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An attack on Catholic Church?

Published: Sun, December 2, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

The column of Nov. 18 under the headline, “God sends a message to the GOP,” triggered a great deal of chatter on The Vindicator’s website, Vindy.com, and several letters to this writer via snail mail. Not surprisingly, most of the responses were harshly critical of the column’s underlying premise: The Republican Party’s religious arrogance led to its downfall in the Nov. 6 presidential election.

The column made note of the fact that the website, “IVoteGod.com,” was a pillar of the GOP’s national campaign, and also questioned the decision by the hierarchy of the American Catholic Church to make abortion and contraception key issues for Catholic voters. In so doing, the bishops seemed to suggest that voting for the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was a moral imperative.

Irate reader

Reaction to the column was summed up best in the following letter from Jewel Beese of Boardman:

“Mr. de Souza:

“I was going [to] tell you off, but an idiot like you wouldn’t get it, and you’re not worth the energy.

“I’m referring [to] your Sunday column in the Vindicator.

“God made one error when he made people. He gave everybody free will even the stupid idiots like you.”

The word idiot was underlined.

Another reader took exception to this writer’s criticism of the Catholic bishops for being preoccupied with abortion and contraception, while turning a blind eye to pedophile priests.

“God doesn’t send messages to political parties.

“It is clear you are a Democrat!!!

“Republicans are PRO-LIFE.

“Democrats are PRO-CHOICE.

“Bring up the priest-[pedophile] scandal was a ‘SUCKER PUNCH’ and a cheap shot on your part!!!!

“I should think you’d be more subdued in light of the BENGAZI scandal.

“Please try to be more impartial in the future.”

The letter was sent by Ms. Lucia S. Flevares of Warren.

This writer’s mention of a letter from Bishop George V. Murry of the Youngstown Diocese to Catholics in the region brought the following anonymous response:

“Yes, I’m sure that God was supporting liberals in the election, because HE agrees with ‘abortion on demand.’ That is man’s law, not God’s law.

“Maybe you will point out to me in one of your brilliant columns where, in the Bible, God says it’s OK to kill unborn babies.

“Funny thing, on our ‘last day,’ we all will find out if we were right …. Or wrong.

“I’m not going to sign this, because I don’t want you to ‘bully’ me in your column as you did Bishop Murry.

“I think that all of you liberals would be happy if [there] was only one political party you know, like [there] was in the Soviet Union. That went well!!!”

The assumption about this writer’s political leanings will go unanswered.

However, the perception that the column of Nov. 18 was an attack on the Catholic Church does warrant some discussion.

Cloak of politics

Criticism of the position taken by the bishops in the presidential election should not be viewed as anything more than political commentary. When they crossed the line that separates church and state, the bishops donned the cloak of politics. They, therefore, became fair game.

No one is questioning an individual bishop’s right to support a candidate for whatever reason he deems important. However, when the head of the diocese writes a letter to be read by priests at Sunday Mass that leaves little doubt as to what he expects of good Catholics, then he opens himself up to the same scrutiny as any other political activist.

No, Bishop Murry did not tell churchgoers in the Youngstown Diocese how to vote, but it doesn’t take a doctorate in religious studies to read between the lines.

This writer is a Catholic of long standing whose faith is deeply rooted, which is why the church’s embrace of the Republican Party is so disconcerting.

Compare the actions of the church’s hierarchy with the Nuns on the Bus national campaign for faith, family and fairness.

Sister Simone Campbell led a 2,700-mile journey to bring attention to the less fortunate, and to insist that government take care of the poor and those at the margins of society.

That message of the Catholic Church resonates with this writer.


1Letstryagain(218 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The idea that critical responses to your November 18 rant due to your opinion that "religious arrogance" lost the election is absurd.

The same is true for your position that Bishop Murray crossed the line regarding the separation of church and state. The separation of church and state does not prevent anyone, including religious leaders from writing about the social and moral issues of the day.

"According to the IRS website, the tax code regulating churches and non-profits allows Clergy to speak out about social issues and to organize voting efforts. However, churches cannot endorse a candidate, and they cannot engage in advocating along partisan lines."
-Huffington Post

Denying rightful benefits, or imposing sanctions on individuals due to their association with a religiouis organization would be a violation of church and state.

I know you will author similar words when Bishop Murray writes, and the celebrants read, the words that support the poor with federal tax dollars, the sick with federally funded health care, and the unskilled with skill training programs..

