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Embarrassed by the Church (er, plus some Victorian kids)

I’ve spent some of the day catching up on my bloglines subscriptions, and come up with a few things worthy of interest.

One is just a really interesting info site on the lives of orphans and street kids in the care of The Children’s Society in the Victorian Era, which I’m sure will be an interesting for my next big writing project (involving, well, I’ll say very generally, refugees and slums).

And the other interesting thing is regarding the Church and American politics. A link on a heresy charge that a Catholic lawyer is filing against John Kerry. What the hell? If abortion is murder, isn’t execution? Wouldn’t Bush, who as governor of Texas actually already allowed all kinds of executions happen, be at least as culpable as Kerry?

…as a poll of Catholic voters in… [a] Time article points out, these heavy-handed attempts to divide Catholics may very well backfire. The poll found 70 percent of Catholics think the church should not try to influence the way they vote or tell Catholic candidates what stances to take. Seventy-three percent said Kerry should not be denied communion, and 83 percent said the bishops?stance will not change how they vote.

That’s from a post at Mother Jones. Now, granted, I am not Catholic. But I was raised Catholic and I have this kind of sense of the Church that, well, it’s learned its lessons in the past; that it leaves crap like this to Baptists and TV-evangelists and the like. The Church isn’t supposed to stoop to telling people how to vote, you know? And for God’s sake, fighting to keep Bush in office? I could understand the Church fighting for Kerry, I might even be less embarrassed by it, but the Church pushing for a lying, warmongering profiteer like Bush? That’s just embarrassing. I’ve been feeling embarrassed by my link to the Church, as archaic (or, by now, even nonexistent) as it is, watching this whole mess evolve into what it has become. It’s quite unbelievable, saddening. I thought the Church’s calling was higher. To use something like the abortion debate to keep a crooked, lying, starter-of-unnecessary-wars in office is so beneath what the Church could be, if they actually heeded the call of the God they claim to follow.

But I am proud of the many, many Catholics surveyed who responded that they’re about as impressed by the bishops’ moves as I am. That, at least, is reassuring. I’m hoping this whole move will backfire on the Republicans, and that Bush will out of a job in November.

Which reminds me, seeing all the lovely anti-Bush T-shirts and bumper stickers here in Austin does my heart good. When I get home to Jeonju I’ll post a photo of the one anti-Bush shirt I managed to buy before my bank card was DESTROYED.

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