“Hey, you know, it was just, ya know, that Historical Context thingy we’ve all been hearing so much about.” That seems to be the response from the Diocese of Peoria over remarks made by Bishop Daniel Jenky regarding President Barack Obama. Supposedly, Jenky was making comments regarding historical context and religious liberty.
Jenky stated “Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”
If we want to discuss historical context, let us talk about how the Roman Catholic Church systematically slaughtered Jews, Heretics, Pagans and Witches during the Inquisition, or how they put every man, woman and child to death in Jerusalem during the Crusades, or how they cut treaties with Hitler, Mussolini and Franco to protect their interests in this Fascist nations. How about the several invasions of Ireland and England to try and restore Catholicism to the throne or the religious wars that saw the slaughter of millions of people in Europe over the issue of whether or not someone followed the Pope.
Context can be a real kick in the nuts, huh, Bishop?
Diocese Chancellor Patricia Gibson stated that Jenky “offered historical context and comparisons as a means to prevent a repetition of historical attacks upon the Catholic Church and other religions. We have currently not reached the same level of persecution. But Bishop Jenky would say that history teaches us to be cautious. … (He) is concerned that our government is truly treading on one of our most dear freedoms, which is religious freedom.”
Persecution is not being required to meet women’s healthcare needs. Persecution is when the state starts rounding you up, putting you in concentration camps or just marching you out to a massive hole in the ground and filling you full of lead until you die from lead poisoning. Persecution is not being told to get use to same-sex marriage being legal. Persecution is being informed that your church is being closed down by order of the state and you being rounded up and taken away.
This isn’t about religious freedom. This is about religious domination. Jenky is terrified that his religious beliefs will be prevented from dominating others.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, meanwhile, filed a formal complaint asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the diocese, suggesting Jenky may have crossed a line that put the church’s tax-exempt status in jeopardy.
The group noted that in addition to the comments about Hitler and Obama, Jenky went on to tell those gathered Sunday that, “This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries – only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down.”
“No rational person could believe the bishop was doing anything but saying vote against Obama,” said the group’s executive director, Barry Lynn.
Federal law prohibits churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing or opposing specific political candidates, but churches are allowed to engage in a wide range of political activities and the IRS rarely revokes a church’s tax-exempt status.