Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Biden, Pelosi told not to take communion

Vice Presidential hopeful Joe Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi have been told by the Washington and Denver archbishops to not take communion because of their statements and record regarding their belief in Catholicism, particularly on abortion and on when life actually begins.


Archbishop of Washington Chides Pelosi; Dencer Archbishop Warns Biden to Skip Communion
Fox News
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

By Bill Sammon

Irked by pro-choice Democrats who tout their Catholicism, the archbishop of Washington is chiding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for misstating church history and the archbishop of Denver is warning vice presidential hopeful Joe Biden not to take Communion.

The unusual public rebukes come as both Pelosi and Biden are talking up their faith in a bid for swing voters as Democrats stage their national convention in Denver. In an interview Sunday, Pelosi claimed to be an expert on the church’s abortion stance.

“As an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time,” Pelosi told NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who had asked her when life begins. “And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know.”

When Brokaw pointed out that the Catholic church “feels very strongly” that life begins at conception, Pelosi said: “I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy.”

In an interview with FOX News on Tuesday, Archbishop Donald Wuerl said people need to reflect more before they start talking about church doctrine. He also issued a statement calling Pelosi’s explanation of the church’s abortion stance “incorrect.”

“The current teaching of the Catholic Church on human life and abortion is the same teaching as it was 2,000 years ago,” Wuerl noted. “From the beginning, the Catholic Church has respected the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.”

Wuerl cited a passage from the church’s catechism that condemns abortion as “gravely contrary to moral law.”

“Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the catechism states. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

In an afternoon response, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said that as mother of five, the speaker appreciates the “sanctity of family.”

“While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs. The speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace,” said spokesman Brendan Daly.

Biden too has disagreed with the catechism, as evidenced by a 2006 interview he gave to C-SPAN, which asked him about abortion.

“That debate in our church has not morphed, but changed over a thousand years,” Biden said. “It always is viewed by the church as something that is wrong, but there’s been gradations of whether it was wrong. You know, from venial or mortal sin, as we Catholics say, and versions of it.”

But Biden added that since Pope Pius IX’s reign (1846-1878), “it’s been pretty clear that’s been automatic — moment of conception.”

Over the weekend, Biden’s pro-choice views raised the ire of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput.

“I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for communion, if he supports a false ‘right’ to abortion,” Chaput told The Associated Press.

As for Pelosi, Chaput called her “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”

Chaput added that abortion “is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it.”
During that 2004 presidential campaign, Chaput and a dozen other bishops called on Democratic nominee John Kerry to refrain from taking Communion. The church has also objected to former GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani taking Communion.

“I think some of it is regional,” said Pelosi, whose district encompasses San Francisco, in a recent interview with C-SPAN. “It depends on the bishop of a certain region and, fortunately for me, Communion has not been withheld and I’m a regular Communicant, so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case.”

On Saturday, when Obama introduced Biden as his running mate, both men made a point of mentioning Biden’s Catholicism. Obama has struggled to win over Catholics, 52 percent of whom voted for President Bush in 2004.

Bill Sammon is Washington Deputy Managing Editor for the FOX News Channel.

Pelosi Speaks on Behalf of the Catholic Church About When Life Begins

Nancy Pelosi now speaks on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. She knows when life begins and it's not when a large percentage of Americans believe. She does not believe that a life begins at inception. And she spoke as if she was a Vatican spokesperson on NBC's Meet the Press.

Will the Vatican speak up on this? And, since when does she want to act Catholic? It sure isn't in her voting. By the way, the Catholic Church believes that life begins at inception.

Pelosi on "Meet the Press"
Nancy Pelosi: Must be Excommunicated from from RCC

by mrdirt, 8/25/08 18:35 ET

(Link to story on website)

On the August 24 “Meet the Press” show on NBC-TV, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) was asked to comment on when life begins. Democrat Pelosi said “I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition.”

Responding, moderator Tom Brokaw told her that the Catholic Church “feels very strongly” that life begins at conception. Pelosi said, “I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the Church, this is an issue of controversy.”

William Donahue of Catholics United for the Faith reponded in a statement “Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: ‘Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.’ It also says, ‘Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’ Looks like Pelosi didn’t study the subject long enough. But not to worry: We are sending her a copy of Catholicism for Dummies today (the Catechism is like maybe a bit advanced).

“Whether Joe Biden is as ignorant of what his religion teaches remains to be seen. What is not in doubt is the enthusiasm which NARAL showed when he was selected to join the ticket. The radical pro-abortion group was delighted, as were the radical pro-abortion delegates to the Democratic convention: as reported in today’s New York Times, 64 percent of Americans reject abortion-on-demand, yet only 23 percent of the delegates do. It is only fitting, then, that NARAL’s president will speak today at the Convention and Planned Parenthood’s president will speak tomorrow.

“So there we have it: the man running for president on the Democratic ticket supports selective infanticide, his running mate is a pro-abortion Catholic, the delegates are wildly out of step with Americans on abortion and the Speaker of the House hasn’t a clue what her religion teaches on the subject.”

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Obama tries to appeal to Lutherans in Wisconsin

Sen. Barack Obama went to church today. And because he was in Eau Claire, Wisc, of course he wanted to appeal to the largest protestant denomination in the state. Obama went to First Lutheran Church (ELCA) and I have not heard if he took communion. Obama was a member of the liberal United Church of Christ which is in communal membership with the ELCA, but he did leave his church.

