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The Catholic vote

The Catholic vote

but will they vote in larger numbers and against Obama this year?

I’m not really in a position to assess that, so enlighten me.


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I would say some will definitely. I am from a predominantly Catholic region in upstate PA where folks still keep a candle burning under a picture of JFK and have a magnetic attraction to the D lever. I tend to believe most of these folks were not sold on Obama to begin with. I don’t see them signing on for four more years.

kbob_in_katy | April 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Professor, as a Catholic, I can’t answer the question because I don’t know what motivated them last time. As an American, I can’t see why anyone who cares about the future of the country, and the world in general would vote for him.

That said, the ancillary question, for me at least, is what about the Jewish vote? Will he win that again, despite his pandering to muslims and his shoddy treatment of Israel? Beyond that, how could anyone with a shred of knowledge of how diplomacy works vote for obama? He seems to go out of his way to treat our allies like enemies while treating our enemies like friends.

Four more years and we will be so far behind the power curve that we might not ever recover.


ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς

    Browndog in reply to kbob_in_katy. | April 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς


    “Either with your shield, or on it”


    Milhouse in reply to kbob_in_katy. | April 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Yes, he will get the Jewish vote. Not as much of it as he did four years ago, but enough of it. Because most Jews know less than nothing about Judaism, and are convinced that voting Republican is the worst sin a Jew can possibly commit. Most Jews believe that all Republicans are Evangelicals, and all Evangelicals are evil antisemites who only pretend to support Israel because they want to bring about Armageddon, or because they want to convert Jews, or both. And because the holy Wall of Separation of Church and State is all that protects us from the return of the Spanish Inquisition.

    Even 0bama’s treatment of Israel won’t make an impact on a lot of Jews, who have been successfully convinced that it’s un-Jewish to side with Israel, and that the correct Jewish position is to side with the poor oppressed Palestinians.

My guess is devout Catholics will overwhelmingly reject Obama. The CINO’s (Catholic in name only), however, are unpredictable.

    So what is the ratio of CINOs to Devouts? Forgive me because I grew attending an evangelical church and one thing we knew for sure was the direction of political winds within the church.

    I have relatives who are catholic and when attending Sunday Mass with them (yeah, they are old fashioned) I was impressed with the friendly chatter among parishioners but somehow politics never seemed to raise its ugly head.

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a priest bring up anything that one might consider to be political, but the Obama contraceptives mandate got my priest up there a few weeks back. If the SCOTUS doesn’t strike down ObamaDoesn’tCare, it will get really ugly by November (and even worse later).

    The bishops haven’t had a real chance to play “chicken” with the government and the government has no idea what these bishops will do. They will shutdown all Catholic hospitals, schools and charities. They will keep them closed. In the cities, it will cost the state and local governments dearly.

    From this standpoint, having the SCOTUS strike down ObamaDoesn’tCare would help Obama.

I live in a fairly liberal city in California and I heard a homily last week where the priest came out of nowhere and not only blasted the administration for the HHS rule but for the deficit and for moral decline of the nation. But the name Obama is never said. Every weekly bulletin passed out on Sundays has a large font statement against what HHS is doing. Again, no mention of Obama.

I hear the progressive Catholics squawking about Romney in social circles. But the Bishops statements that to follow HHS rules re contraception is a sin, puts the progressives in a very awkward position. They dare not say anything openly in favor of Obama. It is now like directly contradicting a church teaching. This is just not done in circles of the faithful.

But I think Obama is playing a game here as he is so often. The Obama is right now building up the base. HHS will relent on these rules well before the fall. There are some 68,000,000 Catholics in the U.S. Many of these are loyal democrats, why would he risk the votes. The hard left in the end has no where else to go.

    Aggie95 in reply to Malonth. | April 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    They don’t have to go anywhere but stay home …obama won with about 4 % of the vote and we don’t have to win that 4 % just convince them to stay home

    Milhouse in reply to Malonth. | April 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    The priest didn’t mention 0bama because as a tax-exempt not-for-profit the church can’t endorse or rule out any candidate for office. It can’t tell you who to vote for or against; it can merely present its view on the issues and let you draw your own conclusions. Of course the priest is entitled to give you his opinion in his private capacity, but not when he’s acting in his official capacity. (The truth is that in his official capacity he is allowed to condemn 0bama’s policies, or even 0bama as a person; he just can’t say how you should therefore vote. But your priest is probably playing it safe by not mentioning him at all.)

