A dispute within the Catholic Church over whether politicians who support abortion rights should be allowed to receive the sacrament of Communion is hitting close to home.

State Sen. Joe Cervantes, a Las Cruces Democrat, tweeted Saturday morning he was denied Communion on Friday “based on [his] political office.”

“My new parish priest has indicated he will do the same after the last [priest] was run off,” Cervantes wrote in a tweet that has generated more than 1,000 responses. “Please pray for church authorities as Catholicism transitions under Pope Francis.”

Cervantes did not return a message seeking comment Monday but issued a statement about the incident, which has been receiving attention from various publications.

“Since voting to eliminate an unconstitutional and never used New Mexico law, which would imprison women for abortion, some new clergy have decided I am unwelcome at their communion,” said Cervantes, referring to a vote during the 60-day legislative session earlier this year to repeal a half-century-old law that criminalized abortion in New Mexico.

“While I ordinarily prefer to practice my faith privately with my family, I felt it necessary to address those who would politicize, and thereby belittle, the promises of the Eucharist,” he added.

The repeal has been a source of political controversy for years.

An effort in 2019 to repeal the law died on the Senate floor when eight moderate and conservative-leaning Democrats joined all 16 Republican senators in voting to keep the law on the books. Five of those Democrats lost their primary races to more progressive candidates who made the anti-abortion law a major campaign issue, and the repeal was among the first orders of business when the Legislature reconvened this year.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who also is Catholic.

“As is clear in her record of public service, the governor has fought to preserve access to reproductive healthcare throughout her career,” Nora Meyers Sackett, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary, wrote in an email.

Asked how the governor reconciled supporting abortion rights and being a member of the Catholic Church, which prohibits abortion, Sackett responded: “There is nothing to ‘reconcile’ between her personal religious beliefs and the basic human dignity and equality she has fought for in her professional life.”

Sackett confirmed the governor is Catholic but didn’t answer whether she receives Communion.

“As a spokesperson for the executive office of state government I am not comfortable commenting further on questions about the governor’s personal religious practices and beliefs,” she wrote.

In his tweet, Cervantes wrote he was denied Communion, or the Eucharist, “by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces,” apparently referring to Peter Baldacchino, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces.

Cervantes said in his statement he has “actively participated” his parish church and the diocese for the past 50 years, including at times as the diocese’s attorney. He also said he “in no way intended to judge or provoke more hate” when he took to social media.

“I wanted to encourage values based on inclusivity, understanding, forgiveness and compassion, which are the core of Christ’s teachings,” Cervantes said. “Jesus set the table for our communion, and shared bread and wine with all of his disciples without passing judgment on their fitness. I appreciate those in the clergy of my church who closely follow Christ’s example, and who do not belittle the Eucharist in politics.”

Chris Velasquez, a spokesman for the diocese, said Baldacchino was unavailable for comment. But the diocese issued a statement in response to Cervantes’ tweet.

“The New Mexico Legislature recently passed some of the most extreme pro-abortion legislation in the country,” the diocese wrote. “Prior to passage of the legislation, both Bishop Baldacchino and Senator Cervantes’ pastor reached out to him multiple times in order to convey to him the teaching of the Catholic Church. Senator Cervantes never answered or responded to diocesan communications. Finally, in a personal letter to Senator Cervantes, his pastor advised him that a vote in favor of this particular Senate bill would constitute a grave moral evil and that he should not present himself for Communion.”

The diocese also wrote neither Baldacchino nor the unidentified pastor would’ve publicized the “private admonitions” they conveyed to Cervantes “as it is a pastoral matter.”

“The Diocese regrets that Senator Cervantes chose not to enter into dialogue with any diocesan official and felt that Twitter would be the most appropriate outlet to express his concerns,” the diocese wrote.

Cervantes is not the first politician to be denied Communion in New Mexico.

On the eve of her inauguration, former Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who was divorced and remarried outside the Church, did not receive the sacrament at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Former Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan offered Martinez a blessing instead.

