(Click on the pic to see Monty Python's "The Bishop" skit.)
Cliff Schecter discusses, for your reading pleasure, the utter hypocrisy of conservative Catholic religious figures who punish progressive politicians for opposing the Vatican on some issue (Claire McCaskill and stem cells, in this case), yet look the other way when Republican Catholic political figures back the Iraq war and the death penalty — both of which are also officially opposed by the Vatican. (Remember when a few conservative bishops pulled similar crap against John Kerry in 2004? Including Archbishop Raymond Burke, the same guy currently attacking Senator McCaskill and who recently went after Sheryl Crow? I did some Googling and didn't see where these princelings of the church ever came out against Iraq or the death penalty for people who don't have gills or a tail.)
Oh, yeah: Speaking of Iraq and immorality, somebody needs to do up an Iraq bill that removes the
mercenaries privateers "contractors" from Iraq, who equal if not exceed the number of actual US troops in the country. The way that the Rumsfeld-Cheney-Wolfowitz gang of PNAC Platoon goons tried to privatize the military is enough to make even a casual observer gag and screech at the obscenity of it all. But I guess certain conservative Republican-cuddling bishops are too busy harassing Claire McCaskill to care about what we do with real live American soldiers or contractors, much less real live out-of-the-womb Iraqis.
And it's not just archconservative archbishops who are being bad actors in the political realm. The Village Voice has a nice blockbuster of a piece on how Bush and the Republicans have been trying to use evangelical Protestant Christians to court the Jewish vote — with some rather dodgy results, to put it mildly. (Seems that Jewish people in America and Israel have this teey-weeny objection to being used as props by Republicans or crazy Armageddon-minded right-wing Christians who think that they're cursed because of the presence of a Harry Potter book in a room.) Remember our crazy friend Michele Bachmann? Well, her BFF Mac Hammond is the upper Midwest regional director for "Christians United for Israel" (CUFI), whose boss John Hagee is behind some of the most vilely anti-Semitic Holocaust revisionism currently out there.
The founders of this country, sickened at the centuries of religious warfare and sectarian strife that filled the histories of Great Britain and the rest of the "Old World" they knew, deliberately set out to remove religious figures of all sorts from access to the levers of power, even as they promoted freedom to practice all religions that weren't threats to the common good. Now the Republicans, for pure political gain, are working to undo both of these sensible practices — and are endangering not just Israel (whose destruction is part of the evangelical "End of Days" plan) but, increasingly, the rest of the world as well.