Friday, August 23, 2013

Dr. Savage on Freedom of Speech and Churchmen

First of all, to the regular readers here - allow me to apologize in advance for my methodology in this response article.  I am responding to Dr. Savage in the same method he uses on his radio show.  To Dr. Savage, no disrespect is intended, this is an attempt to get your attention by using your own style of "attack."

Secondly, in most cases I tend to agree with Dr. Savage!  I even agree with his sentiment on the issue I'm about to discuss - but, since he (in my humble opinion) has unjustifiably attacked the Catholic Church, as a Catholic apologist I must speak out.

Yesterday, August 22, 2013, I was listening to Dr. Savage on the radio and the subject of the involvement of the Catholic Church in supporting amnesty came up.  Now, on the point of amnesty, I agree with Dr. Savage!  The Church should not be publicly supporting those who have willfully broken the laws of the United States.  That being said, is it really "the Church" taking this stand, or a few rouge bishops and/or priests?  I would like to see Dr. Savage's documentation on this.

Now, to the point which motivated this response.  Dr. Savage related that the Church's involvement in this subject was "against the law."  He compared this to the "separation of church and state," and this is where the "buffoonery" comes into play.  Normally, Dr. Savage speaks quite intelligently on such matters, but in this case he is simply wrong.  The United States Constitution makes absolutely NO reference to ANY church's RIGHT to FREE SPEECH!  The ONLY mention of "church and state" in the Constitution protects the churches, NOT the state!  The "establishment clause," as it is known by, is found in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Note, it speaks to CONGRESS, and NOT to any church/religion!  The "free exercise thereof" includes the "freedom of speech" (in the same sentence!) of any churchman, whether from the pulpit or in a public forum, to speak out on ANY matter, even political/state matters!  In fact, if the Catholic Church would actually take a united stand in supporting certain politicians - half the "schmucks" (to use another part of Dr. Savage's vocabulary) in elected office would never have made it there and we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today!

So, while I politically disagree with anyone promoting amnesty among illegal aliens, I respect the RIGHT of anyone to SPEAK FREELY on these subjects.  Personally, I would prefer that priests stick to the Gospel and/or Epistle of the day when they preach their sermons - unless what they are preaching can be related to the readings of the day - they should refrain from such topics.  But again, there is no "law" in the Church or the Constitution or the Amendments to the Constitution which prohibits a priest (or other churchman) from preaching on ANY subject they would so desire (unless, of course, they are preaching against defined Church doctrine, but that will get them in hot water elsewhere).  The point is, a bishop or priest is quite free to speak out on matters of politics and such speaking is NOT a violation of the "establishment clause."  I was quite disappointed to hear Dr. Savage ignorantly using this argumentation typically invoked by liberals who feel threatened by any religious person speaking out in a public forum against what they believe.

As I said up front, I actually agree with Dr. Savage's position on this matter!  Amnesty for illegal aliens should NOT be considered by US lawmakers precisely because these aliens are US lawbreakers!  On this matter, I would agree with those who take the position of allowing the illegals to legitimize themselves, but not ahead of those who have been "doing it right."  If those who are in our country illegally wish to gain citizenship and/or other legal means of being in the United States, then they must get in line BEHIND those who have been OBEYING our laws.

So, while I agree that amnesty is a bad idea - I do not believe it is against the rights of ANYONE to speak out to support their own views on such matters.  We should not ignorantly, or even in bigoted fashion, attempt to dissuade individuals or even churches from THEIR exercise of freedom of speech.  Right or wrong, it is their right to speak out.  I hope this message reaches Dr. Savage, and I hope he publicly retracts his ignorant statement regarding the alleged separation of church and state matter here.

#separationofchurchandstate, @ASavageNation, #SavageNation, @SavageNation

What ARE the bishops asking?  Find out by clicking here.

2 comments:

  1. I agree. I think Dr. Savage is pretty smart and pretty right on about most issues. However, he is a little off point on the issue of "Separation of Church and State." The clause in the Constitution was to prevent us having a state religion as they did in England. It says nothing whatsoever, as you already pointed out, about religious people, groups, or churches keeping their mouths shut about politics or government.

    Good Article.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I posted the contents of the "card" passed out at our local parish last Sunday, and my comments to it, see that here: http://a2zpolitics.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-are-bishops-asking.html

    Cathmom5, thanks for the comments.

    ReplyDelete

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