On Jan. 29, I listened to a political speech at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church. What should have been a Sunday sermon was in reality a Republican rally speech. I believe in the separation of church and state. I do not go to political rallies to be told what church I should attend, and I certainly do not go to church to be told for whom I should vote.
The church has a program in place to bring back Catholics who have strayed from the church. But if one listened closely to the young priest's speech, it was obvious that any individual who is a Democrat, is gay or who has, is or plans to use birth control need not bother to enroll in the program.
The speech was inspired by a letter from the bishop of Charleston to all Catholic churches. It is ironic that when I returned from travel, I had received a letter from the bishop announcing the 2012 Bishop's Stewardship Appeal for donations in support of diocesan ministries. I promptly returned the letter with a note stating that my contribution would be sent to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army never suggests, implies or tells me for whom I should vote.
Throughout his speech, the young priest stressed that this was "serious stuff," and indeed it was. Serious in that political rallies do not belong in the house of God, and politics should be kept out of the pulpit.