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Catholics, a survey says, are split 50-50 in the US election, with faithful Catholics against Obama, “adaptive ones” for him. But how CAN they be?

The National Catholic Reporter is consistently supportive of the President; but what else do you expect?

By on Thursday, 25 October 2012

Obama 2012

It looks as though Catholic opinion, as the American presidential elections approach, is more or less evenly split between Governor Romney and the incumbent president, despite the hostility among Catholics to the Obama regime’s Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) which, as The New York Times explained “requires coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Among the drugs and devices that must be covered are emergency [abortifacient] contraceptives …. The rule also requires coverage of sterilization procedures for women without co-payments or deductibles.

“The administration rejected a request from the Roman Catholic Church for a broad exemption for insurance provided to employees of Catholic hospitals, colleges and charities, although it said it would give such church-affiliated organizations one additional year …. Catholic bishops issued a statement saying they would fight the “edict” from the government. ‘In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,’ said Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

Catholics tend to vote Democratic, so to split the vote 50-50 represents a very definite pro-Romney swing. All the same, a disconcerting number of Catholics still support not only Obama’s Act, but even abortion itself. The fact is that the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” (not of course the Council itself) has ravaged the American Catholic Church, and split it from top to bottom, between the faithful on the one hand and the deeply secularised on the other: “The Catholic vote is highly complex,” according to a recent survey, which found (surprise, surprise)


“strong differences” between the group labeled “traditionalist Catholics,” who believe that the church should preserve its traditional beliefs and practices, and “adaptive Catholics,” those who believe it should adjust or alter traditional beliefs and practices in light of contemporary culture.

As you might expect, the National Catholic Reporter is generally supportive of Obama: what Father Z calls “the fishwrap” is written by and for what I have seen amazingly described as “pro-choice Catholics” (and if you don’t mind, when I refer to them henceforth, I’ll keep the quotation marks firmly around that particular oxymoron) the archetype of whom is Vice-President Joe Biden.

And of course, these “adaptive Catholics” (good description) are sometimes fanatically anti-Romney, to the point of almost instinctively distorting what he says and does, and uncritically accepting every pro-Obama spin, factually defensible or not. The morning after the second residential debate, one Michael Sean Winters wrote in the fishwrap what simply wasn’t the case, despite the fact that within minutes of the debate’s conclusion, the fact checkers had confirmed that Romney had been right, the President wrong, at one crucial point when the debate’s moderator had extremely disconcertingly for him told Romney that he was factually incorrect over a major accusation.

“Last night”, Winters insisted, [Romney] argued small and, consequently, he looked small. He did not confront the president with a broad indictment, except once, but instead seemed to be looking for gotcha moments. One of these backfired terribly: Instead of keeping the focus on the administration’s slow response to the attacks in Libya, he sensed an opening when Obama said that he had called the attack an act of terrorism the day after it occurred. Romney called out the president, suggesting he had just lied. But, moderator Candy Crowley, [ital] who had clearly done her homework,[end ital] (my italics) backed the president up. So does the videotape, which was airing on MSNBC within minutes of the debate’s conclusion. I do not watch morning television, but I am betting that exchange is the most-aired clip of the debate. (It was, but not for the reason Winters supposes)

“There are two problems with the clip for Romney”, he continues, “one of which will hurt him immediately and the other which should be of greater concern but won’t be. First, people think that if someone will lie about a small thing, he is likely to lie about big things. If you have ever been on a jury, you know that in assessing a witness’s credibility, it is often the little lies or inaccuracies that make you decide how much weight to give to a person’s testimony. Romney can get away with a big lie anytime. He purports his economic plan will create 12 million new jobs. Moody’s predicts that the U.S. economy will create 12 million new jobs no matter who wins. But, little lies will get you every time. Tactically, Romney’s gaffe also keeps him from talking about unemployment for a few more days, crucial days at that.”

