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Scott P. Richert

A Catholic Agenda for the Next Four Years

By November 9, 2012

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The 2012 U.S. presidential election surprised many Catholics, but it should not have. The result wasn't exactly predetermined, but the writing had been on the wall for many months. As far back as January 2012, I had predicted that President Obama would be reelected. The one real bump in the road came when his administration imposed the contraception mandate on religiously affiliated institutions, but in retrospect, choosing to announce that policy nine months before the election was a political stroke of genius, because it all but ensured that most of the outrage—most notably among Catholics—would die down before Election Day.

And looking at the exit-poll data, it had. President Obama's share of the Catholic vote dropped from 54 percent in 2008 to 50 percent, but that was enough to put him over the top. As in 2008, Catholics can be said to have provided the margin of victory for the most pro-abortion president in American history. This time around, of course, he had also proved himself virulently anti-Catholic: His choice of Joe Biden, a pro-abortion Catholic, as his running mate in 2008 was nothing compared with his choice of the rabidly pro-abortion Catholic Kathleen Sebelius as his secretary of Health and Human Services, nor his imposition, through Sebelius, of the contraception mandate, which threatens to put many Catholic institution—colleges and hospitals, especially—out of business, not to mention thousands of small businesses owned by Catholics who refuse to violate Church teaching.

Twenty-five percent of those who voted in this election identified themselves as Catholic; 11 percent say that they attend Mass weekly, and 13 percent say that they do not. (The numbers on Mass attendance do not add up to 25 percent because not all of those who identified themselves as Catholics revealed their attendance habits.) Not surprisingly, those who attend Mass weekly were less likely to vote for President Obama (42 percent) than the average Catholic, while those attend Mass less than weekly were more likely to do so (56 percent).

Why 42 percent of weekly Mass-going Catholics would vote for a man who has never hidden his support for the intrinsic evil of abortion is something of a mystery; there is no proportionate reason that would justify ignoring that fact. Those who pointed to President Bush's wars in 2008, and John McCain's willingness to continue to fight them, could not use that excuse this time: President Obama continued to prosecute the war in Iraq according to President Bush's timetable, and he actually stepped up the war in Afghanistan, which continues today. He added to those U.S. military action in Libya, which, like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was opposed by the Vatican.

In the end, of course, the reasons why 42 percent of weekly Mass-going Catholics voted for a man who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion hardly matters; what matters now is that this President, who has shown his willingness to challenge the Catholic Church in the United States head-on, now has four more years to do so. And no one should be surprised if his administration steps up its attacks on the Catholic Church and other traditional Christian denominations.

Opposing those attacks politically, of course, will be very important; but even more important is the recognition that, in the words of the motto of the monthly magazine that I edit, there are no political solutions to cultural problems. And the problem of abortion, and the increasing attacks on religious freedom, are, at root, cultural problems. The changing political life of the United States simply reflects the changing nature of our culture; and politics lags behind the culture, which means that the results of this election reflect a culture that is likely even farther removed from its traditional moorings than President Obama himself is.

Those who are dismayed by the results of this election and by the cultural shift that it reflects can do one of two things: They can spend their time complaining about other people who have undermined traditional culture, or they can do something about it, starting in their own homes and neighborhoods and parishes. They can wait for the 2016 election, and continue to put their trust in Republican politicians to save the country, or they can follow the words of the Psalmist (Psalm 146:3): "Put not your trust in princes: in the children of men, in whom there is no salvation."

In the wake of the 2008 election, I wrote extensively about the changes that could be wrought in the American political landscape if faithful Catholics were to vote only for candidates who broadly reflect Catholic social and moral teaching. (You can find links to those pieces at the end of this post.) I still believe that the only way to change the political landscape in the long term is to break out of the mindset that we must vote for the lesser of two evils, and only cast our votes for candidates whom we can positively support. Imagine if 25 percent of the population (all Catholics who voted) or even just 11 percent of the population (all weekly Mass-going Catholics who voted) had abstained from voting for either of the major-party candidates this year, because neither reflected (albeit in different ways) Catholic social and moral teaching. Had that happened, Catholics would have been the group of voters most sought after four years from now, and potential presidential candidates would have had to bring their own positions more closely in line with Catholic social and moral teaching.

But our efforts need to go beyond the voting booth. We cannot expect to judge political candidates by how closely they reflect Catholic social and moral teaching if we don't understand that teaching ourselves. If we reduce that teaching simply to opposition to abortion (because it is the most important moral issue of our time) and, for instance, dismiss the prosecution of unjust wars as merely a "prudential judgment" (without understanding what a prudential judgment entails), then both major parties can continue to take the Catholic vote for granted. The Republicans can continue to count on the votes of pro-life Catholics, without actually doing anything about abortion when they are in office; and the Democrats can continue to count on the votes of all other Catholics, while increasingly spitting in the face of the Catholic Church.

