The Pope says climate change is real, and really man-made, and in the U.S., the Catholic League has joined the ranks of people who are perturbed about this. The group, and particularly its president, Bill Donahue, is lashing back, saying that it would be illegal for poliicians who also happen to be Catholics to accept the Pope’s position.
A significant number of U.S. politicians are Catholic. On the Supreme Court alone, six of nine current sitting members identify as Roman Catholic, according to FactMonster. The trend carries over in other governing bodies: according to the National Catholic Reporter, Catholic numbers now “eclipse” the number of every other religion in the U.S. House and Senate.
These men and women often act on their consciences, as does virtually every other man and woman in the world, and this can include when voting on policies.
Thus, if a significant number of politicians deny climate change, that affects legislation that passes.
This could easily be compared to how these same politicians often vote their conscience in matters of abortion, women’s rights, marijuana legalization, and any number of other issues.
However, the Catholic League has now published a piece responding to the Pope’s statements on climate change, in which they explain that for politicians to embrace man-made climate change as a reality because the Pope says it’s true would violate the separation of church and state.
This conviction does not seem to apply to political stances on birth control, gay rights, and other positions affected by religious beliefs.
Of course, climate change is not a religious belief — it’s a matter that NASA says 97% of scientists agree on.
As far as separation of church and state, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops makes their stance clear, using as an example the legalization of abortion — the group calls the act of voting in favor of this a sin, and goes on:
As our conference has insisted in Faithful Citizenship, Catholics who bring their moral convictions into public life do not threaten democracy or pluralism but enrich them and the nation. The separation of church and state does not require division between belief and public action, between moral principles and political choices, but protects the right of believers and religious groups to practice their faith and act on their values in public life.
Is the Catholic League’s objection about “imposing” the word of the Pope (and 97% of scientists) on Americans, or is it about disagreeing with the Pope’s stance?
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