Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Seems we are National again...and never for the right reasons.

Just got this juicy little tidbit from MoveOn.org.


It seems Peoria has hit the national spotlight again, and as usual, not for anything we did right.
As pastors and teachers, Catholic bishops are supposed to lead their flock in sharing the love of God with our neighbors. So why did a Catholic bishop in Peoria, Illinois, just use his Sunday homily to compare President Obama to Hitler and Stalin?
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria launched a vicious tirade against politicians who disagree with the bishops' views on health care reform, culminating in the outrageous claim that "Barack Obama seems intent on following a similar path" to Hitler and Stalin, who "would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open."
This kind of hateful and incendiary rhetoric is inappropriate coming from anyone—but it's simply outrageous coming from a religious leader in a position of public trust. Bishop Jenky needs to hear immediately that reasonable people are appalled by his remarks.

Now of course, MoveOn.org wants you to sign a petition, which is a reasonable request if you are so inclined. They're easy to find, and if you would like to sign it, please do. But I actually have another point to make here, and I hope you will bear with me.

Over a year ago, when C. J. Summers was publishing the Peoria Chronicle on a regular basis, I submitted a Guest Editorial concerning some actions by the Peoria City Council. C. J. returned it to me because I referenced Nazi's in the article, along with a lengthy sermon on why he would not publish an article with a reference to the Nazi's because of a journalism rule which states the reference is overused and inaccurate. All well and good, I edited the article and it ran. So case closed, right? Wrong!

C.J., if you are so outraged and incensed about using the Nazi party as the inaccurate descriptor of actions and persons, where is your outrage now? You were so careful to research your latest article on the highway versus rail fiasco, an argument that has little to no merit since people do not ride trains, yet when a Catholic Bishop runs amok with a statement as offensive as this, you are silent. I would think, since I know you are not in danger of excommunication, you would be all over this shameful event, imploring the good readers to speak out against such an unreasonable and unwarranted attack on the President of the United States. Especially when what Bishop Jenky is really asking for is government sanctions of religious beliefs.

If the Catholic Church had any say in it, Roe V. Wade would be thrown out, abortions would be illegal, as would any form of contraceptive, and we would be back to the days of women being second class citizens. As a Christian, I abhor the act of abortion, but it is not my body, nor is it my decision. Perhaps the day will come when people arrive at the conclusion to practice safe and responsible sex, but until such a day comes, abortion and birth control are necessary evils. Most of us reasonable people figured out that letting religious institutions dictate the way government operates is a bad idea back in the 1700's. I'm sure you've heard of some of those events, like the American Revolution, the French Revolution, etc., etc.

C.J., I'm disappointed to say the least. You rant and rave about government decisions, yet when a local church official makes a statement that is both incendiary and flagrantly inaccurate...well, I guess that's what you call journalistic discretion. You decide to publish what you want people to hear.

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