Our children need to embrace the fullness of the Catholic Faith. They need to understand what it entails beyond one hour at Mass every Sunday. But in order for them to understand that, we need to understand it first. And that means we need to start living our lives as if we believe that Christ is King—not just for one hour per week, but every moment of every day.

Do that, and the culture will begin to heal itself. Do that, and politics will begin to reflect a revitalized culture. Put not your trust in princes, and—oddly enough—we may begin to find that we have more princes we can trust.

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Comments
November 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm
(1) Paulissima says:

I realize the Catholic agenda of Pro-Life is what primarily weighs in on your argument. I respect you and read your column regularly. But there are many tenets of Catholicism that would forbid a Catholic to vote Romney. Single issue politics is shallow thinking. What about our calling to care for the poor and to help all those mothers who have all those babies they cannot take care of? Perhaps you and your wife are among the lucky few Catholics who never had sex before a sudden happy marriage; but there are real human beings in the world who have to take care of families without any help from a second parent, without love and support of an extended family, without even minimal education about health and diet. Do we simply want the babies born? Life begins at conception, yes; but does it end at birth?

November 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm
(2) diane says:

I am hearing that 49% of catholics voted for him? If so that is a failure in the leadership of the catholic church who does not want to get too involved in providing moral authority to the people. Where is the advertisements that speak for what is morally right and clearly defining that any candidate that is pro abortion should never ever be considered a viable one to vote for? Where are the priests and the bishops who should be loudly and clearly speaking out against the most pro abortion president in the history of the United States?
The priest at my aprish rarely if ever speaks against abortion or same sex marraige from the pulpit. Some say it is because the church does not want to offend anyone and loose donations. How then can someone heal after an abortion if they never hear a sermon against it and allow themselves an opportunity to seek Gods forgiveness. It is reprehensible. I voted my conscience and either many lack a conscience or they just do not care about the murder of the unborn. i pray to the Lord every day that the church steps up to the plate and does the right thing bu I have little hope of seeing it happen anytime soon.

November 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm
(3) Beth says:

It is interesting that you think Mitt Romney and his Mormon beliefs are a reflection of my Catholic beliefs,or that the Republican Party is on the Catholic Church’s side. In review of American history, the Republican party’s campaign tune when John F Kennedy ran for office was the Pope would be dictating to Americans if Kennedy was elected.
What method do you think would work best in regards to the abortion issue? Education or legislation?
Legislating morality does not work to solve the human weaknesses of gambling, drug use, smoking or other abusive health issues.
I don’t feel anyone is spitting in my face….that is sad if you think that way.
Catholics are not the only ones who know abortion is wrong. Let us continue to pray and set good examples for the males and females who think abortion is the only solution to their sexual life.

November 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm
(4) joan C Sherman says:

anyway Gov Romney won the popular vote I rather do this way than
electoral vote ,don’t you??
Did you see Medjugorje.com ??It is interesting Look at
http://www.mej.com Radio if you can hear
Have you read a book by mej?? very good

November 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm
(5) Joanne S. says:

The poor will actually suffer more now that Obama got re-elected, just as they have the last four years when poverty increased dramatically under his presidency. Why the GOP allows the Democrats to define them as caring for the rich and not for the middle class or the poor amazes me.

The church, for its part, also allowed the Dems to make the mandate all about contraception and not religious liberty. The bishops have vowed they will not obey the mandate, but that gives them only one other choice: abandon the poor they serve in soup kitchens, hospitals, Catholic charities, etc., etc. Did poor Catholics get that message?

Obama wins either way. His goal is to drive the Catholic Church out of health care and other services so the government can step in there as well. When his goal of socialism is fully realized, the rich will be less rich but the poor will be even poorer because the economy will not be sustainable.

Too many people are ignorant and vote for themselves rather than the common good. When the common good is not the goal, every individual suffers.

November 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm
(6) Joanne S. says:

I wrote a comment and hit “say it.” No confirmation it will be modified or posted. Did I just waste ten minutes of my time? It’s so frustrating to write something one thinks is important and then have it get lost.

Please fix this problem!

November 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm
(7) Joanne S. says:

After reading the other comments here, I can only say how frustrating it is to hear people suggest the Catholic Church only cares about a “single issue” and nothing about people after they are born. If Catholics really believe that about their church, then the work the Catholic church does, and has always done, must be the best kept secret in the world.

