Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Priests forbidden to preach?
There have been many rumors going around on the web that priests are being threatened with arrest if they continue to preach on base during the government shutdown. I hate to say it, but those rumors are true. Why else would the house have had to vote 400-1 to remove all penalties if they continue to do so? The laws are written such that it is illegal for all contracted workers to voluntarily offer their services during a government shutdown. The only exception to this is if human life or property is at risk if certain so called "emergency services" aren't still running, those services can continue. The Catholic Church believes that it is required for one to go to church if at all possible. It is possible so long as those priests are still allowed to preach. According to Christian teaching, human life continues after death for all of eternity. Because of these beliefs, Christians feel that continuing to have mass on Sundays is vital to preserving human life. One might begin to wonder how the churches can get out of this dilemma. The answer is actually quite simple due to a small loophole in the laws and the fact that Chuck Hagel is Secretary of Defense. The food and forage act of 1861 states that the defense department is able to receive mandatory funding to keep ALL services usually provided by the military running. This means that if the Secretary of Defense decides to pay the priests, or at least allow them to volunteer, then they automatically get paid because of this loophole. Chuck Hagel is an Episcopalian who was raised Catholic and is currently sending his kids to Catholic school. I feel sure that if a bunch of people raise this concern he will grant funding to the priests. He most likely would grant funding if the Archbishop of Military Services sent him an email saying this. I trust that the Obama administration will also hear these arguements and allow the 1st amendment to take precedence over a law written 200 years later because the constitution if the law of the land.