Obviously, people are outraged by this ad. Everyone I’ve spoken to has expressed anger at the church for producing this horrible commercial and trying to get it aired. I personally don’t think it’s that bad in principle: it’s really more pro-life than it is anti-choice, and I will always defend free speech. What’s most bothersome to me is that watching this ad gives one the impression that the church supported President Obama from the beginning, when the church was actually one of his biggest detractors. Now that he’s in office, we’re supposed to forget that they were on the wrong side of history? Newsflash: If you wanted someone to lose, trying to profit off that person’s victory makes you look like an asshole. It’s this kind of hyprocisy and underhandedness that turns so many people off to religion to begin with. Now, if they ran a spot about a fetus that would grow up a prick who cheated on his wife and used his mistress’ beer money to carpetbag his way to a congressional seat before eventually winning the Republican party’s nomination for president, they’d be fine.
If you didn’t know, I’m Catholic. If I’m harsh on the church, it’s because I’m disappointed in it. Shortly after the election, I was looking for a Catholic church to attend in Alexandria, Virginia. On one of the local church’s Web sites, they were encouraging parisioners to write into Obama’s office and protest his plan to sign what they deemed a bill that “promoted abortion” into legislation. No such pro-abortion bill existed. Claiming a bill that supports women’s rights promotes abortion is as disingenuous as suggesting pro-life legislation promotes unwanted children. Most people, regardless of political affiliation, do not favor abortion — but it’s disheartening when people fail to recognize the complexity of the issue.
Here’s something to think about. As of two years ago, there were an estimated one million Iraqi casualties in the Iraq War. Surely, that number is significantly higher now. With approximately 25 million people in Iraq in 2003, that equates to over 4% of that country’s population dead. And that only counts people we all agree were human beings; it doesn’t include the unborn babies of slain pregnant women, which increases the death toll even more if you’re religious. Does this qualify as genocide yet? Every time I attend mass, we’re asked to pray for the wars to end. This war in particular is one the entire world believes unjust. So if you’re the church, why not encourage your parisioners to thank President Obama for vowing to pull our troops out of Iraq instead of keeping the killing machine in place for an additional 100 years? That would mean more than the feigned support demonstrated in the rejected ad designed to scare people into following a political agenda adverse to what they voted for.
I have a feeling this is exactly why the founding fathers called for a separation of church and state. Religion and politics just don’t mix.