The controversy involving Cervantes comes as conservative American Catholic bishops call to deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights — including President Joe Biden, who regularly attends Mass.

The New York Times reported earlier this month some leading bishops, “whose priorities clearly aligned with former President Donald J. Trump, now want to reassert the centrality of opposition to abortion in the Catholic faith and lay down a hard line — especially with a liberal Catholic in the Oval Office.”

In the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Archbishop John C. Wester “is not in favor of denying Catholic politicians communion based on how they vote in the Legislature,” spokeswoman Leslie Radigan wrote in an email.

State Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, who is Catholic, said he voted against repealing New Mexico’s abortion ban because he was representing the views of a majority of his constituents.

“My constituents are made up of Navajos and Zunis,” he said. “In their religious beliefs, they do not believe in that. They believe in what God gives you, God gives you, and that’s what you deal with.”

Muñoz, who attended Catholic school, said he didn’t factor his personal beliefs in his vote.

“My own personal beliefs would have been the opposite,” he said, adding “times have changed.”

A 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than half of U.S. Catholics support legalized abortion, though a majority also believe it is morally wrong.

“I don’t base my votes upon my religious beliefs because that’s not who put me there,” Muñoz said. “Maybe God had a little bit to do with it … but it’s the voters that determine how you should vote.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter


(81) comments

Matt Matadoro

Really Bishop & Archbishop? You both forgot what a terrible reputation your institution already possesses given the decades of sex abuse and the legions of catholic victims. So for the unborn you'll play politics but for the victims of sex crimes you'll play shell games with the NM Archdiocese's assets to ensure victims are not fully compensated for your failed leadership. Your collective myopia underlines why your institution is the last place I want to go for my religious solace. Just remember and remember this well, the separation of Church and State is paramount, but by all means proceed and in this robust give and take of policy let's pull the plug on your tax status and start charging you accordingly. Both of NM's Archbishop and Bishop prove they just don't get it and they never will---no surprises.

Steve Fitzer

Really Sen. Munoz!!! After you sold out to the Lt. Gov and Gov and progressives because you were scared, to help you with your campaign if you supported the Red Flag Gun Law. Your district does not support that policy. Don’t say you vote your district.

John Onstad

The Catholic Church has every right to exclude those who support and promote the murder of the unborn.

paul pacheco

Excellent Mr. Onstad.........you outdid all other comments!

Carolyn DM

Perfect point!! Especially that the key word in your comment is the, "unborn"!! All the fake christians in this country, including the good little Catholics are nothing but pro-birthers given that they don't give two sh!ts about humans after they're out of the womb when they can no longer be controlled. The Republicans are especially notorious for this! But how about that pedophilia?! Hypocrisy any? LMAO!!

Prince Michael Jauregui

You make a valid point. Now, the question begs: What about "Religious" institutions that for many decades fostered the sexual-abuse of children born - while it's hierarchy turned a blind eye, and in most cases, protected their predator priests thereby desecrating their own pseudo-Holy Communion?

!Dios lo ve todo!

Matt Matadoro

Yet the Catholic will support and protect the priests who sexually abuse their young parishioners? Got it.

John King

It's interesting and vaguely amusing to me that the diocese wishes that the Senator had engaged in a "dialogue" with them instead of going to Twitter. The word "dialogue" implies that two parties agree to discuss something in hopes of reaching a mutually acceptable conclusion. That's really not possible when one party's intractable position is supposedly based on "the word of god."

John King

"“The Diocese regrets that Senator Cervantes chose not to enter into dialogue with any diocesan official and felt that Twitter would be the most appropriate outlet to express his concerns,” the diocese wrote." I'm always vaguely amused when the Catholic church uses the word "dialogue," which to me implies a discussion between parties in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. That doesn't seem possible when one party -- here, the church -- bases its immovable position on the infallible "will of god." We saw this on the issue of same-sex marriage a few years ago -- apparently it was the will of god that same-sex couples should not be able to file joint tax returns.

Carolyn DM

Yeah, and when did the Diocese ever mention the former squatter in the White House and all his infamous toilet tweeting? If there ever was a fake Christian in this country, who so easily brainwashed his ignorant cultists!!

