Friday, October 08, 2004

Stifling Dissent on the Values Question

AUGUSTA -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine canceled a state lawmaker's talk on prescription drugs for the elderly here after learning from his opponent that he is pro-choice on abortion.

State Rep. Arthur L. Lerman, D-Augusta, said he had been invited to address a lady's guild meeting Tuesday at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church by guild leader Claire Poulin, who had seen him make a similar presentation at another forum for the elderly.

But that invitation was abruptly canceled Monday after Lerman's opponent in the race for House District 57, Republican Michael G. Hein, complained to diocese officials that Lerman's appearance violated Bishop Richard J. Malone's ban on pro-choice candidates in his churches.

(full story)

This webpage has repeatedly called on Christians to reject the narrow definition of "values" offered to us by the religious and political right. Values are about more than sex and abortion. Values include the conviction that we must do something about poverty, war and healthcare for the elderly. That the Bishop refuses to let his parishioners even hear this perspective is unconscionable.


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