A friend’s child was told by a Roman Catholic priest that anyone who votes for Obama was going to hell. Perhaps this is an isolated incident. But of course, in 2004 some RC bishops suggested that John Kerry shouldn’t be allowed communion based on his pro-choice stance. And now, a priest in South Carolina has told his parishioners that they should do penance for their vote if they voted for Obama, or risk putting their souls in peril if they take communion.
This is not isolated. I know I can be as myopic as the next guy, but this is horrendous. Why is pro-life defined only in regard to abortion? Granted, the Catholic church has a more consistent view of life issues than most faith traditions, but why not a similar stance on the death penalty, health care, war and other issues that are pro-life? (answer: because everyone who voted, or failed to vote, would have to repent, and perhaps we should anyway).
A great Christan blogger, Andrew Thompson, suggested a term last year that I have been trying to spread around: Pro-Vita. He wrote:
I propose a new term: Pro Vita Christians. It is a way of saying “for life” or “in favor of life” but without the political baggage of the term “pro-life.” It is a way of affirming God’s love and care for all of his creatures – from the unborn baby in the womb to the convicted killer on death row.
There is also an organization called Consistent Life which is
committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today’s world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a ‘consistent ethic of life’. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation, and respect in protecting the unprotected.
I really don’t know what else to say here without tearing my garments. This is disturbing. RC clergy are not the only ones doing this. I’ve seen various pastors on both sides imply that if you vote for the opposition, you’re not following God’s will. It’s too much.