Emily Hartigan

Jesus, on the eve of his crucifixion, broke the bread and gave it to Judas, knowing he had already taken the 3o pieces of silver.

Those who presume to be more important than Jesus are sadly mistaken.

Eucharist is for ALL.

Joe Brownrigg

There have been a pile of individualistic interpretations of the state, the Roman church, and dogma. Let's get a few things based on facts.

The Pope, the most important factor in determining whether one is Roman Catholic, advocated that heads of state NOT use the Eucharist as a tool for anti-abortion views. He recognized that an entire nation is NOT Roman Catholic and, therefore, should not be subject to Roman Catholic dogma.

The majority of the US Roman Catholic Council of Bishops, contrary to the Pope's advice, voted to exclude persons such as Biden from receiving Communion. NOTICE: this is NOT the Pope's advice.

When the US was founded and as it was growing, the STANDARD in Europe was a State-supported church. We even had state-supported churches in the early years of the country! The framers of the Constitution were attempting to get away from this precedent, but without trampling on religious consciences...and there were MANY DIFFERENT religious points of view in those years...not just individuals (the majority of whom were NOT religious or religiously-affiliated).

The so-called "Wall of Separation" has ALWAYS been porous ...NOT "solid." AS such, our laws were INTENDED for ALL citizens, not just one's personal religious choice. Therefore, the more Constitutionally-minded politicians have avoided laws which favored one religion.

Therefore, Pres. Biden (and Senator Cervantes, I think) have remained loyal to their Pope AND to the historical standard of the federal Constitution. It is with deep regret that the Roman Catholic Church in the US has abandoned both.

Jake Greene

The wisdom of separation of church and state is seen clearly here. This church wants it's member politicians to make decisions for those who are not of that church's faith. It is not the prerogative of that church to impose it's values on we who are not members, bit that is what it seems to do by extorting it's member politicians.

Andrew Lucero

The dogma is clear… But as a catholic, I do have to say, I think the church really needs to get its own house in order before it starts picking and choosing which members are worthy of receiving the sacrament of communion. (A sacrament that reminds us that our Savior died for ALL our sins. And a Sacrament that brings us closer to God). Look, we are ALL sinners. (Even the Church). I think a very a very powerful response we say at mass says it all. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed”. Let’s rise above politics and get to the heart of the matter. Do you think Christ would deny him communion?

Khal Spencer

Hi Andrew.

Christ was not above throwing the moneylenders out of the temple (Mark 11) when he thought things were not as they should be. I think He would have more problems with the lavish trappings of modern day Catholicism than with Joe Cervantes.

Also, in Mark 12, Christ tells us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. If I were Joe, I would say that I must support laws that are constitutional while in my personal and political life, try to provide as many other options as possible so as to preclude abortion from being necessary and to not support abortion but not criminalize it. Or to paraphrase, "bring me the law, so that I may see it. Whose signature is on this law? And they said unto him, "the governor's"..."

that is my conjecture, since you ask.

Andrew Lucero


Prince Michael Jauregui

Be sure, the sheer ignorance exposed in some comments is glaring.

For all those spewing the tired and worn mantra of "Separation of Church and State", find another battle-cry: As I've taught for years, the phrase "Separation of Church and State" does not exists in ANY official U.S. document. Rather, it was cunningly lifted form "The Jefferson Letters", a collection of PRIVATE correspondence by Thomas Jefferson. Of course, The First Continental Congress was opened with a lengthy prayer and 95% of the framers of the U.S. Constitution were practicing Christians, and even clergy-man. Inarguably, this once Godly-blessed and fast-demising nation was founded upon Christian precepts and principles. Atheists, anti-Christian politicians, and other assorted heathens simply cannot handle The Truth.

For decades, I've exposed "Corporate Christianity" (See: Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, Baptists, Et Al) for what they are: Businesses, that operate like Church.