Have none of these people worked in church ministries that reach out to the poor, women in a seemingly crisis pregnancy, the refugee, the elderly, the homebound, the handicapped, the imprisoned, the immigrant, the dying, the addicted, the hungry, the homeless?

I realize we are supposed to be humble in our service, but the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the U.S. and in the world!!! Moreover, it helps the needy much more efficiently than government ever can or will, and is being punished simply because it serves the needy whether they are Catholic, another religion or no religion at all! (The irony is that our institutions would be exempt from the mandate if they only served Catholics!)

I’ve been involved in pro life “from conception to natural death,” and while I recoil at the barbaric slaughter of 4,000 unborn babies EVERY DAY in the U.S., I also am familiar with the church’s outreach in so many areas we rarely hear about. I am proud to be Catholic, but the bishops need to break the silence and speak the truth in love! The Catholic laity needs to support the bishops, and take the battle to the enemy.

The only thing I will agree with in the comments is that changing hearts, not legislation or politicial parties, will ultimately bring our culture back to one of life rather than death. Reading the comments is useful in addressing how this can happen.

November 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm
(8) Anthony says:

There was no surprise to anyone whose parish has been inundated with Latinos over these last 20 years, embraced by bishops who love to count bodies in their dioceses, so as to hide what a really ineffective, even destructive job they have done for many decades.
Virtually all these new ethnics go democrat. They are better organized than the natives too, as every social service agency and NGO is eager to court their interests.
Going to church for many like me is like going to a foreign country. Not a word in English, Latinos want everything in their language and they get it. They want amnesty and they’ll get that too, along with anything else they want because they will soon not only outnumber Catholics, but every other community in America.

November 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm
(9) Anne Parks says:

I heard Caroline Kennedy get up at the Democratic convention and say proudly “I am a Catholic and I am pro choice” then the roar of the crowd. The silence from the bishops and cardinals was deafening! I would be willing to bet that she presented herself for communion that Sunday. When her rabidly pro choice Uncle Ted died, he had a huge Catholic funneral fit for royalty. It is disgusting to me and I think our Church flounders on the rocks due to lack of leadership and moral direction. We tolerate too much! I am ashamed every time I hear Joe Biden call himself a Catholic. This same lack of leadership from the bishops and cardinals allowed the priest-pedophile scandal and allows Catholics to be pro abortion without consequence. Shame on them and God help us.

November 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm
(10) Nancy says:

The Catholic Church must begin to take a good look at itself. They have stood idly by while the so-called Catholics in politics flaunted that they were Catholic and pro-abortion. They were not excommunicated. The Church gave the impression it was not really that serious. The Church bought into the liberal mantra that the only thing God really cared about was social justice.

It’s late coming but the Church better grow a backbone because Catholics who take their faith and the teaches of Jesus very seriously and we are getting tired of wimpy clergy that are afraid to offend anyone with the word sin.;

November 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm
(11) Ken D says:

I think if we desire to follow the full teaching of the Church, we have to start with abortion here in the US. Because of it’s scope (1.3M/year) and consequence (death for the baby), all of the other issues are secondary – critically important, but after abortion in priority.

We also have to recognize and accept that the teaching in the US is that abortion, homosexual unions, and contraception are not really gravely evil or sinful, but are fine if it’s what you want to do. That’s the message from our bishops right now. They say these things are wrong, but let public figures openly defy them without any direct, contrasting message to the people in the pews. Because of this public scandal, the people who want to be Catholic but don’t want to change their ways, can use the examples of Biden, Sebilius, etc. to justify themselves. The silence of the bishops with regards to these individuals, is seen as tacit approval.

The situations must be spoken of in clear, unambiguous language by our shepherds, or they are seen as approving it. By providing clarity regarding these people and their positions, these public figures and those who follow them will be confronted by the truth and given the opportunity to choose for themselves. I think the most important thing we can do is to pray for our bishops to have the wisdom, courage, and willingness to confront these people and situations. If they are bold leaders, their flocks will follow.

November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm
(12) tz says:

Moral Authority is key (see William Sturgis Lind’s writings on 4th generation warfare).

Coming out only for a few months every 2 years, seriously only every 4 doesn’t show moral authority.

Where where the Bishops on Abu Gharib? Cheney’s torture? Terri Schiavo? The slaughter or women and children via drone strikes and the war crimes targeting rescuers and mourners at funerals? Nowhere.

It is one thing to say it might be necessary to vote for the lesser evil, then attack every last bit of evil done when he is elected, and another thing entirely to remain silent in the face of dozens of very serious evils – which individually do not add up to the abortion holocaust, but are clearly evils, that to not say anything is a grave sin of omission.

