Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A. Fournier

10/16/2008 (6 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 (6 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Hillary Clinton is a FELON - New email dump contains 150 CLASSIFIED emails Watch

Image of Hillary's emails reveal she is surrounded by sycophants and that the State Department techs had no idea she was using a private server, which is against the law.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State Department released a large batch of Clinton emails on Monday, with another 7,000 pages released to the media. Classified information has been redacted. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The State Department released 7,000 new Hillary Clinton emails to the ... continue reading


Are the Clintons mass murders? Death of British spy who hacked them raises old questions about the Clinton thuggery machine Watch

Image of They may be the most evil family in modern American politics.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Clinton death toll is simply astounding. Approximately 100 people, directly associated with the Clinton family, have died under unnatural and mysterious circumstances since the early 1990s. It is considered possible that the Clinton family chooses to deal with ... continue reading


Obama's Clean Water Act blocked hours before taking effect Watch

Image of Obama's water pollution rule was blocked by a federal judge a few hours before its execution.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A North Dakota federal judge blocked the Obama Administration's controversial water pollution rule just hours before taking effect. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota discovered ... continue reading


Clinton compares Republicans to terrorists: Receives unsurprising backlash Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton compares conservative views on abortion and reproductive rights to terrorist groups. Republicans demand an apology while Republican and Democrat candidates agree Clinton's campaign is failing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Hillary Clinton gave a ... continue reading


'The whole Bible is incredible': Donald trump ridiculed for not naming favorite Bible verse Watch

Image of Donald Trump claims the Bible is his favorite book.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During an interview with Bloomberg's Mark Halerin and John Heilemann, presidential candidate, Donald Trump was asked to name his favorite Bible verse but refused to name one. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Seven minutes into the interview, Halerin told Trump, "You ... continue reading


EVERY 93 SECONDS: Foreign children born on U.S. soil Watch

Image of Children of immigrants born on United States soil appear to be wearing out their welcome, according to recent polls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children of immigrants born on United States soil appear to be wearing out their welcome, according to recent polls. It is estimated that a child of illegal immigrants is born every 93 seconds in the U.S. According to a 2011 Rasmussen Poll, only 28 percent of likely ... continue reading


Univision anchor Jorge Ramos EJECTED from Donald Trump press conference Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Go back to Univision," GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos at an Iowa press conference. Well regarded by his peers, there was no gravitas afforded Ramos at the event, as a security guard escorted him away. The occasion ... continue reading


The do-nothing Boehner is not only stupid, he's pro-Planned Parenthood - revealed by his incestuous political relationship with an abortion-affiliated adviser Watch

Image of Boehner makes a lot of money off Obamacare and other investments in the medical industry, thanks to his privileged position in Congress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Charlotte Ivancic, Health Policy Advisor to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is leaving his office to work for a lobbying firm. Ivancic is the older sister of Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress. Dyer was caught discussing the sale of aborted children on video by the ... continue reading


When it comes to illegal immigration, EVERYBODY WINS! Except you, of course you lose Watch

Image of Attitude is everything.

By David Drudge, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans tend to agree we need some kind of immigration reform, but they can't agree on how bad the problem is, or even what that reform should look like. Here is a story that will shock you into thinking harder about the problem. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


It has happened before: President Bill Clinton PARDONED former CIA Director for home computer Classified Document mess Watch

Image of In truth, Hillary Clinton's current controversy over keeping sensitive, classified information on home computers had its basis in which her husband, former president Bill Clinton pardoned former CIA director John Deutch . who likewise kept classified material on unsecured, private computers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In truth, Hillary Clinton's current controversy over keeping sensitive, classified information on home computers had its basis in which her husband, former president Bill Clinton pardoned former CIA director John Deutch who likewise kept classified material on ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter