The right wing and its Fox "News" mouthpieces had their nice white panties in a bunch over the occasional acts of civil disobedience by "Occupy." One assumes that if the National Organization for Women encouraged doctors to perform abortions in violation of state laws or if municipal clerks granted illegal marriage licenses to gay couples, the right wing and those on Fox News would be apoplectic. But the men in black, otherwise known as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, are urging civil disobedience of "unjust" laws which are part of what Fox and the bishops tell us is a "war on religious liberty." Roger Ailes' boy toy resident theologian, Fr. Jonathan Morris, informs us that the bishop's call to disobey (which was strangely silent during the Viet Nam war) extends beyond the HHS birth control mandate to things like "inability to minister to illegal immigrants" - a group of which Fox News is not usually supportive. Who knew? You learn all sorts of things from Cardinal Dolan's America's Newsroom.
Yesterday morning, on America's Newsroom, Heather Childers (she who was "just asking" if President Obama threatened to kill Chelsea Clinton to cover up his birth certificate) began by stating, unequivocally, that religious freedom is "under attack at home and abroad and now US bishops are issuing a call to action to defend those liberties." She noted that the bishops say this goes beyond the birth control issue "sparked by the Obama administration." She tossed to Fox's only spokesclergy and, as noted in all introductions, the author of "God Wants You Happy." (And Morris is probably very happy with his paycheck and book promotion from Fox - oh, right, he's taken a vow of poverty! Never mind).
Morris explained that the bishop's "unprecedented" document describes affronts to religious liberty that, according to the bishops, are violations of natural law and the Constitution. Childers reiterated that it isn't just about birth control but other issues, one of which involves illegal immigrants. (Childers didn't use the usual Fox term "illegal aliens.") Morris cited the document's position on the Alabamaimmigration law which prohibits churches or charitable organizations from ministering to people without checking their legal status. He mentioned that the bishops address a NY City law that prohibits churches from renting from public schools for church services. Morris then articulated the bishop's call for a "fortnight of freedom," which is a two week period in which Catholics, Christians, and Americans who agree with them are "invited" to pray in protest of these egregious laws. (Don't think the Clergy Coalition for Choice will be onboard). Childers urged viewers to go online and read the document.
While this statement addresses issues that pertain to other churches, it's apparent that it is basically is bitch session about grievances that the bishops have over some setbacks to their agenda, such as the loss of their government contract for administering services to victims of sex trafficking. A federal judge, in citing the First Amendment, ruled that the government's cancellation of the contract was legal because, in denying sex trafficking victims access to birth control and abortion, the bishops were "imposing religion-based restrictions on the use of taxpayer dollars." You don't hear anything from Morris about that. Another issue is closure of Catholic adoption services due to the church's refusal to service same sex couples, in accordance with state non-discrimination laws. Oh, that pesky Constitution. Of the seven "violations," four apply to the Catholic Church. Of the three that don't (one being the immigration issue which might be a sop to liberal Catholics who have criticized the Church for focusing exclusively on the HHS mandate), one involves a court decision against a Christian club, at the Hastings School of Law, that discriminated against gays. Oh, that pesky Constitution. The bishops' summation is a total misrepresentation of the issue.
But it's interesting that Fox News says that it's OK to break the law if the Catholic bishops say so. I don't think they would be as sanguine about athiests! Ya think! And once again, isn't it sweet that the cardinal and his capos have their very own network from which to preach the *word!
US citizenship is secondary! You’re living for the Vatican folks!