by: Shane Gleason
Recently, the Family Research Council has engaged in a war of words with House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette over the role of Catholic bishops in the health care debate. Faith in Public Life’s reply is highly critical of the FRC. Faith in Public Life joined a broader group of commentators calling for FRC to revise its statement.
To provide context:
In an interview with ABC Rep. DeGette stated:
“I gotta tell you, last I heard we had separation of church and state. I don’t think the Catholic bishops are in charge of writing our healthcare bill. I think that they are one of many groups that we should listen to, but in the end they should be concerned that 36 million more people in this country will get healthcare. Many of them are their parishioners.”
Which the FRC interpreted as:
“religiously-affiliated groups…should be shut out of the process” in the health care debate because of their support for the Stupak/Pitts amendment. She told The Hill, “Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”
Which was revised as:
“However, Rep. DeGette accused the Catholic Bishops of controlling the outcome of the health care legislation and also accused them and other conservative Christians of violating the ‘wall of separation’ between church and state.