, August 24, 2006

"Partisan" = "Progressive"

Via Cursor, the Diocese of Duluth, MN has cancelled an appearance by Sister Helen Prejean because of her prior support for an advertisement criticizing the policies of the Bush administration:
The problem wasn't the political nature of the issues raised in the ad, [Kyle Eller, communications director for the diocese] said, noting that the church and Prejean often take stands on political issues. But the ad's partisan attack of Bush crossed the line, Eller said.

"When it gets into attacking (a political figure), that becomes partisan," Eller said...

But in a letter on her Web site, Prejean said the ad properly criticizes Bush's "reckless pursuit of war in Iraq, which has helped to destabilize the entire middle East; his approval of torture; his zealous promotion of imprisonment and executions; his fiscal policies which make the wealthy people more wealthy and poor people poorer."

Funny how Sister Helen's entirely legitimate criticisms of Bush's disastrous policies can be considered "partisan," and something like this is not:
One of the most blatant examples of [Pope Benedict XVI, fka Cardinal Joseph] Ratzinger’s intervention into the political affairs of a country was his role in the 2004 US presidential election. A number of American Catholic bishops publicly declared in the run-up to the election that they would deny Holy Communion to Democratic candidate John Kerry, a Catholic, because of his pro-choice stance on abortion rights. Their intervention, a brazen violation of the secular foundations of the US Constitution, was tantamount to a religious injunction to Catholics to vote for George W. Bush.

In June 2004, Ratzinger issued a statement of guidance to US bishops that, in effect, gave the Vatican’s seal of approval to Church officials who were using the abortion issue to discourage a vote for the Democratic candidate. In his missive to the bishop of Washington DC, Ratzinger wrote: “A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia.”

I'm not sure how Sister Helen's political leanings could come as a surprise to anyone... she's been a well-known social activist for years. I had a few friends during law school that worked with her at the Moratorium Campaign, and they all said that she is quite an impressive person...

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