The words will not mention a candidates name but simply focus on the beliefs consistent with the Catholic Church. That is his purpose and I doubt he will abandon it, even when some of the faithful choose to speak loudly from "their" pulpit.

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2Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Bravo, Mr. de Souza. I was raised Catholic and raised my children Catholic. But after the actions of the Catholic Bishops in this election and in their treatment of the wonderful nuns who do so much for society, I'm finished. I always had pride in being Catholic. I always felt that our religion was more intelligent, more enlightened and more tolerant than other religions, especially when compared to Evangelicals. Then I see our Bishops joining up with the Evangelicals on a whole list of imagined injuries against the "freedom of religion" in the Affordable Care Act. Seriously, the enemy of my enemy must be my friend in such a partnership. Our Founders most probably felt that everyone should have "freedom from religion", from the mumbo-jumbo and dogma that ensnares those who cannot think for themselves. I haven't seen anyone ever persecuted in this country for worshiping in whatever way they see fit. And I'd like to hear examples from anyone who has. So all of this "protect religious freedom" baloney from the Right Wing is just that; baloney.
The Catholic Bishops see the writing on the wall for the Church in America and they are using social issues such as abortion, contraception, and gay marriage to hold on to the dwindling parishioners. Also, it takes people's minds off of the crimes that priests committed against children. But this past election is the harbinger what the future holds. The younger generation is much too smart to think that they need a dogmatic middle-man (religion of any denomination) to have a relationship with God. They won't be lectured to by a guy in a collar who is probably more of a sinner than they are. The young people have voted for the direction that this country will take for the next 50 years. There will be no return to the 1950's, much to many folks chagrin, including the Catholic Bishops. Long time coming.
There is a saying that goes, "People cannot hope to be Gods, but they can become less than human with frightening speed." That reflects on the reaction of these "Christians" to your column. Left to their own devices they would use religious fervor to do many inhuman acts.
One person spoke of the "laws of God" and "the laws of man". They are ALL laws of man. To know the mind of God or to speak for Him is blasphemy of the highest order. And yet, that is what organized religion is based on. Young people of today don't need to hear that gays can't be married; that it is an affront to God. They are much more tolerant of others than their parents or grandparents ever were and so exemplify the best of what a Christian should be in daily life; and that is a very good thing, indeed.
The Catholic Church hastened its own end by its actions in this last election. It is hanging on by the fingernails; not long until it's once mighty empire is an afterthought. It is no longer relevant.

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3ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


At least you admit you aren't Catholic anymore. Thanks for being honest.

Former Catholics and atheists are the harshest critics of the Catholic Church.

But what irks me are people who claim to be Catholic like Bert, but who have no concept of the hierarchy of the Church, its responsibilities, and the Magisterium's teaching authority in the Church.

You and Bert would have the Bishops remain silent in the face of assaults on the Church - in the name of "separation of church and state."

It's not the Church that is encroaching on the state, but the state and political parties that are encroaching on the teachings of the Church.

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4chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Bertrum asserts that he is ". . .Catholic of long standing whose faith is deeply rooted." However his faith is deeply rooted in sand which is void of any nutrients. His faith is easily uprooted by the slightest breeze from the liberal left pushing him to support abortion.

It is apparent that Bertrum is upset with the angry white bishops and cardinals in the US who just happen to be men.

I did not read one word from Bertrum or the Vindy that, while Obama was an Illinois state senator, he supported a bill letting a baby born from a botched abortion be left to die. Our now President wanted to let the baby cry and gasp for breath, rather than mandating the baby receive medical assistance to survive.

Is this a sign of what to expect in terms of Obama's health care for all especially those who are in poor health, weak and vulnerable and therefore expendable?

When the press fails to do its job, another entity must inform the public,

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5Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Betram is trying to justify his job, that is why he writes this drivel.

Have no fear, when The Vindicator decides to pay the healthcare fine and drop its employees' healthcare plans to save a few bucks in 2014, I guess we will see if he continues to take such an avid Democratic viewpoint.

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6Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

In a few weeks, we will go back to Mafia bashing, and then take another few shots at Traficant. That should put us about two months into FY 2013, closing in on filing deadlines, so naturally we will then take a course to remind everyone of why John Kasich is such a bad governor and bash Republicans again, despite there not being an elected Republican officeholder in Mahoning County.

Which will bring us back to bashing the local GOP, despite Mr. de Souza's lack of basic comprehension of understanding of running campaigns and understanding numbers across the county.

