By Mary DeTurris Poust
Steven Waldman, editor in chief of beliefnet.com posts today about why the U.S bishops in particular and the Catholic population in general matter so much to the current health care debate. In an analysis of the bishops' pro-reform, pro-life position, Waldman observes what many Catholics already know: Catholics -- especially Catholic bishops -- often venture into territory that is foreign to many others, to that unusual place where liberal and conservative labels drop away to reveal a position that stands in defiance of politics as usual.
From Waldman's post:
"The Catholic Bishops are the only major pro-life group that wants health care reform. As a result, they have no interest in using the abortion issue to block health care. So when they raise objections about abortion provisions, members of congress may perceive them to be substantively rather than politically motivated."
He ends by concluding that, given the importance of the Catholic vote, it's "better to have the Bishops on board than to not have them." Read his full analysis HERE.