Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria compared President Obama’s contraception mandate to policies enacted by Hitler and Stalin. This is far from acceptable.
The bishop served at the Men’s March Mass. He read a homily that described how European tyrants restricted religious freedom.
“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care,” Jenky said (http://tinyurl.com/7o57usy).
In fact, both Hitler and Stalin killed many religious folks, especially Catholics. For example, Hitler killed 80 percent of Catholic clergy, and five bishops of Warthegau were expelled to concentration camps.
His hate even extended to the number of churches people could go to. The prominent Polish city of Poznan had 30 churches and 47 chapels. The Nazis only allowed two churches to remain open for 200,000 Catholic laity (http://tinyurl.com/89xz65o). Hitler was terrible to Catholics.
Stalin was even worse. He was more blatant than Hitler. Stalin declared “five-year plans of atheism” where the Soviet would grab clergy and laity and send them to numerous concentration camps.
The official Stalinist order stated that, by May 1, 1939, “not a single house of prayer shall remain in the territory of the USSR, and the very concept of God must be banished from the Soviet Union as a survival of the Middle Ages and an instrument for the oppression of the working masses” (http://tinyurl.com/7r84no9).
Millions of Christians died under Stalinist and Nazi rule. However, that’s not the issue here. World War II historians show that both of these leaders were terrible. No one disputes this fact. The problem is whether Obama matches up to both of these leaders.
Bishop Jenky believes so. After describing both tyrants, Jenky said, “In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama, with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path” (http://tinyurl.com/6u89ots). Since then, many in the Catholic Church repudiated his comments and rightfully so. He was even told to step down as a board member of the University of Notre Dame.
As a practicing Catholic, it is appalling for a bishop to compare our democratically elected president to homicidal leaders. Obama is in no way pursuing a “similar path” to both of these leaders.
President Obama hasn’t killed or persecuted millions of people because of their religious faith. It is understandable that the contraception mandate invades Catholic dogma because it is clearly against contraception. I am fully against the contraception mandate (See: http://tinyurl.com/7esc9dj), but this doesn’t mean Obama is a Stalinist or a Nazi.
The same goes for many on the extreme right who view Obama in a similar vein. For instance, Lyndon Larouche sent his supporters to spread his propaganda. His brochures painted a Hitler moustache on Obama’s face, comparing his healthcare reform bill to that of Nazi Germany. He believed that the new healthcare policy would install “death panels” to kill seniors (http://tinyurl.com/7l2v6v4).
People like Larouche and Jenky are blind to the fact that a person can respectfully disagree. One clear rule in politics is to never compare a democratic leader to Hitler or Stalin just because a person disagrees.
Your Excellency, I pray that you apologize for your comments. May the Church oppose the contraception mandate but with respect as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us.