Well, it didn’t, and Romney’s credibility, though it reeled for a moment until almost everyone realised he had been correct in his accusation, was not in any way weakened, since it was the President who emerged as having been deceitful. Candy Crowley had not, it turned out, done her homework: indeed, she ended up looking very like a partisan, who had been briefed with the President’s version of events beforehand (I’m not saying that that did happen, but that a cynic might suppose it). The fact is that the President did not say that the Benghazi massacre was an act of terror in the rose garden the day afterwards. His first public assertion about it was that what had happened was as a result of the notorious video insulting Islam (which nobody seems to have seen), which he was at pains to repudiate: “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths, he said. “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Well sure: but we know now (and most people in a position to know realised from the beginning) that the Benghazi attack had nothing to do with the video but had been carefully planned to coincide with 9/11.

President Obama then went on to talk at some length about the original 9/11 atrocity: and it is quite clear from the context that it was to that, and not to Benghazi, that he was referring when he spoke of terrorists acts. Get the transcript, he said, during the debate. Well, read it here  and you will see. The operative passage is this:

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourn with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those, both civilian and military, who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.

The President’s spinmeisters, with relief, fished out that last paragraph, and took it out of context to refer uniquely to Benghazi. There’s one giveaway about THAT, though. For, if it did refer to Benghazi, why did the White House, for the next two weeks, insist that Benghazis was a demonstration against the video that got out of hand and definitely not a terrorist attack? 

The fact is that Wright’s article is yet another illustration of his (and the fishwrap’s) wilful wishful thinking: they really want Obama to win. “The race is likely to remain close”, says Winters “and Election Night may be a long night. But, I doubt it ….Obama is a better stump speaker by a long shot.… what we watched last night was President Obama taking a big step towards a convincing victory in three weeks.”

Well, now it’s two weeks, I wonder. Romney is doing well. I don’t have a vote in this election, but I have been following the campaign closely; and, given the still powerful international influence of the US (one which is in my view, on the whole entirely benign, though under Obama it has been at times disconcertingly destabilising) the election result concerns us almost as much as it does the American public. And I have to say, as a non-adaptive Catholic, that I just don’t see how anyone claiming to BE a Catholic can vote for the present incumbent. As I write, according to some polls, Romney has drawn level in Ohio, the “bell-weather” state. I have my fingers crossed.

  • Benedict Carter

    Recently seeing the appalling Cardinal Dolan sitting with this committed killer of unborn children made me want to be sick.

    The Bishops in the USA have been useless, absolutely useless, for years. Dolan himself on one famous occasion, when asked if pre-marital sex was ok, answered that it was because it would tell the people involved whether they would be able to be chaste or not. 

    It was estimated some years ago that in the late 1970′s / early 1980′s more than half of the US Bishops were active homosexuals. 

    Why do I mention these things? Because if the Hierarchy are so spent in their adherence to the Faith, how can they possibly lead to holiness anyone at all? They can’t even manage it for themselves. 

    And so the faithful, left rudderless, fall prey to the wiles and siren calls of the world. And so the moral life goes and they can vote for this man.

  • Nat_ons

    The sad truth is, the ‘adaptive’ Catholics, for the most part, truly believe they are obedient to the ‘spirit’ of the Second Vatican Council .. on provision of divorce, contraception and abortion issues (wholesale, affordable for all, at a bargain price). Fewer (far, far fewer) thoughtful souls – and the more accurately orthodox – try to follow something like the actual teaching of the popes on social issues .. such a labour, capital and the common good (for all of society i.e. ‘socialism’ to a type of unthinking US ideology). As for the ‘traditionalist’ No-Obama-At-Any-Price camps – so far as I can see – these seem to focus on narrower moral issues (treatment sic of ‘homosexuals’, insured healthcare treatments, and abuse of healthcare e.g. abortion and contraception as women’s rights) or on singularly laisse faire economics (running counter to papal teaching, as often as not).

