Democratic Catholic Lawmakers Warn Bishops

From The Washington Post: Forty-eight lawmakers, including several who are anti-abortion, warned the bishops not to harm the church by denying Communion based on partisan political biases.

[The lawmakers] questioned how the bishops could limit the denial of Communion to abortion, noting that Pope John Paul II and many U.S. bishops have condemned the death penalty and the war in Iraq. “All of us firmly believe that we can be good Congresspersons and Catholics and we respectfully submit that, while sometimes difficult, each of us has the responsibility and the right to balance public morality with private morality without pressure from certain bishops,” the letter said.

One of the signers with a solidly antiabortion voting record, Rep. Bart Stupak (Mich.), said in an interview that bishops “are making these statements thinking they’re undermining the candidacy of John Kerry, when what they’re really undermining is the Catholic church.”

Stupak added that he has been surprised by the partisanship of some bishops.

“I’ve had some threaten not to give Communion to me, even though they don’t know my position, just because I’m a Democrat,” he said. “I’ve had cardinals refuse to shake my hand because I’m a Democrat, and then somebody whispers to them that, ‘No, no, he’s a good guy.’ ”

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Texas Cheats Unitarians Out of Tax Exemption
From The Village Gate and Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Courts have ruled against Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (Google search), who is denying tax-exempt status to a Unitarian Universalist congregation because Unitarians do not mandate a belief in a supreme being. But Strayhorn is determined to appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, costing the Unitarians a fortune in legal fees. Strayhorn enjoys close ties to President Bush.

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