And the cycle continues. Mr. de Souza, I tip my hat to your sophomoric efforts and mediocre writing style.

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7excel(1251 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

So, it is silly of anyone to believe that the unborn have any rights? Now lets go go on to those homosexual priests who have been brought to light. Let's call it what it is. Homosexuality is their disease. Just what is a disease? Well, it is something that compromises the body and mind to function in its normal way. Diverting attention to the priesthood is but a way to lessen attention to homosexuals in other vocations that like to be where the young boys are.

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8Lou(1 comment)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

If you want to silence Bertram, do what I do. Quit reading his garbage. He has to try to cause controversy because that's his job. The media is not here to tell you the truth, they are here to make a profit. In this case, they need to sell papers or web advertising. The media will do what ever it takes to make a profit, even using biased reporting or stretching the truth. This includes TV as well.

As far as the Bishops are concerned, they were attacked, as was the church, by our president whom God has put in power. Maybe this is God's way of letting His children know, 'enough is enough'. I believe we, as Christians, need to start holding the media and especially the politicians accountable. I don't care which party they belong to, we the people need to start holding them all accountable. I believe in my Catholic church and its teachings. I believe in protecting the unborn & the elderly. But most of all, I believe on the day of judgment, I will be able to look Jesus in the eye & tell Him I did my best & tried to follow what He has taught me. If you can honestly say that, continue doing what you are doing. If not, you better change while there is still time.

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9RustOnMyBelt(172 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I consider myself to be pro-life,but things fall apart when I consider the victim of rape who becomes pregnant.Should I insist she carry the baby to term and endure nightmares of the violent assault for 9 months with the growing baby of the offender in her womb? Who am I (or anyone) to say that one such person "must" carry this child? The mother's emotions and hormones and nervous condition ,I imagine, might have some influence on the growing fetus.If we demand someone carry a psychopath's child, will we one day demand that some expectant mothers GET an abortion based on some other criteria i.e income,race,health.genetics? Who will head that committee?

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10rocky14(830 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I am mostly liberal,but pro life.What am i to do?

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11GoPens(397 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Rockyroad (post 1) for one of the most intelligent posts written on here in a long time.

To excel (post 6)
All I can say is I pray for you. You are one lost individual.

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12excel(1251 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Lost? Well then GP I will never find myself in your shoes championing the killing of the unborn and the corruption of our young into the world of homosexuality. I know that you don't believe in heaven but you had better pray that there is no hell.

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13jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Bishop Murry's letter--A Call to Faithful Citizenship, 10/12/2012--contained the following sentence.

"....We should vote first and foremost as Catholics."

The reality is that many Roman Catholics vote first and foremost as AMERICANS who happen (for whatever reason) to maintain a relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

JFK had it right--"....absolute separation of church and state...."

The sooner our Bishops express themselves without seeming to suggest or imply who voters should choose, the faster they will gain some semblance of authoritative leadership.

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14rocky14(830 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I am a liberal Dem.most of the time.I'm also anti abortion.According to conservatives i'm not supposed to be Pro Life.Oh my!

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15charms(228 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


Being Catholic is more than a mere membership. It should be the basis and center of all your activities, including voting.

Bishop Murray was right on the spot with his letter.

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16Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Excel...the priests were "pedophiles"...not homosexuals...but those of you with minds that are so simple confuse the two...that explains your un-natural hatred and fear of homosexuals...tragic to be so simple-minded...it is that same simple-mindedness that allows you to be worked into a fervor over when God says that life begins...once again, you have the effrontery to blashpheme by speaking for God...
Charms...you are the poster-child for all that is wrong with religion in general...you want a Theocracy, not a Democracy...you should go over to the Middle-East and adopt a mullah of your very own...you and your ilk would round up the non-believers and the infidels if you had the chance...all in the name of God and under the auspices of your Bishop and your church

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17kurtw(1758 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The interesting part is the Roman Catholic Church has been around over 2,000 years and our country a little over 200. The Church has survived many mistakes over the centuries, the Inquisition, corrupt popes, the excesses of the Crusades- priests with a yen for altar boys- yet, here they are,still kicking. Why is that?

I think the reason is the Roman Catholic Church addresses fundamental issues and has the organizational structure to sustain its views. Protestants, contrastingly, split off every afternoon- look in the yellow pages and see the number of Protestant Denominations- dozens and growing every day. By comparison, there is only one Roman Catholic Church- a 2,000 year old institution and still going strong.