      ThomasD in reply to Milhouse. | April 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

      Of course the priest is entitled to give you his opinion in his private capacity…

      That is a fair general assessment from a governmental point of view. And for many other Christian sects it may be entirely accurate. But a Catholic priest is literally ‘always on duty’ and although he certainly has a private life, when dealing with a parishioner he is never acting in a ‘private’ capacity.

        Milhouse in reply to ThomasD. | April 16, 2012 at 11:04 am

        He can always say “I’m speaking now as a private person, not as an employee of the Church.” Then he’s covered by the first amendment.

I was raised Catholic by Catholic parents who were also raised by Catholic parents, etc. going back generations. Most of my large extended family is not interested in politics but vote Democrat because “that’s what my Daddy did”. The picture of my grandfather posing proudly with Ted Kennedy in the early 60s is enough for them.

There is very little that could persuade them from voting for the Democrat on the ticket because they simply do NOT pay attention. The few conservatives in the family are outnumbered about 10-1. I do not see this really changing no matter how bad it gets but I’m crossing my fingers we win over maybe one or two.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

This time Catholic Central will not be setting the end price for the sale.

$47 looks to be the current market price .

But the DCC had better pay or else they won’t leave the ballot box.

The Church took far too long to assert itself upon itself in America.

Not too late?

God willing…..

Generations of my family have been raised Catholic, school, Sunday dinner and all. My mom even asked the priest if she could use birth control after bearing three children with genetic defects. This is a hammer I will use on all of my relatives who still think the Democratic party is the same one JFK belonged to. After all the years of listening to Catholic guilt, it is my turn to spread some, big time.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Moe4. | April 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Cheer uo Moe . Now Catholics would advise an abortion.

    But really – she ought to have started thinking for herself. Don’t blame religion.

Beautiful and inspiring ad. Makes me want to vote for Newt Gingrich.

At least one devoted Catholic has suggested the principal issue that they will consider is the preservation of human life. That is rejection of elective, and perhaps all, abortions. Since Romney has demonstrated pro-choice acquiescence, if not out-right pro-choice himself, his history engenders distrust on this principal issue. The Catholic’s reasoning is that while the Democrats, comprised of liberals and progressives, are a lost cause, the only viable alternative, Republicans and specifically classical liberals (e.g. libertarians), cannot be offered incentive to rule as Democrats. This does not, however, extend to their economic policies, which he seems to prefer, despite my own misgivings that in their current form they are principal sponsors of corruption.

That said, the Catholic church is by design a central authority. This organization predisposes it to realize its faith in left-wing ideology, despite the underlying principle of its faith which states that each member will be subject to an individual judgment of conscience. In the past century, American Catholics deferred their dignity and wealth to favor the state. It is only now when their control and influence is being tested and marginalized that they have seen fit to protest these new and conflicting interests.

Recently, two prominent pro-life organizations offered their endorsements to Romney, despite his failing to sign a pro-life pledge. I will always vote for the lesser evil in hope that eventually there will be something better. Apparently, I am not alone in my pragmatism. We need to preserve the dignity of life both inside and outside the mother’s womb. Hopefully, the Catholics recognize the corruption in their past and why it was a progressive condition.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to n.n. | April 15, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    n.n. – Yep they did. And I cannot imagine what on earth possessed the Susan B. Anthony list and the National Right to Life to trust their good names to endorse Flip N Lie Romney.

    They each got two letters from me – one short and scathing telling them their endorsement now meant about as much as the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The other had links to videos, articles, etc.. I hope they got their demands in writing and demanded a couple of million in escrow if he broke his contract with them. Romney’s word is worthless.

    That is a great video, Professor Jacobson. I sent it along to the church blogs I frequent.

    As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, it’s been divided, especially since Obama (the great divider) has taken office.

    The teachings have not changed…because they are Biblical. Abortion has been against all Judeo-Christian teaching since God gave His Law and made Himself a people.

    The Church has lost power and authority, however. Part of the problem is the Church itself. The abuse scandals and cover-ups have cost the church credibility, power and trust…and has divided the church more than contraception.

    Sadly, as many Catholics get abortions and use contraception as Protestants according to studies. There is a big group called American Catholic Council that is an umbrella group for many of the discontents and dissenters against traditional RC teachings. They want women and married priests, same-sex marriage, and LBGTetc to be recognized and affirmed by the Church. This crowd would probably have an apoplectic fit just watching this video.

    The short answer – there is no huge voting block. However, the pendulum is swinging back and the younger people do not support abortion as much as their parents did. The influx of Hispanics has increased the number of traditional voters among Catholics so I hear.

