The “Catholics for Obama” Syndrome (cont.)

In 2010, I wrote in TCT on The “Catholics for Obama” Syndrome – a phenomenon that prevailed in the 2008 election, in which 54 percent of Catholics voted for Barak Obama – and that still prevails as we ready ourselves for the November 2012 election.

In that column, I discussed long-standing inclinations of  Catholics to vote Democratic. Even if a mobster or dictator were the Democratic candidate, some Catholics would still not vote Republican. A major reason for this is that many Catholics view the Democrats as the political party closest to Catholic principles of social justice. Abortion, strangely, is not considered an essential issue of social justice. This belief took hold for Catholics partly as a result of the historic 1964 meeting at Hyannisport, where the Kennedys and the Shrivers talked over the subject for two days with dissident Catholic priests and theologians.

The Hyannisport meeting was meant to salve the doubts of Ted Kennedy and others, who had earlier been pro-life. The “experts” they invited included, ex-Jesuit Albert Jonsen, Frs. Joseph Fuchs and Robert Drinan, Charles Curran, Richard McCormick, and the Rev. Giles Milhaven. After much intensive dialogue, they came to the conclusion that a Catholic could vote in favor of abortion.

The change that followed was gradual. In fact, in 1971 Ted Kennedy wrote a letter to a constituent emphasizing the imperative of our generation to “fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.” But during the 1970s Kennedy “evolved” into a champion of “abortion rights,” followed by John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and many other Catholics, some still active in Congress.

The view that the right to life is not included in the roster of rights to be protected caught on and spread to staunch Catholic Democrats. For them, the fact that Obama was solidly for abortion, for example, even to the extent of supporting the killing of a baby resulting from a botched abortion, was no obstacle to regarding him as a champion of social justice.

In addition, there also has prevailed among Catholic Democrats the perception of the Republican Party as the “party of the rich” – in spite of the fact that “movers and shakers” among the Democrats – the Kennedys, the Kerrys, the Pelosis, et al. – have themselves been incredibly rich; seven out of the ten richest members of Congress are Democrats.

But the strangest misperception by Catholic Democrats has to do with regarding Republicans as opposed to civil rights. Every civil rights act up to 1964 had been sponsored by Republicans – including the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights act of 1866, the Reconstruction act of 1867, anti-lynching bills, and anti-poll-tax bills; it was the Republican Party that implemented desegregation in public schools and the military, established the 1958 Civil Rights Commission, and sponsored the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Those of us who followed the news during the 1950s and 1960s remember how Democratic governors tried to stop desegregation, and that every senator opposed to black civil rights was a Democrat.

        Sen. Ted Kennedy and Robert F. Drinan, S.J. a decade or so after the Hyannisport meeting.

The reason for the mistaken view regarding Republicans and civil rights may be traced to the creation of “affirmative action” initiatives by President Nixon. In the aftermath, some Republicans began criticizing the use of “quota” systems, and the development of “reverse discrimination,” after minorities were given preference.

Since 2008, unfortunately, the Democratic Party has effectively become the “abortion party.” Until recently, the party has had a cadre of pro-lifers. But in the 2010 election, much to the chagrin of the Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), fourteen pro-life Democrats were defeated. DFLA is now concentrating on the creation of a “big tent” program, including the removal of language in the platform allowing taxpayer funding of abortion. But this might be too little, too late.

How was it possible for Catholics in good conscience to justify voting for someone who supports abortion at any time, even when a baby is born alive after a failed abortion? And supports funding for abortion around the world? And now wants to involve Catholic institutions in indirectly funding contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures?

Contraception is a key factor. Many liberal Catholics have ignored Humanae vitae, and are just waiting for what they consider to be the inevitable concession of the Church to the sensus fidelium (“sense of the faithful”) – a change that will never happen. But a contraceptive mindset carries with it important logical connections. Once one believes in the right to sex without procreation, and contraception occasionally fails, abortion remains as the ultimate, although regrettable, means of exercising that “right.” 

In the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, the Supreme Court clearly made the logical connection:

In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.

The recent defection of a dedicated pro-life Democrat, Jo Ann Nardelli, the Vice President of the Pennsylvania State Women’s Caucus, from the Abortion Party because of her Catholic principles, may be a catalyst for further defections. But for many Catholics, who pride themselves on never voting Republican, and who are still able to connect a commitment to “social justice” with permissiveness about abortion and contraception, no pangs of conscience develop.