    Just my impression, of course; but it does seem to account for the bi-polar disorder of catholic voters, bot the socially ‘aware’ and socially ‘traditionalist’. This is nothing new, or limited to America .. a timely reading the wonderful (and grievously neglected) ‘Don Camillo’ novels can always give an insight into this distinctly Christian moral tug-of-war when it comes to voting. Unfortunately the American system of politics, like a stunted and money-made or m-Ad man form of British Democracy (not the same thing as ‘democracy’), seems to lack the good humoured if strident rubbing-along, muddling-through, deep-sighing village mindset of the Italian and British ‘civil’ service ethos in politics .. hyping up the Winner-Takes-All to its enth degree, with the obscene amounts of money demanded for US politics, electioneering precludes both sincere animosity and genuine community as well as obliterating respect for opposing views.

  • Guest007

    Ive previously written on one of these similar articles before so I will more less repeat what I wrote last time:

    Political parties when it concerns the Catholic vote have always used the Divide and Rule concept when trying to gain our votes. The Catholics who vote for Obama are the ones who are Catholic in name only and most likely dont practice their faith fully. The are probably harbouring those of the 1960s/70s generation of “spirit of vatican 2″ dissidents.

    I will safely say that the ones who will vote for Romney are the ones who actually adhere to the faith. What we should Catholics should all realise is especially with Obama, the politicians theyy want us to fight out these issues amongst ourselves…what better way for them to try and get one over the church by seeing us brothers and sisters fight amongst ourselves when during such times of secularisation we should be united!!

    What we must remember is no
    secular political party is perfect however as it currently stands
    Romney is by far the lesser evil of the two when it comes to Catholic
    votes and they should vote for him. What I have an issue with is that
    alot of ‘so called’ catholic politicians have a poor understanding of
    the faith and are ‘Catholic’ only by name or instead of putting their
    Catholicism before they are a democrat/Republican they do the exact
    opposite which is what Biden, Sebelious etc have fallen into the trap of

    As I said before for now Romney is the lesser evil to vote for
    and does not support alot of the things the Obama administration has
    done so far such as its attempts to trample religious institutions
    consciences by having legislation which forces them to act against their

    Even though Romney is the better choice to vote for, I am sure if he
    gets elected the Church will begin to find holes and begin to criticise
    him on issues such as social spending etcc after all the Church and
    state are not separate but work together for the good and salvation of

    However there is this issue still lingering and has been for some
    time now in the Western world due to secularism that Catholics have to
    vote for the lesser evil regarding secular political parties. No secular
    political party can be 100% trusted, we have witnessed Cameron in UK with his
    backing for gay marriage that party leaders can shape the party and
    choose what direction they go in any way they wish even if certain
    members among their ranks disagree with it.

    Although yes the hierarchy speaks out on various issues not just in
    America but also in the UK and the rest of the world, one of the things
    the church lacks along with this is a solid political platform of
    Catholic Parties not run by Clerics but by Catholics although they could
    play a part in suggesting candidates and would have close relations
    with the party. This should happen on a global scale which they can be
    grouped together similar to what the Arab league stands for except I
    propose a name like the Catholic League which are loyal to the Holy See
    and whos views are in total line with the Catechism whereby Cannon Law
    is its proposed governing system. This way Catholics know they can fully
    give their vote to without fearing their taxes etc go to supporting
    programmes such as abortion or contraception etc.

    I do acknowledge that in some countries such as the UK this may seem
    impossible for such parties to be voted in as Catholics are only
    something like 10% and I do acknowledge also that the First Past the
    Post voting system favours the main two parties however the beauty of
    Catholicism is that although the hierarchy doesnt always stress enough
    or effectively enough is that it offers you a life which is alternative
    to that of the secular lifestyle plus the Catechism contains all the
    answers to everything people may ask from economic policies right up to
    things such as healthcare and love. There is alot of disillusionment in
    the Western world regarding politicans and the establishment and for
    some this could be seen as a radical move however Christ himself when he
    was alive was considered a radical individual.

    We could use this to
    offer those in secular society something which is completely different
    to the lifestyle which they are used to living however for those do do
    not agree with us we can exercise compassion and tolerance towards their
    views even if it is something of a heresy to our beliefs although there
    is always a fine line between what can be tolerated and what is
    potentially harmful to the souls in that society.

