Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A. Fournier

10/16/2008 (7 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I am appalled that Barry Lynn and Rob Boston are now blatantly threatening our Church and her Bishops. As a Deacon, I will not be bullied. As a lawyer, I am ready to defend against this dangerous threat.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/16/2008 (7 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - Rob Boston of "Americans United for the Separation of Church and State" has decided to engage in verbal bullying with the leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church. In a posting on the AU web site entitled "Texas Side Step: Bishops' Letter Attacking Pro-Choice Candidates Attempts To Sashay Past Federal Tax Law", the Assistant Director of Communications has signaled their legal strategy.

The group has quite a history of anti-Catholicism in their efforts. They were originally called "Protestants United for the Separation of Church and State", but changed their name for obvious reasons. However, with their recent efforts to bully Catholic Bishops who have the courage to bravely teach Moral truth, they seem to be reverting to their past. Boston tells AU supporters:

"Bishops are issuing letters telling Catholics they cannot vote for candidates who hold pro-choice views and remain in good standing in the church. Two Texas bishops have released a letter informing their congregants whom they can and can't vote for and remain faithful members of the Roman Catholic Church. The missive by Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Diocese of Dallas and Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Fort Worth is being read in all Catholic churches in the area. It states in part, "To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or 'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil - and, therefore, morally impermissible." The letter never mentions Democratic candidate Barack Obama or his opponent, John McCain, by name. But you'd have to be very dense indeed not to get the message. Farrell and Vann go on to assert that other issues traditionally important to Catholics - social justice, care for the poor, health care - need not be seriously considered this year. Instead, Catholics must base their vote on abortion...."

Boston then attempts to add more weight to his misguided effort to besmirch the Bishops of Texas by borrowing the authority of his boss, the Reverend Barry Lynn. He continues:"Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn said the bishops are walking a fine line. "This is clearly an attempt on the part of these bishops to do an end-run around the federal tax law ban on electioneering by churches," Lynn told the Morning News. Farrell and Vann are not the only bishops deliberately striding into a legal gray area this election season. A similar letter was issued by Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton, Pa., and was read in churches Oct. 4-5. In the letter, Martino insisted that faithful Catholics must vote solely on the issue of abortion and not support any pro-choice candidates. Martino went even further, adding, "[P]ublic officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject."So, less than three weeks before the election, bishops are issuing letters telling Catholics that they cannot vote for candidates who hold pro-choice views and remain in good standing in the church. That sure sounds to me like the church is favoring certain candidates over others and trying to affect the outcome of the race..."

I believe that Barry Lynn and Rob Boston's interpretation of the Establishment Clause, Free Speech Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is simply wrong. It is not faithful to history, it is not a proper reading of Constitutional law, it is not good for the public order and it does not promote or serve the common good. This clause was never intended by the American founders to prevent religious groups from full participation in the public square nor to censor out religious speech or the religious speaker from civic participation. It most certainly was never intended to stop Bishops from being Moral teachers.

The "Establishment Clause" is better understood as an "anti-Establishment Clause" because it was intended to prevent the erection of a National Church. Of course, as a Catholic, I am quite sensitive to the fact that the early American colonies were not, for the most part, very Catholic friendly. However, over time, that changed. And, properly understood, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution has allowed for a robust diversity of religious expression (or non-expression) and the flourishing of a dynamic model of religious freedom in America. That is, when it is properly interpreted and applied.

However, Rev. Lynn wants to erect a Wall far greater in scope than the metaphorical wall which has been used in Establishment clause jurisprudence to explain the American notion of separation. His notion of a wall would expunge religious expression from the public discourse and impede the freedom of the Church to speak to the great moral issues of the age. Now, Rob Boston attempts to bully the US Bishops who are doing what they must, teaching on matters of moral truth, by threatening their tax exemption. This is one more example of a growing dark cloud on the horizon of religious freedom in this wonderful Nation.

To my fellow Catholics, Americans United is threatening to attack the tax exemption of our Church. In the early days of my own work as a Constitutional lawyer, my Catholicism was a problem for Rev. Barry Lynn. Because of me, and others like me, he was unable to convince folks that all Christian people with whom he disagreed over the Right to Life and a host of other issues were "fundamentalists". He wanted to denigrate us all by assigning us to what he hoped to argue was a small segment of Protestant Christianity, the "fundamentalists', who were a threat to the Republic.

