Did a New Jersey Bishop Cross the Line? Nope.

According to USA Today, a so-called “church-state watchdog group” has requested that the IRS investigate a Catholic bishop in Paterson, N.J., who has spoken out against Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. From the article:

In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday (Oct. 22), Americans United for Separation of Church and State accused Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli of illegal partisanship for lambasting Obama’s support of abortion rights.

The USA Today article points out that Serratelii did not refer to Obama by name and his own diocese came out saying that the focus of Serratelli’s column was abortion rights, not the presidential election.

I dug a little deeper and sought out the column to see for myself. I was surprised to see that the column is 1,184 words and only three short paragraphs–207 words in all–refer to Obama. The assertion that the column focused on abortion rights is 100 percent accurate; the word “election” never appears in the piece. This bishop was simply doing his duty to draw the harsh realities of this issue to his diocese’s attention.

Take a look at the section in question and decide for yourself if this is out of line:

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, the present democratic candidate voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act. This law was meant to protect a baby that survived a late-term abortion. When the same legislation came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served, he held to his opposition. First, he voted “present.” Next, he voted “no.”

Along with 108 members of Congress, the present democratic candidate for President continues his strong support for the Freedom of Choice Act. In aspeech before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, he made the promise that the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. What a choice for a new President!

At the time when Herod murdered John the Baptist because of his promise, Rome practiced the principle “one man, one vote.” Whoever the emperor in Rome placed in authority over a subject people, ruled. Today we live in a democracy. We choose our leaders who make our laws. Every vote counts. Today, either we choose to respect and protect life, especially the life of the child in the womb of the mother or we sanction the loss of our most basic freedoms. At this point, we are still free to choose!

To read the article in full, click here. Then, select the column titled “A Politician’s Promise: No Right to Life! No Freedom!” (The direct, permanent link to the column isn’t working.)

Katie Favazza is an editorial consultant who also blogs at KatieFavazza.com and Townhall.com.

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