Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Does This Bother You?

Some "civil rights" groups have decided that it is important to get out the vote, and by correlation, to make sure as many (minority) people as possible are counted in the upcoming 2010 census.  Below, see one poster developed with the intention of deployment in Hispanic Evangelical churches.  The poster below, of course, is the English text; the both the English and Spanish versions are available here.

This poster should strike sincere Christians as problematic for a few purposes.  I will list off a few:

1. The poster is itself fairly clearly blasphemous, using the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for merely secular, political purposes... that is, in vain; this sin is very serious; the quotation of scripture (Mt 1:18, "This is how Jesus was born,") for such purposes strikes me as a violation of the Second Commandment in a similar vein;

2. The secular-minded groups are very cynically using the churches for their purposes;

3. The "Christian" churches accepting solicitations to display these posters will apparently not mind either the blasphemy or being used, perhaps because of complicity in the motivations of the secular-minded groups;

4. The posters and the groups behind them neglect to mention the cultural-political background of the events in the early life of the Holy Family, in which the Caesar's census was very clearly a bad thing - a tool of oppression;

5. It is arguably a violation of the legitimate separation of Church and State to employ churches in purely political work, although because the Census office is not actually involved with the poster, I am not sure that it is... this requires some mulling over.

USA Today has a reasonably balanced news story about the ad campaign.  To register your shock and outrage, you might go to the feedback page on's website.  In my gut I feel there are more reasons to object strongly to this sacrilegious propaganda, but I cannot think further now, because I am still sputtering.  Thanks to Mr. Dave Tenney for pointing this out to me.

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