    All this is hearsay, and some observation, since I am only half-catholic on my father’s side, was brought up Protestant in my mother’s church, though I attended Catholic school and have attended a lot of community interdenominational Bible studies and events at several local Catholic churches.

      From what I have read, Romney is pro-choice by a democratic consensus. Neither pro-choice nor the well known “RomneyCare” can be strictly attributed to his will. The most undesirable characteristics of the latter were forced through by a Democrat legislature. If anything, he has affirmed his principles over the years. He may well prove to be one of our more successful presidents. He is, after all, not the first Republican president to overcome challenges throughout his life, including his time in the civil service. Unlike Obama and other Democrat leaders he abstains from coercing compliance to the point of contravening the law. There are no guarantees, but it is safe to say he is the lesser evil, and hopefully something better. We need a government which at least favors American principles and interests. In that regard, any one of the Republican candidates, Romney, Gingrich, and Paul should suffice.

kbob_in_katy | April 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Mr. Browndog, you correctly translated the phrase. Some of us who have worn the uniform and lived the life for an extended period understand that war is an ugly thing, but if it is lost, it is uglier.

Mr. Obama, his lovely bride and their coterie of effete, elitist socialistic snobs have taken the nation down a path that is reminiscent of what pilots refer to as a “death spiral.” We are spiraling faster and faster, accelerating toward the point where we will not be able to pull out and return to anything close to what would pass for normal.

Couple his fiscal ignorance (and that of his team) with his abomination of an Attorney General who refuses to even investigate incidents that are clearly actionable, while pleading ignorance of the actions of his department….and while I could go on, you probably know more than I do, as I am just a soldier and try to stay on the periphery of events and pay attention.

I am, though, a sheepdog. Maybe older, but I still respond and go to the sound of the guns. See

Never forget: “There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.”
– Edmund Burke
“Reflections on the Revolution in France”


When my husband and I attended a church in Venice, Fl while on vacation, the priest talked about the mandate. He said that all the bishops agreed that it would be talked about in every church that Sunday, and that they very seldom all agreed on anything. So I wonder if it’s going to be a factor in the election?

not catholic so may be way off base but I think they awakened a sleeping giant.

As a Catholic, I warned against fighting this fight for religious institutions to get an exception to the policy. That’s BS. So, if the Church and its institutions get an exception, what about the lay Catholic who owns a company, the Baptist factory owner, or the atheist businessman who also opposes these rules on moral grounds?

Under the bus, that’s where. It is every big a sin to carve out a safe exception for the church alone as it is to condone the policy. The rule must be rescinded for ALL policies, as the new rule quietly announced that EVERY policy sold through a state insurance exchange MUST include a $1 per month surcharge to provide full abortion coverage – no exceptions.

You cannot compromise with evil.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Estragon. | April 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I am ?have been a keen observer of different health systems (I once did A Health Education dip).

    Every society garners & distributes the health $ as it sees fit.

    few systems have it so tied to employment & where a private person buying is wholly disadvantaged.

    An idea is for employers to provide a voucher which you can take to competing insurance firms & choose suitable policies. Not too complicated A B or C (maybe d ).

    Gonna happen? No . Not until Americans wean themselves off Victimhood & a life of previously unknown syndromes & chronic ailments . And you shoot all lawyers but william.

Well, there were about 6-700 people at the Religious Freedom at the Courthouse in Lucas County (hard core blue territory) a few weeks ago. It was noon on a Friday. I was shocked at the number. But let’s be honest. Doctors’ groups, Catholic groups, AARP–they all sat back and did nothing when Obama was pushing Obamacare because they thought they’d profit or it wasn’t that big a deal. Now they’re paying the price. Hope it’s not too late.

President Obama definitely woke the giant. Our church never discusses politics, but may during an election, give a summary of the candidates stance on abortion.

This is something that I have never seen in all the years that I have attended weekly mass (over 50 yrs.).

Already twice this year we have had bulletin inserts going into detail what the Obama Administration is doing.

The most recent insert comes from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I can tell you, there is definitely going to be an ongoing battle!

At the bottom of this insert it states: THIS IS WHY WE ARE PRAYING TO ST. MICHAEL AT EVERY MASS (yes, it’s in all caps)

Here is the prayer, as it was in our bulletin:
A Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
for the Freedom of the
Catholic Church in America

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and
snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host-
by the Divine Power of God-
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the
ruin of souls.

Yup, there is definitely going to be a battle. Everyone should take the time to watch Rick Warren’s interview with Jake Tapper on Easter Sunday. He’s backing the Catholic Church as well.