They – and it’s likely their family and friends – would never think of abandoning the “progressive” agenda, which somehow is construed as virtually synonymous with the Catholic agenda – while more than 50-million aborted babies may be viewed as “collateral damage.”


Howard Kainz

Howard Kainz

Howard Kainz, Emeritus Professor at Marquette University, is the author of twenty-five books on German philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, and religion, and over a hundred articles in scholarly journals, print magazines, online magazines, and op-eds. He was a recipient of an NEH fellowship for 1977-8, and Fulbright fellowships in Germany for 1980-1 and 1987-8. His website is at Marquette University.

  • Manfred

    Great article, Howard. Drinan served many terms as a congressman
    from MA until finally the Vatican intervened. Curran, of course,led the anti-Humanae Vitae petition while at Cath. 1968.He has been at Southern Methodist U. for decades. Ted Kennedy had two Cdls bury him-O’Malley in MA and McCarrrick at Arlington Nat’l Cem. A brilliant priest friend (formerly diocesan,now FSSP),noted for his serenity, explained it to me this way: “Millions of fetuses will die as will millions of adults over the next decades. God knows when each one dies and He allows it to happen. He has known from eternity who will be saved and who will be lost. Take heart as the mere fact that you and I, each in his own way, aspire to be saints should give us hope. However we must never let our guard down.”

  • Mark

    Well done, sir. Catholic support for the Democratic Party is based in dissent from the Church as well as willful ignorance of history. The Democratic Party has never been the party of the people, but has always been the party of racism, class envy, and eugenics.

  • Dave

    Dr. Kainz writes, “Since 2008, unfortunately, the Democratic Party has effectively become the “abortion party.” ” But I think the Democratic Party as the abortion party goes much further back. It’s true that there are ardent, even militant supporters of abortion “rights” in the Republican Party, particularly amongst the denizens of its leadership; but the GOP has, since Reagan at least, and perhaps since 1976, allowed for the active presence of pro-life people, whereas the Democratic Party since Roe, from its leadership cadres downward has been actively even militantly pro-abortion. Remember the Moral Majority and the GOP’s willingness, now hedged, now enthusiastic, to allow MM into the Big Tent. The Liberal Lion’s last gasp in favor of the rights of the unborn was penned in 1971 — a year before the infamy. Although I was a schoolboy at the time, I remember those days vividly: those who opposed abortion per se were found in the GOP; Democrats who found it distasteful nonetheless defended the “right” to it as part and parcel of the women’s liberation movement, which the Dems supported ardently while the GOP was figuring out which elements of feminism to support and which to reject. The GOP Establishment was again, I think, relatively in favor of feminism, both because of its doctrinaire commitment to abortion rights and because they knew, I think, that feminism would entail more women in the workforce with its concomitants of fewer children and a depression in wages and salaries leading to greater profits (remember that it was the Democratic Party that carried the torch, and still does, for equality in wages). I think, too, that the GOP’s commitment to life has been weakening for some time now, as social conservatives have been driven to the fringe and the party studiously moves to embrace a candidate who is studiously as quiet as he can possibly be on the life and social issues.

    What is beyond dispute, however, is that those Catholic Democrats who wished to remain in or accede to the party’s highest levels of leadership rejected the Church’s teaching on abortion from 1972 onward, even as they, and, tragically, countless millions of Catholics ignored Humanae Vitae. But how were they to do otherwise, since the hierarchy had abandoned teaching Casti Connubii in the decades after it was first promulgated (1930)? Had the hierarchy properly instructed the faithful in Pius XI’s most important encyclical, and had the faithful properly received and implemented the instruction, there never would have been a need for Humanae Vitae and history itself might be on an altogether different trajectory, shaped by millions of Catholics who instead of conforming to the imperious demands of the secular world would have done much to convert it, as the Council reminded us is the vocation of the laity. The drive to mainstream Catholics came at a terrible cost, the loss of Catholic witness and the loss, really, of Catholic interior life: for when the Council was finished and the liturgy remade, the faithful collapsed, through defection or demoralization; only those dioceses, religious orders, and other institutions that had cultivated a deep love for interior life amongst its faithful were able to avoid the collapse occasioned by the Council’s poor implementation and to emerge relatively unscathed.

