A different take on the politican-Communion story

A different take on the politican-Communion story

Herb Ely emailed me with his latest blog entry on the Catholic politician/Communion controversy. He says: “In this world of sound bite media treatment the church has allowed the question of membership to be reduced to a single, highly politicized dimension.” He then provides an anecdote of a Baptist church that suspended a member for joining the temperance movement and another for public drunkenness. Then he concludes:

I agree that the bishops must speak out on human life issues. I agree that the Baptist church was right to speak out on the dangers of drunkenness. However, by letting the question of membership be framed on the single dimension of temperance that church obscured its devotion to the gospel. The bishops are falling into a similar trap.

  • Here, here, Mr. Bettinelli.  You’re right on.  Mr. Ely is showing his silliness in saying that this has to do with membership in the Church.  It doesn’t (and unless he is just plain stupid, he knows it).  This is the question:  Are people who are publicly and unrepentantly promoting a vicious and bloody and horrific evil – the murder of children – going to be allowed communion?  The Church has always held that ones soul should be in a state of grace before taking communion.  The only further question here is – are the bishops actually (for once) going to live up to the teaching of the Church?  Or are they going to (once again) be intimidated by the filthy and bloody and selfish and unloving desires of the world?

  • The analogy is bogus.

    And it’s bizarre to reference the Baptist Church is used as the example.

    The reason we have a “Southern Baptist Church” and a “Baptist Church” today is because they withdrew communion over the issue of slavery.

    Abortion is the intentional killing of an human life.  Herb’s comments are nothing but a trivilization of this issue.

  • I went back and read my origingal post – being somewhat sensitive to words like silliness, stupid and trivialization. In a sense, I agree. The reason Carl Sandburg included this anecdote in his Life of Lincoln, is that when that particular stated its membership criteria along a single dimension, it became the object of a joke. By letting its critic frame the question, it lost the opportunity to preach temperance in the context of fidelity to the gospel.

    Mr. Bettinelli, I’m concerned that the teaching moment about the value of human life will be reduced to the question of whether Catholics can wear Kerry for President buttons.  If that seems silly, so be it.