Nancy Pelosi once notoriously explained that members of Congress had to pass Obamacare so they could discover what was in it. As it turns out, however, the U.S. House Minority Leader is equally clueless about her own religion and the constitution she has sworn to uphold.
Liberals normally cherish the separation of church and state, but that hasn't stopped Pelosi and other Democratic bay-area politicians from shamelessly pressuring San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone into staying away from Thursday's National Organization for Marriage march in Washington, D.C.
Calling the event "venom masquerading as virtue," the Catholic former speaker of the house wrote Cordileone that the event would display "disdain and hate" towards lesbians, gays, transgendered people and others. Then, echoing a recent statement from Pope Francis, she added: "If someone is gay and searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"
Nor was Pelosi's letter unique. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov and former Mayor Gavin Newsome issued a statement asking Cordileone to "promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred."
It could perhaps be argued that, if the officials were speaking as individual Americans and not as politicians, their attempt to "bully" the church (in the words of the archbishop) did not constitute a blatant violation of the First Amendment. But Pelosi's selective invocation of her own pope and Catechism was at the very least an indication of how cynically she and others are trying to hijack theology for political gain.
Pope Francis' comment, she noted, was consistent with the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, which states that lesbians and gays "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
But the catechism also states that homosexual behavior is contrary to God's laws, and that marriage is a heterosexual institution because "Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another."
You're free to disagree, of course, but a Catholic archbishop isn't. Surely Pelosi and the others know that, which means they are trying to exert political pressure on an institution that under the Constitution is supposedly protected from that very thing.
If this were the only example of would-be tyranny, it would be bad enough. Unfortunately, such things are fast becoming the rule, not the exception. If it isn't Obamacare trying to forcing religious institutions or Christian businesses to provide abortion-friendly insurance, it's the EPA unilaterally deciding to fight the coal industry. If it isn't the federal government ignoring our immigration laws its the U.S. Patent Office decreeing that the owners of the Washington Redskins can no longer protect their private property -- their trademark -- because some people find it offensive.
Cordileone responded to Pelosi and the others gently, reminding them he must "proclaim the truth -- the whole truth -- about God's will for our flourishing . . . in season and out of season."
For American liberty, the season is growing short. And so we need not be so charitable when judging those who accuse others of hate while so clearly demonstrating it themselves.
This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Kevin Leininger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 461-8355.