SoCA Conservative Mom | April 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I wonder if there are more Catholics who will pull the D lever out of habit and cluelessness, or people from all walks of life who want government out of their lives and to leave them the h*ll alone? My formally Catholic husband always votes R. My dad was Catholic and a life long R. My mom is foreign born and always votes R.

Michael Voris, at, has often spoken out against Obama:

“Obama and Evil”

“Obama and Catholic Traitors”

“Taxation Immorality”

“Round up the Catholics!”

And those are just from last October.

Catholics don’t vote as Catholics. If anything, they vote as Latinos or Irish would because they are Latinos or Irish. It’s usually more about geography.

I’m in my mid sixties and am a lifelong Catholic. To me, Obamacare was simply the icing on the cake. This administration has been destructive of religious and American values from day one. I am hopeful that Catholic voters will appreciate the full range of atrocities of this administration and vote accordingly.

We don’t need to break voters into groups, Catholic or otherwise. Obama will lose, people are wise to his BS and have had enough. There will be ups and downs between now and election day, but the bottom line is Romney will be the next President. Independent voters will vote against Barack in droves. Self interest is a powerful motivator and and most voters will decide it is in their self interest to dump Obama.

Also, let me say something as a Catholic. It would help Republicans with Catholics if so many Republicans weren’t still Catholic-hating WASPs. Just read the comment threads at the conservative blogs. Ugly.

It’s not just conservatives that the Republicans hate, it’s just about anyone who isn’t a white Anglo Saxon protestant. Just any Huckleberry supporter what they think of Catholics (or Mormons or Jews for that matter).

    Taxpayer1234 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Exactly. I’ve sparred with a lot of conservatives who love everyone–except Catholics. We’re those dirty Papists who worship idols, etc. What flaming ignorance.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Taxpayer1234. | April 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      That’s a two-way street – I’ve been jumped on by Catholics on blogs too. We all need to realize that when people disagree with us, it’s not necessarily ‘HATE’ – just a different opinion. If you say to some folks, I don’t agree about a point of theology – you get called a name… it is disrespectful and does not promote good will. I’m sorry some blogs have made you feel bad.

        NC Mountain Girl in reply to Uncle Samuel. | April 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        I now live where the Catholics are even outnumbered by Seventh Day Adventists and I never hear any anti-Catholic bigotry. Indeed a few years back when I broke my leg my recovery was prayed for at the local independent Baptist church. And yes. they all know I am Catholic because of the statues of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the garden.

          You are relating a specific situation which is probably more typical than not. The problem is that the loudest among us who populate blog threads or carry bullhorns spew anti-Catholic bigotry with no fear of consequences. If America, it is cool to be anti-Catholic.

        Why do so many Catholics feel obliged to declare that they are “recovering” from their Catholic upbringings? Oh those terrible nuns and strict parents! That all-encompassing sense of guilt has completely screwed up their lives! It’s the Catholic version of “self-loathing Jews”.

    ThomasD in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I find your comment is as offensive as it is false.

    I’m a lifelong Catholic, conservative (classically liberal really), and have been affiliated with the Republican party in most places I’ve lived (FL, MT, AZ, ID, and TN.)

    While I’ve certainly encountered some ignorance regarding the actual teachings and operation of the Church (mostly ignorance, sometimes willful misinformation) I have rarely encountered any degree of hatred from conservatives or republicans.

    No my experience of hatred, bigotry, and xenophobia has largely been from the hard core leftists and progressives I’ve known. That is one insular bunch that will brook no dissent.

      Obviously, your taking offense (seriously, aren’t we sensitive) at my comments is not based on what can be observed on Republican (not conservative, Republican) blogs every day. Would you like to begin a discussion about the pope’s Easter message to test this?

      Apparently, my PERSONAL experience has been much different than yours. If that offends you, you have a problem don’t you?

Taxpayer1234 | April 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I HOPE Catholics will come to their senses and vote Republican. I’m the only one in my very large Catholic family who is conservative. It’s an uphill battle, indeed.

Cinderellastory | April 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I grew up Catholic. Many Catholics are against the death penalty and pro choice (read pro abortion). Go figure. When it comes to politics a Catholics blue blood is thicker than holy water.

I too come from a large Catholic and Democratic family. I have had to listen to “Democratic” talk for years. It is curiously quiet at family occasions now. Very little politics discussed. I don’t know if they will vote Republican but they sure don’t flaunt their views like they used to.

I am distraught over the Catholic Church’s flip flop on the healthcare mandate. A mere 3 years ago we were including a offering of prayers every Sunday for Obama and the mandate and now it’s considered a sin to support it. You can’t have it both ways, the Church in bed with the Govt, preaching ‘Social Justice’ and the traditional Doctrine of the Church.

