Pray for us sinners
On the religion beat today, there appears to be a backlash brewing against Catholic Church leaders for their efforts to convince the faithful not to vote for John Kerry and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. Kerry's support among white Catholics is on the rise, and locally, clergy and laity signed an ad advising Catholics not to base thier vote on a single issue.
On the other side of the Reformation, a local Presbyterian elder made some assinine comments praising Hezbollah while on a trip to the Middle East. As the Trib tells it:
An East Liberty Presbyterian Church elder has ignited a furor for extolling Hezbollah, a radical Islamic group with a history of terrorist activity.
Ronald H. Stone told members of the fundamentalist Lebanese organization this week that he found Islamic leaders easier to deal with than Jewish officials. He also commended Hezbollah for expressing goodwill toward America.
Hezbollah is responsible for the 1983 suicide bombing of the barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. Marines.
It's bad enough that Stone paid a compliment to a terrorist organization; why go a step further and excacerbate one of the world's most volatile conflicts by unfavorably comparing the attitudes of one side to another?
Stone's pastor and the Presbyterian Church (USA) dissociated themselves from his remarks, but this nonetheless comes at a bad time for the Presbyterian church, which recently agreed to begin divesting from companies that do business in Israel. I don't agree with everything that Israel has done in its conflict with the Palestinians, but I also don't believe Israel deserves to be put in the same category as, say, apartheid South Africa. And Mr. Stone needs to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the State Department.