In a recent radio interview, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila compared Colorado's "godlessness" to Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia and said it portends a government that will "eventually fall."
Citing the growing number of atheists and agnostics here, Aquila also said godlessness in Colorado engenders a "lack of respect for the goodness of the human person."
Soon after making this bigoted comment against atheists like me, Aquila became the face of opposition to a bill, killed last week, that would have barred state and local governments from interfering with reproductive healthcare decisions.
An April 15 rally, led by Aquila, galvanized opposition to the bill and got saturation local media coverage.
Reporters cited a letter, signed by Aquila, which called on Catholics to "pray for the conversion of the heart and mind of those who support such irrational, unscientific, and a denial of conscience legislation."
Fair enough. His opinion. But if Aquila is going to jump up and down about science, journalists should cover Aquila's unscientific views, including his anger at the media for failing to cover Satan, who is "real."
KNUS' Dan Caplis asked Aquila on April 3 what's surprised him here in Denver, since he took over as Denver Archbishop in 2012.
Aquila responded that the "godlessness that is present here [in Colorado]" has been a "very real challenge."
AQUILA: [Godlessness] opens up all sorts of opportunities for evangelization, for helping people and reaching out to them, but it's also a real challenge in terms of seeing the lack of respect for the dignity of human life, the lack of respect for the goodness of the human person.
CAPLIS: What forms do you see this godlessness - this secular godlessness taking?
AQUILA: I think in terms of, first of all, the numbers that claim to be atheist today, or agnostic, certainly are up in percentage of people. Also is the almost just total pushing of God from the public square. And we know that was not true 50 years ago. That God was, and certainly in the founding in this -- of our democracy and all, God was very much a part of that. And very much -- it was religious beliefs that this country was founded upon. And when you look at history, when you read the founding fathers' statements, even when you read the Declaration of Independence, there is the recognition of a creator. And when you look at the buildings that were built a hundred years ago - a hundred and fifty years ago, whether it be the Supreme Court or other buildings in Washington D.C., they have the Ten Commandments on them.
AQUILA: And people did not blink an eye at that. And when one studies history, whether it be salvation history or whether it be history - even in the last hundred years, we can see when a country or a people remove God from the equation, they eventually fall.
AQUILA: And whether it was Nazi Germany, whether it was Stalin, whether it was other governments.
Caplis concluded his Aquila interview with a great suggestion for a future show that might help fill in the media gap left open after last week's one-dimensional coverage of Aquila:
Caplis: Well, you are known as a man of action, and very much appreciate your time. I'm hoping we can get together on a regular basis. I'd love to - for example, I'd love to do one show just on the devil - heaven, hell, the devil. And get your take on that. As you say, it's something we don't talk about a lot. Probably, people like me don't want to think about it a lot. But it would be one of those things that would really be great to dig into as we head into the political season. You know, just talk about - and I've heard you speak so eloquently and bravely on this before, -- you know, the obligation of people to carry their faith in all aspects of their life, including the political process. [I] would love to do a show just on that.