Skip to comments.Common Sense for the Catholic Voter
Posted on 09/10/2020 10:26:59 AM PDT by pgyanke
More than any other identifiable group of Americans, Catholics have the ability to single-handedly turn this country away from its descent into the culture of death. Simply standing for our Faith is all that is required. However, in recent elections, our politicians have catered to favored minority groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, social class and sexual orientation. The one group neglected in this narrative is Christians (in general), and Catholics (in particular). Its crazy to consider that our governments at all levels have grown increasingly hostile to the Christian worldview when we make up 65% of the populationwith Roman Catholics alone at 20% of the total. Its a sad testament to the failure of our clergy to realize that both of those numbers are 5% lower than the last update of this information.
Our political system gives the voting public the power to choose their representatives as a means to implement their priorities in self-governance (US Constitution, Article IV, Section 4). The power of each political faction or party comes from the individuals they attract the greater the numbers, the greater the power. When we choose party affiliation and vote, we give our assent to their agenda, add our voice to the party message, and increase their power. The party platform, then, becomes the common mission of every party member.
When was the last time we actually read our political party platform to see what our party supports?
Although many voters try to look beyond party affiliation when choosing their candidates, the platform of the party the candidate represents will be implemented. To a large extent, the platform tells the real agenda behind the rhetoric. A vote for a Democrat politician at any level is a vote for the Democratic Party Platform (as is true of any other political party). Read it. Be informed.
According to Catholic theologians, five moral issues are intrinsically evil and must never be promoted by law. These acts fundamentally conflict with the moral law and can never be performed under any circumstances. It is a serious sin to deliberately endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who wants to advance the common good will support any action contrary to the non-negotiable principles involved in these issues. These five issues are abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage.
I have researched the major party platforms for their positions on the five non-negotiable Catholic issues. An honest reading of modern American history shows that the culture of death has gained a foothold through the work of the Democratic Party over the opposition of the GOP. The Democrats dont even hide the fact that their primary qualification for federal judges is fidelity to Roe v. Wade. The direct advocacy of the Democratic Party is promulgating homosexual marriage through legislation, litigation and the complicit mainstream media.
Why did I think it necessary to write this when there are so many other voting guides for Catholics? With some exceptions, Catholic leadership has failed to say what must be said. Each election cycle, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) puts out its document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. Unfortunately, their document is an exercise in futility as it conflates all issues in a 45 page narrative that ends up confusing the Catholic voter rather than enlightening. If the bishops spoke with a clear voice, the Catholic vote wouldnt be split down the middle and irrelevant. Quite frankly, the even division of the Catholic electorate is a testament to the failure of the clergy.
In times like these, I believe the Church should produce a guide as simple as the one I am writing a two-tiered approach. They should first inform the faithful on the stance of the major parties in regard to intrinsic evil (as long as there is major party advocacy). If a political party supports evil, no Catholic should vote for them until they change. Its as simple as that. How can we have a debate on immigration or any other issue with a party supporting evil in their platform? They should cease their support for evil and then talk to us. We hold the power of our vote. The politicians should be solicitous of us. Instead, we act as solicitors to the politicians, politely asking them to stop supporting evil while they take our votes for granted.
This argument can best be seen as a preface to the USCCB guide. A party or politician not supporting intrinsic evil is the only option worth consideration on the other issues outlined in the guide produced by the bishops.
Confusion from the 2020 USCCB guide:
Page 6: The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.Note to the above confusion is sown when racism, treatment of workers, and capital punishment are conflated with intrinsic evil. They are not of equal moral weight in doctrine nor public policy.
22. There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called intrinsically evil actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.
23. Similarly, human cloning, destructive research on human embryos, and other acts that directly violate the sanctity and dignity of human life are also intrinsically evil. These must always be opposed. Other direct assaults on innocent human life, such as genocide, torture, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war, can never be justified. Nor can violations of human dignity, such as acts of racism, treating workers as mere means to an end, deliberately subjecting workers to subhuman living conditions, treating the poor as disposable, or redefining marriage to deny its essential meaning, ever be justified.
34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voters intent is to support that position. In such cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidates opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.This section begins with a strong statement but ends with an excuse for any position. If a candidate does not mention support for issues the voter deems important, they have been given a pass to vote for a candidate actually advocating for intrinsic evil. This isnt guidance. Its confusion.