    I am not arguing that the Democratic Party has not been uniquely bad in its embrace and celebration of the culture of death; I am arguing, pace Dr. Kainz and his very accurate depiction of GOP support for civil rights in the absence of such support from the “good Party,” that the difference between the two parties has been the overt embrace by the Democratic Party’s elite of the agenda of the culture of death with the concomitant of the embrace of their agenda by their faithful contrasted with the the GOP’s elite covert embrace of the agenda with their concomitant willingness to play social conservatives for advantage and to ignore them when they no longer needed them. We social conservatives have been thrown under the bus.

    Put another way, the Democratic Party is patently corrupt whereas the GOP has been corrupt latently. W’s abandonment of fiscal conservatism and his willingness to play to the social conservatives put to paid the notion that social conservatives, who are also fiscal conservatives, could have a future in shaping the party’s agenda. The dismal performance of social conservatives in this round of primaries, and their inability to articulate a message that could galvanize the party faithful and the independents, stands as proof. In an odd way, I prefer the Democrat’s brazenness to the GOP’s wiliness: they are much more honest about their positions than the GOP, and the electorate knows it by the way.

    The fault for this state of affairs lies squarely with the American hierarchy, who for centuries have temporized with the Church’s teachings. Our hierarchy refused to condemn slavery when the rest of the Church did so, in order to preserve unity between Northern and Southern Catholics; Cardinal Gibbon enthusiastically rallied to Wilson’s desire to enter the First World War; the hierarchy enthusiastically supported the New Deal and its first steps at socializing American life, while failing to teach Casti Connubii; and they failed abjectly to teach Humanae Vitae or to take any step whatsoever that would put them at odds with the Democratic Party.

    Is it any wonder that Obama is laughing in their faces? Is it any wonder that Kathleen Sebelius, notionally a Catholic, would spit out “we are in a war” to her NARAL supporters then spit in the faces of the bishops through the promulgation of these deeply offensive and immoral mandates? They learned long ago that there is only upside for their agenda to be gained through defiance.

    We can only hope that at last the hierarchy is truly roused to action, that at last the sleeping giant is awoken. We can only hope that the Fortnight for Freedom rallies the faithful and all people of goodwill to action that will change our nation for the good and avert us from our present perilous course.

  • jsmitty

    sigh…Dr Kainz, have you talked to many Catholics who supported Obama in 2008? The one’s I talked to who are active in the Church supported Obama in spite of his views on abortion not because of them.

    Many cited the disaster that was the Bush years–the endless wars, the weak economy, followed by the greatest crash since the 1930’s.

    Moreover many felt that the GOP was using abortion to take their votes for granted. In the case of John McCain he had checked the right box on abortion, but nothing more. He was even a more fervent champion of wars of choice than Bush was–he wanted the US not only to escalate in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to go into Georgia, Iran, North Korea…and surely would have advocated Libya and Syria had he won. I can remember the week after the GOP convention he blanketed my city with radio ads touting his support for embryonic stem cell research. This is the pro-life candidate? At what point to we say enough is enough?

    Moreover, you pass over the problems with the GOP in general. Leaving aside that its domestic agenda is entirely stale (having been crafted in the Reagan years for the problems of the 70’s), what has the GOP done on abortion? OK granted…judges are big (even though Bush 43 almost screwed that up with Harriet Miers, as Bush 41 did with SOuter). And Mexico City..But that’s about it.

    The GOP steadfastly opposed the Family Medical Leave Act which is mostly for maternity leave. and

    The GOP continues to champion a leave policy that is the least generous in the industrialized world.

    The GOP resists expansions of Medicaid for working mothers as well as help for families with children to obtain health insurance.

    The GOP steadfastly opposes efforts to expand private health insurance for young people in their 20’s who are not only the most likely to be uninsured but are the most likely to get pregnant.

    It seems to me at a glance that the GOP’s ideological opposition to government and support for war is in practice actually much stronger than its pro-life convictions–the latter amount mostly to political expediency. And to top it off, the GOP once again in 2012 will nominate a guy who plainly could not care less about abortion beyond the knowledge that checking the right box on an issue survey is necessary for GOP support.

    Yes..I’ll hold my nose and vote for Mitt Romney. But you’d have a much stronger case for telling me I should Mr. Kainz if the party you champion didn’t treat the pro-life movement as just another constituency to co opt and moreover did a little bit better job of actually governing when they actually got into office.