One thing for certain is that Obama doesn't follow Lutheran beliefs. Lutherans believe that the bread and wine are the true body and blood of Jesus Christ. The UCC does not believe that.

Below is an article about his visit to Eau Claire:

Obama attends church, barbecue in Wisconsin
By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer
Sun Aug 24, 1:53 PM ET

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Barack Obama says this week's Democratic convention will help people realize he and his family share their values.

"You'll conclude, 'He's sort of like us,'" Obama told a group of supporters. "'He comes from a middle class background, went to school on scholarships ... he and his wife had to figure out child care and how to start a college fund for their kids.'"

The presidential hopeful kept a relatively low profile Sunday, attending services at a Lutheran church before visiting a barbecue at a local rod and gun park.

Polls show a tight race in Wisconsin between Obama and Republican rival John McCain.

Campaign aides said the Illinois senator spoke Thursday to former President Clinton and to Hillary Clinton on Friday morning.

*Obama practices humility preached to him

First Lutheran Church

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Many Religious Voters Favor Obama, Poll Finds

(from Yahoo! News via US News & World Report)

By Justin Ewers
2 hours, 24 minutes ago

SAN FRANCISCO--As John McCain and Barack Obama continue to fine-tune their platforms before this month's party conventions, a survey released this week has renewed debate in and out of the campaigns about the political leanings of a prominent--and often misunderstood--group of potential swing voters: Christians.

Ever since George W. Bush rode a wave of "values" votes into the White House in 2000 and 2004, political analysts have been mulling just how much restless evangelicals, in particular, with their strong views on hot-button cultural issues like abortion and gay marriage, seem to be reshaping the political landscape.

Exit polling conducted after Bush's win over John Kerry famously found "moral values" to be the top issue for many voters. Some 40 percent of American adults told pollsters they saw themselves as "evangelical." Pundits mused about the possibility of a permanent Republican majority.

The political times, however, could be changing. A study released this week by the Barna Group, a Christian research and consulting firm based in Ventura, Calif., finds that Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, currently enjoys the support of more faith-driven voters, including Christians, than his Republican rival.

The poll, which shows Obama ahead of McCain 43 percent to 34 percent among likely voters, also finds Obama leading in 18 of 19 different religious faith communities defined by the survey's strict standards. McCain leads in only one--evangelicals. In that category, however, the Republican has a huge lead, 61 to 17.

The Barna poll uses unusual methodology. Many pollsters take voters at their word when they say they are evangelical Christians, but the Barna survey is unusually specific about its categorizations. It asks voters a battery of nine questions about their religious beliefs--whether, for example, they think the Bible is accurate in everything it teaches, and whether they feel a personal responsibility to share their beliefs about Christ with non-Christians. Only when all nine questions are answered affirmatively are voters categorized as "evangelical."

This significantly reduces the survey's estimate of the total number of evangelical voters. By Barna's estimate, only 8 percent of U.S. voters are truly evangelical. "That is a much smaller group than you might think," says George Barna, the poll's director.

Not everybody agrees with his methodology, of course. Regardless, there is little doubt that evangelicals are still a highly motivated, well-organized voting bloc. Nearly 90 percent of evangelicals in the Barna study said they intend to vote in November.

The survey shows that the much debated "God gap" between Republicans and Democrats among Christian voters as a whole may not be nearly as dramatic as it appeared in 2004. Indeed, among those who self-identify as "evangelical" but who don't fit the Barna group's criteria, McCain holds only a 39 to 37 lead over Obama, with nearly 1 in 4 voters saying they are still undecided.

Among most other Christian groups, the Democratic candidate continues to enjoy a comfortable lead. Obama has a huge advantage among non-Christians, atheists, and agnostics, but he also leads among nonevangelical, born-again Christians (43 to 31), Christians who are neither born-again nor evangelical (44 to 28), Catholics (39 to 29), and Protestants (43 to 34). "If the current preferences stand pat," says Barna, "this would mark the first time in more than two decades that the born-again vote has swung toward the Democratic candidate."

Experts aren't sure exactly what is causing this shift. Obama has made a concerted effort to reach out to faith-oriented voters, including a splashy announcement this summer about expanding President Bush's faith-based initiative. He speaks more openly about his faith than many previous Democratic presidential candidates, and he has made an effort to find common ground with opponents of abortion.

Still, most experts believe that Christian voters' preferences, like those of many other voters, have less to do with the candidates' current positions than with a backlash against the Bush presidency. When asked to describe what makes the candidates stand out, at the top of the list for Christian voters currently supporting Obama is "being different from George Bush."

These numbers certainly aren't set in stone, and they are bound to change before November. The first harsh months of the campaign, including the controversy surrounding Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, have shaken some Christian voters' early confidence in him. During the past two months, Obama's lead has eroded substantially among nonevangelical, born-again Christians (down 9 percentage points), active Christians (a 20-point drop), Protestants (down 13 points), and Catholics (down 11 points).

When the pre-election advertising campaigns begin this fall--particularly those that emphasize Obama's support for abortion rights--those numbers may continue to drop. "There is a lot of anger toward the Bush administration," says Barna. "But faith-driven voters, in particular, are going back and re-examining their initial choice and trying to figure out if this is really someone whose values they can live with for another four to eight years."