POLITICS AND RELIGION MIX (IF YOU’RE NOT CATHOLIC)
Yesterday, President Clinton spoke at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. According to the New York Post, he turned a two-hour service into “a foot-stomping, amen-filled revival.” The president was accompanied by Democratic candidates for governor and senator.
Meanwhile, Rep. Charles Schumer, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator of New York, spoke to 1,000 congregants of the St. Paul Community Church in East New York, Brooklyn. According to the Daily News, Schumer was “virtually endorsed by the Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood.” Schumer then addressed 1,100 congregants at the Christian Life Centre.
By contrast, in New York, John Cardinal O’Connor explicitly told the faithful to vote their “informed conscience,” independent of party. In response to charges that he was somehow to blame for the killing of Dr. Slepian, the abortion doctor, the Cardinal did question whether “this accusation was really aimed at me, or at those public officeholders and those campaigning for public office who are pro-life.” At that, according to the New York Times, Albert Sanger of Planned Parenthood complained that the Cardinal was delivering “an electoral message.”
Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:
“Just a month ago, the Catholic League criticized Senator D’Amato for stumping in churches. Now we have his challenger, Rep. Schumer, doing the same thing. In neither case, has the media said a word. Nor do they question President Clinton’s church-state violations. But when Cardinal O’Connor simply addresses issues of public policy, newspapers like the New York Times call on phonies like Albert Sanger for a response. It is not just the media and pro-abortion groups that are playing politics, the IRS is guilty of selective indignation. This raises the question, ‘Do we have one set of rules for Catholic churches and another set for others?’”