A rumor that Catholic priests are facing arrest for doing priestly duties during the ongoing Republican government shutdown has gripped Fox News and is being shared on Facebook — with the report suggesting that even priests who elect to perform mass “unpaid” will be carted off and thrown in Obamajails because the government hates Christians.
Totally reasonable opinion columnist at Fox News Todd Starnes broke the Catholic government shutdown arrests wide open, telling an Islamosocialist story of horror in which he claims via some unnamed “well-placed sources” have confirmed a shocking consequence of the government shutdown.
According to Starnes, either overtly or as an insinuation throughout the piece, the government is targeting military chaplains — and archdiocese military chaplain John Schlageter commented in a statement regarding the shutdown’s effect on Catholic priests:
“They were told they cannot function because those are contracted services and since there’s no funding they can’t do it – even if they volunteer… During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”
Indeed, The Inquisitr‘s own well-placed sources in the military confirm that all government employees are barred from doing their paid duties during the shutdown, even on a volunteer basis — but this goes for literally all federal workers, and is intended to protect employed persons from being coerced to work for no pay.
As expected, the Fox News Catholic priests government shutdown story is tricking people into thinking the Obama administration is targeting Christians, despite the fact that the President himself (while not Catholic) is a Christian:
— Infidel Justice (@InfidelJustice) October 5, 2013
bc they dont worship allah RT @PatDollard: Obama Threatens 2 Arrest Priests Who Perform Religious Services http://t.co/UP9xTZ6utL
— Alexandria (@InfidelAlie) October 5, 2013
— Fr. Richard Gonzales (@fr_gonzales) October 5, 2013
Starnes himself is trying to rally the aggrieved to “march on Washington,” for what reason, it isn’t precisely clear:
— Mark J. Cain (@cainmarkj) October 5, 2013
The Catholic League’s Bill Donahue made the insane claim that the Obama administration is the most anti-Catholic of all presidential administrations… laughable if you consider the history of Catholicism in America and the institutionalized biases against Catholics in not too distant history. (Disclaimer: I myself am a lifelong Catholic, and Catholic educated.)
“In American history there has been no administration more anti-Catholic than the Obama administration… For them to deny Catholic men and women the opportunity of the sacraments and to deal with their prayerful vocations is really a stunning statement.”
Putting aside Donahue’s stunning ignorance of the history of Catholic oppression in America, the government shutdown is not an idea floated by Obama — and if you want to complain about fault, Congress is probably to blame far more for creating the circumstance in which military chaplains can’t do their jobs.
In case Starnes and Donahue didn’t spell their spurious accusation out enough, an anonymous source hints:
“It’s difficult to know who exactly is making these decisions… I’m being told it keeps getting kicked up to a higher level.”
Of course, we know exactly why Catholic priests during the government shutdown face arrest — because under law, federal employees cannot work while the government is not operational. The law is meant to protect workers, not in any way target Catholics.
Other sources add that bases have been bringing in non-military Catholic priests during the government shutdown to allow troops to worship on base.