Wow. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called out and threatened the Catholic Church with retribution for speaking out against abortion being funded by taxpayer money in the healthcare plan, says The Politico. Here’s Woolsey’s comments:

I expect political hardball on any legislation as important as the health care bill.

I just didn’t expect it from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Who elected them to Congress?

The role the bishops played in the pushing the Stupak amendment, which unfairly restricts access for low-income women to insurance coverage for abortions, was more than mere advocacy.

They seemed to dictate the finer points of the amendment, and managed to bully members of Congress to vote for added restrictions on a perfectly legal surgical procedure.

And this political effort was subsidized by taxpayers, since the Council enjoys tax-exempt status.
When I visit churches in my district, we are very careful to keep everything “non-political” to protect their tax-exempt status.

The IRS is less restrictive about church involvement in efforts to influence legislation than it is about involvement in campaigns and elections.

Given the political behavior of USCCB in this case, maybe it shouldn’t be.

So just to get this straight, Lynn believes in taxpayer money funding abortion but not in tax exemptions for religious organizations.

But this is not an idle threat. Progressives know that their enemy is the Catholic Church. And they intend to act. And this isn’t the first time. A few months ago, the state of Connecticut attempted to force the Catholic Church to register as a lobbyist because the local bishop had asked people to fight anti-Catholic legislation. Registering as a lobbyist would’ve forced all sorts of limits on the Church’s freedom. Fortunately, the outcry from Catholics was so great that the state rescinded their request shortly. But even back then we warned that this was not over.

As long as the Church stands against secularism the ire of the progressives, who are currently in possession of essentially all the levers of government, will be focused on the Catholic Church.

Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades is one smart guy and he wrote:

There are so many things wrong with this it’s hard to know where to begin, so we’ll just start with one of the most obvious: the tax-exempt status of churches, religious organizations, and other non-profits is not a subsidy. This insidious line of thought is characteristic of Democrats, who are so twisted that they believe whatever the government forbears to take by force of law is a “subsidy” the recipient should be thankful for. It is therefore something the Democrats wield against organizations like the Catholic Church which do not demonstrate sufficient deference to the all-powerful Government.

This kind of comment by Woolsey is not just anti-Catholic it’s anti-religion. Woolsey and her partners in progressivism will seek out opposition and punish it. That’s what bullies do. The only thing bullies understand is getting pushed back.

Starting tomorrow morning we should give ol’ Lynn a call and let her know what we think of her idea. Lynn Woolsey: 202-225-5161.