Talk about a unmitigated disaster. After 10 years of sex scandals, now were cleaning up the religious crony capitalism (ex. Catholic hospitals, universities and charities-elder care, child care). Amen.

Now in our church we continue to pray for the Supreme Court to overturn ObamaCare and for our constitutional right of religious freedom. I think the most obedient Catholics are listening and will vote against Obama, this time. The CINO’s here in MA, will remain predictable.

One of the reasons Franco was willing to plunge Spain into civil was was that socialist were murdering Catholic priests and nuns. While Franco turned out to be a dictator, Spain did manage to return to a republic after he died, instead of continuing in a dictatorship. The problem now is that there are too many in the Catholic Church who are willing to take positions contrary to Catholic teaching. My guess is there will be some winnowing in the future.

If the Bishops closed the Catholic hospitals, who would be surprised if 0bama declared a national state of emergency, mobilized troops, and forced the hospitals open.

Back in the 70’s, when I was thick in the evangelical, fundamentalist movement, one question was “If you were charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to get a conviction?” I hope that I am living my life, now as a Catholic, in such a way that such a conviction would be easy to come by. If you want to find me on Sunday morning, I’m at Mass. Don’t call, the phone is in the car and I’m not.

strawberrygirl | April 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I live in an area that is spiritually blah and I nearly fell out of my seat when our pastor actually talked about the govt encroaching on religious freedom last weekend. Considering he was raised in communist Poland I have often wondered why he was so blind to the obvious.

My one glimmer of hope was when a hard core lib Catholic friend with whom I have always sparred with re Catholic teaching and politics announced on facebook that her primary vote for santorum had been wasted since he dropped out. I was shocked. Unless she was doing operation chaos she has seen some light.

As a practicing Catholic I have read that only 25% of Catholics go to Sunday Mass. Like others, the Miami Diocese sent out several weeks of full page information on the HHS mandate with the weekly bulletin. EWTN(Catholic TV network) is very active in informing Catholics about this issue. Cardinal Dolan(in NY) has been surprisingly strident in his recent interviews and many devout Catholics listen when he speaks. My Democrat parents and siblings are democrats first and Catholics second, sadly.

I knew a guy who was rabidly Democrat. We were discussing some issue and he made the statement, “I was a Democrat before I was a Christian.” His parents did a good job, didn’t they?

In 2004 I had a guy in his early 20s working for me. Raised Democrat. We discussed issues. 100% of the time, he was on the same side of the issues as Bush. In the end, he could not bring himself to pull the lever for a Republican.

I’m not hopeful for our country.

Well I hope the comments above clear up the matter for you Prof. I think well-intentioned Catholics of a more liberal slant came out to the polls in 2008 to put in an African-American. I think that group is less likely to turn out this year because the civil rights motivation is much less palpable, and the HHS mandates make it hard to come to the polls at all in 2012. Liberal Catholics may be soft on abortion, but they’re not so soft on religious freedom — I think they stay home.

If the vote were held Tuesday, I think the Catholic swing vote would be enough to remove Hussein. That’s due to the mandate and the Rosen indiscretion. But…

The Bishops are mostly socialists. (Many are poofters, too.) They supported ObamaCare and decades of welfare programs, and hence, most pew-sitters are socialist sympathizers. I suspect the bishops are trying to find a way to support Hussein without losing face. For example, in March they released a letter condemning the mandate, but tying it to a pitch for protecting illegal aliens. This is troubling because they’ve done this duality trick before. Recall the “seamless garment” gibberish that tied abortion to the death penalty. That false dichotomy still has yet to fade away completely.

Today Obama would lose the Catholic swing, but November is hard to predict.

    Milwaukee in reply to JerryB. | April 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    There are some liberal bishops, to be sure. But the direction the Church is moving is towards more orthodox bishops. This pope, Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor are mostly avoiding selecting liberal bishops. My observation is that the priest-sex-abuse scandals were worse in the more liberal dioceses. Milwaukee being a good example of a too liberal diocese, and is now in very serious financial condition. The Diocese of Denver dealt very directly and forthrightly with that scandal, has not had the same problems as Milwaukee.

    “The Bishops are mostly socialists. (Many are poofters, too.) “ is not true now, and never was true.