    However in countries such as Latin America and parts of Europe where
    she still is in the majority including other places like the
    Phillipines, mother Church still has a greater chance of achieving this
    goal (she already has in Costa Rica) and this could also be the answer
    to many problems such as poverty, gang warfare and the problems the
    narcotics industry has posed for the South American region (I look
    forward to seeing how WYD in Rio is as many Latin Americans will be
    attending this. In Ireland the Church still has hope although it will
    take much healing before such an idea can be put forward to society
    however she faces a battle with the current government regarding various
    policies they are proposing. North America with its growing Latino
    population etc will hopefully eventually be in the majority, I suspect
    this is why the Bishops have pressured certain federal states in the
    past  to relax their immigration policies to allow more Catholic
    immigration to the States.

    America since its founding has been governed
    by a constitution and although right now the Church is battling the
    Obama administration regarding the first amendment, to achieve the goal
    proposed the only way possible would be for the constitution to either be
    amended or be removed as not all of it would be compatible with Cannon

    The main purpose for the existence of Christ’s church is the
    salvation of souls in all societies and where she is in the minority or
    nonexistent in society then she must go there and proclaim the gospel in
    order to achieve this, many including the apostles have died in
    achieving this mission however the purest Christianity is the one where
    her church is persecuted. However we live under the dominion of Christ
    and if something can be done to prevent evil or error from being taught
    in any society then something should be done, which reminds me of the
    quote from Edmund Burke ‘evil exists because good men do nothing.’ As
    Catholics we cannot separate our politics from our religious beliefs
    like the secular world constantly tried to propogate to us, our
    Catholicism is our politics.  It would require absolute cooperation from every single Bishop to promote such a phenomenen to the flock in each of their diocess’s however I believe that this can be achieved if they trully believe what the purpose of Christ’s church is and what she stands for.


  • awkwardcustomer

    ‘adaptive Catholics’.

    The fruit of an ‘adaptive’ Council.

  • Carry Your Cross

    I’m really disappointed by this post.  Cardinal Dolan has been a remarkable leader in the fight for religious freedom.  You don’t convert people by ignoring them.  You must converse.  We are not privy to the private conversations that take place between our Bishops and the misguided.  Pray for them.  Your take on our hierarchy is remarkably different than mine.  I will vote for Romney, I am very conservative and faithful to Church teaching but theirs is a difficult calling.  Support them.  We are all human and therefore we make mistakes.  My experience with bishops just doesn’t support your assertions.

  • Marialouisa

    I would have agreed with you up until the Cardinal invited Obama to the Al Smith Dinner.  He must have known it would cause a scandal, and give cover to those pro-choice ‘Catholics’ who want to vote for Obama and now feel the Church approves.  I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume there’s some kind of justification for this, but I admit I cannot see it. 

  • Benedict Carter

    Get real. Dolan is one of the liberal destroyers, a seriously bad choice as Cardinal.

  • Benedict Carter

    Exactly right.

  • JByrne24

    I think you’re right.
    The Cardinal wanted to show Catholics that there was no reason why they should not vote for President Obama.

  • rjt1


  • Alan

    This is not a single-issue election, and it is perfectly reasonable for Catholic voters to rate issues other than Obamacare as of importance (climate change is an example, which we should all be concerned about).  Abortion is certainly a key issue for me, but Romney’s flip-flops do not inspire confidence. Overall I would find it hard to decide, were I eligible to vote.  But if Church leaders instructed me to vote one way, I would probably go the other. 

  • Jon Brownridge

     That’s quite a hissy fit, Benedict. As always, I admire your commitment to principles, including many personal ones, but as you will probably guess I disagree with you on the Obama position. As President of the USA he must be President to all. Much as we Catholics hate it, a majority of Americans have different views to ours on sexual ethics, contraception, and abortion. These are serious matters among many pressing needs in that country. The Democrats are much more in tune with the needs of the poor and disadvantaged and President Obama is far more inclined to look after those needs. I don’t agree with him on everything he stands for – far from it – but if I could vote in the US election, my vote would be squarely in the Democrat’s camp.

  • Kevin

    This is wrong on two counts. Firstly, abortion, aka murder, is a clear red line issue. You do not vote for Hitler simply because he promises everyone a Volkswagen.