If I had any faith that the USCCB would actually speak out boldly and clearly about, say, giving billionaires bailouts from middle class taxpayers so they could pay themselves bonuses – under anyone including Romney which #occupy recognized as evil, or speaking out against sanctions killing Iranian children (Albright said starving 1/2 million Iraqi children was “worth it” and Osama listed it as a reason for 9/11), or against the rest of the destruction of the Magna Charta, much less the constitution, I might have been persuaded to vote for the lesser evil. As is, after the election, when a lesser evil republican is elected, they hit the snooze button.

Because the Bishops won’t speak up against lesser evil, I cannot vote for a lesser evil.

Or should the people serious about ending Abortion visit your local Satanic church and get a spell-book, summon up a demon from hell and sell your soul if the demon will just end abortion. That seems to be the deal we are making with the GOP, except the GOP doesn’t ever actually do anything to end abortion. The demon would likely create a greater evil, but at least would end abortion while damning your soul.

November 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm
(13) Mark says:

Your column was good until the end. If those mass-attending Catholics sat out the vote, there would have been a larger margin of victory for Obama. He’d have been fine with that too. The answer isn’t third party or not voting (the latter is, I argue, abdicating our duty as Catholics). No, the answer is to work to change the parties. How about encouraging that 11% to work to make the platforms conform better to the common good in either party. That’s time well spent, and that 11% would represent much higher numbers of people than those who currently set the agendas.

The real nugget in your comments is that we are back to what the Church and evangelization have always been about — changing hearts and minds with the truth of Christ, one heart and mind at a time. Let’s stop putting all our faith in global strategies, and realize that the painstaking work of bringing people to Christ must be done person to person, heart to heart.

November 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm
(14) Paulissima says:

My phrase “Single-Issue” was attached to the word “politics”; not “The Catholic Church.” Concern about the babies after they are born is about economic; educational; and nutritional resources, again, not about “The Catholic Church.” President Obama won the popular vote.

November 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm
(15) Paulissima says:

Mark, thank you for your powerful reminder. Preach the Gospel. Use words, if necessary. Peace be with you.

November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm
(16) Mondro says:

I respect Richert’s topic of focus and disagree with some of the comments and insinuations that a couple others have cited here. For example: “single issue politics” is not really relevant here. I believe Richert merely wrote a single issue article- focusing on being Catholic in today’s times and how he feels Obama meddled too much with respect to the contraceptive mandate, and how Republicans may be closer to his heart- as a Catholic- than the Democrats. Richerts and Catholics alike clearly have opinions on topics outside of how pro-life or pro-choice fit into politcs! Next, I don’t think Richert was suggesting that only Catholics believe abortion is terrible. He’s more likely speaking from the perspective of- well- being a Catholic and also speaking from his heart. Allowed. If the mentioned mandate will truly threaten some Catholic institutions, then I gather Obama may have crossed a line. Time will tell.

November 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm
(17) Salvy says:

I’ve said this before on Scott’s blog: It’s the Catholic churches mighty fault for not going against Obama much more forcefully in the first election. And, it’s because the church hierarchy knew and liked the fact that he would flood the country with illegal aliens, and subsequently add more parishioners to the rolls. Well, the vast majority of these illegals love Santa Claus and free government handouts no matter what. Get the picture?
So, again were stuck with a maniacal pro-abortion communist who hates the Catholic church, and who is it’s arch-enemy out to destroy it.
It’s always much much more easy to prevent cancer or any other disease rather than wait till you have it and fight it. I knew Obama’s record on abortion and his close involvement with the commies before his first election and I told people not to vote for him because of that.
So, maybe God is saying, now, you morons made your own rotten slimy bed now lay in it.

November 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm
(18) Joe says:

*I* was not one of the 42% of Catholics that voted for Obama. The man needed to go(!) & cannot for the life of me understand how anyone that says they are *truly* deep-down Roman-Catholic could’ve pulled the lever for the Obama-Biden plank.

This will continue to grieve me for the next 4-yrs as our entire health-care system, abortion-on-demand, and economic mess will be magnified. Dear God help this nation!

November 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm
(19) Salvy says:

We can only hope now he’ll be gone in four years because I’ve heard some pretty smart people say that Obama just might be able now, through executive order or some other way, be able to get rid of that presidential term limit and continue on with his evil cronies in stealing election after election. Sorry to say that nightmare now is a real possibility.

November 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm
(20) Yogidad says:

I do not understand this support either. As member of the Knights of Columbus, we are told that the administration is doing its best to best the Catholic church and that our leaders have all but declared war on these baby killers. I stand with my brother Knights to end this pox on our country.

