The Separation of Church and State. Oh, Fuck It.

Not even pretending anymore:

The news that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the nation’s most prominent Catholic prelate, will deliver the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Florida next week was seen as a huge coup for Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee. But the move has also prompted a sharp debate within the church over the increasingly close ties between leading bishops and the GOP.

“The cozy relationship between a sizable portion of U.S. bishops and the Republican Party should be cause for concern, and not just among progressive Catholics,” Michael O’Loughlin wrote in a post on the website of America magazine, a leading Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits.

Might as well have Scalia, Thomas, and Alito oversee opening night.

71 replies
  1. 1
    PZ says:

    I think it’s time the Catholic Church rendered unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…

  2. 2
    dr. bloor says:

    I’m sure the single post by one guy on the website of a magazine with a circulation of 45,000 will provide the RC church with all the debate and consideration they’d like on this matter.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    The news that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the nation’s most prominent Catholic prelate, will deliver the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Florida Should trigger an immediate taxation of his parish for 30% of their income, backdated for the last 30 years and include compounded interest and penalties

    Corrected for a sane world.

  4. 4
    gnomedad says:

    Well, the GOP is not the state (yet), so if they want to further advertise their theocratic fixation, I’m all for it. The real fail here falls on the Catholic Church, which is making it progressively clearer that they’re just not down with this “democracy” thing.

  5. 5
    KXB says:

    This may backfire. While Catholics are well integrated, there are still plenty non-Catholics who view members of the clergy with suspicion, especially with their coverups of predators. If this guy wears his funky headgear on national TV during the convention, there are plenty of people who will see it, and think “Why does this make me uncomfortable?” Will evangelicals feel that there hold is slipping?

  6. 6
    TexasMango says:

    As if the GOP needed more reminders of rape. Now they will have a reminder of child rape.

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    Might as well have Scalia, Thomas, and Alito oversee opening night.

    If only, get them in a single location along with the leading GOP figures & Major Rightwing Religious Godbotherers for a Cat 5 Hurricane clean sweep?

    Starbursts, baby! Nothing but starbursts.

  8. 8
    gnomedad says:

    @PZ:

    I think it’s time the Catholic Church rendered unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…

    I’ll settle for separate beds.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    Wait, I’m confused. Haven’t the conventions–both of them–had religious people do prayers before the night’s events start?

    I know for sure I remember listening to Michael Savage (was just on the radio when I got in the car) during one of the Republican conventions when Bush was president. They had a Muslim imam (?) give some sort of prayer Michael Savage was livid, going on about how that was going to far and Republicans shouldn’t be supporting Islam, etc.

    So how is this different from that?

  10. 10
    gnomedad says:

    OT: Holy Poe’s Law!

    Still, watching it melt might be soothing.

    ETA: OK, just read the copy and the intent seems whimsical.

  11. 11
    Ben Franklin says:

    John Cole’s 5 worst Planks in the GOP wagon.

    Er. JUAN Cole.

    1. Outlawing abortion altogether, with no exceptions for the life and health of the mother, incest or rape.

    2. Preventing the Department of Homeland Security from monitoring far right-wing hate groups (Republican House majority leader John Boehner said that the DHS unit looking at these groups was casting veterans as potential terrorists). Well, very few veterans are dangerous, but undeniably some are, and white supremacists often seek out military experience for the weapons training.

    3. On the whole and by and large, the GOP is in favor of promoting biological illiteracy and denying the theory of evolution, among the most robust and well-established scientific theories. (Gravity is also a ‘theory’; the word doesn’t mean what they think it means.)

    4. Promoting hatred of and fear of Muslims. While not all Republicans are in the same league as Michele Bachmann, Peter King of New York, or Joe Walsh of Illinois, the party has a severe problem with indulging in and enabling hate speech toward millions of American citizens of this faith. The Republican House has had 5 hearings on the alleged radicalization of American Muslims (which is not in evidence) but none about white hate groups. Some observers hold GOP demonizers responsible for the spate of attacks on mosques in the past month, since their discourse excuses hate speech.

    5. The GOP stands for repealing the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare,” and indeed want Todd Akin now not to run for the senate in Missouri out of fear that his foot in the mouth disease on rape and abortion will make him unelectable and then the Republicans won’t get control of the senate and won’t have the votes to repeal the ACA. That is, the RNC isn’t really horrified at what he said, they are just afraide enough women in Missouri will be to stop them from taking health care back away from 44 million Americans.

  12. 12
    dr. bloor says:

    So how is this different from that?

    If nothing else, Dolan’s presence probably won’t trigger another epileptic seizure for Savage.