    Secondly, no-one got a Volkswagen under Hitler. It was a false promise designed to part people from their money. All Socialist utopian schemes are the same.

  • Kevin

    Even if the Democrats were against abortion, which they should be because it is murder, their economic policies have nothing to do with the common good.

    To vote against a Socialist Department of Santa Claus is not to vote against Santa Claus. It is to recognise that the only way the presents will get delivered is if families have real jobs.

  • Kevin

    Good for you. Too bad for those who end up dead as an express and deliberate result of Obama’s policies.

  • Kevin

    Dolan erred badly in inviting Obama. After Our Lord spoke to Zacchaeus, the latter stopped ripping people off. Dolan has had no such effect on Obama. Instead he has been photographed having a belly laugh with him, when he should have shaken the dust from his feet as he walked away.

  • Jeannine

    While I agree this is not a 1 issue election, as a Catholic the most important issue is life. Abortion is an intrinsic evil means under any condition it is a grave evil.  It is the greatest social justice issue above or other social justice issues even war.——— How can we take care of the handicapped & poverty-strcken if there are no handicapped or poor because they have been aborted? How can we educate children if they have been aborted? How can we take care of babies for adoption if they have been aborted? Can’t perform social justice if there is no one to perform social justice on.

    Mr Obama is the most anti-life politician that the USA has ever had, more so than Hillary Clinton. Mr Obama is so anti-life that he doesn’t have a problem with killing a baby if it survived an abortion. And of course he has no problem with partial birth abortion. 

    Romney on the other hand may have a little pro-abortion inclinations although he has yet to change his current position of anti-abortion. He came to that position after learning about fetal stem cell research. Obviously Romney is the lesser of the 2 evils.

    Now tell us why Catholic Americans with a properly formed conscience can vote for Mr Obama?

  • Annie

    Carry Your Cross,

    I have to disagree with your take on Cardinal Dolan.  He did virtually nothing publicly to oppose the same-sex marriage bill that passed the New York State Senate and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  In fact, he was awol the day of the vote,  going out of town before hand; claiming he had to run a meeting of the USCCB (that could have been chaired by someone else) rather than being on the phone to the Catholic legislators.  The Cardinal claimed that he was given “private insurances” that the vote would go down and that’s why he didn’t speak out.   If he’s that gullible/stupid he has no right being bishop.    

    Ah yes, and let’s not forget that NYC still has its own Greenwich Village gay masses.  They were going on before Dolan came to New York in 2009 and they’re still going on.  

    The spectacle of Cardinal Dolan yucking it up with Obama was revolting.  Oh, he had to do it?  That’s baloney, because in 1996 Cardinal O’Connor refused to invite Bill Clinton to the Al Smith dinner because of his pro-abortion views.  That’s called integrity; but Dolan’s motivation for everything is to be liked by everyone.  It’s disgusting.     


  • Annie

    Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia today has today reminded us how it must be, that “we are Catholics before we are Americans”. 

    (with a hat tip to Fr. Z)

  • Annie

    Oops!  I thought I had linked to Archbishop Chaput.  Let’s try it again: 

    Hope this time works.  (Although it is St. Crispian’s Day so maybe it was a mistake that was meant to be.)

  • Charles

    As an American, I see that what conservatives call heretical is not seen as unfaithful by liberal Catholics. This is because we have been receiving a secular Marxist Catholicism where social justice is of prime importance and all else is secondary. And the reason for so many gays in our clergy is that gays are comfortable living in their femininity; as long as the priesthood is reduced to social work it becomes feminized and hence attractive to gays.  The very definition of the priesthood is at stake here and this influences the frame of mind of the laity.The solution is to bring back the notion of priest as leader, scholar, warrior, and teacher.

  • Ghengis

     I agree and faithful Catholics must vote for Romney as Obama has attacked religious freedom by forcing church run organizations to fund that which is against their religion; ie abortion, sterilization, and contraception. Why should anyone taxes pay for another’s contraception anyways?

