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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Friday, 23 July 2004

Topic: Election Notes

Follow Up: The Uses of Religion

See in the Just Above Sunset archives -

July 4, 2004: Heresy - In the Specific Religious (and Los Angeles) Meaning of the Term

Excerpt -

The Bush campaign is working hard on "reaching out" churchgoers according to this in the Washington Post. In short, the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has sent a detailed plan of action to religious volunteers across the country asking them to turn over church directories to the campaign, distribute issue guides in their churches and persuade their pastors to hold voter registration drives.

Now this could cause any one of these churches to lose its tax-exempt status. These churches might become de facto and then de jure political organizations. But there is Republican-sponsored legislation working its way through the halls of congress to have that change of status be considered only after three violations of the rules on these matters. Think of this change in the law as an exemption made so you can keep your exemption. If you're a golfer - think of it as a "two Mulligan" rule.

But what are you being asked to do?
By July 31, for example, volunteers are to "send your Church Directory to your State Bush-Cheney '04 Headquarters or give [it] to a BC04 Field Rep" and "Talk to your Pastor about holding a Citizenship Sunday and Voter Registration Drive."

By Aug. 15, they are to "talk to your Church's seniors or 20-30 something group about Bush/Cheney '04" and "recruit 5 more people in your church to volunteer for the Bush Cheney campaign."

By Sept. 17, they are to host at least two campaign-related potluck dinners with church members, and in October they are to "finish calling all Pro-Bush members of your church," "finish distributing Voter Guides in your church" and place notices on church bulletin boards or in Sunday programs "about all Christian citizens needing to vote."
You got a problem with that?

So much for the excerpt. That was three weeks ago.

This week?

GOP Seeks Catholic Parish Directories
Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press, Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Southern Baptist Convention, a conservative denomination that one could say is rather tight with President Bush, was offended by this Bush-Cheney effort. Really offended.

What about the Catholics? Here's the scoop -
The Republican National Committee has asked Bush-backing Roman Catholics to provide copies of their parish directories to help register Catholics to vote in the November election, a use of personal information not necessarily condoned by dioceses around the country.

In a story posted Thursday on its Web site, the National Catholic Reporter said a GOP official had urged people who attended a Catholic outreach event in January to provide parish directories and membership lists to the political party.

"Access to these directories is critical as it allows us to identify and contact those Catholics who are likely to be supportive of President Bush's compassionate conservative agenda," wrote Martin J. Gillespie, director of Catholic Outreach at the RNC. "Please forward any directories you are able to collect to my attention."

The RNC is using the information from parish directories only for its nonpartisan voter registration drive, RNC spokeswoman Christine Iverson told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Those efforts target members of other faiths as well as people who belong to nonreligious organizations, she said.
Well, the Catholic Church IS considering excommunicating Kerry for his stance that the woman should make any decision regarding abortion, not the government. And the Catholic Church is considering excommunicating anyone who confesses to voting for him. It makes sense.

But the AP notes these parish directories often contain personal information about church members, including names of family members, home addresses and phone numbers. That's personal information. Give it all to the GOP election team? Should the Church cooperate anyway, as this is, one might conclude, an endeavor to make the world less sinful?

Does that make it okay?

It seems one Susan Gibbs, the spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC, which oversees 140 parishes in Washington and Maryland, says parish directories publish information only for use among church members and not for use by outside organizations no matter what their purpose. And AP quotes her saying, "Parish directories are for helping parishioners get to know each other better and are strictly for that purpose. They are not intended to be used for any outside commercial purpose, solicitations or anything else. Parish directories or priest directories are not given to outside groups even if it's for a good cause."

But isn't this about saving souls and preventing the murder of (sort of) children - or so it would seem. That's what Bush is doing, right?

Rebecca Summers of the office of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph - and that's ninety Catholic parishes in Missouri - is quoted as saying, "I'm not certain under any scenario that we would encourage someone responding to that appeal - for any purpose, whether it would be an environmental cause or any purpose other than what the people volunteered the information for."

Why do these two - Susan and Rebecca - hate America and want children murdered?

The Catholic Church is edging toward taking up the righteous sword for Bush, and against Kerry. But there is some grumbling.

The Bush approach to all issues - that there is no middle ground - will force the Catholic Church to choose.

Will they side with the Devil? And who is the Devil here?

Posted by Alan at 20:56 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 23 July 2004 21:04 PDT home

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