Tag Archives | Church and State

Why Progressives Can’t Ignore Religion

Jesus Rode A DonkeyThe intersection of religion and politics in America today from Mike Lux on Alternet:

Wall or no wall, politics and religion have always been inextricably intertwined, and we won’t win until we recognize and deal with that fact.

In this fine country of ours, there is “a wall of separation between Church and State,” as Thomas Jefferson once put it. And thank God for that (at least, if you’re inclined to believe in it). Our country has been so much stronger and more free as a result of having that wall.

Here’s the thing, though: having that wall doesn’t mean that the cord linking politics and religion can ever be severed, at least not in this country where religion lives so fervently. The fact is that the USA remains, by a considerable margin, more religious and more Christian than any other Western nation, with close to 80 percent of us still calling ourselves Christians (in spite of somewhat falling percentages on that number in recent years) …

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Vatican Told to Pay Taxes as Italy Tackles Budget Crisis

VaticanIf you missed this one, what’s this whole “accountability” thing about when it comes to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? Michael Day reports in the Independent:

After several years of scandal in which the Catholic Church has faced allegations of financial impropriety, paedophile priests and rumours of plots to kill the Pope, the Vatican is now facing a new €600m-a-year tax bill as Rome seeks to head off European Commission censure over controversial property tax breaks enjoyed by the Church.

As the EC heads closer to officially condemning the fiscal perks enjoyed by the Catholic Church and introduced by the Berlusconi administration, Prime Minister Mario Monti has written to the Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, saying that the Vatican will resume property tax, or Ici, payments.

Mr Almunia said in 2010 that the exemption amounted to state aid that might breach EU competition law. A parliamentary proposal by the Italian Radicals party last August to repeal the exemption, with a successful petition on Facebook, upped the pressure.

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The JFK Speech That Made Rick Santorum Want to “Throw Up” (Video)

I'm really wondering if the goal now of the Republican Party is to get Barack Obama re-elected. Scott Collins reports in the LA Times:
Rick Santorum has not been a frequent presence on the Sunday morning chat shows during his Republican presidential campaign. But when he shows up, he really makes an impression. On Sunday, the former Pennsylvania senator told ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" that a 1960 speech by John F. Kennedy to Baptist ministers in Houston made him want to "throw up." In the speech, Kennedy, then running for president, tried to reassure critics that, as a Catholic, he would not take orders from the pope and that he believed in "absolute" separation of church and state.
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