Timothy Cardinal Dolan was a guest on The O’Reilly Factor last night. For a news network that’s supposedly so reverent, you’d think we would have heard about Dolan’s recent elevation to become a Cardinal or how he became what The Daily Beast calls “America’s most important churchman.” And there may have been that conversation, as O’Reilly said there was more to it than what he aired. But what we got on The Factor last night was all about politics.
After discussing the “strained” relations between President Obama and the Catholic Church, especially with regard to the Church’s opposition to the contraception mandate, O’Reilly asked, “Does the Catholic Church want to be a player in American politics?”
Dolan replied, “Yeah, well, the Catholic Church wants its people to be a player in American politics.” He said 28% of “the population of the United States are Catholics” (an apparent acknowledgment that not all of that population are citizens). “And the Catholic Church through them – you bet wants to have, wants to have a say in the direction of our beloved country. To think that there’s a Berlin wall between one’s religious convictions and one’s political activities is crazy, it’s ludicrous. It’s not only non-Catholic, non-Christian, non-Biblical, it’s also un-American.”
Dolan added, “Every great movement in American history has been driven by people of religious conviction. And if we duct tape the churches – I’m just not talking about the Catholic church – if we duct tape the role of religion and the churches and morally convince people in the marketplace, then that’s going to lead to a huge deficit, a huge void. And there are many people who want to fill it up. Namely, a new religion called secularism… So to see that morally-driven, religiously-convinced people want to exercise their political responsibility – I think that is not only at the heart of Biblical religion, it’s at the heart of the American enterprise.”
I’m all for people of all faiths and outlooks participating in American democracy. But it makes me queasy to hear a religious leader urging his followers in this way. It was pretty clear from Dolan’s comments earlier in the conversation (not to mention Priscilla’s many excellent posts) which way he’d have his followers go. Hint: It’s not with President Obama.
Also, can you imagine if O’Reilly interviewed an Imam – say, Imam Rauf, of the Ground Zero Mosque – who said, “Islam wants its people to be a player in American politics… And Islam through them – you bet wants to have, wants to have a say in the direction of our beloved country. To think that there’s a Berlin wall between one’s religious convictions and one’s political activities is crazy, it’s ludicrous. It’s not only non-Muslim, it’s also un-American.”
I doubt any Muslim guest would be able to finish the sentence without O’Reilly going ballistic first.
But the only thing that seemed to strike O’Reilly about Dolan’s comments? How the “religion of secularism,” which O’Reilly seemed to think meant “the media and entertainment industry,” were pitted against the Catholic church and “other faith-based people, other religions.”
Bildo hopes so.
We all know this Church coevers most maybe all of the 7 deadly sins,Amen.
If the Catholic Church (or any religious group) wants to play political ball, it should have its tax exemption removed.
Why are women not represented in the upper echelons of your church? That is so, you know, âTalibanâ.
How’s the investigation and prosecution of the Catholic Church pedophile priests going? I don’t hear much progress there. That is a morality issue, isn’t it?