Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Separating the State from the Church

While the fundamentalist Protestants are working like beavers to break down the wall between the state and the church, to let the church flood the state, some Roman Catholics appear to be doing the reverse. Interestingly, this example took place in Massachusetts, a blue state if there ever was one:

ANDOVER -- State Rep. Barbara L'Italien was asked by the pastor of her church, St. Augustine's, to step down as cantor and head of the youth choir because of her pro-choice stance on abortion.
L'Italien, a life member of the church, says she refused the requests made by the church's new pastor, the Rev. William M. Cleary.
"I was told that because I am a legislator and a Democrat I was being asked to step down," she said. "This has upset my whole home. I am a pretty unlikely and undeserving target of this."
Cleary said this morning his decision to ask her to step down has nothing to do with her party affiliation. Rather, he says, he cannot have someone in a leadership position who is in favor of abortion.
"In this particular case we're dealing with a person who is against the church's position," Cleary said. "I can't allow her to be in a public posture -- to be standing up at the pulpit singing or directing singing."
Cleary says he has no problems with L'Italien receiving Communion or working with children "behind the scenes." While he says his decision was not based on her being a Democrat, Cleary did say Democrats, in general, are more inclined to be pro-choice.

I haven't seen a single example of similar acts to rid the church of those politicians who favored the Iraq war or who favor the death penalty. What's also striking about this incident is the moral values shown by Cleary when he doesn't see anything wrong with L'Italien working "behind the scenes". Cleary's own values appear to be in some turmoil here.

This is most likely just one person acting on his own, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a mass purging of Democratic pro-choice politicians from the church. I also wouldn't be at all surprised to see pro-choice Republicans completely overlooked in this.
Link via Kos.