    Ultimately, though, none. Both parties have been trotting out religious leaders for the Skyguy’s blessing over the proceedings of their respective conventions forever. Like others, I think this backfires and reminds everyone of just how regressive and authoritarian the Republicans are. Also, too, rape and child rape.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PZ:

    The Catholic Church figured out, long ago, that the angle to pursue is BEING Caesar.

    Dolan is toxic, mainly because he’s deeply implicated in the coverup of pedophile priests in his old diocese. He was rewarded with the red beanie by the Nazi pope for his efforts.

    They’re all scum.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    In this corner, Cardinal Dolan, the GOP and maybe Hurricane Isaac …

    In this corner, Catholic nuns and the sane women of America, deeply concerned about protecting the vulnerable from predation by the above-named.

    I know who I’m betting on.

  15. 15
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @gnomedad:
    They’d probably get a lot more people to buy a Sarah Palin blow up doll.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    They do, but they don’t usually have people who are that high up in the Catholic hierarchy. IIRC, Dolan is pretty much the Pope’s personal representative in the US, so this is like getting the nod from Pope Ratzi himself.

    Though if they think it’s going to bring more Catholics to the Republican side, I think they’ve seriously miscalculated. A whole lot of Catholics seem to be pretty unhappy with Dolan, who spends half his time trying to take healthcare away from women and the other half shielding pedophiles from prosecution.

  17. 17
    gnomedad says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They do, but they don’t usually have people who are that high up in the Catholic hierarchy. IIRC, Dolan is pretty much the Pope’s personal representative in the US, so this is like getting the nod from Pope Ratzi himself.

    Also, delivering a closing prayer (is that routine?) seems much more like endorsing the product than blessing the process.

  18. 18
    Maude says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    13, Well then, he’ll fit right in. God loves a sinner.

  19. 19
    maya says:

    He will give the closing blessing in Latin. But the delegates can press their Romeny/Ryan button for English.

  20. 20
    Trentrunner says:

    Hide the male children.

  21. 21
    Keith G says:

    Well gee, maybe BHO can counter by calling up his good buddy Rick Warren.

  22. 22

    @dr. bloor: Isn’t the other problem is that Dolan is so high profile? In fact, Dolan is generally seen as the top Catholic in the U.S. Has anyone as high profile done a blessing at either convention?

  23. 23
    The Bobs says:

    @Ben Franklin: Juan Cole’s actual first name is John.

  24. 24

    @Mnemosyne: It is exactly that. You don’t get to be top dog at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with out being bosom buddies with the Pope at the time of your selection.

  25. 25
    Maude says:

    @Keith G:
    You don’t seem to understand how that worked with Rick Warren. Warren became a non entity after that. He went broke and now has no influence.

  26. 26
    MTiffany says:

    Might as well have Scalia, Thomas, and Alito oversee opening night.

    Probably a safe bet that Ginni Thomas will be there…

  27. 27
    Ben Franklin says:

    @The Bobs:

    @The Bobs:

    So Joe Klein is actually Jose?

    Tampa is gonna be better than American Idol. Hurricanes, Ron Paul, Anonymous.

    I cannot wait.

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @TexasMango:

    As if the GOP needed more reminders of rape.

    Todd Akin will assure you that if a Catholic priest does it, it’s not legitimate rape.

  29. 29
    ruemara says:

    @Keith G: Yeah, because Rick Warren has totally worked with BHO on policy. Bitter much?

  30. 30
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    Will anyone dare say the word ‘Mormon’ at the convention?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-25.....e-republic

  31. 31
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Keith G:

    Well gee, maybe BHO can counter by calling up his good buddy Rick Warren.

    If you throw out the fact that Bishop Dolan could have Rick Warren killed and cover up the rape of his children —

    Both sides do it!

  32. 32
    karen says:

    So if the hurricane forces them to shut down the convention, can I say G-d hates them?

  33. 33
    schrodinger's cat says:

    So is the GOP now an arm of the Catholic Church? Will the inquisitions begin if Romney is elected?

  34. 34
    Maude says:

    @karen:
    No, God is testing them because he loves them.

  35. 35
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Maude: May be they will be raptured, well we can all hope.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Please.

    It’s Cardinal Dolan. He’s not just the Archbishop of New York, he wears a red beanie!

  37. 37
    quannlace says:

    How is this a ‘coup’ for Romney? In the reports I heard, Dolan offered to do a prayer for both conventions. Maybe the Dem’s demured on having the guy who covered for all those pedophiles for so many years.

  38. 38
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Will anyone here be surprised to hear that in addition to his appearance at the GOP convention, we can also catch His Lardines as a featured speaker at the Values Voter Convention in Washington D.C. the week of Sept. 14. Other speakers include, Michelle Bachmann, Glen Beck, Gary Bauer, Bill Bennett, Jim DeMint, Steve King, etc.,etc. Don’t know if Sarah will actually show up, but she’s expected as well. So, you can see what “values” these voters are promoting and there, right in the middle of this group is the illustrious Cardinal Tim Dolan. I think everyone gets the drift on this guy.