November 10, 2012 at 1:42 am
(21) Barbara Mathews says:

Just like the Republicans, the Church will not work with this administration unless it can have its way. The Church has no business being in politics, locally or on the federal level. I remember one of the first things Pope John Paul II did was tell his American clergy to get out of any political positions they held. Some were serving on city councils, were city aldermen, or on secular school boards. He felt they needed to be at their parishes and dappling in politics. President Obama has not declared war on the Catholic Church, it’s the other way around.

November 10, 2012 at 5:15 am
(22) dominicansoul says:

in my area of america, the bishops and priests and church leaders did a very aggressive job preaching about the consequences of the HHS mandate. What I noticed of the latinos is…they just did not care… I work at a religious gifts shoppe in my parish, and 100 percent of the latinos I spoke to were just as aggressively supporting obama as the hierarchy were preaching against him. What you see in their support of the democratic party is the result of a fierce indoctrination—-they truly believe the democratic party is “for the poor” and the republican party is “for the rich.” There is nothing the hierarchy could have done to smash this belief, for it is ingrained in latino culture. Its been handed down to them generation after generation. The democrats know this, and they expound on that belief. Romney didn’t do a thing to help dispel it. If the republicans want the hispanic vote, they will need to find a way to convince them otherwise.

November 10, 2012 at 8:39 am
(23) Robert Fathman says:

I agree with Barbara Mathews, comment #21, and the others who take the Church to task for its hypocrisy and single-issued-ness in this election. Several people in my parish walked out in protest during Masses when sermons attacked the President for inclusion of birth control in the Affordable Care Act. If it were not for Hispanic immigrants, I believe Mass attendance nationally would be shrinking dramatically as the hierarchy pushes the Church away from the people. Catholics, by the way, practice birth control at levels over 95% — clearly demonstrating the distance from the Church’s outmoded teaching on this issue. The obsession with things sexual and reproductive while ignoring issues of unjust war, torture, imbalanced taxation and harsh immigration positions will continue to alienate all Catholics, especially the young, from Church leadership. We are no longer bobblehead Catholics in the pews. We devout, Catholic-educated [including a Jesuit university] parishioners proudly voted for Obama.

November 10, 2012 at 9:16 am
(24) Salvy says:

From the posts of Robert Fathman and Barbara Mathews you can understand ,now, how an incredibly dumbed-down and morally brainwashed America could end up with a mass murderer of pre-born children of Marxist idiology like Obama , and begin to understand how Nazi Germany in the 1930′s elected you-know-who.

November 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm
(25) Barbsra Mathews says:

Mr. Salvaay,
Scriptures teaches us that we can only be judged by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Only in His Hands will I commit my spirit and the judgment of my soul. You don’t know me, the extent of my educatation, nor what is in my heart. The only thing you can possibly glean from my comments is that I don’t think like you and I obviously didn’t vote for the same candidate you did. Our Lord teaches us to forgive others…I’m not perfect so I’m having difficulty forgiving you when you said I represented the dumbing down of America. How do we know you’re not part of that group?

November 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm
(26) Salvy says:

People here know I’m not part of that group because if they’ve read my posts, they can tell that, unlike you, I’m able to discern reality from all the lies and propaganda, and use common sense and critical thinking skills to come to some fairly accurate conclusions.

November 11, 2012 at 1:28 am
(27) Barbara Mathews says:

Then, sir, you remind me of the Pharisee who gave thanks to God that he tithed like he was supposed to, that he obeyed His laws, not like the poor man who was praying in the temple that day. And the poor man, sitting in the back of the temple, only prayed, “Forgive me, I am sinner.”

You are a Pharisee in your judgement of others. I am not a facist, or a Nazi. I am a sinner and think differently than you. I, too, checked out both candidates and came to a different conculsion. But, go ahead and make one comment to me so that you may have the last word.

November 11, 2012 at 7:38 am
(28) Salvy says:

Why you’re a genius, Barbara Mathews! I am a Pharisee and you’re the first person in the whole big wide world to know that! Boy, you are just like Albert Einstein!

November 11, 2012 at 9:29 am
(29) Salvy says:

If somebody “checked out” the candidates and came to the conclusion that the best guy is the one who supports and even promotes the slaughter of indefensible innocent unborn babies by the millions, even up to the time of birth, and even calls themselves catholic, then obviously you are a SICKO.

