NY Times published an article today about the criticism of Catholic church on Giuliani’s stand towards abortion. His” sin” is that while personally opposing abortion, he does not believe in forcing his personal view on the entire nation.
During the New Hampshire debate he said: “My view on abortion is that it’s wrong, but that ultimately government should not be enforcing that decision on a woman. I consult my religion, I consult my reading of the Constitution, I consult my views of what I think are important in a pluralistic society, and the reality that we have to respect the fact that there are people that are equally as religious, equally as moral that make a different decision about this. And should government put them in jail?”
This stand caused great “frustration” in the circles of Catholic religious leaders. Although, following the rules that prohibit churches from endorsing or denouncing political candidates, they are reluctant to explicitly endorse any particular candidate, they are pretty clear in implicitly criticizing Giuliani. What are the arguments to prove him wrong? Well, there are plenty!!! He “was seen leaving Mass at a church in Washington before the Eucharist”. He “had married a third time without receiving a church annulment for his second marriage”. More important of course is Vatican’s statement that “politicians who voted for abortion rights should “exclude themselves from communion”.”
Sorry for the sarcastic tone of this post. As much as it scares me, the seemingly tightening relations between religion and politics are fascinating. It appears as a convoluted system of interdependent ideologies and interests. On the one hand, the democratic principles endorse religious tolerance and free choice at the same time. On the other hand, the religious conservatism simultaneously denies the same freedom of choice and in many (or shall i say most) cases tolerance towards the “other”. On the top of it of course are the political structures that enjoy and take advantage of religion as a mobilization mechanism (pursuing voters for example), and at the same time allow the religious apparatus taking advantage of the system by utilizing its mechanism for promotion of particular ideology (see for example the attempts of internet regulation in Israel).
What do you think?