    By the way, the distinction isn’t “conservative” but “orthodox”, as in:
    1. of, pertaining to, or conforming to the approved form of any doctrine, philosophy, ideology, etc.
    2. of, pertaining to, or conforming to beliefs, attitudes, or modes of conduct that are generally approved.
    3. customary or conventional, as a means or method; established.
    4. sound or correct in opinion or doctrine, especially theological or religious doctrine.
    5. conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early church. “

      JerryB in reply to Milwaukee. | April 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      I grew up in Milwaukee! Weakland was a poofter, so was Bernadine right next door. There are more, but that’s getting off topic. I brought it up because it definitely influences their political leanings.

      How do you define socialist? The bishops, almost to a tee, support the gov stealing money from Peter and handing it to Paul. They call it “social justice.” They’ve been on board since FDR, through Johnson, and now Obama. If it wasn’t for the mandate …

      As for or·tho·dox (how’s that pronounced?), redistribution of wealth is unequivocally condemned by several popes, including Leo XIII and Pius XI. Any bishop who argues for “taking” from Peter to “help” Paul is not awr-thuh-doks.

NC Mountain Girl | April 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

The politics of Catholics varies from diocese to diocese, by age and by education /occupation. The practicing Catholics I know who worked in the business world as managers and technicians are Republicans. On the other hand, practicing Catholics who work in education, social services and the arts often loathe Republicans. Increasing the most liberal clergy tend to be doddering on the point of senility as vocations have trended conservative for several decades now. Younger Catholics also tend to be more conservative, often because many older CINO have let their own children go largely unchurched.
Even some conservative minded Catholics were fooled in 2008. The media kept abortion off the table and Obama hit all the right notes when he talked on other issues of concern to many Catholics. (I often sensed the handiwork of his toxic buddy Michael Pfleger in Obama’s choice of words before Catholic audiences.) Eyes started to open during the passage of Obamacare when several Catholic congressmen broke campaign promises never to support a health care reform bill that didn’t also protect the unborn. These Catholics voters made their unhappiness known in 2010 and they certainly won’t be fooled in 2012. I also think some Catholics on the extreme left have been turned off by the corrupt crony capitalism endemic to this White House. Obama’s profligate statism has been the opposite of the frugal subsidiarity these types value -and what Obama promised them in 2008.
The fellow Catholics I know who are still keen on Obama tend to be old farts of the variety nicely described by Roger L. Simon when he recently wrote about squares from the 50s and 60s who now vote liberal. These Catholics regret not being cool enough back then and are loath to be thought uncool today. Therefore this bloc is far more likely to heed the morons the watch in the media over their bishops.

It’s far more complicated that that, I hate to break it to you. Catholics tend to come in 2 flavors, Liberal (also secular) Catholics who tend to adhere to the social justice teachings moreso than anything and conservative catholics who tend to focus more on personal responsibility and personal charity. Never the to shall meet.
I’m more or less personna non grata at the liberal Catholic meetings these days. I can go but I have to put on my “Happy fun face!” in which ObamaCare is good for the country and the birth control mandate is an “acceptable trade off” or (more often) “A good thing, because those old clods of bishops don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Sadly bishop hate (open hate no less) his becoming more an more prevelent at organizations that claim to hold catholic principles in high regard. The younger crowd is trying to turn this around, but it’s really an uphill battle.
No keep in mind, I’m not exactly the shining example of conservatie catholic myself. I’ve argued with others that the prohibtion against birth control rests on a highly academic distinction and that there is a proper role for hormonal birth control within the context of marriage. (Oddly this makes me personna non grata at the Conservative Catholic Meetings too, so I’m a man without a country as it were.)
So the long and short of it is, that I don’t think the Catholic distinction will have much play in the long run of this election. It might pull some people off the bench who are irked at the relgious freedom issue and it might put some on the bench who are just burned out, but the division is already done in the church.
FWIW, 2 points: One I don’t think the hospitals will get shut down, they’re not owned by the diocese and a little goolging will tell you that the largest organization representing said Catholic hospitals isn’t as angry as it should be about this mandate.
Secondly, the bishops aren’t as socialistic as you think. The major problem comes from the fact that the USCCB allows self chosing of committees so people chose the one their most fired up by, leading to a skew. I believe 2 things: 1) The bishops are starting to see that this whole mixture of church values and state values isn’t working out real well since this government is not the ideal one as defined by Lock and Aquinas, it’s more Hobbsian in nature. 2) The next generation of priests (who will be the next generation of bishops) sees this, and will roll back a lot of what’s happening within the church.

Professor, the Catholic hierarchy is engaged and driving the campaign against the ACA mandates and the right of conscious provisions. THE AUTHORITATIVE VOICE of the Catholic Church in America, the Unites States Council of Catholic Bishops, is led by recently appointed Cardinal Dolan, and is strongly engaged and directing the effort.