November 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm
(30) RamonAntonio says:

There is a paragraph where you state that cultural problems cannot be solved politically. That sole paragraph is worth all your column. And it reflects the tone of most of the comments.
To simply posit that Catholic points of view of someone who makes himself almost a Catholic Pharissee, that is, someone who acts vocally, who wants things his or her way and wants others to follow and finally put in writing his or her longing for a Republican candidate to save the nation is not an opinion but an agenda.
Well, surprisingly yesterday in my Church a priest, based on the lectures of the two divorced women who gave everything they had for another’s good, said that economics that do not reach the needy are not the Christian way nor what Jesus himself taught. Economics, whatever they be must reach the poor. And Jesus said that while sitting in front of the coffers of the Temple, i.e., those times religious IRS.
The problem is that Democrats believe and act that way, that is, that money is to help socially, but in that way commit some wrong, even big wrongs. Republicans, on the other hand, oppose the wrongs of the Democrats while on their way Caterpillaring the whole world, any nation, any country, any creed, any group, anywhere to build their accommodation. And they just do that because they simply can when they are in management.
I admire your thruthfullness and devotion to Catholic principles, but I consider myself a total Catholic and do not, in any way feel that Obama must pay politically for the issues and problems caused culturally by the whole USA that he is trying to serve.
I think some people just need to begin to think who demonized who in this past election. And remember that a lot of people demonized Jesus when He clearly stated that he came to serve. Although he never and couldn’t commit a single sin, he was demonized and killed. Haven’t we learn the lesson?

Excellent discussion!

November 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(31) Salvy says:

Notice how some people like to go on and on with this democrat and republican garbage to justify voting for such a rotten person like Obama? They’ll never learn that they are the ones who have more in common with those Pharisees who Jesus exposed as un-Godly hypocrites and bad actors.
Now, I admit I don’t have much patience anymore talking to idiots–it’s like talking to the wall. Facts, truth and reality mean nothing to them. It would be a lot like talking out against Hitler when he was so popular in Germany in the 1930′s.
I asked a good priest the other day why would any so-called catholic vote for a guy like Obama who hates the catholic church so much and is so instrumental in promoting the killing of the unborn infants all over the world. First he said he didn’t know, but as we talked more he said it had to do with politics and a problem with the intellect.
It sounds like a weird form of cultural dementia to me.

November 12, 2012 at 9:41 am
(32) Emily Armstrong says:

Thank you for this article. I had such a heavy heart that I wrote to my parish Pastor outlining most of the concerns and comments in your article. I’m glad that you expressed the very concerns that I feel. Our Catholic Pastors primarily stayed out of Politics. NOW they must preach about them. If there are those Catholics who get up and leave. . . so be it. It is time that an outward stand is taken.

I clearly remember a priest in my church from years ago who would go across the street from the church and enter the local bar. There were the husbands waiting for their wives to finish Mass to take them home. He walked along the bar with his cane and knocked off drinks and yelled at those men to get over to the church and to attend Mass. There was a scurry to get there.

I would like to see a more heavy hand used by the clergy instead of worrying about offending the parishioners that they might not come back.. Christ didn’t worry about offending anyone when he threw the money changers out of the temple. It is time for a bit of justifiable anger on the part of the clergy.

I know of too many people who do not practice their faith, but are still at the altar rail on Sundays. It is time they were told that what they are doing is wrong.

November 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm
(33) Salvy says:

Emily I love you and I’ll add to your highly intelligent analysis. All these so-called “catholics”, I’ll call them Satanic catholics, who chose the culture of death and the killing of infants and the destruction of the real church in this latest election, have really no business up there taking communion until they honestly repent for their support and promotion of this barbaric. evil.
Hey, if you want to follow Satan through your own free will then that’s your own personal business, therefore, I wish you all a very good riddance,

November 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm
(34) May Dee says:

Interesting article and comments. I think that for years the church leaders sat back and let the worker bees respond to the social needs without attending to the spiritual needs of the poor.
It is embarrassing and hard to explain to my non-catholic friends that Sebelius, the Kennedy clan, Biden and Kerry all claim to be Catholics and speak hatefully of people who disagree with them, are greedy and avoid taxes, AND support late term abortion but remain in good standing with the church. I left the democrat party when I realized they were NOT a party of inclusion of THOUGHT. The democrat party needs a permanent underclass in order to survive and the church is between a rock and a hard place. They want to help the poor and it does far more for them than any other single group–which makes them a danger to the state. The state must have the loyalty of the masses in order to stay in power. Power over people is the states ultimate goal. Listen to how democrats talk–especially movie “stars.” They are filled with hate. I pray for them daily.

November 13, 2012 at 11:02 am
(35) John says:

Thanks a million for this sane article, Scott! I’m heading off to my Catholic parish office this week to ask about becoming a Catholic. I agree totally that it’s not about waiting for the best smelling candidate to turn up in 4, 10, 50 years but changing the culture around us by our example as Catholic christians, using the weapons of love, faith, hope and charity. My only “criticism” is that you could have added that it is going to be a great time to be alive as a Catholic and christian and that the battle will be won! God Bless!!

