Thursday, February 02, 2017

Religious bigotry in the USA exists and now it will have a political platform all it's own.

The Catholic Church takes itself seriously. They do not take kindly to the removal of religious freedom in the USA.

January 31, 2017

Washington—On January 27, 2017, (click here) President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order that, among other things: suspends issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days; indefinitely suspends resettlement of refugees from Syria, which is also predominantly Muslim, subject to a possible exception for those who are "religious minorities" in their home countries and facing religious persecution; and suspends virtually the entire U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days, also subject to a possible exception for such "religious minorities."

Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski, Bishop of Springfield and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, and Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, Bishop of Las Cruces and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, jointly issued the following statement in response to this action:

"We recognize that Friday evening's Executive Order has generated fear and untold anxiety among refugees, immigrants, and others throughout the faith community in the United States. In response to the Order, we join with other faith leaders to stand in solidarity again with those affected by this order, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers. We also express our firm resolution that the Order's stated preference for "religious minorities" should be applied to protect not only Christians where they are a minority, but all religious minorities who suffer persecution, which includes Yazidis, Shia Muslims in majority Sunni areas, and vice versa. While we also recognize that the United States government has a duty to protect the security of its people, we must nevertheless employ means that respect both religious liberty for all, and the urgency of protecting the lives of those who desperately flee violence and persecution. It is our conviction as followers of the Lord Jesus that welcoming the stranger and protecting the vulnerable lie at the core of the Christian life. And so, to our Muslim brothers and sisters and all people of faith, we stand with you and welcome you."

I would anticipate the Catholic Church' priests will begin to talk about religious oppression to their congregations. I would expect the conversations during this administration in Washington to include the harsh treatment of people in Muslim countries around the world.

2 February 2017

Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority.

All of the Catholics caring and realizing the exceptional power and equity of a local government and local economy are in step with Pope Francis. 


WASHINGTON — In a letter issued yesterday congratulating Secretary Rex Tillerson on his confirmation as Secretary of State, Bishop Oscar Cantú, chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), called on the Secretary to work for peace in Israel and Palestine.

Bishop Cantú, who recently participated in a solidarity visit to Israel and Palestine, enclosed a joint communiqué by bishops from Europe, Canada, South Africa and the United States. The bishop notes that “2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of a crippling occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, crippling for both peoples.”  Quoting the joint communiqué of the bishops, he goes on to state that “[t]he occupation violates ‘the human dignity of both Palestinians and Israelis.’  Settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian lands undermines a two-state solution, destroying the homes and the livelihoods of Palestinians as well as the long-term security and future of Israelis.”

Decrying “egregious injustices and random acts of violence,” Bishop Cantú expressed the opposition of U.S. and international bishops to Israeli settlement expansion and confiscation of Palestinian lands. In addition, he implored the Secretary to maintain the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv. He wrote, “Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would erode the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, and is a threat to pursuing peace and ending conflict. Its impact would incite and destabilize the area, compromising U.S. security. As Pope Francis declares, ‘the two-state solution must become a reality and not merely a dream.’”...

No further a wall between church and state in the USA. The slow march to a theocratic Protestant country. Quite a gift to those that line his cabinet.

February 2, 2017
By Gregory Korte

President Trump (click here) promised faith leaders Thursday that he would "totally destroy" the law that prohibits churches from engaging in political activity, a move that would upend 63 years of settled tax law.

In an appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Trump said he would make good on his promise to overturn the so-called Johnson Amendment, which bans public charities — including churches — from campaigning for or against a candidate for for elected office. Those who do risk losing their tax exemption.

"Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution," Trump said. "I will do that, remember."
The statement was met by enthusiastic applause from the religious leaders.
The 1954 law is named for its author, then-senator Lyndon Johnson. Because it's in the tax code, any change would have to come from Congress....

Pope Francis held a multi-religious service at the 911 Memorial. It was to strength all religions to fight the prejudice, hatred and victimization of people.

Mr. Trump will find little welcome to his particular brand of hatred.

Pope Francis’ Speech at 9/11 Memorial Museum

I feel many different emotions (click here) standing here at Ground Zero, where thousands of lives were taken in a senseless act of destruction. Here grief is palpable. The water we see flowing towards that empty pit reminds us of all those lives which fell prey to those who think that destruction, tearing down, is the only way to settle conflicts. It is the silent cry of those who were victims of a mindset which knows only violence, hatred and revenge. A mindset which can only cause pain, suffering, destruction and tears....

Pope Francis (L) listens during a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City.

This image of the standard of inclusion set that day was recorded by Reuters.

January 30, 2017
By David Leonhardt

Let’s not mince words. (click here) President Trump’s recent actions are an attempt to move the United States away from being the religiously free country that the founders created — and toward becoming an aggressively Christian country hostile to other religions.

On Friday, his White House deliberately excluded mention of Jews from its statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day. A Trump aide, Hope Hicks, explained that mentioning Jews would have been unfair to the Holocaust’s other victims — a line that happens to be a longtime trope of anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers in Europe.

“The Holocaust was about the Jews,” former Reagan speechwriter John Podhoretz wrote in Commentary this weekend, “There is no ‘proud’ way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact.”...

Indeed. There are more protestant voters in the USA than any other individual religion, however, there are more religious voters in the USA than protestant voters. The Southern Baptist Convention is where most African Americans can be found when it comes to religious practices. Will they stand aside from their white counter part if the bigotry continues?

Perhaps. Just perhaps the bigotry that currently exists is enough!

Will Pagans be allowed to have a religious political platform as well.

June 29, 2014

...A person (click here) should not have to pretend to be Christian to be treated like everybody else. The area he lives in is 75 percent Christian, but according to the U.S. Constitution, that does not mean that the remaining 25 percent have no rights. Yet, according to the Religious Right, that is exactly the case, an example of the so-called “excesses of democracy” the Constitution was written to prevent. The Founders feared that exactly this would result if the rights of minorities were not protected.

They cannot say he does not represent the community when he is part of that community, and a government is supposed to represent all its people, not just the majority view....

The United States of America was built and maintained by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds. This administration is trampling their honor.