- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Tuesday’s Page One article “Catholics probe aid directed to ACORN,” concerning an investigation by the Catholic Church into the possible disposition of church money to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), explains exactly why I consider myself to be an ex-Catholic. I am not a believer in the current interpretation of the phrase “separation of church and state,” as it is construed to mean that the state must remove all vestiges of God from its public existence. In fact, that phrase does not exist within the Constitution. I do, however, agree with it in principle, in that the church has no business delving into politics.

The Catholic Church apparently has seen fit to get into the business of voter registration by funding the operations of an obviously corrupt organization. Just as Sen. Barack Obama is not really “the Messiah” and a religious savior of this nation — nor should he be — neither should the Catholic Church, or any church, for that matter, be “managing” the electorate. I call on the Catholic bishops to insist that all money the Catholic Church “invested” with ACORN be returned immediately. I also call on the attorney general of the United States to look into the possibility that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) might have been violated. The damage ACORN activities might already have inflicted upon the nation could be irreparable; the participation by the Catholic Church in such mischief is inexcusable.

Finally, I would like to see the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church — and any other church that involves itself directly and actively in the electoral political process, either from the pulpit or from its tax-exempt coffers — rescinded permanently.

ROBERT L. DI STEFANO

Abingdon, Md.

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