Is It Religion Or Politics?

Last week the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, fired the sitting chaplain……possibly the first time ever that this has happened……

Did Paul Ryan think the House chaplain was a meddlesome priest? Father Pat Conroy says that two weeks ago, the House speaker asked for his resignation but did not provide a reason, Politico reports. Democrats believe the priest, who was nominated by John Boehner in 2011, was forced out over a November prayer in which he mentioned the GOP tax bill and said the efforts of lawmakers should result in “benefits balanced and shared by all Americans” instead of “winners and losers.” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley says Ryan’s move was “reprehensible.” That Conroy “be the first chaplain of the House of Representatives to be fired in the history of the United States is just outrageous,” he says.

Conroy is the 60th House chaplain in US history, but only the second Catholic. The priest, whose last day will be May 24, tells the New York Times that “Catholic members on both sides are furious.” The Jesuit declined to comment on whether politics was a factor in the actions of Ryan, a conservative Catholic, though he says the House is inherently political. “I don’t know if there is a religious divide; there certainly is a political one.” A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding more information on the firing. Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly blames “anti-Catholic sentiment” for the ouster, though Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong says the speaker is a proud Catholic and the charge is “false and outrageous.”

Soon to be gone Paul Ryan has just exercised his prerogative by ousted a man of the cloth because he thought he was too political…..seriously?  That is bullsh*t from a bullsh*t pro.

But we can avoid this sort of thing by doing what James Madison suggested…..keep religion out of government and that means chaplains.

“…Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom?

In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.

The establishment of the chaplainship to Congs is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority.

Better also to disarm in the same way, the precedent of Chaplainships for the army and navy, than erect them into a political authority in matters of religion.

My paraphrase of Madison’s thoughts…..”If politicians want prayer then let them adjourn to the offices, close the windows and pray their asses off.”
But that is just my take on it.
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4 thoughts on “Is It Religion Or Politics?

  1. Keep religion out of government indeed. The Church has too many vested interests to be allowed to get anywhere near the seat of power.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Firing a guy for one line in a prayer given 6 months earlier??? Jesus! Not only that, he fires him conveniently after announcing his own retirement, thus avoiding any negative personal consequences. As if it wasn’t obvious already…Paul Ryan is a complete fucking douche-bag!!!

    I also question the Constitutionality of a House Chaplain. Sure, there may be a functional argument for it. Aside from some prayers, the job probably entails a lot of confidential “shrink-work” and it was probably created before “shrinks”. (Which is what all these crazy bastards actually need.) However, appointing ONE official Chaplin from ONE religion to represent them sure sounds like an official national “stamp of approval” to me.

    (You want to see a “meddlesome priest”? Try Father Brown!)

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