Democrats to Dolan: No Equal-Time Praying at Our Convention

Democrats to Dolan: No Equal-Time Praying at Our Convention August 27, 2012

President Obama has evidently refused to allow Cardinal Timothy Dolan to offer the benediction at the Democratic National Convention. According to the New York Post

“Dolan — considered the top Catholic official in the nation, as head of the Archdiocese of New York and president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops — tipped off Democrats a few weeks ago that he had agreed to deliver the prime-time benediction at the Republican convention in Tampa next week, Dolan’s spokesman Joseph Zwilling told The Post.

“He wanted to make sure that they knew that this was not a partisan act on his part and that he would be just as happy and grateful to accept an invitation from the Democrats as he would to have received one from the Republicans,” said Zwilling.

“He has not been contacted by them” since, he added”

The story goes on to add that a “senior Obama campaign official” says that a “high-ranking” Catholic will be at the Democratic convention but that they couldn’t say who because “the person hasn’t got their plane ticket.”

Now that’s a new one.

They “can’t say” who because the person “hasn’t gotten their plane ticket.”

Does that make sense to somebody? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Its sounds like they’re calling around to find a “high-ranking” Catholic to shove into the schedule. They may be talking to someone about coming. But I doubt if it’s firm, or at least it wasn’t when this story was written. I’m guessing that’s the reason the “senior campaign official” can’t say who’s coming. They don’t know for sure. 

The idea that you can’t announce an engagement because someone hasn’t gotten their plane ticket doesn’t make sense. At least not to me.

The bottom line here is that President Obama’s campaign blew this. Cardinal Dolan appears to be bending over backwards to be even-handed and non-partisan. He’s taken a couple of hits from the more quarrelsome members of his extended flock for doing this.

But the President, or at least his staff, appears to be determined to make it clear that they are at war with the Church. The whole attitude of this administration toward traditional Christians in general and Catholics in particular just keeps rolling downhill. This is another example. 

Meanwhile the Republicans have gone a courtin’. They’ve zeroed the Catholic vote and intend to bring it home. 

The question (and it’s a real one folks) is if they get the Catholic vote, do they have any intentions of actually following through with more than talk? Patronizing Catholics is only better than attacking them as a matter of degree. 

Does anybody besides me remember the big stand-off a few months ago over extending the debt limit? It was the President vs the Republican House, playing chicken with the budget and the government. The Republicans held out for tax cuts for corporations and, in the end, they won. The corporations got their tax cuts and the rest of us got to see our government continue running.

My question: If Republicans are so opposed to the HHS Mandate, why didn’t they bargain for an end to it back then?

It’s simple, really. All they had to do was lay aside their eternal fealty to corporate greed for one fight and insist that the President back down on the HHS Mandate to get his debt extension. President Obama would have had no choice. He would have had to give in. If the Republicans are so opposed to the HHS Mandate, why didn’t they do something about it when doing something would have been so do-able?

If they had, the whole thing would be history by now.

I think the reason they didn’t is because they wanted the HHS Mandate to go into effect so they could use it for a campaign issue. That doesn’t change the fact that the Obama Administration promulgated that regulation or that Democrats in the Senate voted to keep it. It just means that once again the American people are being played like a violin by both these political parties. They both wanted the HHS Mandate to go into effect because they both benefitted from it. 

All I’m saying is that I hope that Republican voters realize that campaign rhetoric is cheap.  I hope they demand that their party starts walking their talk when it comes to values and social issues such as this one.

As for this ham-handed refusal to allow the Cardinal to give an equal-time prayer at the Democratic Convention and what it says about the party’s current attitude toward believers, I think it speaks for itself. 

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