It’s Not a Good Analogy
It’s probably not a good idea to respond specifically to a post from one of the Daily Kos people, but forgive me this exception. This Daily Kos post by John Campanelli, entitled Should Catholic Pols Leave The Church Because of Pedophiles? attempts to make the analogy between Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Catholic priests exposed as pedophiles. If one insists that Sen. Obama disavow his pastor, then one should, by the same token call on Catholics to leave any parish that has ever been associated with a pedophile priest, he says.
Barack Obama has come under criticism for not having left his church after his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, made incendiary, anti-American remarks. Some people have also questioned Obama’s judgment for allowing his children to be baptised by this man and to expose them to his sermons. Well, using those terms – in essence using guilt by association and not protecting ones children from the harmful affects of words and ideas – how shall we judge Catholic politicians who continue to attend church and continue to send their children to Catholic school and Sunday school, despite the rampant pedophilia that has gone on in many Catholic congregations?
Rampant pedophilia??? Excuse me?
No one involved has claimed that the actions and deeds of pedophile priests (whose numbers, by the way, closely match the numbers of pedophiles in the general population, but that’s besides the point), are in alignment with the Church’s teachings. No member of a Catholic parish ever heard a priest espousing pedophilia from the pulpit. And certainly, no Catholic ever joined a particular parish because of a pedophile, known or otherwise.
But after a nearly 20 year association with Rev. Wright, it’s not clear that Sen. Obama can make the analogous statements regarding his pastor and his teachings from the pulpit. In fact, it seems clear after yesterday’s speech, that he cannot.
And John Campanelli does not make a valid analogy.