Monday, August 14, 2006


Who said this?
A liberal Catholic is oxymoronic. The definition of a person who disagrees with what the Catholic Church is teaching is called a Protestant.

No, it isn't Katie, although she undoubtedly believes it. No, it's a Opus Dei evangelist named John McCloskey. He is at the Catholic Information Center which is located a couple of blocks from the White House. Here's a little more information about him:
In 2000 Father McCloskey laid out his vision of American Christianity in the year 2030 (McCloskey, 2000). In his "new church order" there is no dissent remaining in the Catholic Church, and mainstream American Protestant churches (which he calls "Protestant sects") will be virtually a thing of the past. All faithful "evangelical, biblical" Protestants will have joined his one true politically-correct church and the rest of Christendom is left behind with the pagan masses (McCloskey, 2000).

These are just a couple of snippets from a Media Transparency article entitled Neocon Catholics target mainline protestants by Andrew J. Weaver.

Why do you care about this Spotty?

Because, grasshopper, McCloskey and a lot of other conservative Catholics - like our Katie - are working pretty hard to subvert the social justice ministry of mainline Protestant churches. You remember Katie's recent jeremiad (a word that Spotty has not used before to describe Katie's writing but thinks may be the best one yet) against the mainline Protestants, don't you? Her column may be locked away, sealed with an astringent kiss, in the vaults at the Star Tribune. But Spot wrote about it in Katie bashes religion!

Not all religion, of course, just some. The bone in Katie's craw on this occasion was the adoption of resolutions by the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in Minnesota to, well, let's just let Katie tell it:
In the past, Methodist leaders have often focused on racism and sexism. This year, however, gay issues jumped to center stage. The Minnesota Annual Conference outdid itself, passing nine petitions on various aspects of the topic. The conference went on record as supporting both gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy.

Boy it was bad enough when those darned Methodists stuck up for blacks and women! Now they seem to think gays are actually, like, people! Who knows where this might lead?

One of the places where Katie undoubtedly downloads her thoughts from is the Institute on Religion and Democracy. According to the linked Media Transparency article, here's an example of an IRD attack on the Methodists:

Recently, Rev. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National
Council of Churches and a United Methodist minister, observed "there is
a growing body of evidence that groups like the IRD" are working to
"deliberately divide and undermine institutional churches...This is a
concerted effort, not just against the National Council but the
mainline churches themselves, to erode the confidence in leadership of
these churches" (Guess, 2006).

Here is how the attacks are
carried out. In November of 2005, in an unusual move, 99 (now 109)
United Methodist bishops from every region of the United States as well
as Europe, Africa, and Asia released a joint Statement of Conscience
entitled, "A Call to Repentance and Peace with Justice" (United
Methodist Reporter, 2005). The bishops are the elected officials who
constitute the consecrated leadership of the 11 million member United
Methodist Church (UMC), which includes among its members President
George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney.

In the Statement of Conscience
the bishops confess, "In the face of the United States Administration's
rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many
of us were silent." The bishops commit themselves to pray for the end
of war in general and "the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation
of Iraq" specifically, to reclaim their prophetic authority to speak
out against war and injustice, and to engage in advocacy and
peacemaking as integral to Christian discipleship (UMR, 2005). The
signers reflect a wide consensus and are comprised of a broad national,
age, gender, and theological diversity.

A few days after the bishops' Statement of Conscience was made public, the Weekly Standard published an IRD response (Fred Barnes is the executive editor of Weekly Standard and a board member at IRD). In IRD's attack piece on the bishops for the Weekly Standard,
it accused them of "flogging the President." Its graphic denunciation
of the bishops followed the Neoconservative party line, condemning the
bishops for being out-of-touch "liberal elites" who promote
"anti-Americanism" and have "hostility to capitalism" (Tooley, 2005a).

This was followed by a Christmas fundraising appeal from IRD dated December
22, 2005, in which it smeared the bishops a second time. IRD claimed
that the bishops' Statement of Conscience is "insulting" to the "brave
young men and women" who are serving in Iraq (Tooley, 2005b). Never
mind that family members of the bishops have been and are serving in
Iraq. IRD sneers at the bishops' call for peace, justice, and reconciliation in Iraq as sounding "like warmed-over 1960s utopianism" and proceeds to mock them as "flower children and chronic demonstrators who never really grew up and faced the real, sinful world" (Tooley, 2005b). In a direct challenge to the basic patriotism of the bishops that would warm the heart of Joseph Goebbels, IRD declares:

No doubt, if transported back in history, these bishops likewise would
have impartially "lamented" the "continued warfare" between Allied and German forces in Normandy in 1944, while blaming the plight of millions of victims of fascist aggression on the United States (Tooley, 2005b).

This malicious accusation, typical of IRD, is made despite the fact that
among the bishops are decorated World War II and Korean Era combat

Gs and Gettes, these are not nice people. And they are pretty well funded too, by a handful of right-wing foundations and as Media Transparency points out in the linked article. You really ought to read it. These Media Transparency guys do great work.

Update: Be sure to check out the comments. No, not the one from St. Swiftee, but the second one from Rob Levine.

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