With massive real estate holdings, Hospitals, stock, bonds and other large, money-making ventures. They've all long blinded and deceived their flocks with cunning "Man-Made Doctrine" - as forewarned by The Most Holy and Risen Messiah, Christ King Yeshua (The Gospel of St. Mark Seven:Seven). A brood of vipers, indeed.

To the ignorant, power-tripping politician (aren't they all?): Dude, you can't sue BLAKES LOTTABURGER for not serving you a lobster.

Psalm 110 is NOW.

Psalm 118 is NOW.

Daniel 12:1 is here - Final Notice, is SERVED.

Mark Ortiz

LOL!!!! Dude. You go boy!!

Prince Michael Jauregui

If my usage of the word "Dude" directed at a politician amuses you so much Mark, wait until I refer to you as BOGUS.

Ah, the ignorance.

Mark Ortiz

Actually, I called you dude. Apologies if it offended you. My amusement was an uncomfortable amusement which quickly turned to sadness. Zealotry can be dangerous and many times, leads to violence. Is there love in it? I guess we'd have to agree on what love is first though huh? You can call me ignorant. I find not knowing to be most intimate when it comes to so called bigger matters and most definitely when trying to discuss that which created always and everywhere. Why I find such cocksureness in defining "God" and love and life, to be offensive and arrogant? I don’t know. That’ll be something I’ll have to explore. Even so, I would never go as far as to try and define YOU Prince no matter how many opinions you offer up on the SFNM comment section. So, paint me BOGUS. It matters neither here nor there. In my opinion, whether Cervantes receives the Eucharist or not, I can’t imagine an unconditional loving Creator would send him into eternal fire. That’ll cost me 2 cents.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Mr. Ortiz, a complete and utter miscommunication - I never intended to offended. I was slightly surprised by your post, you often make very thoughtful comments, so please accept my apology. Besides, I could never "paint you bogus" - merely the misconstrued comment.

While the dude is very publicly trying to alter the principles of a massive, wealthy, Religious institution, as the internationally-acknowledged heir to the most powerful, victorious and blessed Royal-lineage in World History, The House of David, I cannot comprise with Evil: You cannot actually be a Christian, and be employed by one of the most murderous, deceptive and anti-Christian "Government's" of all time, the U.S. Federal "Government" - with the blood of over 60-million unborn and countless others upon their hands. Or, in the words of My Most Holy and Eternal King of Kings Christ Yeshua: "He who is not with me, is against me".

Mark, be blessed.

Khal Spencer


Prince Michael Jauregui

Thanks Khal - Be good to you.

Khal Spencer

And you as well!

Dottie Butler

The first thing that needs to be done is for all religions to lose their tax-exempt status.

Religious organizations are even more hypocritical than politicians.

If communion is important to you, then you had better know the history of the person giving it to you. In most cases, the church hides that history.

paul pacheco

We (Catholics) believe that abortion is murder! Plain and direct! Abortion is an intrinsic evil and [most of us] believe murder is wrong! To everybody out there, whether you believe in Jesus Christ as your savior or not, the Catholic Church is not a democracy. They delegate law and the 10 Commandments as they see fit. For hundreds of years critics have tried bringing down the church, but guess what? They’re all dead and the church continues! What does this phony catholic senator believe? “That the Holy Eucharist” is just a cracker? If you do, then take your own crackers to Mass! As human beings and as Catholics, we are given the free will to “believe” what we want! What’s next? This senator will believe that it’s ok to commit adultery and receive Holy Communion too? Some people are ok with that! Not real Catholics! People are always seeking world peace, but as the saying goes, “there will be no peace in the world until there’s peace in the womb!” Some of us have to stand up for the unborn babies!

Mark Ortiz

WOW, Look at you in your glass house all puffed up with pride and judgement. Oh but ya'll get that confession clause, though from the tone of your post, I don't hear of a humble bone in your body. I imagine your Savior is going to deal with you none to kindly. Eternal fire awaits???