  • anon

    The Republican Party:
    1) minorities and immigrants should not receive any government help; can starve and die in the hospital parking lot if they can’t pay up.
    2) class envy? what class envy? They’re sucked up to the 1% and have no class envy.
    3) eugenics: see #1.

    I don’t want Mittens, Sarah Palin, or Newt looking up womens vaginas and telling them what to do.

  • Jacob Morgan

    The Catholic immigrants in past generations were attracted to what was the party of the working class. Since then the party of Wm Jennings Bryan, Harry Truman, et al, was taken over by the secularist progressives. For a Catholic to stick with that, because the name is the same, would be like an Orthodox Christian who kept going to the Hagia Sophia after Constantinople fell, you know, because it was the same building, never mind what was actually going on inside.

    The whole “seamless garment” talk is aptly named. The seamless garment of Jesus was stolen from him as spoils to the government employees who killed him. The sacred was stolen for profane purposes.

    The blather about abortion being ok in balance of income redistribution and welfare programs is absurd. What proof is there that forcing income redistribution is better for people than making the pie bigger for everyone and engendering a business climate where people can have the dignity of supporting their families with an actual job? History is full of the ruins of societies, Carthage comes to mind, who rationalized killing their offspring to benefit everyone else. That is how deals with the Devil go, not something for something, but something for worse than nothing.

  • James K. Grant

    A recent column by Judie Brown, President of the American Life League, has identified the real problem. No one is teaching the teachings of the Church.

    How many Catholics have even heard of Humanae Vitae, let alone read it? How many Catholics have a copy of the Catechism? No, the problem is the lack of homilies which address morality.

  • Jon S.

    Professor Kainz’s excellent column leaves me with the question, When will our bishops counter the view of “Democrats as the political party closest to Catholic principles of social justice” and the view that the “‘progressive” agenda’ . . . is . . . virtually synonymous with the Catholic agenda”? We should pray that our bishops will stop being knee-jerk statists (as, for example, explained by Paul Rahe in his May 10 post on Ricochet, “Religious Freedom, Limited Government, and Political Liberty”). We should pray that our bishops will clearly teach the principles of justice so that both individualism/libetarianism and statism/collectivism will be rejected by American Catholics. We should pray that our bishops–and their staffs–will critique proposals of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party on the basis of Catholic doctrine. Our bishops and their staffs could begin by studying Josef Pieper’s section on justice in his “The Four Cardinal Virtues.”

  • Jon S.

    For insight into our bishops’ role in the state of affairs so eloquently expressed by Professor Kainz’s excellent column is Paul Rahe’s column, “Religious Freedom, Limited Government, and Political Liberty,” found elsewhere.

  • Chris in Maryland

    “Social Justice” is counterfeit Catholicism, it is a part of the “progressive political ideology” that is concocted inside the progressive “Trojan Horse” to replace the Catholic concept of “Charity.”

    Its principle purpose showed its face to me at a work-day brown-bag for Catholics at a downtown parish in DC: the pro-life issue was at the center of the discussion – and progressives in the audience used “social justice” as an offensive weapon to try to smear and shame pro-life people in the audence into silence, by asserting that anyone who places life first before “social justice” is a miser and bigot.

    Interstingly, “social justice” was concocted in the same rhetorical machine that generated the “seamless garment” rhetoric. But “SJ” and “SG” are 2 parts of a rhetorical shell game: when life is raised for support, “SG” is raised to dilute the primacy of “life” and suffocate the issue. And when in response, more ardent/vocal “pro-lifers” stand their ground and insist that life be given primacy, “SJ” is pulled out as a club to smear them as “unjust.” A-la Alinsky.

  • rick

    a missing part of the disintegration of Catholic conscience concerning contraceptives and abortion was the full scale clerical revolt of the clergy in 1968-69. Cardinal Stafford wrote a great article on what happened in Baltimore. As it turns out our trusted religious leaders dropped the ball.

  • Grump

    Identity politics is only allowed in certain circumstances. For example, “African-Americans for Obama” is active as if the vast majority blacks would actually vote otherwise. However, “Caucasians for Romney” clearly would not be tolerated. Although I won’t be around in 2050 when whites will become a minority in the U.S., I would guess such an organization might emerge with less controversy.

  • Leonard

    If there are any “…Catholic principles of social justice…” then we can start with a reasoned position that defines the term “Social Justice.” I am afraid we will wait for this till doomsday but until then there’s no reason to pay any other attention to this very disappointing article.

