Heads will surely be exploding at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation when they get a load of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives giving marching orders to the Roman Catholic bishops of America. Won’t they? According to CNSNews:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she has told Catholic cardinals, archbishops and bishops that she wants them to speak from the pulpit for immigration reform and tell Catholics who oppose it that reform “is a manifestation of our living the gospels.”
“I would hope that there’s one thing that we can do working together as we go forward that speaks to what the Bible tells us about the dignity and worth of every person — and that is on the subject of immigration,” Pelosi said in her remarks. “Because I think the Church is going to have to play a very major role in how we, in how people are treated.”
“The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, ‘We want you to pass immigration reform,’” disclosed Pelosi. “And I say, ‘But I want you to speak about it from the pulpit.’
“I want you to instruct your, whatever the communication is — the people, some of them, oppose immigration reform are sitting in those pews and you have to tell them that this is a ‘manifestation of our living the gospels,’” said Pelosi. “Our patron saint of San Francisco, St. Francis of Assisi, he said, ‘preach the gospel –sometimes use words.’ We need the words to be said because it isn’t being picked up automatically.” [Emphasis added.]
Normally, AU, the ACLU, and the FFRF get hysterical when private citizens, in expressing their desire to influence the government to adopt a policy they favor, do so from a religious perspective (which is what the Catholic bishops are described by Pelosi as doing, but because they are on The Right Side of the issue, they won’t get any grief from the guardians of First Amendment purity). That’s a violation of the sacred wall of separation, they cry. Man the battlements–the Republic is in danger!
But here you have one of the most powerful officials of the government telling religious leaders what she wants preached from their pulpits. Isn’t this a far more egregious violation of that same wall–an attempted state interference in religion, the prevention of which is the very raison d’etre of the First Amendment?
Well, isn’t it? Anyone? Bueller?