He failed then and he must fail now.

I am appalled that Barry Lynn and Rob Boston are now blatantly threatening our Church and her Bishops. As a Deacon, I will not be bullied. As a lawyer, I am also ready to defend against this dangerous threat. I know I am not alone and I call on all Catholic and other Christian lawyers to get ready. If these bullies attempt to take away the tax exempt status of the Catholic Church, they must be strongly opposed. Together we must stand up for an authentic understanding of religious freedom, defend our Church and oppose this anti-Christian bullying.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Ever been depressed? Say goodbye to your Second Amendment Watch

Image of People with mental problems in their past will not be able to purchase firearms anymore.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

If you receive disability for a psychological condition, prepare to be reported to the FBI. In a new bid to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, the Obama administration intends to place everybody with a mental disability into an FBI database. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Obama proposes shocking $1.3 billion for illegal minors entering US Watch

Image of Children illegally cross the border from Mexico into the US (Breitbart Texas Release).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With US President Barack Obama's plans to provide $17,613 for every illegal minor child entering America, the first six months of 2016 has seen a jump of 78 percent in unaccompanied minors crossing the Mexican-American border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Romanian hacker, 'Guccifer' drops two NEW bombshells over Clinton email server Watch

Image of Guccifer has dropped two new revelations about Clinton's email server.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fox News has interviewed the Romanian hacker, Guccifer, who claims it was easy to hack Hillary Clinton's email server and that others did so as well. Guccifer is being held in an American jail on unrelated hacking charges, but he agreed to speak exclusively to Fox ... continue reading


Too little too late: $75.5 million anti-Trump ads not enough Watch

Image of Who can stop Trump? Apparently, no one (Twitter).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump has several critics, most of whom have invested in a $75.5 million anti-Trump campaign, but the American people have spoken and Donald Trump remains the last standing Republican nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Donald Trump has been criticized ... continue reading


Hoosier Daddy: Trump wins Indiana in a Landslide Watch

Image of With Cruz out of the race, the nomination is in the bag for Trump (starcasm).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump beat out Ted Cruz in Indiana's primary, leading Cruz to make a startling announcement and Kasich to drop out. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I've said I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory; tonight I'm sorry to say it ... continue reading


ICE gets more money, deports fewer illegals. Where's the money going? Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants cross the border with little risk of repercussion.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Where is the money going? Congress continues to allocate money to get people who don't belong in our country back home, but deportations are dropping according to new numbers. So, where is the money going? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Breitbart News has ... continue reading


New report finds religious freedom on the decline Watch

Image of Coptic Christians are among the most persecuted group in the world, and nobody is attempting to help them.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Religious freedom worldwide is "under serious and sustained assault." This finding is the work of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF). LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A new report which examines religious oppression around ... continue reading


'He deserves what he gets:' Latino youths violently protest Donald Trump in Orange County Watch

Image of Trump protestors broke out in a violent riot during his Orange County rally (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands attended Donald Trump's Orange County rally - then broke out in violent protest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Trump rally in Costa Mesa's Orange County Amphitheater was overflowing with supporters. There were several supporters who couldn't fit ... continue reading


New White House rules leave religious groups open to government abuse Watch

Image of Religious groups question the government's new regulations (Shutterstock).

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

The Obama administration's new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups' protections against government ... continue reading


EXCLUSIVE - America, King of Propaganda: U.S. government spends billions to spew LIES to the American people. And guess what you foolish Americans, Congress made it all perfectly legal without your vote Watch

Image of

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Have we won the ground war in Afghanistan? According to the government reports and the media, we sure have. However, this is not what one whistleblower has said, warning as early as 2012 that the American people are being deceived by the government. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Saturday, May 07, 2016
  • 'The Evil': Exorcism classes forced on Spanish students
  • St. Thomas HD Video
  • Pope Francis to EU: 'tear down the walls'
  • Arising from Sleep HD Video
  • St. Rose Venerini: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 07, 2016
  • 28 killed in refugee camp targeted by Assad's missiles

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 18:9-18
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, 'Be fearless; speak out ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:20-23
20 'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2016 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, ... Read More