  • Agapatos

    I’m a conservative pro-life Catholic, and in 2008 I voted for Barak Obama, not because I like him, but because McCain was a hawk, and I wanted us to be scaling down our wars, rather than invading Iran.

  • Jon S.

    While it’s possible to be an orthodox Catholic and to be anti-statist and anti-culture of death, it is not possible to be an orthodox Catholic and to be against social justice when social justice is defined correctly (as what St. Thomas would call legal justice and distributive justice) and not when it is defined by “progressive” “Catholics.” Read the section on justice in his “The Four Cardinal Virtues” by Josef Pieper, one of the great Thomists of the 20th Century.

  • DS

    I have noticed steadily longer commentaries on TCT, to the point that some of them rival the length of the column itself (eg, see above). I humbly suggest the editors introduce a word limit.

  • Thomas C. Coleman, Jr.

    Very important article, Dr. Kainz. I’m forwarding it to all of my Catholic friends who don’t check TCT daily. Unless I missed it, there has been no mention of the impact of Goldwater’s resistance to the Civil Rights ACt of 1964. I do not beieve there is any eivdience that Goldwater was a racist, but his opposition to that law, I think, gave more ammunition to the Left to label the GOP as racist than aything else did. To those who justified voting for Obabma on the groundns that he would keep us out of war I must ask why they would believe the word of a man who believes in killing babies born alive. I would also ask you to look at the record of past presisdents who got elelcted on promeses of keeping us out of war. In other words, you abolustely knew that he intended to expand the practice of infanticde aroundd the world while you had no reason to believe his promises of peace. You also knew that he would expand the hideous practice of embryonic stem cell research. You must have known that he was really in favor of so-called same sex marriage. You knew that he embraced the philosophy of socilaism which the Cathlic Chruch has consistenlty condemned. You knew perfectly well he had long standing relationships with terrorists that would have disqualified him from having a security clearance if were trying get a job in the military of which he is now commnader-in-chief. And how did this swell state of affaris come about? Go back to 1947 and listten to the warnings of someone who said that 25 years from then no one would recognize the Catholic Church. That person was taken quite serioulsy by Abp Fulton Sheen, who brought her back to the Catholic Church. Today many young Catholics do not even know who she or Abp Sheen were. But they just might think that Luther was right all along and that Marxism and Christinaity are compatible. You think I I’m joking? I wish that I were joking.

  • Jim Hibbs

    The Democrats have succesfully changed history, at least in the short term. David you know your history or can read.

  • Brad Miner

    @DS: A very apt observation, regarding the length of comments.

    We used to have a strict word limit and a rule prohibiting comments that are continued (Pt.1, Pt.2, etc.), and we begin to think it was a mistake to have “liberalized” our policy.

    But gentlemen and ladies, please, don’t use TCT as your personal blog. Limit yourselves to two paragraphs at most. We’ll proceed on an honor policy, with private reminders from me, after which . . . exile. -ABM

  • Howard

    You appear to want me to vote for the Republicans. If so, bringing up Reconstruction is a novel, to say nothing of boneheaded, strategy.

    A pox on both their parties.

  • Frank

    “Love one another as I have loved you.” Nowhere in that command does Jesus use the word “government.” “Social Justice” is a human concept placing us at the center and not Christ. It is therefore doomed to fail simply because the inequities it hopes to eradicate is at the mercy of finite subjectivity of the human mind as Orwell aptly stated, “All animals are created equal but some are more equal than others.”
    And the bromides for social justice just keep on coming,” It’s all Bush’s fault!” I’m not the biggest “W” fan. He was wrong about Iraq, but when three airplanes fly into three buildings and kill 3,000+ people directed by an amorphous fibrous network of nut job terrorists acting in the name of their “God,” there’s little choice left. And on a personal note, I was supposed to be at a meeting in the Pentagon approximately 500 feet from where the American #77 impacted on 11 Sep 01. The meeting was cancelled the day before.
    So a few here did not like W’s war as it raged on and on. HMMM…seems as another war has waged on and on and we have yet to declare victory and this “war” is about 48 years old with no victory in sight…LBJ’s War on Poverty. The treasure we’ve spent on this war eclipses all shooting wars the US has ever been engaged. Consider Haiti, all the $$$ spent to feed, clothe and shelter those who suffer poverty beyond the measure of our imaginations falls into the hands of political criminals living in luxury. The funds collected for earthquake relief have not improved the lot of those who suffer at the hands of elites whose avarice merits a rope around the neck versus the luxury they live at the expense of others. I can go on and on.
    When Michael Moore and the crowd he runs with decide they want to live in a modest house and contribute the majority of their largesse they earn to support their definition of “social justice,” then I might give a tip of my them. Until such time, they’re just another bunch of libs squired around in fancy cars and private jets eating caviar with the rest of beating their chests in their twisted self righteousness that the rest of the unwashed masses are not giving more of themselves and lobbying their friends in legislatures to find more creative ways to pick my pocket. After signing my 1040 this past April and writing a cheque because the amount my wife and I paid was still not enough, it angers me. God only asked us for 10% but government wants more. Something is wrong with this picture.
    And I don’t disagree with some here of the Democratic persuasion. It’s all about money and who’s Ox gets gored given who’s in power at any given time. The Republicans talk a good game of reducing government but that’s all it is. I offer the words of someone else,”

