Thursday, October 04, 2007

Burke Bites Again

In a Nemesis Award series, the fourth Chihuahua of Retribution goes again to a Christian fundamentalist who has decided that he'll judge and act as his God's agent of punishment. This is fairly similar to the previous awardee. I am a bit surprised that Roman Catholics are outpacing Protestants here.

It's been three years, but St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke manufactured another chance to snap and flap his cassock. Three years ago, he did his publicity hound thing with John Kerry, then running for POTUS. He proclaimed that if Kerry tried to take communion while in the neighborhood, he was flat out of luck. It seems although Burke wasn't the Pope, wasn't even Kerry's prelate, he would find a way to pretend to punish our Senator for voting for abortion rights and favoring stem-cell research.

Well, St. Louis isn't the center of much of anything, except bland lager. It's taken awhile for Burke to reprise the role he seems to relish. He certainly has failed his humility test, but I rather doubt any of his chums will call him on that.

This time, the bad guy is Republican POTUS-would-be Rudy Giuliani. Burke told the wires, ""If any politician approached me and he'd been admonished not to present himself, I'd not give (communion). To me, you have to be certain a person realizes he is persisting in a serious public sin."

It is fascinating that Burke would insinuate himself in matters that belong between Kerry, his God, his priest and his conscience.

A long-term UU minister (age 90) is coming to dinner tomorrow. I'll have to kick this around with him. Previously, he and I concurred that it must be a fine feeling to have all these options non-creedal clerics don't. Denying church rites, excommunicating, and threatening with eternal damnation and perpetual anguish are great theater and potentially useful tools.

Burke epitomizes the religious sorts who want to intrude into politics, but screech like a cat underfoot if government encroaches on any aspect of their business. I think of the U.S. and British insistence that publicly funded adoption agencies have to obey everyone's rules and consider homosexual prospective parents. Their response has been to fold shop, leaving the kids in orphanages or foster homes before such placements, while claiming their religious rights were trampled. Likewise, when they set up and run non-religious money-making programs and have to pay taxes on those, somehow this is a government interference.

Our Chihuahua today is yet another self-righteous sort who would intrude in politics and hold that as his duty. Harrumph.

As usual, Mayor 9/11 is cool about this, saying, "Archbishops have a right to their opinion." The highly insulated and apparently quite egotistical Burke though would surely consider his pronouncement well above a mere opinion.

Rudy also noted that he studied religion for four years, wanting to be a priest. He added:
So it's a very, very important part of my life. But I think in a democracy and in a government like ours, my religion is my way of looking at God, and other people have other ways of doing it, and some people don't believe in God. I think that's unfortunate. I think their life would be a lot fuller if they did, but they have that right.
Also, on the Christian Broadcasting Network, he pulled out the classic, "I'm guided very, very often about, 'Don't judge others, lest you be judged.'"

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