The Nuns on the Bus talking about social issues- that's just window dressing- their view is just liberalism with a Catholic slant. The real issue is Abortion: should a woman's right to abort be limited in some way (cases of rape, incest, threat to the mother's health, etc) or should it be thrown open entirely and made a matter of "choice". That's the real issue.

I hear the "pro-choice" position all the time and, superficially, it makes sense: why shouldn't a woman control her own body? But, the fact of the matter is, a baby in her womb isn't the same as a bowel movement, it, literally, is another human being in her care, so, why should she have absolute right to decide- life or death- the fate of another human being?

The point is- she doesn't. Think of it this way- you invite someone into your house- someone in need of care- an elderly or sick person or a young child- you care for that person but then it becomes inconvenient for you to do so- you have other commitments- you want to go out on a date, etc etc..- so, that does that give you the right- because you no longer feel like it- to take that person in your care and- dispose of them like yesterday's garbage?

Of course it doesn't. Pregnancy is no different. You've assumed responsibility for the care of another human life and now you're committed: It's your responsibility to care for that life and, then, when it separates from you, you have full control of your body again until the next conception when the cycle starts all over again. It's your choice.

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18kurtw(1758 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I do want to commend Bert de Souza and the Vindy Editorial Staff for doing a wonderful job of following the Party Line!

I'm sure Chairman Dave is mighty proud of you folks! Incidentally, I saw the Chairman the other day at the D.D. Davis Y in Boardman climbing a stair machine. It was pointed up but actually it wasn't going anywhere- a perfect metaphor, it seemed to me, for the Democrat Party. The Chairman was doing a wonderful job, it seemed to me, of displaying strenuous effort, and when he looked down at me, he smiled. I was touched.

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19Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Kurt you say "there is only one Roman Catholic Church- a 2,000 year old institution and still going strong." You'd best do some research on the subject. Check out Europe where the church has been the longest. Check out Italy. Kurt the young people are leaving the church in droves and will not be returning. Do you know why? Mumbo-jumbo and dogma only works where there is a lack of information. The Internet, Google, Facebook, Twitter have provided instant access to information for the young. They know the history of things like the church and the Bible how it was man who decided what was included and what was excluded and the direction of things; dogma as arbitrary as why women can't fully participate in most religions They know things that church-goers of the past never knew. Armed with knowledge they can't be hoodwinked by blind loyalty for fear of some bogeyman. Fire and brimstone ain't gonna do it anymore. These kids have direct access to God the same as they do to each other. They know a group of cells from a human being. They know homosexuals. They know that a loving God is nothing like He is portrayed in the Catholic Church or any other religion. It isn't rocket science. It's right out of the Wizard of Oz and the man behind the curtain. Religion is a dog and pony show for the simple-minded and these kids are smart. So vote as you want. Get whipped into a religious frenzy by your Bishops. They'll laugh at you all the way to the bank.

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20Letstryagain(218 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

You write "These kids have direct access to God as they do to each other."


Should I laugh at the statements simple mindedness or cry at its ignorance?

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21WhatRUAfraidOf(85 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Excel-Homosexuality is not a disease and is not unique to humans. It has been observed in numerous other species. Although the causes of homosexuality are not entirely understood, there are biological and neurological causes for it to occur. Scientific study can help us understand the underlying reasons for the behavior and be more compassionate with others.

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22GoPens(397 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

So now I don't believe in Heaven? That means that your beliefs are more correct than mine? You are lost...and confused, but I forgive you of your ignorance.

It's a shame that many devout believers conveniently forget that Jesus was about compassion because many of you have forgotten what that word means.

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23jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


Bishop's letter was "right on" until the line about "...first and foremost--etc."

Without that line, his letter would (in my view) been effective.

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24kurtw(1758 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm a lapsed Catholic, to be honest, but when I read the drivel coming from people like "Rockyroad", it makes me return to my roots very quickly. Bad as the Church has been over the Centuries- there have been many, many abuses- the Roman Catholic record is "pure as the driven snow" compared to the secular religions of the 20th Century that tried to replace it- I'm talking about Communism, firstly, and then Naziism (Hitler studied the methods of Vlad Lenin and outdid the teacher).

The total victim toll of those quasi-secular religions exceeded that of the Church a thousand fold and they did it in less than a hundred years and not 2,000. Further, they left nothing to show- just destruction. The Catholic Church was The great Civilizing Force of the Middle Ages- preserving the Greek and Roman Heritage upon which Western Civilization is founded.