November 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm
(36) Salvy says:

Yeah, we will win this battle or war in the end in this country against all the Obama supporters, including his Satanic catholic friends who commented on this blog, for all the reasons you stated, and also when push comes to shove when these cowards think they’ll be able to kill us all, too, like they do to the helpless unborn babies.
Don’t believe me all you Satanic catholics? Then read all the articles how gun sales have been going through the roof.

November 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm
(37) John S says:

100% of Catholics are against abortion, homosexuality, and the immoral culture we are living in today. And 100% of the Catholics did vote against Obama. Whoever voted for Obama and call themselves Catholic…are not Catholic. So, we have a much smaller group than is portrayed in the statistics. We can grow from this core group of real Catholics….but it needs to start in the local churches and children’s Sunday education classes. I think its time to educate everyone sitting in that Church about what a Catholic really is….and how they should conduct their lives. Most people listen to the TV more than the Church….they take the TV’s word over the Church. We need to get a grip now!!! It can turn around…but it will take a lot of time. I hope we have it.

November 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm
(38) Gary says:

I read with interest all of the comments here regarding the election. To accuse a fellow Catholic of being a pharasee because they oppose Obama or satanic because they supported him is uncalled for. I’d like to ask the last two commentators, Salvy and John S if they supported the Republican ticket for the presidency? If so, how can they justify voting for someone that doesn’t respect life much better than his opponent? Mr Romney declared his strong support in favor of the death penalty. Isn’t that a clear violation of Catholic teaching? Also Mr Romney and Mr Ryan both feel that abortion is fine is the case of “rape, incest or the life of the mother” which I also believe to be in violation of Catholic teaching. Mr Romney stated his hard line approach to immigration stating that if we made conditions so miserable for the undocumented that they would “self deport”. This is contrary to Church teaching on immigration as well. The Catholic Church is well known for supporting immigration reform and for allowing the illegal immigrant to gain some form of legal recognition in this country. Plus his “self deport” comments are not very charitble to other humans are they?

While 25% of the nation calls itself Catholic, we HAVE to remember that 75% of the nation is NOT Catholic. Just because we believe a certain way we have to respect the fact that there are many others that do not believe as we do. Just like we do not like anything forced down our throats (HHS mandate for example) we can not force our beliefs on others. People can choose for themselves what to believe in and vote for whom they want. Given the choices this year I don’t understand how a devout Catholic could have voted for the Romney/Ryan ticket either. We must look at all the issues because if we just concentrate on those that have been the major talking points in this thread, Romney and the Republicans were no better than Obama and the Democrats.

But please, lets stop the name calling.

November 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm
(39) danoerla says:

I’m not ready to say that those that chose to vote for Obama aren’t Catholics. I am dismayed that anyone who considers themself as a Catholic could, in good conscience, vote for Obama.

I think that those Catholics who voted for Obama, did so in error. I think that they think that they followed their consciences, but I also believe that their consciences are malformed. The Catechism is clear on what a well-formed conscience is, and what we, as Catholics should do to form our own consciences.
(CCC 1783,1784,1785) http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a6.htm

Before anyone starts throwing spitballs… I acknowledge that I am a sinner, and in the past I have “followed my conscience” to do things worse than cast a vote in error. I am not condemning anyone.

I am guilty of voting for the ‘lesser of two evils” in this last election, and in a few others. I did so in the (mistaken?) belief that to vote for a 3rd party candidate would be a vote wasted. I still think that’s true, b/c at the end of the day, either a republican or a democrat will be elected. The only independent that was ever elected as President was George Washington (there weren’t any Dems or Reps yet). Maybe, just maybe, Scott is right. If we (Catholics) all voted together, we could be a voice that would have to be listened to. Maybe we wouldn’t be strong enough in the next election, but if we did stick together, we’d make a difference in the one after that.

November 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm
(40) danoerla says:

I need to add to my previous post, that I am well aware of the Catholic teachings on Social Justice. I am also well aware that Social Justice begins at conception. It all starts with life. That doesn’t make me (or anyone) a single issue voter. There are things that MUST come first. It just so happens that life is one of those things that we just can’t, well… live without.

November 14, 2012 at 10:16 am
(41) Mike says:

Paulissima,
Would you vote for someone who wanted to put into law that women and blacks can’t vote, but was great on helping the poor? Before you answer, remember do not be a single issue voter.