    In fact, Catholic social teaching *does* compel opposition to socialism. Read Rerum Novarum, and don’t miss the fact that while Leo XIII critiques faults of capitalism, he in no uncertain terms damns socialism. And please don’t miss the fact that most of the flaws that have been attributed to capitalism of the last century have been in fact crony corporatism, in bed with government and plutocrats, masquerading as free-market capitalism. We Conservative Catholics hold no brief for the Bush Republicrats who “had to abandon the free market principles in order to save the free market. Also note that it was the confusion-sowing CINO liberals, like Hesburgh, and the Rockefeller Republicans who have manufactured the social side of our current crisis. Whether it’s economics or social issues, we true conservatives are on the correct (and Catholic) side of things.

    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
    – George Washington

  • Fr. Bramwell

    A very helpful article. Thank you.

  • NasicaCato

    I have never understood the motivation for the “Hyannisport meeting”. The Kennedys were reaching the height of their popularity. Traditional Democratic bread and butter issues were carrying the day like never before or since. Why would they want to muddy the water by embracing a controversial social issue? Please, someone enlighten me.

  • J. Bob

    your comment “The GOP continues to champion a leave policy that is the least generous in the industrialized world”.

    You might want to look at those “industrialized” nations & see the economic mess they are in.

  • BEA

    If we are catechized Catholics, then we have a philosophical and moral CHOICE based on LOGICAL and FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES. Do not read on until you really understand that sentence. Both Blessed John Paul II, and my own Archdiocese Archbishop Jose Gomez have both had written statements about the FUNDAMENTAL principles. AB Gomez wrote: “The right to life is the foundation of EVERY other right and liberty in our society.” Let that sink in… He continues, “Of course, we are ALWAYS working for justice and peace. But we can NEVER disconnect this vital work from our defense of innocent life and human dignity.” (The Tidings 1/20/12) With this I ask, why are ANY faithful Catholics (including religious) monkeying around with the democratic party when the party clearly funds, supports and entertains the culture of death? Is the answer ‘justice and peace’ for the underprivileged through government funds? Wrong. Stats have shown that conservative Republicans are more generous to the needy than their democratic counterparts. But, back to Logic 101. We can not skip over the fundamental principle of the RIGHT TO LIFE. One can NOT justify their work with justice and peace by skipping and sweeping the fundamental principle of the right to life of the innocents or the elderly under the table of logic– especially when we have a pro life candidate. Justifying justice and peace by ignoring Catholic fundamentals is the blinding lie and smokescreen of the devil. That is Devil 101- an metaphorical elective in both the Sociology and Political Science Departments. Once you’ve taken that class, it’s easy to go to Devil 102 by ignoring Humanae Vitae and the theology of the body; thereby accepting contraception as a viable option for living, as well as premarital sex, sterilization, pornography, sodomy, and polygamy. Then on to Devil 103 where one supports implementing laws against the morality of the church. Why? Much of it is surely ignorance, and as one goes deeper and deeper in to the Devil’s courses buying in to the distortion of morality and lies, and justifying a support of a party based on a candidate who justifies the killing of innocents, then there is a desensitization to sin, and a confusion of moral conscience. That is what we now have in our church. Both conscious and unconscious dissidents. Presuming we are up with local, national, and international news, I therefore ask, can we make a difference in our own church circles of influence to promote fundamental logical thinking and church teaching on morality? Can we start by prayer to the Holy Spirit and our blessed Mother to keep us clear and grounded on morality? Can we also call on the intercession of our greats like Aquinas, Ignatius, Augustine and others of your choice? Or do we only believe in ‘some’ of that Catholic stuff? OUR CHURCH HAS ALL THE KEYS. But because we’re human like Adam and Eve, and because some of our own are eating off the fruit of the tree that God instructed us not to, those keys are scattered all over the place. Prayer, knowledge, and action help to break those bondages in your circle of influence. But we have to have the COURAGE to take a prudent stand knowing there will be both good and uncomfortable consequences. On the other hand, do we really have faith in the teachings of the Church which God started through Christ Jesus and has a rich and unbreakable history all the way from Peter to our present Pope Benedict XVI? Do we believe scripture– that is, if we are lukewarm… that we get spit out in the end? There are several issues pending in politics, and there is also plenty of work to do in our own circle of influence… Hail Mary.