A Tsunami of opposition is being built which is unprecedented in the modern American Catholic community. C-I-N-Os will do whatever, but I increasingly believe we will see reflections of practicing Catholics falling in line with what the USCCB says.

Multiple announcements and interviews have been given, as alluded to in some of the earlier comments. Late last week

A Fortnight For Freedom: Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, A Statement on Religious Liberty

Stalin once said: “The Pope! How many divisions has he got?” Our very own Stalin will soon, if he hasn’t started already, be wondering the same thing.

PDF here.
I read this latest letter to the laity and to all pro-First Amendment Americans as a ‘mobilization order.‘ In particular, the letter calls for a series of actions from 21 June through 4 July to be dedicated to a “Fortnight For Freedom” and specifically exhorts “writers, producers, artists, publishers, filmmakers, and bloggers employing all the means of communications—both old and new media—to . . . use their skills and talents in defense of our first freedom.

The letter is masterfully written. I had to initially read it several times to grasp the interlocking arguments, the appeals and the overall construct. In fact, every time I have re-read it, I see something new (now about half-a-dozen times). Using religious leaders from the the Pope, to John Carroll to MLK to God himself, and making appeals to intellect and reason from both within and without politics and religion, the letter is tremendously and skilfully crafted.

Cardinal Dolan is the Pope’s Theater Commander, and Bishop Lori is Dolan’s Task Force Commander. It is an impressive and geographically dispersed group of Archbishops and Bishops working with Archbishop Lori in the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty:

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Philadelphia
Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta
Most Rev. John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul–Minneapolis
Most Rev. Thomas J. Rodi, Archbishop of Mobile
Most Rev. J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle
Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown
Most Rev. Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Brownsville
Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix
Most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield, IL

Bishop Consultants
Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
Most Rev. Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of Stockton
Most Rev. Joseph P. McFadden, Bishop of Harrisburg
Most Rev. Richard E. Pates, Bishop of Des Moines
Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne–South Bend

Cardinal Dolan has smartly moved some of his most able men to the front lines for tactical direction. Make no mistake, Cardinal Dolan knows exactly where he is headed. . . Voldemort, I’m not so sure.

If the ACA is upheld, then the timing of the Fortnight For Freedom places it soon thereafter the USSC decision (if I have my sense of timing correct). If the ACA is overturned, the FFF will serve to underscore the correctness of the decision, encourage further opposition to the regime and further empower those in the trenches, strengthening their personal & spiritual commitment.

As the recent success of the 23 March Rally for Religious Freedom demonstrated, many previously-on-the-sidelines Catholics and others similarly interested in preserving First Amendment guarantees, were only awaiting a call. The next Rally for Religious Freedom will be 8 June, perhaps coincident with a USSC ACA decision.

The Tsunami builds.


Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Baptist, Atheist, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Gay, Straight, Woman, Man, Married, Single, Stay at Home Mom, Working Mom, College educated, Farmer, Oil Worker, Carpenter, Business Owner, Employee, Professional, Union, Non-Union, Rich, Poor, Middle Class, Upper Class, Rural, Suburban, Urban, Artist, SUV, Prius, Meat Eater, Vegetarian, Bald, Hairy, Fat, Thin, Ugly, Cute, Gun Owner, Pacifist, etc.

I’m sick of people getting grouped into some category (I’m sure I overlooked a bunch of deserving groups) by the geniuses, and thereby deducing that they have the same group think.

How about the American voter?

Then, I think we can actually divide American voters into 3 distinct groups: Liberal, Conservative and Apathetic.

Pick a side, or stay Apathetic.

Subotai Bahadur | April 16, 2012 at 2:10 am

This Saturday I was a delegate to the Colorado State Republican Convention. I am not Christian, but in my teens I studied Catholicism thinking of converting. This was in the Tridentine, pre-Vatican II days. Incidentally, I am not anti-Christian, but I find that I lack the faith necessary.

At the Convention, the invocation was given by a Catholic bishop. It was a call to arms to defeat Socialism in this country and protect freedom of worship, freedom of conscience, and the Rights of Americans and all men, which descend from God. He pledged that Catholics would stand shoulder to shoulder with others of faith. It was a call to war.

Thousands of delegates and alternates. Most were Protestant. And all were standing roaring their approval. There were Rebel Yells. And the conclusion was that the Catholic Church has gone to war …. on our side. And the reinforcements are welcome.