Anybody who doesn't understand that is just an illiterate moron- someone on the same cultural level as the Barbarians who sacked Rome. God help us all!

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25kurtw(1758 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Also, people need more than facts and information as found on the internet. They need that which sustains the spirit- and whether you believe in an afterlife or not- I do not believe that the human spirit can be sustained by "surfing" the web. The "mumbo-jumbo" talked about may be another word- a derogatory term- for the language of the soul.

Why is there so much interest in the "occult"- para-normal, etc., etc. Could it be that 40 years of liberal anti-religious propaganda has turned them in that direction? It may come down to the lesser of two evils- organized religion vs. do-it-yourself "spiritualism" of the kind that gave us the Manson Gang and Jonestown.

Human beings- if they want to keep their humanity- need more than facts and information as found on the Internet. Religion, of some kind, fulfills a basic human need. That's my view. I think I may go to Mass Sunday. Thanks Rockyroad!

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26kurtw(1758 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Another point, temporary declining Church attendance doesn't mean anything in the long run. During the 18th Century- the Enlightenment Period- Roman Catholicism was almost declared to be dead and, during the French Revolution, and afterwards, it looked so bad that- if- anybody wanted to bet- no smart better would say Roman Catholicism would still exist a little under 2 Centuries later- and yet, what do we see today, the fastest growing area of Roman Catholicism is now in Africa- while church-attendance- in Europe and the U.S. is- for the time-being- declining. These things are cyclical.

My bet is that the Church of Rome will still be with us 2 Centuries from now. There's more to it than "mumbo-jumbo" and anybody who says there isn't- well, it's a free country, and even idiots have the right to express their opinion.

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27Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Kurt...the philosopher Seneca said it two thousand years ago:
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

Truth is truth. Sorry that Santa Claus and religious dogma are in the same locker room.
Happy Holidays!! Oh, sorry, I forgot that Jesus wants to hear us say, "Merry Christmas" Oh my. The tragedy of the simple-mind.

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28IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

True or False - Santa is a fat man that comes down a chimney.

True or False - The Easter Bunny hides Easter Eggs.

True or False - Jesus walked on water.

True or False - Jesus rose from the dead.

True or False - Mary gave birth, but she was a virgin.

True or False - Priests who molested little boys were not reported, but relocated.

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29Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Faith is different than truth. Belief is different than truth. Faith and belief rely more on perspective, subjectivity and emotion. The truth is objective and logical. Truth is mathematical. It adds up. Surprisingly, the world would be pretty dull without faith and belief.
In your examples above it is more fun to "believe" in Santa and the Easter Bunny.
As far as the Biblical examples, the truth is probably too much for believers to handle. It gives people hope to believe that Jesus walked on water, rose from the dead and was born of a virgin. Nothing wrong with that. Beliefs should be respected and tolerated...as long as they are a "personal" and benevolent in nature. Once individuals try to bring them into the public arena and impose them on society, that's when a very bright line must be drawn to tell them to wake-up.
Your last example is nothing to make light of..period.

Now a quiz for you: Which one of these things doesn't belong with the others??
1. A drum
2. An egg
3. A rented mule
4. Obama's victory in the last election

Answer: You can beat a drum. You can beat an egg. You can beat a rented mule. But you can't beat Obama's Victory in the last election!!!!

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30jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago


Further proof of President Obama's electoral win......

The Diocese of Youngstown is made up of six counties--Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Columbiana.

He carried four of them! Pretty impressive.

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31jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

IM, get a job.

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32Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

When a church promotes social justice, as black churches have traditionally, that is not the same as the Catholic Church decrees on Gay Marriage, when life begins and contraception. That is crossing the line to impart a belief that, obviously from the election results, not everyone shares. The Catholic Church is trying to promote a Theocracy, just like the mullahs of the Middle East. Of course that distinction is missed by the blind adherents.
Black churches have a unique role in black history of promoting civil rights and social justice, as a response to the original sin of slavery. Comparing the two churches is ridiculous. The nuns in the Catholic Church work for social justice. The Bishops work to keep butts in the seats, money in the coffers and attention away from the crimes of priests. And those of you who are tone-deaf and of a simple mind, fall for it.
Once again, Happy Holidays to all of the righteous boobs out there!! Darn!!! I keep forgetting that Jesus likes to hear us say, "Merry Christmas!" LOL!!!!

