JUDGES AND COMMUNION

Ramesh elaborates the questions about Catholicism he believes are legitimate in a Senate hearing:

“Would you hesitate to re-affirm Roe and Casey because you would be afraid that your church would deny you communion?” … “No. If I voted to re-affirm Roe, it would be because I believed that it was the correct legal conclusion x97 because I concluded that the combined force of constitutional provisions and precedent made it so x97 and not because of any moral views I hold about abortion policy; and I am confident that my church would understand that. Indeed, if I conclude that Roe is correct as a matter of constitutional interpretation, then I would be morally bound to say so. If I pretended that Roe was wrongly decided, while knowing better, I would be guilty of the sin of lying, and would not be able to present myself for communion.’

Here’s the question I’m still wrestling with. If a judge were to say that he supports Roe because he believes that there is a right to privacy in the Constitution and that that right applies to a woman’s ownership of her own body, and thereby the right to abort an unborn child, would that trigger the church hierarchy’s removal of that judge from the communion rail? And how could that threat not affect a judge’s rulings as a matter of fact?

CHURCHES AND THE IRS: A liberal church gets its tax exempt status pulled because of a sermon last October called “If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush.” I’m with the IRS. Now let’s be consistent and start pulling tax exemptions from all churches that conflate their spiritual mission with campaigns for various candidates and parties.

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