Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has begun a religiously-based coup d’etat in Kansas. He has issued an ultimatum to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, telling her that she must impose the Catholic Church’s religious beliefs on all citizens or Kansas, or suffer “additional pastoral actions” – excommunication from the Catholic Church. Naumann spoke to Sebelius, telling her to submit to his authority, and then threw down the gauntlet in his religious publication, accusing Sebelius of disloyalty, in her governmental duties, to her religion:
“The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, as well as many other high-profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: ‘The church’s teaching on abortion is optional!’”
Let me provide this update to Archbishop Naumann, who may be too busy to keep up with the news: Congress has ratified something called The Bill of Rights, which includes a constitutional amendment that forbids the government establishment of religion. That means, Archbishop Naumann, that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church do not have the force of law, and that, as far as the Governor of any of the United States of America is concerned, yes, the Catholic Church’s teachings are optional.
It would be a legally appropriate, if personally obnoxious, gesture on Archbishop Naumann’s part if he were to lecture Kathleen Sebelius in private about her actions as a private citizen. However, for Archbishop Naumann to so conspicuously send messages to Sebelius in public about her professional activities as the Governor of Kansas is a highly inappropriate effort to use the power of a tax-exempt organization, the Roman Catholic Church, to influence a public official and make his church a player in Kansas electoral politics.
Archbishop Naumann’s own statement makes his agenda clear: He wants to use his religious power to pressure public government officials into making the Roman Catholic Church’s religious teachings mandatory, not “optional”, for all residents of the state of Kansas.
That makes Joseph F. Naumann an American Ayatollah.
I’m sure that there are many Catholics in Kansas who don’t approve of Naumann’s obnoxious attempts to dictate what the government will do, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I suggest that they send Naumann’s office a letter, at 12615 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas 66109, reminding him that the Dark Ages ended hundreds of years ago, and advising him that his position as Archbishop is optional.