An official polling center for next Tuesday’s election continues to distribute religiously motivated political propaganda to its members. The polling center in question is the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of San Diego and the propaganda has been appearing in the folds of regular church bulletins for weeks now. For example, an early pamphlet states in no uncertain terms that voting for politicians who support issues like gay marriage, stem cell research, abortion, or death with dignity will doom a voter to a fiery hell for all eternity.
“It is a mortal sin to vote Democrat … immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell,” the flyer said.
That’s right – vote with the church, or go to hell! (Of course, such teaching is not Biblical, but even “facts” of scripture seem to no longer matter in this election.)
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) November 4, 2016
Also, Satan: While earlier fliers have certainly pushed the edge of the acceptability envelope concerning electioneering for a tax exempt organization (especially one that acts as a polling place during elections) the latest pamphlet crosses the line by mentioning one candidate by name, specifically that Hillary Clinton is being directly influenced by the red man in the cape himself, Satan.
As blatant a violation as this is to tax and election laws, it is not uncommon and churches get away with it every day. As law professor, Bruce Hopkins tells the San Diego Tribune, “The IRS these days is not enforcing much in this area. It doesn’t have the resources, and its been criticized so much on (Capitol) Hill and elsewhere that it’s kind of skittish about moving in certain areas, and this is one of them.”
Oh, those poor ‘persecuted‘ churches having to follow a couple simple rules to remain tax free.
Spokesman Kevin Eckery of The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego was quick to go on the record, claiming the statements found in the bulletin of one church do not reflect diocese policies or Catholic teaching, “It’s not a mortal sin to vote for Democrats, number one. And number two, the church doesn’t take positions on this, and we’re not going to.”
Uhm… except, you just did, you do, and you will. The transparently ineffective authority of Catholic hierarchy has become laughable in recent years.
Can we stop using churches as official polling places, please? The thing about childhood religious indoctrination is that it produces a certain type of Manchurian Candidate, subconsciously unaware of just how tied every thought and decision is to church doctrine. It’s one thing to vote in a controversial election at the local fire station, it’s quite another thing to be surrounded by religious symbols and graphic statue reenactment of the Stations of the Cross, triggering the subconscious mind of a once rational voter that… Jesus is watching.