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33Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

kurtw said: "The real issue is Abortion: should a woman's right to abort be limited in some way (cases of rape, incest, threat to the mother's health, etc) or should it be thrown open entirely and made a matter of "choice". That's the real issue."
No kurtw, that's not the real issue. The issue is that the Church is not only against abortion for any reason, but also against contraception for any reason. What's more the Bishops were trying to flex their muscles in an attempt to refuse typical healthcare options to women who work in large institutions like colleges and hospitals where the employees are often not Catholic.
They are not being made to offer it to employees of Churches or small schools or where all employees are Catholic.
They took a political side for their own financial benefit and that was embarrassing.

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34Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Here's a link to a story on BBC about leaders in Youngstown Black Churches who were also telling their congregations not to vote for Obama.
That went about as well as telling Catholics how to vote.

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35DSquared(1778 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Obama taking 4 out of 6 counties in the Youngstown Dioceses is not impressive, it is sad. When this valley blesses God, he will bless this valley! In the meantime, you have lost balls in the high weeds such as RockeyRoad to seek wisdom from. Good luck with that!

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36IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Start a petition to start taxing churches. I bet if it is ever put on the ballot, that it would pass. I don't know how they can claim seperation of church and state, when they all have a political agenda. PATHETIC!

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37Letstryagain(218 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Separation of church and state does not negate the right to free speach. Here it is again for those of you that missed it, or ignored it.

"According to the IRS website, the tax code regulating churches and non-profits allows Clergy to speak out about social issues and to organize voting efforts. However, churches cannot endorse a candidate, and they cannot engage in advocating along partisan lines."
-Huffington Post

Neither did the church endorse a candidate, and they did not advocate along a Democratic, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Communist, Green Party or any other line.

The Church speaks their mind and you attack the church instead of the issue. You can't win that way, you can only win on the issue.

Oh, by the way, elections are only a decision, not a determinant of right and wrong. If you think the crowd is always right, good luck.

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38LtMacGowan(713 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Starts passing out literature from the Freedom From Religion Foundation

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39kurtw(1758 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it's true, I'm like many American Catholics in that I feel ambivalent about my religion. It is a love-hate relationship. The part of me that thinks- hates; the part of me that feels- loves. How do you deal with that kind of ambivalence?

The policy on contraception is horrible. I'm a strong believer in family planning and if couples sat down and came to an agreement about how many children they could reasonably expect to raise it would be wonderful. But, how many young people in love do that? (Only if they are accountants) Most couples just muddle along- and spend most of their time in bed with each other- and hope for the best.

I think it would make sense if the parish priest would talk to couples and encourage them to think about raising children from a practical point of view- the costs involved, etc. But, of course, priests don't normally do that- it isn't their trade.

I'm still trying to decide how I feel about the ordination of women. On the one hand- I'm against it. Priests should represent the Deity- a man, right? But, isn't the Catholic rejection of women (as priests) a reflection of the Middle Eastern rejection of women (in the Islamic world) as anything but- what? How do Muslims treat women? Couldn't it be that the Catholic rejection of women is an echo of that? In the Middle Ages women dressed as Muslin women do today and as Nuns dressed until lately.

Being a Catholic in a stridently secular world is difficult, but one thing, I have come to understand, being a nonbeliever in a stridently secular world is far harder-and more dangerous to oneself than being a believing Catholic. If you believe in nothing- one becomes far more likely to believe in anything that comes along- Karl Marx, Vlad Lenin, Adolf Hitler, etc.- better a 2000 year old tradition- which, better or worse, represents one of the pillars of Western Civilization.

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40Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

kurtw!!!! Religion's a dog and pony show for the simple-minded. Come into the present and quit living in the world of 2000 years ago. History from fifty years ago gets slanted...what do you think happens over 2000 years....the God's Truth??? LOL!!!
Many, many Christians in Germany in the 1930's thought that they were doing God's will by killing Jews. Pope Pius turned a deaf ear while the Holocaust continued unabated. Pope Pius probably occupies a lower ring in Hell than either Lenin or Hitler, if Hell exists at all.
Religion is a pillar in the sense that the weak-minded are chained to it. You don't need religion to have a relationship with God. But, if you are a "believer" do your "believing" in private and keep it out of the public discourse.

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41Ypboy(64 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

It's so easy to identify a fallaway Catholic. Very sad that some people can't see the destructive nature of allowing abortion....it is destroying our culture.

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