vote for Obama — go to Hell

A friend’s child was told by a Roman Catholic priest that anyone who votes for Obama was going to hell. Perhaps this is an isolated incident. But of course, in 2004 some RC bishops suggested that John Kerry shouldn’t be allowed communion based on his pro-choice stance. And now, a priest in South Carolina has told his parishioners that they should do penance for their vote if they voted for Obama, or risk putting their souls in peril if they take communion.

This is not isolated. I know I can be as myopic as the next guy, but this is horrendous. Why is pro-life defined only in regard to abortion? Granted, the Catholic church has a more consistent view of life issues than most faith traditions, but why not a similar stance on the death penalty, health care, war and other issues that are pro-life? (answer: because everyone who voted, or failed to vote, would have to repent, and perhaps we should anyway).

A great Christan blogger, Andrew Thompson, suggested a term last year that I have been trying to spread around: Pro-Vita. He wrote:

I propose a new term: Pro Vita Christians. It is a way of saying “for life” or “in favor of life” but without the political baggage of the term “pro-life.” It is a way of affirming God’s love and care for all of his creatures – from the unborn baby in the womb to the convicted killer on death row.

There is also an organization called Consistent Life which is

committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today’s world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a ‘consistent ethic of life’. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation, and respect in protecting the unprotected.

I really don’t know what else to say here without tearing my garments. This is disturbing. RC clergy are not the only ones doing this. I’ve seen various pastors on both sides imply that if you vote for the opposition, you’re not following God’s will. It’s too much.

POTUS08 – Lies are Lies

Regardless of which side we’re on (and we can also not be on any side, really) it would be nice if we would check facts. Sarah Palin has her faults, as do all the candidates, and focusing on those faults is fine. We should be aware of the political missteps and maneuvering that fill us in on how these people will lead. However, taking issues and fabricating new stories from small details is just wrong, regardless of to whom it’s being done.

The specific issue is with Palin’s alleged banning of books while Mayor of Wasilla (If you’re looking for a name for a band, Mayor of Wasilla is pretty great). Simply, she didn’t ban any books. Didn’t happen, no evidence, no books gone. Did she dismiss the librarian? She asked her for her resignation, along with several other Wasilla employees, but she didn’t leave until nearly the end of Palin’s first term.

You can read the details here: Boston Herald. The feed comes from McClatchy, which is a smart news source and can help us follow up on stories we’ve “heard.”

Obama’s religion, McCain’s wife, Biden’s train rides, Palin’s children: all are topics being discussed by people all over America, yet lies are being spread instead of truth. Our best witness as Christians may not be for whom we vote, but how we speak about those for whom we choose not to vote.