  • Benedict Carter

    All Obama supporters, or those thinking of voting for him, might take 16 seconds to look at this video:

  • Benedict Carter

    Excellent posts.

  • Benedict Carter

    My post Jon is nothing more than the truth. To your hippy generation, of course that represents for you “a hissy fit”. 

  • Katie

    Mr Carter, I’m afraid I don’t agree that Dolan is appalling. Yes he seems vulgar and a jokester but within a few years this man with no power and no political connections (and a lot of suspicion among Catholics because he seemed to be the point man for Pope Benedict) has turned the Catholic argument in public life into something which can’t be dismissed (paedophiles!) or ridiculed. Before Dolan became President of the USCCB the vast majority (look at the Obama stats for 2008) of Catholics were in favour of abortion etc etc. It would be foolish to say that the shift is due only to Dolan instead of to a large number of individuals, organizations, publications etc but Dolan is a shrewd organiser and co-ordinator (he is also by trade a historian of the US Church and understands its roots, weaknesses and strengths).  I think the Catholic stats for Obama this time might be much lower, especially among Catholic women.  In another but related point, I don’t think that Mr Oddie is right to say that it is Biden who is the masthead for unfaithful Catholics: it’s the far more persuasive and influential Nancy Pelosi. Did you notice that the subtle Dolan tries to make out that it’s Biden who represents the problem? This immediately makes the unfaithful Catholics seem weaker because everyone knows that Biden couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery whereas Pelosi pushed through the Health Care Bill in Congress. I think Card Dolan has had a large impact in getting Catholic women in the US to rethink many things in a very short time. With Dolan the Church does not seem misogynist.

  • Alan

    It should be noted that, for American politics, “socalist” is equivalent, in British terms, to something like “moderate Conservative”. 

  • Alan

    I agree that abortion is the most important single issue, and if Romney made clear that he would strive to change the law (perhaps through the appointment of judges) it would be a no-brainer.  But he flip-flops on the issue, and probably finds it of no interest.  This has to be weighed against other important issues, and I mentioned climate change, which could potentally kill millions, and on which I favour Obama.  That is why serious Catholics can vote Obama. 

  • Lewispbuckingham

    ‘ I mentioned climate change, which could potentially kill millions’.
     Climate change is off thread, yet you mention it twice.
     Best it be talked about in another thread.
     There is no clear empirical evidence for anthropogenic global warming.
    As such the issue about climate change has been carefully avoided in debate by both candidates.

  • Benedict Carter

    Yes it would indeed Katie be very foolish to see the welcome lower numbers for abortion to be the result of anything Dolan has done. Please research the doctrinal sayings and actions of this man and you will wonder, along with many other people, why he is a Bishop, let alone a Cardinal.

  • Jeannine

    I apologize for my grammatical mistakes which made my posting a little unclear. So let me restate more clearly.

    Innocent life takes precedence over any other social justice issue. Cardinal Bernadin from Chicago who stated that all social justice issues are equal was wrong. Again I state how can there be other social justice concerns if there is no one around to be taken care of?

    Your example of climate change potentially killing millions is a poor example Potentially is the important word here. It has not happened & may not happen. (Scientists & others are working on it to make sure it never happens.) Abortion is taking place right now.  I’ll even go as far as saying abortion & euthanasia are represented characteristics of a dying culture.

    Romney was once pro-abortion because of a family member who died from an illegal abortion procedure. His heart was in the right place but misguided by circumstances. He later changed his mind based on scientific facts. Romney may have flip-flopped once but Obama has never changed his position. He is very much into innocent death based on what he said & how he voted. I would never vote for someone who is pro-death as Obama. And,  I don’t know of any American politician who is so pro-death like Obama.

  • Alan

    As I said, abortion is for me the number 1 issue, and if the choice were clearcut it would be a no-brainer.  But my impression (admittedly from afar) is that Romney has no strong views on it (though he is susceptible to pressure from other republicans), plus the fact that the president’s powers over an issue like this are limited (unlike in the UK, where the PM has far more power on domestic issues).  So, were I a voter in the US, I would have to weigh up the possibility that Romney might act on it, against other issues on which I would generally favour Obama.  The best hope would be an overturning of Roe v. Wade, but this is most unlikely to come about for a long time as it would require a turnover of Supreme Court justices.  The Senate and House elections might be more fruitful and relevant as far as the abortion issue is concerned.

