When Roman Catholic Bishops are Useful (to the New York Times)

Reason cites a New York Times editorial discussing Paul Ryan’s budget proposals:

These cuts are so severe that the nation’s Catholic bishops raised their voices in protest at the shredding of the nation’s moral obligations.

Mr. Ryan’s budget “will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment,” the bishops wrote in an April letter to the House. “These cuts are unjustified and wrong.”

Paul Ryan is so evil, argues the Times, that the Roman Catholic congressman has even drawn the ire of Catholic bishops with his budget proposal. The word of the Catholic bishops, in this case, should be taken at face value. But the Times is no friend of religious institutions or even of those same Catholic bishops. From a Times op-ed on “the politics of religion,” published just a few months ago:

“Thirteen Roman Catholic dioceses and some Catholic-related groups scattered lawsuits across a dozen federal courts last week claiming that President Obama was violating their religious freedom by including contraceptives in basic health care coverage for female employees. It was a dramatic stunt, full of indignation but built on air…”

This is a clear partisan play. The real threat to religious liberty comes from the effort to impose one church’s doctrine on everyone.

Except, apparently, when that doctrine happens to align with a liberal agenda, then its a moral obligation for our political leaders. Thanks for clearing that up, New York Times!

Fair point, well made.

Equally, one must again point to the contradictions of a church that urges increased government spending, but benefits from substantial tax privileges, a church that argues for universal health care but tries to reserve for itself the right to opt out of those parts of universal healthcare legislation with which it disagrees.

Religious institutions have every right to be in the public square (in fact it’s good that they are there), but once they are in it, they should not be allowed to claim “rights” that exempt them from the rules that bind everyone else in that same venue.

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