November 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm
(42) Sheila says:

I always learn more from the school of comment’s than from the original post. Scott, you are right about changing culture. Danoerla captured my sentiments exactly. I would add that we must forgive in the face of persecution. Forgiveness does not include capitulation. However; if we are to change culture we have to do it by example and speaking truth in love. It is much harder to do than to preach. As Christ’s Vicar on earth stated.,at the ‘moment’ of conception life begins.. if we cannot for whatever reason support the very foundation, the very beginning of life, we will have no foundation to support any other right. All other rights and freedoms crumble.

November 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm
(43) Barbara Mathews says:

I didn’t accuse a fellow Catholic of being a Pharisee for voting the Romney/Ryan ticket. It was for his suggestion that somehow only he could discern the political truth from both the candidates. I pointed out he was acting like the Pharisee in the temple thanking God that he was better than the poor man who was also in the temple that day. And I for that I was treated to sarcastic remarks and ultimately referred to as a satanic Catholic.I personally don’t care how any Catholic votes, we still have the secret ballot in this country. If I choose to tell anyone how I vote, that’s my choice. No one has the right to tell me how to vote: big money, big oil, big pharma, nor any religion. I get to choose. As I stated earlier,none of us knows what is in each others heart, only God and His Son knows, and that is why only Jesus Christ can judge me, not any of my fellow Catholic travelers.

November 16, 2012 at 10:08 am
(44) Paulissima says:

Hey Mike; I admit my “single issue” politics was mis-directed. On a single-income, I support my single-mother daughter (who doesn’t believe in abortion) and her 5 year old daughter (who attends Catholic school because I choose to pay that tuition instead of sending her to public school); so my comment was intended to weigh in on how economically and morally diverse we are here in America. Yes, I believe that life begins at conception; but I don’t believe we should throw all these low- (or no-) income mothers and babies under the bus. My family is blended, racially and ethnically; in fact, I hesitate to use the word race as my Italian-immigrant father and Irish-Immigrant mother taught us there is only one race, the human race, my children are African-American and Blackfoot Indian on their father’s side. My frustration with Catholics who demonize Obama and see Romney as some kind of Saviour because he says he doesn’t believe in abortion is what led me to my mis-guided terminology of “sngle-issue.” Further, the wealthy will always be able to obtain safe abortions (no matter the Doctrine of Canon or Common Law). It is the poor who will continue to birth them babies who have no health care and grow up on insufficient nutrition, deplorable education; and sure, we’ll have lots of workers at McDonalds.

November 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm
(45) Salvy says:

Barbara Mathews you are an absolute iiar and deceiver and not even a very skilled one at that. Nothing like your serpent master in the garden. Just to prove how pathetic you are–even at the art of dishonesty–anyone– go back and read the # 26 that the liar is referring to and you’ll see that I never said that it was my “suggestion that only he, (meaning me Salvy), could discern the political truth from both the candidates.”
Yeah right, I’m the only God-faring human not brainwashed on planet earth, the last man standing like Noah right before the fllood.
My suggestion to you, Barbara Mathews, would be to quit while you’re way behind.

November 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm
(46) Barbara Mathews says:

Good for you, Salvy, name calling and judging me to the end. Try to hold your anger in check the next time, it helps with the spelling.

November 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm
(47) Salvy says:

Ya yor write, Im such a terribble spellar.

November 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm
(48) Richard says:

DanoerlaI well expressed the teaching of the Catholic Church. However, I deal with politicians a lot more than the average person, and I am convinced that until people quit voting for the poor candidates put up by the two major parties, little will change. When the polling data came in after Perot ran for president, it showed that if all the people who would have voted for Perot but for the belief that they didn’t think he could win actually voted for him, Perot would have won.

November 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm
(49) Eliza says:

I am a Catholic too but I just cannot believe the vitriolic comments I’m reading on this site. Is this how good Catholics behave towards each other? the Lord said render to Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s. People, the election is over. Yes Obama is the President for another four years – whether we like it or not.
There is no justification for the type of name-calling and character assassination that is being portrayed here. For all those name callers I have some news for you … we are ALL absolute liars and deceivers.
We are ALL sinners!! I describe myself as a” recovering sinner”. Self righteousness is not a virtue. It is a sin.
Be Blessed.

December 9, 2012 at 5:43 am
(50) Ron says:

You people that believe you are Catholic Christian are not being truthful with your faith if you are a Democrat or if you believe Jesus felt that anyone should have the right to kill a baby created by God! You just should stop acting like you are Christian or Catholic for that matter. Very sad that you can be tricked by the possible Anti-Christ himself. Obama said in a speech that he believed that Jesus sermon on the mount was radical and Deuteronomy felt we should stone our children if they did not follow our faith. Obama is not Christian and never will be. He is an abomination and you should be ashamed of yourself for voting for him. It was a very sad day for the Catholic church and America, when you allowed a sad person with no real faith get into office.

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