Margaret Eyler

Nothing he is saying is prideful or judgmental. Humility has nothing to do with it....he's merely standing up for what his religion believes. Imagine away, but if you took two seconds to understand someone else's religion you'd know Catholics believe in Purgatory, so all the baby killers will end up there BEFORE the eternal fire.

Mark Ortiz

Alright Margret, good luck with that.

paul pacheco

I don't know who you are but my suggestion to you is: go back to your reading comic books!

Mark Ortiz

Why I'm Mark Ortiz. Its says it there above my posts Paul. Anywho, speaking of books full of fiction.....

Prince Michael Jauregui

While purely Man-made doctrine demands "Confession" to a priest, The Most Holy and Eternal Son of Almighty YHWH, Christ King Yeshua Himself implores: "...No man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (The Gospel of St. John 14:6).

Not a word from the Savior about employees ordained by Rome.

John King

Paul, I abandoned Catholicism almost 50 years ago after I came to realize that -- among other things -- the Eucharist is not literally the body of Christ, as Catholics insist. I wouldn't call it "just a cracker"; in my recollection, it's more like a tasteless gummy wafer.

As for "sinful" Catholics receiving communion, how many self-identified Catholics in the, say, 18-55 age group step up for communion every Sunday despite their having used contraception the night before? Where's the preaching about that?

Finally, how does the pastor know that the senator did not avail himself of one of the church's get-out-of-jail-free cards? Namely, going to confession or reciting the Act of Contrition?

John Solan

You may want to consider the 1996 eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires, Argentina under the watch of Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis). https://www.absoluteprimacyofchrist.org/pope-francis-eucharistic-miracle-in-buenos-aires-argentina/

paul pacheco

Mr. King: a person who goes to confession is forgiven; but only if he/she repents of their sin. The senator cannot go to confession and then support state law allowing the murder of the unborn. With all due respect; you are very confused!

Carolyn DM


LeRoy Sanchez

Well said!

Matt Matadoro

Pacheco you do realize that you sound EXACTLY like the Talibani. The good Senator is informed by his Catholic faith but his constituents are from all faiths and walks of life, which is a good thing. You do realize the Catholic church for DECADES abused its young parishioners by infesting churches with priests with KNOWN sex crimes? In that context you are part of the sanctimonious lot that is simply trying to erase the sordid reputation of NM Archdiocese which is the LAST institution that has any reason to comment on bringing life into this world when they allowed the abuse of the lives that were already here.

Cleve Spence

The Catholic Church was big on separation of Church and State when JFK was running for office. The republicans were screaming JFK would be taking orders from the Pope! I guess in 2021 the Catholic Church has changed its tune!

Vince Czarnowski

Whether you agree or not, the Catholic Church is very clear in its dogma. The Church has every rite to enact its teachings. Instead of whining about this on social media like a 13 year old, the senator should seriously examine his conscious and decide if he wants to remain a remember of the Church. You cant pick and choose portions of cannon law you want to follow.

Margaret Eyler

Thank you Vince, it's amazing we can't all just get behind "if you don't want to practice what your religion preaches....find a new religion." No one is holding you back.

Jim Clark

I am proud of you Senator!

Jim Clark

Tax the church.

S. Ulrich

Amen, brother!

Dan Frazier

To Lupe Molina: You say, "The Bible is cool." Have you read the Bible lately? All of it? Maybe you need to read it again. I assure you, it is not "cool."

Margaret Eyler

Wait, so someone who itentifies as a particular religion is actually supposed to PRACTICE what that religion believes?! The horrors!! Haha what a joke that this is news—bravo to this priest for having a backbone and just doing his job!

Richard Irell

The Catholic Church practicing what it preaches?

Maybe you should check out the history of the institution.

Not to mention the reason the Santa Fe Archdiocese declared bankruptcy.

Margaret Eyler

This has nothing to do with the disgusting errors of members of the Church. You won't find a Catholic that doesn't condemn it, and our Archdiocese is in a bad way deservedly so. But we aren't Catholics for priests or bishops or clergy or anyone else...we are Catholic because of the Liturgies and the Mass. It's bigger than the evils of individuals and we choose to LEAD not leave. (Although if you don't want to follow church teaching s then you SHOULD leave.)

