In politics many are trying to play with God and with the Devil

  • Gerardo E. Martínez-Solanas
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In politics many are trying to play with God and with the Devil

3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago
Last May, the Little Sisters of the Poor were back at the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping finally to bring their eight-year legal battle to an end. It is really surprising to see many prominent Catholics promoting a forceful opposition to the Little Sisters and other religious entities who adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church and to the teachings of some other Christian churches. This odd trend raises troubling questions about the November election: how many Catholics and other Christians will vote for or against so-called Catholic politicians whose policies contradict certain tenants of the Christian faith? 
The Democratic National Convention's Twitter account posted a video touting Biden's Catholic background. This video shows candidate Biden talking about meeting a group of nuns in St. Peter's Basilica, saying they "epitomize everything … about generosity to other people, about reaching out, about making it a point to understand that we are our brother's keeper. That's what, in my experience, being raised as a Catholic and being educated by the nuns, that's what those lovely women I'm talking to symbolize to me," he continued, punctuated by soft music and footage of Biden with the Pope and with smiling nuns.

This should be reassuring to Christians in general hoping for government respect to religious freedoms.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are a Catholic order that has existed since 1839 and mostly serves impoverished elderly in over 30 countries, among other charitable enterprises. In 2013, the Little Sisters sued the Obama-Biden administration's Health and Human Services, seeking a religious exemption to providing contraceptives and abortifacients, a practice that went against their beliefs. After three years of litigation, the Supreme Court ruled in the Little Sisters' favor in 2016.  However, when the Trump administration issued a new rule that expanded religious exemptions to include the Little Sisters, the state of Pennsylvania interfered, suing the administration to take protections away from the nuns. That case also made it to the Supreme Court, which again decided in favor of the Little Sisters in July 2020. But the day the Supreme Court issued its new ruling, Biden promised to take away the nuns' hard-fought exemption if elected president. "I am disappointed in today's U.S. Supreme Court decision," Biden said in response. "If I am elected I will restore the Obama-Biden policy."

It is very sad for many Christians that the presidential candidate of one of the two largest political parties of the United States proclaims himself Catholic while challenging two rulings already taken by the Supreme Court in favor of religious freedom.

This has nothing to do with being or not a supporter of the Democratic Party, but with the need to point out to those who seek to interpret human rights and fundamental freedoms in their own way, so that voters may purge the ranks of this or that party in November by opting for the candidates who firmly respect those universal principles.

Among the many other charitable works performed by the Little Sisters of the Poor was their devotion to elderly care at Jeanne Jugan Residence. This Residence was impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias last Aug. 4th, but in spite of the disaster caused by the elements, with the nun's careful and gentle assistance, the residents were transferred to alternate facilities late that evening and were saved.

The Jeanne Jugan Residence Advisory Board for the Little Sisters of the Poor sent the nuns off to their Provincial Residence in Queens, NY, and at their departure, a caravan of police, firefighters and a colorful guard kicked off a festive parade with over 200 vehicles of families, friends and grateful residents in recognition of their dedication to the community for the past 150 years of Catholic ministry.

Never mind that another prominent so-called Catholic has had no qualms about joining the bandwagon against the Little Sisters of the Poor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called the exemption for religious employers "despicable" and an "outrageous attack on women's health."

Some Catholic politicians (in both parties) have long supported contraception, abortion, and even same-sex marriage, and we must respect their opinions and freedom of expression whether we agree or not, but they have no right to use the full force and power of government against others that cannot renounce their religious beliefs.

It is quite feasible to predict that Christians who are supporters of the Democratic Party will take these contradictions into account when voting, and many will choose those candidates who openly respect the beliefs of others. And the same is to be said about Republican candidates who also pretend to proclaim their faith, bidding to receive the votes of Christians while supporting policies that contradict those same beliefs.
Last edit: 3 years 8 months ago by Gerardo E. Martínez-Solanas.

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