Oh wait, that was the last administration.
While on campus this morning filling out forms, I picked up the most recent edition of the Volante student newspaper. I settled down to read it over lunch and nearly snarfed my soup when I saw one of the News Briefs (via Associated Press) on page A3: “Bishops challenge Obama.”
According to the article by Rachel Zoll,
“the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcibly confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights, saying the church and religious freedom could be under attack in the new presidential administration.” [12 Nov. 2008]
Furthermore, “several bishops said they would accept no compromise on abortion policy,” and some condemned Catholics who judged voting for Obama “morally acceptable…because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.”
A couple of problems with this argument come to mind. First, the Obama administration, at least in its campaigning and transitioning, has shown itself to be accepting and willing to work with all kinds of groups.
If you’re looking for examples of religious freedoms under attack, try looking at the Bush administration’s racial profiling for Muslims and false rumors spread about Obama himself being a Muslim. Apparently it’s OK to attack religions and those who practice them, as long as it’s not the Catholic religion?
Second, that “no compromise” position is one reason why the words “lapsed” and “Catholic” so often join hands. If the church wishes to be completely intolerant of any discussion of how to reduce abortion rates, and instead simply seeks to make abortion illegal, which has not been shown to substantially reduce the numbers of abortions performed, then it’s all show and no substance.
Further, the “no compromise/no discussion” platform simply ensures that no one from the Catholic hierarchy will be taking part in the serious discussion about reducing abortion rates. They’ve simply excluded themselves from the conversation by claiming that something that does exist should not, while offering no practical way to get there.
So, bishops–feel free to practice your religious freedom of condemning whomever you like, so long as you keep it within your own four walls and steeple. You can “challenge” the Obama administration, but it might be more helpful to work with them.