"This is What Democracy Looks Like!": Why America needs the Separation of Church and State.
What exactly was the Referendum about?
Referendum proponents had sought to abrogate four sections of Law 40, which gives an embryo the same judicial status as a person. It prohibits sperm and egg donations, the freezing of embryos, the implantation of more than three fertilized embryos, the medical screening of those embryos before implantation or research using human embryos.The Vatican employed a brilliant strategy of calling for a boycot of the elections. Thus, with a secret ballot, nobody could be held accountable. But if an Italian even showed up to vote, they could face religious damnation.
Priests continued to preach against the referendum on Sunday morning when polls had already opened, the referendum campaign had officially closed and political parties were banned from issuing any further referendum propaganda.And who lost?
On Monday, in some small Italian towns parish priests scrutinised those entering the local polling station. The turnout was lowest in Italy's deep south where the Catholic Church is strongest.
A number of Italian priests have said privately that they voted in defiance of the instructions from their superiors, but justified it as a matter of conscience and of civic duty.
"Please don't tell anyone, as I shall be excommunicated if they find out," one priest said.
Italy's infertile couples who were seeking help to have a child. Some sin! Imagine that, using sperm from a sperm bank, or donor eggs, or a surrogate mother. These are great crimes against humanity!
Researchers who wished to use embryonic stem cells to solve diseases like Parkinson's Disease, not that any Pope might suffer from a disease like that. Or Lou Gehrig's Disease, or spinal cord injuries. I don't need to list the diseases again.
Or maybe medicine could prevent a fetus from even starting when it was still an embryo of only eight or sixteen cells, but it would be immoral to find out that the clump of cells was destined to become a human with dreadful genetic diseases. It is more moral to require those parents to bring that cell clump to fruition for a lifetime of suffering.
Photo of Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's Culture Minister
My favorite comment was reported from Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's culture minister who stated:
"The results of today mean that Italy is maybe more similar to Texas than to Massachusetts," said Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's culture minister and a friend to Pope Benedict. "Italians want a democracy with values - that values human life - and that is why they rejected this referendum."I couldn't have made up that line.
Italy more like Texas than Massachusetts! What a hoot.
Texas where President Bush set records handing out death sentences to criminals. Has the Church forgotten its opposition to capital punishment?
John Kerry knows it is proper to keep government out of religion and for religion to stay out of the affairs of state. That is what America is about! Kerry has stated:
"I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist," he continued in the interview. "We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."We don't need an America where clergymen violate campaign laws and campaign from the pulpit. We don't need an America where clergymen police people going to the polls and successfully intimidate them into staying home.
We need an America that protects Democracy. That protects the right to vote. That protects the rights of women to utilize science to assist them with their fertility. An America that supports our scientists instead of putting roadblocks in their path as they pursue cures to disease. America deserves better. Let us watch and observe the lessons of Italy! Let us be more like Massachusetts and less like Texas!