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:

    What happened to Joe Paterno and his reputation/record is what should be visited on the Catholic hierarchy.

    Paterno and covering up abuse in the name of protecting a SPORTS program is the secular equivalent of Cardinal Dolan’s career.

    I hope Catholic nuns and other faithful protest what Ryan and Romney would do to the vulnerable, and get as much coverage as Dolan in his crimson splendor.

  40. 40
    Princess says:

    @Violet: The difference, apparently, is the travel. Evidently, if a Catholic bishop says a prayer at a convention, it is the local bishop. Importing one from out of town shows a higher level of…intentionality to the cardinal’s decision to be present.

  41. 41
    Maude says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I call dibs on selling clean undies. Can’t go up in the air without them. I’ll also sell bathtub gin.

  42. 42
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I call dibs on selling clean undies.

    But are they the magic kind? I hear that they are pretty plain and in need of decoration.

    Rmoney wants to decorate his magic underwear with the Presidential Seal.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    4. Promoting hatred of and fear of Muslims. While not all Republicans are in the same league as Michele Bachmann, Peter King of New York, or Joe Walsh of Illinois, the party has a severe problem with indulging in and enabling hate speech toward millions of American citizens of this faith. The Republican House has had 5 hearings on the alleged radicalization of American Muslims (which is not in evidence) but none about white hate groups. Some observers hold GOP demonizers responsible for the spate of attacks on mosques in the past month, since their discourse excuses hate speech.

    Kind of reminds you of J. Edgar Hoover in the good old days, irritated because he was being forced to waste resources going after the Ku Klux Klan when the real threat was the Communist Negro Secret Army being raised by MLK.

  44. 44
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Chris:

    Or, the Mafia; which he truly PHEARED.

  45. 45
    Keith G says:

    @ruemara: Nah, not bitter at all, my friend. It’s strange that you would put that spin on it, but I guess it takes all kinds.

    Actually the only thing that I find more appalling than clerics stepping into politics is politicos using clerics to “make a statement” – which will happen next week and did happen in 2009.

    @Shawn in ShowMe: Just because Dolan is a bigger thug than Warren doesn’t mean that both sides don’t play this stupid game.

  46. 46
    Heliopause says:

    The Dem conventions are loaded with invocations and benedictions as well, including by Catholics.

  47. 47
    aqualad08 says:

    Excellent…open with a anti-gay bigot, close with a boy-rape enabler. That should pretty much satisfy the entire crowd…

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    A whole lot of Catholics seem to be pretty unhappy with Dolan, who spends half his time trying to take healthcare away from women and the other half shielding pedophiles from prosecution.

    Yup. Even my mom thinks Dolan is an ass.

  49. 49
    maven says:

    I hope the dems hold hands and sing Kum ba yah. Followed by a spirited rendition of We Shall Overcome.

    That’d fire this old man up.

    I’d be in tears.

  50. 50
    Honus says:

    @dr. bloor: Maybe a small circulation, but you don’t fuck with the Jesuits. They’re the Hells Angels of the Catholic Church.

  51. 51
    AxelFoley says:

    @Keith G:

    Well gee, maybe BHO can counter by calling up his good buddy Rick Warren.

    You sound upset. Thou furious?

  52. 52
    gelfling545 says:

    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    But I guess they can ignore that because Jesus is supposed to have said that and he was no Christian.

  53. 53
    gelfling545 says:

    @Honus: Oh yeah. An Anglican of my acquaintance refers to them as “the shock troops of the church of Rome”.

  54. 54
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Honus:

    Maybe a small circulation, but you don’t fuck with the Jesuits. They’re the Hells Angels of the Catholic Church.

    As someone who spent 12 years in a Dominican-run parochial school, I’ll admit I’m kinda fascinated by what looks to be a nascent merging of the “elite” Jesuitical branch of the American Catholic system and the “working class” Dominican, heavily-dependent-on-the-nuns wing. Previous Jesuit rebellions have been forestalled by a judicious mixture of getting the more ‘worldly’ (Dominican, Franciscan, etc) organizations to bring their weight against them, and expelling particularly contentious indivduals (Robert Drinan, Jerry Brown, Garry Wills… ). But Pope Ratzenberger is so busy consolidating his “pure” Vatican among the Italian priestly families that’ve made the principality their personal fiefdom for the last century, and the retrogressive no-surrender nutballs in the anti-Vatican-Council-II sects, he doesn’t seem to know (care?) that he’s upsetting the balance in the “First World”.

