Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joe doesn't like when he is asked to atone for war vote

Funny how Republicans love to invoke religion when they're voting against embryonic stem cell research or voting against a woman's right to choose, but bring religion into the debate over the war in Iraq and they cry foul and start whining.
The Detroit Free Press and the Oakland Press are covering the story.
Knollenberg staff seeks reprimand of activist for religion comments

July 18, 2007



WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg is taking exception to a comment made by an Oakland County activist about his religion – and his staff is calling on Gov. Jennifer Granholm to do something about it.

In an article in the Oakland Press this week, Rochester Hills resident Bruce Fealk made a reference to a planned protest outside Knollenberg’s office, saying it was aimed at getting the Republican congressman to come out in favor of legislation to end the war in Iraq.

In his comments, Fealk, 53, said Knollenberg should atone for his sins – meaning his refusal to back Democratic-sponsored legislation to set timetables for removing the troops – like a good Catholic.

Both Knollenberg’s staff and the National Republican Congressional Committee slammed Fealk and, a nationwide advocacy group to which Fealk belongs. In a statement today, the NRCC said, “ has once again made a name for themselves by attacking Joe Knollenberg’s personal beliefs and turning the Iraq war into a political, partisan game. … Religious smears have no place in political discourse.”

Meanwhile, Knollenberg’s chief of staff, Trent Wisecup, sent a letter to Granholm’s Washington office, noting that the governor had once appeared on Fealk’s cable access show in Oakland County and asking that she not do so again. It also said the governor should “inform him that injecting an elected official from Michigan’s religion into a debate on a public policy issue crosses the line.”

“His private beliefs are his private beliefs,” Wisecup said today.

Fealk, who said he was raised Jewish and now attends a non-denominational church, said today that if he had it to do over, he probably wouldn’t include the “Catholic boy part.” But he said he does believe that if Knollenberg has strong religious beliefs, he should vote to bring the troops home now.

Knollenberg has said he has doubts about President Bush’s surge policy but is willing to wait until September to see if progress is made.

“I think it’s time for the carnage to end,” said Fealk, who also noted that he is in no way an official spokesman for Fealk said he is a member who sometimes acts as a local organizer.

Jennifer Lindenauer, communication director for – a group that now claims some 3.4 million members and is primarily known for its anti-war stance – said she believes the Republicans are “doing what they normally do, which is make a mountain out of a molehill” by bringing attention to Fealk’s comments.

“They’re trying to distract us from the real conversation" about the war, she said.

She added, however, that bringing up someone’ s religious beliefs is “not a MoveOn tactic.”

“I agree with Fealk when he said he probably shouldn’t have brought religion into it, because the issue is ending the war in Iraq,” she said.

As for the governor, her spokeswoman Liz Boyd said that she won’t be making any promises not to appear on Fealk’s show again, though there are no immediate plans to do so.

The governor’s office also declined to comment on whether Fealk’s mention of religion was appropriate or not.

1 comment:

With Liberty & Justice for all . . . said...

I think the comment made in the FREEP forum was the best ---

Someone give Joe some cheese with his whine....