If you wanted more theology in this godforsaken election, your prayers have been answered. A Catholic Church in San Diego is taking heat for a flier that linked Hillary Clinton to Satan, and said that voting Democrat is a "mortal sin." The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego has denounced the flier, saying, "It is contrary to Catholic teaching to state that voting for a Democrat or Republican automatically condemns the voter to hell."
At the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in San Diego, churchgoers were handed newsletters that tied Hillary Clinton to Satan and said, "It is a mortal sin to vote Democrat!" Multiple bulletins handed out over the month of October contained similar messages.
In a statement, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy said, "The Catholic Church does not endorse specific candidates, use parish media or bulletins to favor candidates or parties or engage in partisan political activity of any kind." Another diocese spokesperson Kevin Eckery told the San Diego Union-Tribune: "It’s not a mortal sin to vote for Democrats, number one. And number two, the church doesn’t take positions on this, and we’re not going to."
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the church, which will also serve as a polling place, may have violated the law, which prevents tax-exempt groups like churches from taking stances on political candidates.
The controversial messages were tucked away in otherwise-typical church newsletters. But in addition to a welcome to new churchgoers and a Mass schedule, the Oct. 16 bulletin instructed, in both English and Spanish, "How to vote like a Catholic." Voting Democrat, the letter said, "is a mortal sin." What exactly does that mean? Well, "immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell."
So why do Democrats deserve eternal punishment? The flier specifically mentions a number of mortal issues, including abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, human cloning, and embryonic stem-cell research.
Don't worry, it gets worse. On Oct. 30, the church bulletin linked Hillary Clinton to Satan.
The flier said that Satan is destroying America using elected officials who "are unyielding in their imposition of sin upon us." Satan has deceptively converted us "from God given freedom to a false equality of outcome with no basis in truth," the flier explains.
How does Satan do it? "The devil does this through the tactics outlined by Saul Alinsky with the outcome as Hillary Clinton has stated, 'And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be change,' to draw us away from God’s teachings regarding the sanctity of life to those of the world and its prince."
For some context: Saul Alinsky, about whom Clinton wrote her college thesis, was a radical community organizer who wrote the 1971 book Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals. In the book's intro, Alinsky describes Lucifer as "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom." Because of that, Dr. Ben Carson, among others, has criticized Clinton for learning from a man like Alinsky who "acknowledges Lucifer."
But the quote included in the church's newsletter is taken out of context. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Clinton's quote is from a 2015 speech at the Women in the World Summit. Rather than suggesting that Satan supports her campaign, Clinton, a lifelong Methodist, was discussing the elimination of cultural barriers that prevent girls from getting an education.
The bulletin also said that the devil tries to "create things that don’t exist such as Islamophobia and Islamophobes, homophobia and homophobes." Discussing the "slavery imposed upon us," the flier denounced gun control, the national debt, and "the importation of immigrants whose religious values are to eradicate every belief except those of their own prophet and god, and to impose this on America."
In a letter to the editor in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Dennis M. Clausen wrote about the incident, "Hell is starting to look a lot better if heaven is populated by people like the one who wrote this church bulletin."