    Of course, Bernard’s not gonna live long enough to have his name attached to the next Great Schism, which is probably the extent of his ambitions. As for the next poor schmuck, well…

  55. 55
    Sullivan Hyde says:

    @gelfling545: I’d say they’re more like the David Brooks/David Frums of Catholicism. Very good at putting a reasonable face on things for the NPR demographic. Still at the base of it part of the problem.

  56. 56
    SFAW says:

    Yeah, how about them Nationals? Think they’ll take their Division?

    Which is SFAW-ese for “With all the other crap going on, why does anyone give two shits whether the closing blessing is given by Dolan, Shmuley Boteach, or Archbishop Makarios?”

    Or is it just a slow news night, and this was the best JC could come up with to click up the Outrage-O-Meter?

    ETA: Although, I would be willing to pay good money to see Makarios give a blessing.

  57. 57
    SFAW says:

    @Honus:

    They’re the Hells Angels of the Catholic Church.

    My braims just a-sploded from that one.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    Yes, I’m sure the Democrats would jump at the chance to have Timothy “I hate Obamacare” Dolan do a prayer at their convention. I’m sure they’re burning up the phone lines to book him for that.

    The Democrats’ counter will be a Catholic, but not Dolan. Perhaps Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Healthcare Association, which has consistently supported Obamacare?

  59. 59
    Heliopause says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have an idea; how about the conventions of our major political parties not being infested with religion at all?

  60. 60
    Keith G says:

    @AxelFoley: At the time, I thought it was an ill considered stunt and the payoff was just as feeble as it seemed it would be.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    True story!

    Of all the secrets of the U. S. Government, Hoover’s ties to the mob are one of those I’d most dearly love to know the truth about.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    ruemara says:

    @Keith G: Not your friend and you are pretty bitter.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    We need some good old fashioned Northern Irish/Glaswegian tribal sectarianism to spring up in this country. “Fuck the Pope!”

  65. 65
    SFAW says:

    @Chris:

    Careful, that’ll get you banned from SNL.

  66. 66
    Don says:

    RC used to mean “Roman Catholic.” Now, it means “Republican Catholic.” At least, among the clergy in the United States it does. The Republican Catholic church is now what the Episcopalian church used to be called: “The Republican party in prayer.”

  67. 67
    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ (formerly IrishGirl) says:

    Apparently a horse, or in this case robe, of a different color ain’t so different after all. Wonder if we can use Dolans appearance at Convention to push for taxing the shit out of his Bishopric (where prick is the most significant part of the term)

  68. 68
    Keith G says:

    @ruemara:

    Not your friend and you are pretty bitter.

    Good morning.

    Now, were I one who felt the need to assign emotional evaluation to the typing of others, I would say that you, rue, were the one being a bit vexed or even acrimonious.

    But why bother making personal characterizations at all, let alone based on a few words typed on the internets?

  69. 69
    4jkb4ia says:

    John, checking the convention schedule to see how it fit around the Open (they don’t have to give Sharapova the night session all the time. There are some young Americans I am sure they would like to put in Ashe) was useful in this one instance. The press release names two people as giving benedictions — Sammy Rodriguez on Monday (I think enough said) and Archbishop Demetrios, who is the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and is doing it on Wednesday. Now, I don’t doubt that Dolan is doing this. But what you then have is

    a) The two things are no different except that Dolan is assumed to have more people who will pay attention
    b) Romney can get the heads of the most traditional, conservative Christian branches to bless his convention whether the theologians believe he is a Christian or not

    I have no idea if you came up with any variant on “Go to hell. You’re not welcome here anymore.”, and Twitter is on the fritz right now. I will post the following acknowledgment of bonehead error:

    The Sunday night after the drone post, I realized what I had written. I remembered many of the habeas corpus filings where the government’s strongest evidence against these folks was that they had been to a jihad training camp or that they knew Abu Zubaydah once, who was not who the government claimed him to be. But it was understood that in the pre-September 11 environment, there were many places to do jihad. Doing jihad didn’t mean attacking the US. Being at a training camp was not evidence by itself. Only in the current legal situation, stated loosely, these guys will never challenge their detention for the reason that they were around other potential terrorist types because they won’t be detained, they’ll be dead.
    I have deliberately not checked the thread in question in case someone did make that obvious point.
    I will also violate Godwin’s Law because I am desperately trying to finish “The Third Reich At War” in time for Rosh Hashanah. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, they didn’t quite have a policy of genocide yet. But they were propagandized to think that any Jewish man was automatically a saboteur or a Bolshevik or in league with Bolsheviks and could be shot. It was too obvious not to say “Ow” when I read that.

  70. 70
    The Moar You Know says:

    This will go down like a shit sandwich with the hard-core evangelicals.

    Of course, so does Romney. He’d get about 6% of the vote if the current occupant of the White House was white.

  71. 71

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