  • Charles

     Your compassion for the poor has been manipulated by corrupt left wing politicians. The democrats don’t want the poor to escape poverty because the minute they do many would start voting republican. If liberal welfare programs worked, then poverty should have been ended by now as they’ve been in place since the 60′s; instead they just encourage the break up of the family and dependency on government. If you really want to help the poor, they must be offered the choice to get into the middle class through a good economy and education/training opportunities; both of these concepts have never been aided by the Democrats in my country.

  • aearon43

    Greetings from Chicago. The reason Catholics tend to vote Democrat is complex, and bound up in the historical experiences of Catholic immigrants in the US. If you’ve never had an up-close look at Chicago identity-group politics, then consider yourself lucky, but the experience remains influential (if somewhat dated).

    Let’s take the example of Anton Cermak, mayor of Chicago from 1931 until his assassination in 1933. Cermak was a Democrat, and a Czech immigrant from Austria-Hungary (so, likely a Catholic as well). During his campaign for mayor, “Big Bill” Thompson (then mayor, and the last Republican mayor), said things like this:

    “I won’t take a back seat to that Bohunk, Chairmock, Chermack or whatever his name is. Tony, Tony, where’s your pushcart at? Can you picture a World’s Fair mayor? With a name like that?”

    People in Chicago with names like Cermak, Murphy, Antonio, Thaddeus, Finkelstein, Maria, Zimnowodzki, Abraham,Voloshin,  etc. (not to mention Gonzalez, Morales, or Li) found a voice in the Democratic Party. There were precious few actual issues at stake — it was much more a matter of voting for the representation of your group.

    Things have changed, and the scrappy immigrant families of the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s are today’s professors, doctors, lawyers, and engineers. This is to some extent due to the help of the Democrats. The Democratic Party deserves respect for its role in the civil rights movement, and in promoting women, as well. So there is this sentimental attachment to them among Catholics, and the residual sense that the Republicans represent the party of anti-immigrant Anglo-Saxon Protestantism.

    However, I am not so sure that this view of things reflects reality any longer. Mainline Protestantism is in decline, the “dead white men” of Britain and Germany were and are routinely demonized in the academy, blacks and other minorities enjoy the same rights as everyone else (roughly speaking), and non-religious secularism seems to be enjoying something of an upward trend. The world is a very different place.

    The battles for racial tolerance have largely been won, and so the Democrats have moved on to what they perceive as the next “front” in the battle against bigotry: homosexuality, abortion, etc. I believe that if Catholics were to analyze the issues disinterestedly, they would find that it is the Republican Party that now better represents them. And, indeed, Obama has lost many supporters among Catholics, as well as among Jews. But I think this residual immigrant insecurity remains, especially in Chicago. The fear of “breaking ranks” and betraying your race, identity, and family. It is a powerful force, of which I am sure the Democrats are aware. 

  • aearon43

    Why do you attack the authority of the Roman Catholic Church?

  • aearon43

    It sounds like you would be more comfortable at a Protestant church.

  • aearon43

    “Carter” means “worker,” right? Your ancestors made carts, or something?

  • aearon43

    The bishops have strongly hinted toward Romney. Not that there is anything really praiseworthy in him, just not quite as bad as Obama.

  • aearon43

    Remind me, “Carter” means what again? Is it “person who makes shoes, lacks breeding, and talks like a woman?”

  • JabbaPapa

    Possibly his ancestors drove the carts that were used in mediaeval times to drive heretics out of town in public shame …

  • aearon43

    Interesting, I actually wrote a long post about the historical reasons why Catholics vote Democrat, but it was deleted… apparently the author is less interested in actual answers to his question and more in feel good affirmation, a la “Benedict Carter,” our hero “trad” with a rather common surname?

