I expect political hardball on any legislation as important as the health care bill.Here is comes.
I just didn’t expect it from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Who elected them to Congress?
The role the bishops played in the pushing the Stupak amendment, which unfairly restricts access for low-income women to insurance coverage for abortions, was more than mere advocacy.
They seemed to dictate the finer points of the amendment, and managed to bully members of Congress to vote for added restrictions on a perfectly legal surgical procedure.
And this political effort was subsidized by taxpayers, since the Council enjoys tax-exempt status. When I visit churches in my district, we are very careful to keep everything “non-political” to protect their tax-exempt status.
The IRS is less restrictive about church involvement in efforts to influence legislation than it is about involvement in campaigns and elections.
Given the political behavior of USCCB in this case, maybe it shouldn’t be.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In an extended reflection I am now preparing, I quote the passage in T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land where he parodies the culture's turn away from its Christian roots. In the passage Madam Sosostris ("famous clairvoyante ... with a wicked pack of cards") declares herself unable to find "the Hanged Man" -- the Crucified One.
Among the things I say about this passage is that "the world which turns its back on the Hanged Man will not long remain neutral toward the religion that turns its face toward him."
As I say, here it comes.