While US Catholic bishops can't, under the tax code, endorse political candidates, their allegiance to the GOP is quite obvious. Not only are they spending millions of their parishioners' dollars on defeating gay marriage; but they're warning their congregations that hell and damnation await those who vote Democratic. But because their exhortations are limited to the dwindling number of those in the pews, they need a national pulpit from which to preach their anti-Obama message. So who better to do that but Fr. Jonathan Morris who has been given a weekly TV spot on Fox News from which to spread the gospel according to the GOP, Roger Ailes, and the US Catholics bishops - all of whom are praying for the defeat of Barack Obama. On October 16, Morris devoted his weekly Fox & Friends sermonette to accusing Vice-President Joe Biden of lying about how the HHS birth control mandate will affect the Catholic Church. And last Sunday the attack continued with more false Fox witness from the sweet little priest.
Occasional "friend," Heather Nauert (another Fox Catholic who has pimped for the bishops) reported that, on Saturday, more than 100 US cities participated in "Stand up for Religious Freedom" rallies. (19,052 in 82 cities and none in NYC) Footage was shown of what appeared to be the Chicago rally which was the largest at 1700 while the rest were much smaller. Clayton Morris explained that the protest is about the HHS mandate "and how it affects religious freedom." Dave Briggs asked if "all Americans Christians or not should be concerned about religious freedom with the big election around the corner."
Fr.Morris, who has never mentioned that the "Clergy Coalition for Choice" supports the mandate, said everybody needs to be concerned about how the big, bad administration wants to change the definition of a religious organization which governs the exemptions. Rather than make the argument that Catholic hospitals take care of and employ non Catholics, he framed it in terms of how, in order to get the exemption as a religious institution, they would need to serve only Catholics. Clayton Morris cued up Fr. Morris with a reference to Joe Biden's comments, about exemptions, at the veep debate.
Morris: "It was either a bold faced lie or shocking ignorance."
Fr. Morris noted that the bishops immediately said that Biden's comments weren't true. Nauert provided another scripted cue for Fr. Morris with her question of how Catholic employers (Note - not Catholic institutions) are self insurers. Fr. Morris discussed how, in addition to the Catholic Church, Catholic employers are suing the government because, they say, "you're telling us what we have to do in relationship to our faith." (Yeah, follow the law). Nauert further framed the bishops' message with her comment about how paying for contraception is a slippery slope to paying for "who knows what." (And if Catholic employers don't want to pay for birth control, will Jehovah's Witness employers be allowed to withhold coverage for blood transfusions?) Nobody mentioned that some Catholic institutions already pay for birth control.
Fr. Morris then proceeded with a torturous analogy of the HHS mandate being the same as the government ordering Mormons to drink wine because "it's good for society." (Memo to the padre - the government isn't forcing Catholic institutions to distribute birth control, merely provide coverage through health care plans already being paid for by thw women.)
While the Catholic bishops argue that their religious freedom is being violated, women's rights advocates contend that religious freedom means that "government should not privilege the teachings of one religion over another or deny individual religious freedom." But you won't hear this argument from Roger Ailes' special pal, Fr. Morris. And you won't hear that a Missouri judge, in ruling against a Catholic employer, wrote that the law doesn't infringe on religious liberty. But you will hear why Catholics (and others concerned about religious liberty) should vote Republican - without any endorsement of any candidates, wink, wink. As the "Church Lady" would say, "isn't that special!"
Clergy Coalition for Choice is a totally real group of mainline Protestant and Jewish clergy whose faith traditions do not view abortion as a sin.
If anyone is a liar or ignorant it’s Morris and the leaders in the catholic church.