Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, the "Catholic America" blogger for the Newsweek-Washington Post "On Faith" blog, lauded the "most Catholic" section of the Ted Kennedy funeral Mass: the grandkids asking for nationalized health care.
The overt political statements came from the mouths of children who paraded before the microphones at the Prayer of the Faithful. Each petition was worded with quotes from a Kennedy speech. The most political asked us to pray that health care be recognized as a "right, not a privilege." Yet that petition was also the most Catholic, echoing passionate statements from popes and bishops to "take back our government" and make it an instrument of Catholic obligations to make God's Kingdom come. (Emphasis his.)
I don't know which pope or bishop the man is quoting here. But this is not the silliest blog post he’s written on liberalism and Catholicism being nearly synonymous. Check out this recent one: Is It A Sin to Listen to Rush? This was his answer:
So, it is not a sin to listen to Rush: it is only sinful to be a "dittohead" and believe in lies or contribute to the climate of hate by repeating his provocative commentary. The same applies to all others of whatever political side who feed the monster of personal destruction. I thank God that in Catholic America there are a growing number of us who tune out hate speech.
Socialism is the most Catholic, so it naturally follows in this man's logic that opposing medical socialism on radio is the propagation of "lies" and "hate." But Limbaugh is also charged as a racist:
The moral issue about Limbaugh regards his "-isms": racism and sexism, as well as homophobia and prevarication. That Rush has made racist remarks is a matter of fact: he was fired from ESPN for his racist put-down of Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb -- and this has scarcely been his only infraction of the Catholic moral principle to love all of God's creatures. Certainly, his political take on issues may be defended as legitimate opinion; but it is indefensible to base opinion upon untruths or wrap them up with any of the sinful "-isms."
There can be no doubt that Limbaugh engages in ridicule of persons and principles he dislikes and in exaggeration of what he likes. The ridicule often includes crude sexual and racial references. Excusing such as "entertainment" or dismissing him as a "clown" merely postpones necessary scrutiny over his destructive behavior. While Limbaugh will have to deal with his own conscience if he says or does such things maliciously with the intention of using racism or lying to destroy reputations, believing and repeating such things challenges the morality of his listeners.
There are few weaker liberal arguments than suggesting Limbaugh was racist to proclaim on ESPN that "The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
You can argue about whether McNabb drew more credit than the defense (which was also largely black, so the racism charge suffers). But you can't argue that the media didn't promote black quarterbacks. (See Brent Bozell.) You certainly shouldn't argue that such a controversy makes you a sinner for listening to Limbaugh's radio show.
PS: Daily Kos blogger Sherman DeBrosse echoes ASA: "The passing of Edward Kennedy underscored the fact that this great man was inspired by values that seemed no longer paramount to his church or to most other American Christians. If you doubt this, try to count the times lately you have heard churchmen insist that universal health care must be the birthright of every person."