Stefanie Beninato

When John Kennedy ran for US President, many people thought the pope would move into the White House with him. Now we have clergy closer to home, trying to exercise what is really political power---let the church start paying taxes on the land it owns and let the clergy start paying gross receipts tax if they want to judge a person for rendering unto Caesar the things that belong to Caesar---not all women are Catholic but we all deserve the right to make choices about our own bodies without going to jail.

Khal Spencer


Russell Scanlon

Our founders would be rolling in their graves over this violation of the separation of church and state. It does take the attention off the fact that the church was protecting pedophiles however. Perhaps that is the point.

Khal Spencer

There is no 1A violation here. The church can run itself as it pleases and excommunicate whom it pleases but as we saw, it didn't determine the fate of that repeal of law. The Church cannot force the legislature to adopt a law although it can pressure legislators to do its bidding. So can any lobbyist.

So Jacob has to make a choice, as any legislator has to do. If a religious organization demands too much, you get to choose whether to get coerced by the church or abide by the state. Its up to the courts, ultimately, to decide what is over the line.

Russell Scanlon

Except for the fact that the Conservative Catholics and Evangelicals ARE apparently forcing our government to make the laws for women in our country I’d say that you are correct. Which means that you are not correct

Khal Spencer

The Founders never put "wall of separation" in the Constitution. Its nuanced.

The right of free association, recognized in jurisprudence, says a private organization can choose its members and set its rules, i.e., expressive association. Well, except when it can't.**

If the Church says Mr. Senator's position flies in the face of Canon Law, it can kick him out. The Church cannot write laws for the rest of us but it can sanction someone it considers outside the rules of the church. Excommunication is legal but the Church can't burn you at the stake for voting to repeal an anti-abortion law.

I didn't ever say it wasn't complicated. And there is a reason I no longer go to church.

** http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/association.htm

Margaret Eyler

Thats an ignorant statement. No one can FORCE legislature to do anything. But you can get your butt off your couch and go lobby for what you want, just like Woke-a-Cola and other corporations can throw money towards their causes. Also, the only laws that are attempting to be made "for women" in this country are the pro-life ones that save the lives of unborn females that have no way to fight for themselves. What about "women's rights" for them, hmm?

Khal Spencer


Hadn't heard that one! But WokaCola isn't tax-exempt. I don't know what kind of 501.c3 or c4 or c-whatever the Church is, but issue advocacy, to a point, is fair game for most non-profits.

Russell Scanlon

It is clear from anyone who bothers reading the founding documents that the words “the Creator” do NOT mean Jesus or Christianity. Those two words never appear anywhere in the founding documents. Our founders were products of the Age of Enlightenment where state religion was firmly renounced. Furthermore, any of the commentators on this thread who try to suggest that religious leaders are not influencing our laws are just lying to themselves and the rest of us. The church with it’s tax free status and tentacle like grip on many of our legislators has become a corrosive force in politics. And for those who still want to call abortion “murder”—well there’s no reason to argue with you. It is kind of odd though that most of those same people reject universal health care, government assistance to the poor, and also support the death penalty. And finally, the Catholic Church in particular has some serious and systemic problems with covering up for pedophiles. I agree with Khal—all of this cognitive dissonance with abortion could be assisted by the availability of birth control, women’s health clinics, and sex education—but y’all don’t want that either. What you have is a recipe for total failure based on dogma and “faith”.

With each passing day, I am more proud to be an Agnostic.

Khal Spencer

I don't think there is any way to untangle religion from politics. Religion has always been a strong force in American culture, more than in many Western nations. So people are always going to go home from service with someone whispering in their ear that The Guy in the Sky says certain things are right or wrong. The Church is no exception but as you say, Russell, it is very large and pays no taxes and is the six hundred pound gorilla in the room.

