Remember John F. Kennedy's big famous speech in 1960, when he and other Catholics tried to assuage America's concern that dictates from Vatican would be imposed on the general public? That was then. Today? Damn that message right to hell! The Catholic Church has a brazen new message for the public this fall: This is a Catholic nation. Their message for the laity is even more severe: Vote correctly or you will go to hell. "Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity," says this ad by Catholics Called to Witness. "Will you vote the values that stand the test of fire?"
What two votes can save Catholics from eternal damnation?
Demoting the rights of gay Americans and stripping women of their own health-care choices, of course! And by all means, let's enrobe it in the pretense that Catholics have lost their liberty (in fact, their liberty is only constricted when they seek to use public funds for their anti-gay, anti-women agenda). But the Catholic Church is the victim here, we're told, so American Catholics need to rise up!
But the question over the next six months isn't whether American Catholics will stand up for their church; the question is whether they will stand up to protest their increasingly radicalized bishops. The church is in full-scale campaign mode, replete with shadow organizations like Catholics Called to Liberty and the National Organization for Marriage. But their agenda contradicts most Catholics, who support marriage equality, and most Catholic women, who have used contraception. In Seattle, we've already seen the group Catholics for Marriage Equality file their campaign to oppose Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. Call me optimistic, I think they're just the beginning.