Travis Rowley: Left Wants Gays To Receive Magic Beans At Mass
Saturday, August 10, 2013
As it is customary for Catholic priests to refuse Holy Communion to those who are unrepentant–and with knowledge of the Church’s teachings regarding homosexuality–one would think that this issue would be of small surprise and concern to the public.
For some reason, however, progressives have begun to salivate over Pryeor’s and Leveillee’s dilemma, evidenced by the rushed reportage of the matter on RIFuture.org–the sort of far-left news blog where one can really begin to understand the Left’s true agenda, and exactly how they implement it through the Democratic power structure.
A Curious Interest
It’s interesting to consider the precise motivation for far-left progressives–people known to mock and ridicule the entire notion of “religion,” and certainly the mystery of transubstantiation–to take so much interest in this case.
Steve Ahlquist, RIFuture.org’s top atheist agitator, reminded everyone of the predominant progressive attitude when he endorsed the words of Steve Siebold: “Churches do not serve the common good; they propagate ancient supernatural mythology that brainwashes people into believing the unbelievable and impedes social and scientific progress.”
These are not people known to embrace the sanctity of the Eucharist.
So why aren’t progressives having a big laugh over what’s happening at Sacred Heart Parish?
According to their own principal assumptions, for progressives to be concerned with two homosexual Catholics being denied Holy Communion is like sticking up for a child being forbade fairy dust at The Magic Kingdom–and then covering the story on RIFuture.org.
Breaking News: Tinkerbell Refuses Fairy Dust! Progressives Assemble!
As one would expect from people who have no principles other than power, today’s progressive position seems to be this: Catholics are silly. Unless they’re gay Catholics.
The True Purpose
Without a doubt, RIFuture’s interest in this case has much to do with the Left’s unquenchable desire to characterize conservatives and Christians as cruel and backwards–political relics of the past that stand in the way of a more tolerant and advanced society.
The private happenings at Sacred Heart Parish simply provided RIFuture with an easy hit-piece against the political Right. Gay “marriage” is now publicly sanctioned in Rhode Island. But the Catholic Church has yet to catch up.
“[Sacred Heart Parish] is pushing people away when they should be reaching out. They may not agree with me, but they shouldn’t throw rocks at me,” Pryeor remarked within Plain’s story.
And Plain made sure to point out that Rev. Sistare is known to offer “politically conservative sermons," and that he is “also on Twitter, where he follows many conservative politicians and FOX News personalities.”
Ahlquist followed Plain’s lead: “Certainly, as his Twitter feed suggests, Sistare is extremely conservative in his views.”
He even disapproves of gay “marriage”!
Herein lies the true purpose behind RIFuture’s coverage of two gay men’s personal conflict with their local Catholic pastor–that is, to use it as a bridge to the Left’s primary political strategy: The silencing of their opposition.
“I’m praying for each of you, that you turn back to God,” Sistare wrote to the state legislators who voted in favor of this year’s gay “marriage” legislation. “I’m also going to let my Parish know exactly how you voted, so come re-election time, you will not be re-elected.”
And Pryeor posted to his Facebook account, “[M]ass was ok today but What political party was my priest refering to as a party that is wrong for thinking the rich should give up some of there money.” (sic)
Plain analyzed, “As non-profit entities, churches are legally forbidden from engaging in political campaign activity.” Ahlquist followed Plain’s analysis with an article titled, “Why churches can’t engage in political activity.”
It’s a little more complicated than that, but these two progressives have a point. As a Democratic member of the US Senate in 1954, Lyndon B. Johnson led the charge to add reforms to the IRS Tax Code that forbid “tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates”–an outright violation of the First Amendment (not that liberals care).
Tax-Exempt or Bust!
Laws regarding how non-profits can and cannot comport themselves have weaponized progressives with a seemingly principled argument that validates their desire for conservatives not to be heard.
Due to the current language of the IRS Tax Code, Ahlquist–who openly laments the fact that “the IRS has only sporadically enforced the law, and there are very few cases of the IRS going after a mainline Christian church,” and who openly slobbers over a potential “case to be opened against a Catholic priest” so the “entirety of the Catholic Church in the United States could possibly lose its tax free status”–now finds himself capable of accusing Christian bodies of being inherently disingenuous.
According to Ahlquist, the reason religious groups won’t give up their tax-exempt status in order to “move more forcibly into the public arena” is because they aren’t “that bold or honest.”
Wrong, Steve. The resistance to surrendering tax-exempt status is based upon the fact that organizations of every political stripe now benefit from such an opportunity. And all of them flirt with political activity.
Why should Christian organizations be forced to either forfeit their tax advantage or their right to political speech while progressive tax-exempts don’t have that same gun put to their heads? And isn’t this a question that is especially relevant today, now that we know that any remaining conservative non-profits are promised to be unduly harassed by the IRS?
Religious organizations should give up their tax-exempt status only when their ideological adversaries are forced to do the same.
God vs. Big Government
At the core of this dispute is the fact that the political Left has an interest in beating back the very notion of “religion”–or at least any serious belief in God. The growing atheist movement inside the Democratic Party is the direct rival of political conservatism, which is grounded in the idea that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
There is no freedom without God. And progressives know it.
The last thing progressives need in their lives is a member of the tax-exempt community who still understands that other people’s liberty is connected to his own–a concept that Sistare would be embracing if he truly is criticizing Democrats who are employing class warfare during his sermons.
Progressivism requires that people defect from their religious traditions, and the IRS Tax Code has served the Left well for decades. Speaking of the potential tax dollars that remain under private religious control, Ahlquist made it clear that he agrees with the words of Steve Siebold: “Imagine how much food that could buy to feed the hungry, or how it could help those less fortunate. [Tax-exempt status] might be acceptable if the church was actually encouraging strategies to reduce human suffering, irresponsible behavior that harms others, ending violence in our neighborhoods and other critical issues. Churches do not serve the common good.”
You must forgive the ignorance. Siebold posted that to The Huffington Post. And Ahlquist simply isn’t smart enough to detect the absurdity.
The point here is simply this: Progressives need the welfare state to be administered by the government–worse yet, the federal government–rather than free associations such as the family, the community, or the local parish.
At its core, the progressive interest in the happenings at Sacred Heart Parish have to do with their desire to silence voices of God–or, otherwise, make them pay up.
“Of course, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence could always start paying federal, state and local taxes, in which case no one could complain at all,” Alhquist offered as a solution.
Progressives are coming after the Church with all the force that tax laws afford them. That’s the consequence of shaking hands with the liberal conceit that it was ever desirable–or possible–to keep separate the church and the state.
Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.
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