Your Excellency:

This past season of mortification was my most wretched of Lents.  The Ash Wednesday promises made to myself and to God lie behind me like spiritual road kill.  If you were marking me on my Lenten practices, you’d rightly give me an F—a low F—and tell me to repeat the class.

Such failure brings a man low.  Having watched the shenanigans of you bishops in March, however, I am reminded that misery truly does love company.

For years the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has pushed universal healthcare.  When such a bill finally reached the brink of passage, however, you bishops threw up your hands in dismay: “We didn’t intend a bill supporting abortion!”  For grown men to be so blind, so ignorant of the world and of the souls of their fellow human beings, is pathetic.

Where did you suppose such a bill would lead?  Did you believe that our government is composed of ladies and gentlemen who honor ancient Christian teachings about life?  Did you not see that payments for abortion would eventually become law under such a bill?  If our secular rulers maintain their present course, euthanasia not only will become philosophically acceptable but will be abetted by a government unwilling to give expensive care to the dying or the gravely ill.  Another 20 years and our federal dictatorship will have convinced us to get rid of “undesirables”—the defective, the crippled, the inconvenient—not only by abortion but by infanticide.

Let’s look at your support for such a bill in light of the Ten Commandments.

Thou shalt not [worship] graven images.  (Yes, yes, I know, Your Excellency, that is the Protestants’ Second Commandment, but it’s still part of the package.)  Why do you bishops so worship the state and communal action?  You claim to stand for the individual, but rarely do your declarations read that way.  You advocate the intrusion of the state in healthcare, immigration, and global weather changes.  Can you not see that the state is a dictator?

Thou shalt not kill.  You guys blew it on this one.  You’ve just helped bring into law a bill that will lead to taxpayer support of abortion.  In effect, you have made inevitable the Catholic support of abortion.  I’m curious: If we all end up paying taxes for abortions, do we all then go to Hell?  Or do we, like Speaker Pelosi and the late Senator Kennedy, get a pass into Heaven?  (I assume such a pass exists, since both abortion supporters were never denied the Eucharist.)

Thou shalt not steal.  Again, you have abetted criminality in supporting theft.  To take money by force from one party and put it into the hands of another is thievery.  Enough said.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Holy Mother Church should be paired with God.  By advocating state control of our lives, you bishops continually push for a relationship between state and Church.  Those who lie down with dogs should not be surprised when they stand up with fleas.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.  You bishops have helped create envy and its soul mates, prejudice and bigotry.  By supporting illegal immigration, for example, you have fostered another hundred years of racial disharmony in our land.  By supporting healthcare, you have encouraged class hatreds.

I love my country, but I detest its government.  I likewise love my Catholic Faith, but I detest its American governors.  My income is less than six figures, and last year I paid out 18 percent in taxes to the federal and state government.  This sum does not include the taxes accrued in ordinary living—the sales taxes, property taxes, gasoline taxes, phone taxes, and the rest.

Recently, you bishops issued the annual diocesan-support appeal, asking for funds to aid various ministries.  The layman speaking on your behalf in our parish reminded us that we must raise a certain amount of money for the programs of the diocese or pay the missing balance out of parish funding.  You have again exchanged your crozier for a club.

And here is my response.  From this point forward, I will send no money whatsoever to the diocesan-support appeal.  I will send not a dime to the Church that supports the Campaign for Human Development, with its connections to Saul Alinsky.  I will send no money to an institution that cannot teach its own members the tenets of the Faith.  I will send no money to a Church advocating government control of my life.  I will encourage other parishioners to follow my example.  If the day comes when you begin taking money directly from our parish, then I will discontinue my parish contributions as well.  I will instead give my money to worthy Catholic charities.

By my lights, you and our federal government have one important feature in common: You need me far more than I need you.

Joe Ecclesia