The headline screams “Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum” and the D.C. city council accuses the Church of threats, and blackmail and harming the poor.

If you read the Washington Post story today you’d never know that the D.C. City Council is essentially forcing the Catholic Church to close down their adoption services and the homeless shelters they run. You’d also never know that this story was about government passing laws limiting religious freedom.

But the story of the moment in the minds of journalists is how the Church pushed around the Democrats into limiting taxpayer funding of abortion so that’s the prism through which they’ll view any interaction between Catholics and elected officials for a few months.

Here’s the info on the story:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

“If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”

Several D.C. Council members said the Catholic Church is trying to erode the city’s long-standing laws protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination.

The clash escalates the dispute over the same-sex marriage proposal between the council and the archdiocese, which has generally stayed out of city politics.

Generally stayed out of city politics? The city council is the attempting to manipulate the Church. City council is the one changing the rules. City council is the one telling the Church what they can or can’t do. The archdiocese is simply pointing out that if these are the rules they can no longer play. And somehow this is a threat and some kind of violation of church-state separation?

And who’s going to get hurt here? The poor and needy. Y’know the ones the Democrat City Council members are always saying they want to help. You want the truth about the Democratic Party of today, this is a microcosm. It’s not about the poor. It’s about special interest groups like homosexuals advancing their agenda. Hey, let’s face it, if the poor had money to give to politicians they’d be listened to. They obviously also wouldn’t be poor but hey that’s just math.

Catholic Charities serves 68,000 people in the city, including the one-third of Washington’s homeless people who go to city-owned shelters managed by the church. The church supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers, says the Post.

All of that might be gone just because the city council wants to be able to tell the Church what to do. But somehow the Church is “threatening” and “involving” itself in city politics.

Council member Mary M. Cheh referred to the church as “childish” and asked “Are they really going to harm people because they have a philosophical disagreement with us on one issue?” (Philosophical?!)

Another council member, David A. Catania said he would rather end the city’s relationship with the church than give in to its demands. Peter Rosenstein of the Campaign for All D.C. Families accused the church of trying to “blackmail the city.”

Accusing the Church of childishness, issuing threats, blackmailing the city, and showing a callous willingness to harm people all while they’re passing a law that says the Church would be forced to give same-sex couples medical benefits, open adoptions to same-sex couples and rent a church hall to a support group for lesbian couples is a bit much to take.

Yes, that Church can be a real tyrant.