GOP fears ‘radical’ green agenda
Congressional Republicans who have handled environmental policy for the past decade say they worry the new Democratic majority will use its power to pursue a “radical” agenda that will hurt businesses.
Republicans warn of endless hearings on global warming that require sworn testimony, new regulations on businesses, and investigations meant to embarrass the Bush administration.
They say future environmental panels will be “radical” and “extreme,” especially in the Senate with California Democrat Barbara Boxer as the incoming chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
“There’s a lot of genuine concern we’re going to start dragging in oil companies, utilities and manufacturers and start treating them like criminals,” said a Republican staff member of the Senate panel. “She’s pretty out there.”
But Mrs. Boxer and others say outgoing Republican Chairman James M. Inhofe — who calls global warming a “hoax” — is the one with views outside the mainstream.
Mr. Inhofe’s top press aide said at a climate change conference in Kenya last week that global warming skeptics have been “demonized.”
The League of Conservation
nication, masturbation and contraception as sins that “violate the proper ends of human sexuality.” It passed on a 194-37 vote with one abstention.
Bishops argued about whether to endorse the New York-based group Courage, a support group for homosexuals that adheres to church teachings on staying celibate.
“My own experience with Courage over many years is that persons involved with this group are filled with hope and joy in leading a chaste life,” St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke told bishops.
Chicago Cardinal Francis George, who noted that Courage often has been “unjustly attacked and falsely misrepresented,” called the group “holy people.”
Other bishops argued that they wanted to keep the statement generic. A majority voted not to mention Courage in the body of the text but in a footnote.
“At least we made the footnote,” said a Courage spokesman, who would identify himself only as “Ken.” There are 75 chapters nationwide.
The Catholic homosexual caucus Dignity called the document “deeply flawed.”
“We are deeply disappointed the bishops did all the work on this document behind closed doors without even consulting homosexual Catholics,” said Sam Sinnett, Dignity’s president.
Bishops also argued over whether to single out liberal Catholic politicians in the Communion statement, “Happy are Those who are Called to His Supper.” About a dozen bishops during the 2004 elections said pro-choice politicians would be turned away at altars in their dioceses.
“We cannot leave this unaddressed,” said Archbishop Burke. “There is a clear presence of scandal. When one of these politicians who are immoral [are shown] in Time magazine receiving Holy Communion or whatever, this is an affront to the church.”
But Archbishop Burke’s amendment calling on bishops to issue a “formal canonical response” to persons “in diminished communion with the church” — which would presumably include pro-choice politicians — failed overwhelmingly.
The document does call on Catholics to refrain from Communion if they “reject the defined doctrines of the Church.”
Even though bishops said only 4 percent of all Catholics abstain from artificial contraception, the document specified its use is “objectively immoral.” The document passed on a 220-11 vote.
U.S. Catholic bishops, at the annual fall conference Nov. 14 in Baltimore, approved documents that reaffirm the church’s position on homosexuals, contraception and Communion.