Religious leaders denounce threats to Congress over health care vote

Three dozen religious leaders in Cincinnati are calling on politicians, other religious leaders and citizens to publicly denounce “the recent … Continued

Three dozen religious leaders in Cincinnati are calling on politicians, other religious leaders and citizens to publicly denounce “the recent mistreatment” of Rep. Steve Driehaus, his wife and children.

“These actions fly in the face of our shared values. They are not pro-life. They are certainly not patriotic,” 35 priests, nuns, pastors and rabbis wrote in an open letter to Cincinnati Friday. “People of good will can disagree about policy, but disagreement does not grant us license to violate the Golden Rule.”

Driehaus, a freshman Democrat who voted in favor of President Obama’s health care bill Sunday, is one of a dozen U.S. House members to report threats. “Hostile out-of-town protesters have picketed his home while his wife and children were present and he was in Washington. Anti-health care reform groups have placed pictures of his young daughters in newspaper ads,” the religious leaders noted.

They also singled out fellow Ohioan John Boehner, House Republican leader, for suggesting earlier in the week that Driehaus “may be a dead man,” because of his vote for the health care overhaul. “He can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati,” said Boehner, who grew up in what is now Driehaus’ district.

Driehaus called those remarks “irresponsible” and “wildly out of bounds.” On Wednesday and again Thursday, Boehner condemned threats of violence or intimidation.

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