  • Magdalene

    Those 54% of ‘Catholics’ who put the present government in power can be blamed for the situation we now find ourselves.

    We are at the edge of the abyss. Will they put us over?

  • Anne

    We ran Ellen McCormack for President in the Democratic Presidential primaries in 1976. One of the main reasons was because the Democratic party had left us on abortion.

  • George Kadlec

    I believe a few G.K. Chesterton quotes are appropriate:

    “Be careful not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

    “I want a church that moves the world not one that moves with it”

    “Moral issues are always terribly complex for someone without principles.”

    “Only a live fish can swim against the current, the dead go with it.”

    Mother Teresa stated:

    “Roe v. Wade”, she said “deformed a great nation (America). She added, “The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships…It has portrayed the greatest of gifts-a child-as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience.” She believed that loneliness was “the greatest poverty” of all and saw the West as prey to a soulless materialism. Though she received many awards including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 she confessed “It is not success, but the dedication to one’s faith that is important.”

    My own quote:

    The Democratic Party is not only political in nature but also religious. Catholicism and the Democratic Party as it currently is are mutually exclusive.

  • Jack Quirk

    With the HHS mandate the Democratic Party has effectively told faithful Catholics in the party to take a hike. That is an invitation that I intend to accept without hesitation. It is to be hoped that as the Republican Party accepts Catholic defectors the character of the party itself will thereby be changed.

    The Republican Party may once again become the civil rights party, a position it seemingly abandoned forever with Nixon’s southern strategy that assimilated the Dixiecrats. The so-called neo-cons, themselves defectors from the Democratic Party, whose roots go back to Woodrow Wilson, may become marginalized, and might even find the more internationalist Democratic Party more hospitable, thus bringing Republican foreign policy more into line with the Just War Doctrine.

    Another impact might be the Republican Party extricating itself from the thrall of the free-enterprise cult, formerly known as the British system, which Republican President William McKinley recognized as inevitably leading to the impoverishment of the working class. There might be a return to what has been called the “American School” of economics, once a central idea of Republicanism, calling for a central national bank with policies to encourage investment and discourage speculation, liberal investment in infrastructure, and tariffs to protect American businesses and working people.

    Catholics coming into the Republican Party as refugees from the Democrats might well operate to effect changes in these directions. If so, the Republican Party would be the Republican Party again, and that would be the best political thing I can imagine for the United States.

    But how much resistance would Republicans put up against becoming Republicans?

  • Gary Ellingson

    The suggestion that Republicans care about civil rights and that the Democratic party is not pro-poor or middle class is perposterous. Just more right wing distortions.

  • Patrick Keller

    I am a proud and passionate Catholic Democrat. To argue with this would be futile and I, frankly, don’t care about the judgments here. I simply want to point out that there is not a single assumption about me in this article that is true. It is easy to draw false conclusions when your logic is based on false premises.

  • Ken

    Wasserman-Schultz is still beating the Republican racism drum. Keep in mind the Lincoln Republican party fought the Civil War to end Slavery. Keep in mind also the Republican party introduced the Civil Rights Bill which was filibusterer against by the Democrats. Keep in mind the Catholic church purposely hid its pedophile priests from view for centuries. Keep in mind the Catholic church is hypocritical. Keep in mind that inserting a needle into the base of the brain of an unborn child and sucking that brain out is still murder of an innocent human being. May those of you who subscribe to abortion rot in hell for all eternity.