On the religion front, we have a vocal Christian winning the Daytona 500 stock-car race, and we have an adviser to the Vatican’s highest court saying Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, should be denied communion.
The Daytona driver was Trevor Bayne, a mere 20 years old, who after the race the other day told a Christian sports magazine (yes, there is a Christian sports magazine — Sports Spectrum), “The goal is not to be the best race car driver, it’s not to be the most marketable, it’s not to be the most popular. It’s to build a platform and let God use us on the platform that he’s building.”
I liked that, illustrating the infinite flexibility of Christianity, and I also liked young Trevor for saying he would give some unspecified part of his $1.46 million winnings to an orphanage in Mexico, albeit one run by fellow Christians.
His former race-track chaplain summed up Trevor’s philosophy as, “Love God and love others,” which is Christianity in its more benign aspect.
As for seeing a car race as a platform on which a supernatural being can use us for some greater purpose, well, that’s typical of the flexibility that I always marvel at. Hot-rodding for Jesus. Selling insurance for Jesus. Anything-you-feel-like-doing for Jesus.
I don’t know about Andrew Cuomo’s case, and as a non-Catholic I refuse to be drawn in. Edward Peters, who I gather is one of the leading American authorities on the church’s canon law, said in an interview that living with a lady without benefit of holy matrimony, as Cuomo lives with television personality Sandra Lee, is a “manifest grave sin” per Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, and that promptly set off a round of blog postings suggesting that the church ought to concern itself more with priests raping young boys and less with consenting adults sharing a bed.
I think it will be a long time before anyone connected with the Catholic Church will be able to say anything moralistic about sex without bloggers and Internet posters bringing up the little matter of priests preying on children.
Get your priorities straight, is the message. For decades you looked the other way while your creeps in robes slavered after altar boys, and now you condemn a normal healthy man for living together with a normal healthy woman because they didn’t first subject themselves to your hocus-pocus?
“The governor, with complete freedom, is publicly acting in violation of a fundamental moral expectation of the church,” Peters said. “On these facts alone, his taking holy communion is objectively sacrilegious and produces grave scandal within the faith community.”
(“Faith community” is a euphemism for religion.)
There was also Cuomo’s support for abortion rights.
“Based on what is widely reported about the governor’s consistent support for abortionism in New York, I see no other way to interpret his abortion-related conduct except as sufficient to warrant withholding of holy communion from him under Canon 915,” Peters told conservative CNS News.
(“Abortionism” is a fighting word, employed by people who are against abortion.)
Cuomo, for his part, said he would keep his religion private, thank you, and Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany Diocese released a statement saying he would “not comment publicly on anything which should be addressed privately, regardless if the person is a public figure or a private citizen.”
Now if they could prevail on Trevor Bayne to keep his religion private too, we might be getting somewhere.