I don't think the Framers ever expected that religion would play no role in politics. Heck, we have "In God We Trust" on the currency and the interplay of religion and politics has always been there albeit whether the Founders were theists rather than Christians is a good point. What the Constitution says explicitly is that Congress can pass no law "respecting an establishment of religion". To me, that means The Church or any church cannot demand a law be passed that is specific to its demands. Certainly if the secular body of the public decides en masse that something should be proscribed, it really doesn't matter whether the Church puts the bug in our ear if the idea is made into law and survives judicial scrutiny.

Heck, in New Mexico one couldn't even buy booze on a Sunday morning. I guess that would offend God. But seriously, I think keeping religion and secular law sufficiently untangled is always going to be a dynamic process. This is one example of the Catholic Church throwing its weight around. I think it is skating on thin ice and one has to worry about the ice breaking. By the bishops asserting they should deny the sacraments to pro-choice liberals, are they crossing the tax exempt line? I don't know. But as I said earlier, the easier way out of this box is to fund birth control, sex education, women's clinics, and social services, etc. Heck, my mom stayed in a Catholic home for unwed mothers when she was carrying me. Back then the Church reached out a kind hand rather than offering a slap in the face.

We can't deny help and then complain when things go wrong.

Russell Scanlon

Khal, as usual your comments are thoughtful, charitable, and logical.

I’m really trying to understand how we got this place. If one steps back a bit, it seems to me that ever since Roe V. Wade (and also the Civil Rights and Women’s movements) the extremely politicized, generously funded, so called “Christian Right” has rendered our political system dysfunctional due to relentless, tax free lobbying and the power of single issue voters. This led us eventually the election of the transparently manipulative, amoral, divisive, and treasonous Republican president in 2016. Clutching his Bible (which I am sure he never read) in front of a church (which he never attended) after tear gassing peaceful protestors.

Don’t get me wrong: I think abortion is a moral quagmire and I think it is a strong issue for Conservatives. It has also been an issue fraught with emotional manipulation. It has led “believers” to harass women at clinics, firebomb Planned Parenthood centers and criminalize or even murder healthcare providers. An objective visitor from another world (or even a simple agnostic like myself) would see no difference between those activities and those of the Taliban or Al Qaeda). No matter how passionate or faith driven these are the activities of religious extremists.

Again—I agree with your logic. Don’t criminalize people—make abortion less of a viable option by providing birth control, sex education, and improving healthcare for women (and everyone). But again—the same people who want to outlaw abortion are usually against those solutions. Like almost everything else in the conservative platform—climate change, healthcare, immigration—it is a recipe for total failure and stagnation.

And if it makes some people feel better to call me ignorant—I really don’t care. Do you?

Russell Scanlon

AND BTW, “In God we trust” was added in 1956. I think Jefferson, Washington, Franklin et al were already quite dead by then.

Khal Spencer

Russell, I think we agree on far more than we disagree. Thank you for the thoughtful comments and I agree with just about all of what you said. And yes, that was a mental whoopsie on my part as In God We Trust was added rather recently!

Prince Michael Jauregui

Wrong again: Christians are demanding laws to protect the lives of the unborn. Women, have been afforded the same rights as others. Even the right to keep their clothes on, or accept the consequences of their actions.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Your bad-habit of making willfully fraudulent (or purely ignorant) comments has gotten very, very stale. You wrongfully claimed: "The founding documents that the words "The Creator" do NOT mean Jesus Christ or Christianity". Never-minding the fact that 95% of this once-blessed nation's founding fathers were practicing Christians.

Rather, let's hear from the individual often-times known as The Father of America: "Almighty and Eternal Lord God, the great Creator of Heaven and Earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven with pity and compassion upon thy servant , who humbly prostate myself before thee"

"What students would learn above all is the religion of Jesus Christ" George Washington

Perhaps Mr. Scanlon, you should embrace The Truth and prostrate before The Most Holy and Living King of Kings Christ Yeshua - and seek forgiveness? AMEN.

Russell Scanlon

No. I seek spirituality in the Creator’s works—the mountains, the sun, the moon and the universe. I accept the limitations and the prejudices of human knowledge. I don’t need or want “forgiveness” from anyone or anything, particularly any “God” that is petty enough to demand it. I accept that whatever comes after this existence is a great unknown but that if it is truly “heaven” it must include Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and all other faiths.

