May 03, 2018

We don't need no steenking chaplains!

Paraphrasing The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, that is, in essence, what James Madison said two centuries ago — at least about House and Senate chaplains.

And he was, of course, right. It's a violation of the First Amendment.

So, Congresscritters getting bent out of shape for soon to be ex-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan canning Father Patrick Conroy are bogus.

At a minimum, hire at least one chaplain outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. Start with an imam to refudiate Islamophobia, then hire a Buddhist monk or someone else from a non-monotheist tradition.

Then, if you want to continue lip service to the Town of Greece SCOTUS decision? Hire a humanist chaplain.

Better yet? Give more than lip service to James Madison and get rid of them.

Ryan claims he canned Conroy over pastoral care, not politics.

Some evangelical Protestants said a Catholic can't offer that type of care because he's unmarried and childless.

That alone illustrates one problem. But, arguably, by those lights, any Christian chaplain can't give pastoral care to those of other beliefs, especially if its a Religious Righter.

Also, I don't believe Ryan, especially given that he went Sierra Madre himself if he called Conroy "padre."

And, if this was over politics, maybe it won't have a huge effect in November, but just a couple of percentage points in borderline, Catholic-heavy House districts could matter.

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