Subotai Bahadur

    Thanks for the encouraging report. Was the bishop James Conley? My sister-in-law knows him well. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he is anti-socialist. Also, he’d be happy to work on that faith thing with you 🙂

I went with a group of Catholics down to the “Stand-up for Religious Freedom rally”, and they were taking notes on my experiences as a Tea Party activist for 3 years. This is in Southern California, where there is a large contingent of Hispanic Catholics. I say, based on the evidence gathered by my own eyes, and the fact that all the churches in our area have had their pastors read the letter from our bishop, that Obama has lost the Catholic vote — completely and irrevocably. Details to back-up this opinion are:

The Church Militant Redivivus by Dr Paul Rahe.

for your consideration.

IMO there is not a “Catholic vote” in the same way there may be other block voters. Perhaps there might be in a country identified as a Catholic ountry but it seems like the RCC can’t even get consensus on basics likebc and abortion so why would they unify in the voting booth.

Perhaps the RCC hierarchy has allowed American Catholics to get away with being Chinese menu believers – “I agree with 2 church positions from list A and 1 from list B but I don’t agree with the rest of them.. How else to explain how people who support abortion can be perceived as Catholics in good standing and openly receive communion? For many Catholics adhering to Church positions on social issues is low on the totem pole because they think their prioritization is better than the Church’s.

I think the most you can say about a population of some 50 million Catholics is that they reflect the differences found in the total American population more than other groups defined by religion (evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, Jews, Mormons, etc.). As such, Catholics include more independents and swing voters than these other groups and, overall, are more likely to shift. My best guess would be that if Romney wins by 2 or 3 points, he will be winning among Catholics by 6 to 9.

If Romney wins Catholics by 6 to 9, he will win in a landslide. That would tip, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and maybe Michigan. Obama won Catholics by 4% in 2008. He will lose Catholics in 2012 in this practicing weekly Mass attending Catholic. Not sure if it will be 6 to 9 % yet, but the Bishops are going to go all in and that plus Obama’s incompetence will assure a swing of at least 5%.

Joseph Farnsworth | April 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Good question. But can a Catholic be a Social Darwinist and embrace the Darwinian Zeitgeist? Is this possible or MUST A CATHOLIC only support the “LEAST OF THESE” in the words of Christ? Can one respect property rights (or the demonstrated ability to rule a plot of land in a civilized manner) or must one always defer to the downtrodden? to the wretched masses? and support Liberation Theologies? Or is a Calvinist philosophy where success demonstrates Godliness acceptable to Catholics? But forget the Irish – they are turning their backs on Catholicism and, if LegalInsurrection be believed, supporting scurrilous Palestinians over Israelis.
Only Millhouse knows the answers to these questions.

    But can a Catholic be a Social Darwinist and embrace the Darwinian Zeitgeist?

    No. “Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.” (James 1:27) But one doesn’t satisfy this by forcing the obligation on someone else.

David R. Graham | April 17, 2012 at 2:17 am

BLUF: “The Catholic vote” will go to left-wing candidates.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has lost this one going in because they played nice at the start when it was obvious the administration intended to ram abortion and a host of other eliminationist actions down the nation’s throat. They “hoped” it would not be as bad as they suspected it might be. They should have been strong, trusting their sense of what was coming. Now they are too little too late.

And then there is the fact that “liberation theology,” Alinsky’s precursor and in direct descent from Marx and Lenin, arose in the Roman Catholic churches among Roman Catholic prelates, priests, professors and monastics. Leo XIII tried to keep the Roman Catholic church from going socialist (Rerum Novarum) while also supporting humane working conditions. He was not successful in that regard, at least not in the Americas.

And USA RC Bishops have been hand-in-glove with the Dems for decades. So they have no grounds on which to challenge the DNC/administration on anything, even if it abridges their prerogatives or constitutional freedoms. The RC Bishops in the USA have been leftist for decades. And they were so inept as to be flummoxed by that nun from, where was it?, PA — twice! They have neither a principle nor a skill to stand on.

The underlying reason for their weakness is the obsolescence of the parish structure as the central polity of the Church. The parish has been a negative influence spiritually, morally and culturally at least since the 1920s. And world-wide, too, not only in the USA. Bonhoeffer dealt with this phenomenon as best he could see. Tillich tried to address it in his last lecture. Hoekendijk too came out of WWII trying to visualize an organizational structure of the Church not parish-based. All denominational leadership cadres, all academics and most clerics have resolutely ignored the obsolesce of the parish since the late 60s, focusing instead on the diversions of race, gender, etc. — utter wastes of time, money and energy.