Four Republican members of Congress denounced Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) on Wednesday for his recent call to strip the Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted to draft a document that could rebuke pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
Sens. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) by criticizing Huffman in exclusive statements to The Daily Wire.
“If they’re going to politically weaponize religion by ‘rebuking’ Democrats who support women’s reproductive choice, then a ‘rebuke’ of their tax-exempt status may be in order,” Huffman tweeted, as The Daily Wire reported.
If they’re going to politically weaponize religion by “rebuking” Democrats who support women’s reproductive choice, then a “rebuke” of their tax-exempt status may be in order. https://t.co/P6TGVCOMYp
— Rep. Jared Huffman (@JaredHuffman) June 18, 2021
Huffman’s tweet was in response to a statement last week from 60 Catholic House Democrats warning the USCCB against what they described as “weaponizing” the Eucharist. The USCCB voted overwhelmingly last Friday in favor of drafting a document that could lead to a rebuke of publicly pro-abortion Catholic politicians such as President Joe Biden. The document, which will be made public at a later date, will advise bishops on how to best enforce the guidelines regarding the reception of Holy Communion.
According to the Code of Canon Law, those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
“Who is Jared Huffman and — more importantly — who does he think he is?” Sasse told The Daily Wire. “In America, the federal government gets to say squat about how Jews celebrate Passover, how Muslims celebrate Ramadan, or how Christians celebrate Communion. Power-hungry politicians can’t weaponize tax-exempt status to enforce theology. This is none of the government’s business.”
“It’s up to President Biden to reconcile his political beliefs with his faith as a Catholic,” Blackburn said. “That is between him and the Catholic Church. But it is beyond inappropriate for members of Congress to use their position in government to punish the Church for a sincere belief in the sanctity of life.”
Banks echoed Sasse and Blackburn, telling The Daily Wire: “It seems that many Democrats were surprised to learn that the Catholic Church has strong pro-life views. The more contempt the Democrat Party has for Christianity, the more hostile it becomes to religious liberty. The Left sees its values as incompatible with religious faith, and its frightening. Unfortunately for Rep. Huffman, our founders were wise enough to enshrine freedom of religion in the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court has been backing them up recently, too.”
“It is unconscionable that House Democrats are attempting to scare churches into silence simply because they are angry over their pro-life religious views,” Lamborn said. “Religious organizations should have an absolute right to express their First Amendment rights without fear of persecution from the IRS or federal government. Rep. Huffman’s threat to remove the USCCB’s tax-exempt status must be refuted. Religious institutions deserve our respect, and they deserve the freedom to express their beliefs.”
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