Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Difficulty of Talking Religious Liberty In A Political Season

I am really starting to like the Public Catholic blog over at Patheos. It is pretty unique in Catholic land. Public Catholic is actually Representative Rebecca Hamilton a Catholic Democrat that represents District 89 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. You can follow her on twitter here. She is one those Democrats I might vote for.

She had a nice post the other day at Politics, Religion and Lilies That Fester. I largely agree with the sentiment though I would perhaps differ in some minor things as a Republican that is involved in politics

She said this in part:

...........They made the most of the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the head of all the bishops in these United States, was going to dip his vote-getting toe into their little pond. In their glee over what they obviously wanted to play into a de facto endorsement by the Catholic Church, they did everything but put out press releases saying, “We bagged the big guy!”

The Democrats, on the other hand, dissed the good Cardinal and his attempt at bi-partisan even-handedness by not even bothering to reply when he offered to pray the benediction at their convention. Their message, which was equally loud and clear, was “We don’t need no traditional Christians.”

It would have stayed like that if the Republican publicity machine hadn’t set off a mini-firestorm with its announcements. It looked, as the Rs intended, like Cardinal Dolan was playing favorties between the two political parties. Gloating Republicans slapped him on the metaphorical back while outraged Dems denounced him for being a partisan political hack................

................I understand that the bishops are trying their best to defend the Church in what is an unprecedented attack in the HHS Mandate. I understand how grave this is. I also know, sadly, that both parties want the Mandate, each for their own reasons.

The Mandate helped the Republicans bag the big guy. It is probably why more and more Catholics are switching from Democrat to Republican. I think it is why the Democrats rudely ignored Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s generous offer to pray at their convention. Both parties are playing to their base, and right now their lead violin is the Catholic Church...........

Well I guess that is one viewpoint. A lot of the GOP PR machine seems to be that whirlwind called social media that no party can control. Of course I was part of that too as well as many other Catholic and Christians. It needs to be recalled that many of us GOP Catholic and Christians live in a  GOP party full of libertarians, fiscal only Republicans , etc that have bought the talking point of QUIT TALKING ABT THESE " SOCIAL ISSUES" . Keeping issuse like the HHS mandate and other related issues front and center in our own party takes a good bit of work. Keeping this herd of cats together is quite a task. So heck yeah we were going to talk Dolan.

I should say with the force of nature Dolan is I think the media would have provided the controversy regardless of what the GOP faithful did.

Still is the HHS Mandate in just pure political terms a win for the GOP. Well in the end that should not matter. Still even I see the risk at least in the short term.

We kinda of get a glimpse of this at First Thoughts today at  Why Is It So Hard to Debate Religious Freedom?

I laregely agree with that. Religious Freedom is a topic that is in it's infancy at the moment. As one person noted it's like Louisiana Coastal erosion. It is so slow and gradual and caused by so many factors one wakes up one day and realize it has become a full grown crisis. It tkaes a while to get the forces of hopeful recovery going.

From day one we have a media that seems to have little interest in doing the hard work of exploring the issue as to the HHS mandate. From day one its been about some faux war on contraception.

Legal things like 3 prong tests, least restrictive means , and substantial burdens do not lend themselves well to soundbites and the quick flow of a debate.

This tends to lend power to the argument of people in my party of LETS NOT TALK ABOUT IT WE ARE GOING TO GET CREAMED. It might not be fair but we know how this will be portrayed they say.

Thankfully I think we are making progress , and I am hopeful our efforts are getting through the din. But this now just battle one of what I am afraid is going to become a much bigger war.


Unknown said...

Rallies against the HHS mandate will take place around the country this Saturday, October 20.

Rally locations:

Now's the time to make our voices heard!

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