    I think this site might have got on my anti-aristocratic “bad list.” If you want to be associated with the underclass, that is your business, but I prefer not to be contaminated by the horribly-bred and uneducated.

  • aearon43

    It’s great that we have a little Carter to tell princes of the Church what to do. I’m guessing that after your shift carting boxes or whatever it is you do, you have some time to spare to educate the cardinals, eh, Carter?

  • JabbaPapa

    Pander to the ignorant and mentally unstable all you like.

    If the moderators were to do that, you’d be welcomed in here with VIP red carpet treatment.

  • aearon43

    Unlike your Benedict Carters here I actually have an education. I attempted to use such to answer the question posed but apparently this is a “trad” forum populated by half-breeds, plebians, and Americans.

  • aearon43

    It is a hissy fit. You’re not an educated person, Carter. You inevitably filter your meager insights through a sensationalist lens. You are quite a commoner, and I wish you would just shut up.

    There are many people both better-bred and better-educated than you. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about most of the time. You’re cheap.

    You need to recognize that with a name like Carter you’re pretty low in any hierarchy, whether it’s the Church, Euro-aristocracy, or international academy. I am quite sure based on your comments here that you did not attend an elite college.

    Learn your place, Carter; you’re becoming very tedious.

  • Dd

    how can any Catholic vote for the Republicans, they have not achieved anything pro-life domestically and have been so pro-death internationally?
    And what about Romney? His pro-choice record is so impressive that even many democratic politiotions may envy him. And he has now recentrly confirmed that there is no anti-abortion legislation on his agenda.

  • Kevin

    That is ludicrous. If a Republican anti-abortion initiative fails it is typically because it has been impeded by Democrats such as Barack Obama.

    And what do you mean “pro-death internationally”? Republicans do not support China’s one child policy. It was a Democrat president who bombed Belgrade and started “Monica’s War”. It was a Democrat president who bombed Libya when the leader of that country had come over to America’s side in the war against global terrorism. Are you saying it is a sin to fight global terrorism?

    If Romney has no anti-abortion policy, why are Obama and Biden promoting Planned Parenthood and Roe v. Wade at every opportunity?

  • Parasum

    You got there first.

     I want to know - and here I’m using traditional & Catholic criteria, not natalist ones – how Dr Oddie can in his wildest dreams expect Catholics to vote for a Mormon  who has been a bishop in his cult. If trivia like being an adherent of a false & blaspheming cult founded by a false prophet, notorious liar & polygamist whose pseudo-Scriptures are demonstrably and laughably fake, and having a proven record of being as “pro-life” as Tony Blair, aren’t enough to keep Romney from being preferred to Obama, then nothing is. Mormonism is a spiritual plague, therefore far worse than abortion – & Obama is far more distantly related to abortion than Romney is to the muich greater evil of Mormonism. Therefore Obama is worse. This inversion of priorities is typical of the Nu-Church inability to think in a Catholic manner.  

    Mitt is a polytheist, if he is a sincere believing Mormon. He also believes in a god (not, be it noted, in God) who having once been a man became a god, and in due course inserted his male member into the Virgin Mary. Mitt may think that Elohim the the fornicating adulterer with a bastard son is Christian belief – but not among Christians. If Mitt is not a sincere believing Mormon, then he is a hypocrite and a liar – just the qualities ideal in a POTUS. Allegedly. So much for honesty & integrity. If Obama is no better, how is Romney better than Obama ? It is Romney’s cult that industriously perverts the text & meaning of the Bible, poisoning souls in the process. It is his cult that declares Satan to be the brother of Jesus. Islam is Catholic orthodoxy itself, compared to the fraud that is Mormonism.  

    And this is the man a leading Catholic journalist would have Catholics in the US vote for.

  • graham

    Just because certain policies of the incumbent president are immoral doesn’t mean his rival (notice the lack of plural here in the American system) should automatically get the support of the Catholic electorate. Is the individualistic and materialistic philosophy of Romney very Catholic? Is Romney going to do something about abortion that GW Bush didn’t? There is a debate to be had and maybe Romney would get my vote but it wouldn’t be blindly, enthusiastically or positively given.