On unemployment benefits, where are bishops' voices?

by Maureen Fiedler

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As I watch the news these days, I am reminded of the Religious Right and their frequent allies, the Catholic Bishops. Their usual list of important “moral issues” includes abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc. When there is any chance that politicians will initiate policies in disagreement with their positions, the pulpits are mounted and sirens are sounded nationwide.

But today, they are strangely silent. Yet, we face a true moral crisis -- not on sexual issues -- but on economic issues.

In the news every day, we are treated to the spectacle of “lame ducks” waddling their way through the halls of Congress. Many of them want to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while denying unemployment benefits for about 2 million unemployed Americans.

The latter, you see, must be “paid for.” The former? Ah, well, not to worry. And of course, these same people weep copious political tears because of the growing federal deficit.

Most are Republicans, but not all. There are some Democrats in this camp as well.

But the larger question for people of faith is this: where are the voices of “morality?” Where are the prophets calling for economic justice? Where are the voices of the Catholic Bishops rallying the people in the pews?

There is a strange silence. It’s deafening.

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