Now—find me that place in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence that mentions Jesus. And once again—calling people ignorant because they don’t share your faith is not even remotely helpful or appealing.

Prince Michael Jauregui

Thankfully, you're retired from "teaching".

Overstand, -if you will- my usage of the word is not an insult, "lacking knowledge, or being unaware" of a particular subject does not degrade a person. Personally, I'm ignorant to hunting, crocheting and photosynthesis.

Meanwhile, you ignorantly worship the creations, but NOT THE CREATOR?

Finally, you must have me confused with a politician or televangelists, -both frauds- I'm not here to be appealing.

Be not further deceived: I was born with your, the dolts and tyrants in D.C., the D-grade wannabe's at The Roundhouse, the hater-heathens Robin Martin, Tom Cross and the AP's love - and I'll reign a nation without it. All, are hereby forewarned.

ALL, for The Greater Glory of The Christ King Yeshua!

Russell Scanlon

Sir: this discussion was about the relationship of the church to the government. You have detoured into a confusing tirade of insults and breathtaking assumptions about me and the nature of the cosmos which I simply don’t accept—as is my right in this country (so far). And for a follower of the Prince of Peace, you certainly have a lot of anger. But I seriously and sincerely wish you well. Peace. Shalom.

Prince Michael Jauregui

You've made outlandish and extremely deceptive comments about this once-blessed nation's Christian heritage, and you were -again- taken to the wood-shed. Be sure, this nation will be returned to it's true, proper and prosperous Christian roots. No anger, merely Truth.

How you or anyone else feel about this? Again: I was born -and shall reign- without your love. Shalom, Russ.

Russell Scanlon

Some folks need to look up the word “Deism”. Jefferson himself coined the term “wall of separation between church and state” in 1802. But yeah. . . I was “taken the woodshed”. Sheesh.

Lupe Molina

I left the Catholic church when I found out it was playing a shell game with pedophiles. Prior, it supported fascists, colonists bent on genocide, and forced conversion. So if you're looking for an ethical guide, the Bible is cool, but the Vatican? Eh...

Richard Irell

The next thing you know, they will be refusing communion to those who debase, demean, and dehumanize the poor and the immigrants.

I’ll be holding my breath.

Lupe Molina

Heck, I'd just love to see the speak out in support of child refugees (like Jesus)!

Margaret Eyler

The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. Also, it speaks out frequently FOR immigrants rights, often putting itself directly in opposition to conservative platforms.

Mark Ortiz

Amen Sister!

Lupe Molina

That's simply not true. Its not a charitable org and it doesn't disburse money to poor people.

Kirk Holmes

Good for the Bishop. Haven't been to Mass for a few years now due to the Church caving in to certain groups "wants and desires".

Khal Spencer

The Church can do with the Church will do, but I'm not sure this is a good idea. Repealing the criminalization law doesn't mean one is pro-abortion. It means the law was a bad idea. The better way to reduce abortion is to encourage birth control (which the Church opposes?) and provide support for pregnant women who need support.

But no one is forced to be a Catholic, either.

John Cook

Conservative bishops are trying to stop abortion which they consider a moral imperative. They believe this overrides the political cost to the Church. It's a sad day because it will cause the death of the Church. Conservative bishops can preach and march and exhort. But use communion as a weapon defies the teachings of the Church.

Edwina Gardner


Margaret Eyler

It's not true. They're not "using communion as a weapon." Silly.

Margaret Eyler

Maybe the best way to reduce abortion is by not fostering a culture of casual sex and fatherlessness. But you're spot-on in more support for expectant women (also requires the culture surrounding the idea of being pregnant to change).

Russell Scanlon

Oh I get it—the liberals are “fostering a culture of casual sex and fatherlessness”. I guess that explains the appeal of the great moral leader Donald Trump as opposed to say. . . Barack Obama. . . Or Jimmy Carter.

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