A dismaying start to presidential campaign

| October 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

The presidential campaign hasn’t even officially begun, and yet there is already reason to be concerned about some of the ideas being recommended by some candidates.

Pandering to the politically correct crowd, at least two candidates have proposed suggestions that are blatantly anti-religion, if not anti-Catholic. They also are abusive to people’s human rights and downright unconstitutional.

For instance, Sen. Cory Booker, the Democrat from New Jersey, thinks that Catholic schools unjustly discriminate because they don’t support the LGBT agenda.

In a response to a question about a Catholic high school that won’t support an LGBT club on its premises, Booker said, “And so, for me, I cannot allow as a leader that people are going to use religion as a justification for discrimination.”

In other words, there can be no debate, no wavering from the state’s line. And this from a Democrat, the party that always has prided itself on diversity — except apparently when a politically active bloc screams and yells.

Booker obviously never attended a Catholic school, and he should be ashamed to paint all Catholic schools with the broad brush of discrimination. If there is one thing a Catholic school does not do, it’s to discriminate against individuals. It educates everyone and provides a needed service to the community-at-large. Catholic schools are exceptional schools and dragging them through the mud of a political campaign is just nasty and wrong.

Then there is former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat from Texas who thinks all churches should lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t support gay marriage. Again, there is no debate, there can be no difference of opinion, and beliefs that have held up for thousands of years should all of a sudden be dismissed.

The so-called “right” to marry whomever you wish aside, there should be room for holding another opinion when it comes to controversial issues of our day. You don’t reach a consensus by trying to impose your view on everyone else.

Maintaining that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman in order to propagate the human race is a valid idea and has been the basis of a well-structured society for centuries. To dismiss that concept and impose sanctions on anyone who doesn’t think the way the government does is dishonest and dangerous.

The church has a right to its teachings that are based on firm philosophical thinking of the ages. The church cannot stop two men or two women from marrying each other. They can do so in city hall or any public place. But the church has a right to refuse to sanction such a relationship.

The tone of these preliminary debates leading up to the nomination for president of the United States has been lively and entertaining, although three hours is much too much TV time at this stage.

We can only hope that the rhetoric and tone of the political debates improve. Candidates should realize that continuing to bash the Catholic Church and religious institutions because some people make loud noises about certain positions of the church is ultimately self-destructive and will only alienate the vast majority of fair-thinking Americans.

This editorial first appeared online Oct. 23 on the website of The Tablet, newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York.

The views or positions presented in this or any guest editorial are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Catholic Spirit or the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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Category: Commentary