Is it possible to be selectively Catholic? Some lawmakers seem to think so. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the separation of church and state yet that does not stop elected officials from bringing their faith to office. We have seen Hobby Lobby snub Obamacare, anti-abortion legislation, gay rights, evolution and many other issues of faith take center stage in our democratic process and legislation. As the Keystone XL and controversial Trans Pacific Partnership step into the political spotlight on the heels of Pope Francis's statements about climate change and economic disparity it's time to call out our representatives.
Catholic Advocate Congressional Scorecard shows 24 Catholic Senators, and 128 Catholic Representatives in the House. The scoring criteria does not seem to be in line with the issues of the environment and economic disparity that Pope Francis has been talking about recently. In some cases it doesn't even seem to reflect Christian values, like former Congressman Joe Walsh. Walsh has a 100% scorecard from Catholic Advocate yet he supports torture saying, "The way you defeat an animal... oftentimes is to act like one."
The Guardian recently noted that Pope Francis's edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches stating:
In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting of Latin American and Asian landless peasants and other social movements: "An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.
"The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.
"The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness," he said.
Trade experts are now saying that the Trans Pacific Partnership is a nightmare for economic equality, workers rights, the environment and many other important issues. Scientists overwhelmingly state that Keystone XL is another nail in the coffin for devastating climate change. Yet so many representatives are fighting to make these policies that contradict the pope into law while claiming to be Catholic...
Hypocrisy has always played a role in religion and politics over the generations. Voters tend to be more serious about their faith than politicians and now they have an unprecedented opportunity to ask their representatives where they stand on these important issues. Thanks to the free and open internet, it takes just a few minutes to see if your representative is Catholic and where they stand on TPP and Keystone XL. The traditional route of sending a letter or calling your reps at (202) 224-3121 is effective. However I prefer a more open and transparent approach like social media. Tweet your reps (they're all on Twitter) with #selectivelycatholic or post to their Facebook wall and see if you can get a straight answer from them as to where they stand. Please share your results in the comments below.
***Post originally appeared on Culture Collective***