37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidates commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.The paragraph above begins well and recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight. Unfortunately, it continues with excuses to ignore the moral weight of the issues. Voters will only know about the character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue through the reporting of the Press. This passes the responsibility of informing the conscience of Catholic voters to a biased media and misleading campaign commercials. It fails to teach.
42. As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidates position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voters support. Yet if a candidates position on a single issue promotes an intrinsically evil act, such as legal abortion, redefining marriage in a way that denies its essential meaning, or racist behavior, a voter may legitimately disqualify a candidate from receiving support.Once again, a strong statement is made only to be reduced to nothing by the end. What is racist behavior and how does it suddenly have equal moral weight to intrinsic evil? The bishops are playing politics with their words. President Trump has been accused of racism this is the bishops attempt to balance the scales in their voter education. Unfortunately, this also elevates Trumps opponents to be the judges of his character for the nation.
Another way the bishops have played politics is with the death penalty. Pope Francis has called the practice inadmissible. Many give this equal weight in the issues of life and that gives excuse to oppose the GOP as strenuously as opposing the Democratic Party. However, remember the definition of intrinsic evil it is wrong in all ways and at all times. God Himself has given command and instruction for capital punishment in Scripture. He is not the author of evil. He has never commanded killing a baby in the womb. Abortion is intrinsic evil. The death penalty is not.
Deep within their guide, we find the following:
64. Our 1998 statement, Living the Gospel of Life, declares, Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental good and the condition for all others (no. 5). Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable and must always be opposed. Cloning and destruction of human embryos for research or even for potential cures are always wrong. The purposeful taking of human life by assisted suicide and euthanasia is not an act of mercy, but an unjustifiable assault on human life. Genocide, torture, and the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war or terrorist attacks are always wrong.I believe this should be the opening to their guide and the initial test before all other considerations. I was compelled to write because their unequivocal statement is buried in the 64th paragraph on page 32. It must be taken more seriously. This paragraph stated forcefully in every diocese in America would go a long way toward ending the culture of death. Unfortunately, it is diluted by the rest of the guide.
The USCCB calls these intrinsic evils always wrong and they must always be opposed. Yet, the toughest statement they will make against evil is against laws and policiesnot against the politicians and parties who have championed these laws and policies. We live in a representative republicIt is illogical and negligent to fight policies while avoiding any mention of the sponsors of those policies. The USCCBs booklet is a collection of policy statements, not an effective guide for the Catholic voter. They make bold pronouncements but then water them down in a conflation of jumbled issues. Politicians make policy statements. Shepherds are supposed to guide their flocks.
Once the parties supporting evil have been identified and eliminated, we can turn our attention to matters of public policy. Looking around our country, we know we are headed in the wrong direction but what do we do about it? We voteand vote our Christian values. Vote life first against a tide of darkness.
In recent election cycles, the Democratic Party has been able to count on about half of the Catholic vote. In his election to the Presidency, President Obama received 54% of the Catholic votewhile he promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as his first act in office. He had also voted three times against the Infants Born Alive Protection Act as a legislator. He had a long history of support for abortioneven up to infanticide! Yet he received support from the USCCB (encouraging the faithful to write their representatives to oppose Obamas abortion agenda) who favored his social priorities. In 2016, Hillary Clinton narrowly won the Catholic vote by a razor margin. Again, the lack of clear guidance from the bishops is demonstrated in the divided outcome.
Rather than condemning this political party, our Church has even celebrated themas seen in the celebratory Mass held for Nancy Pelosi's ascension to the House Speakership in 2007. The Kerry's, Bidens, Pelosi's and Kaines claim the mantle of "Catholic" while implementing an anti-Catholic agenda. The Church, as a group, remains silent on their assumed religious affiliation. This tacit embrace has muted the voice of the Church and nullified the Catholic vote in America. Joe Biden was chosen as President Obamas running mate in 2008, Tim Kaine was chosen to be Hillary Clintons in 2016, and Joe Biden is their candidate for 2020 because the Democratic Party respects the power of the Catholic vote while disrespecting Catholic priorities.
Catholics are easily ignored because we are divided among ourselves. Laypeople as well as clergy disagree openly on Church teaching and priorities. Catholic politicians openly oppose the Church on fundamental issues and receive little more than a slap on the wrist. We are a house-divided and no candidate or political party toes a Catholic line because Catholics wont even toe a Catholic line.
National abortion rights in America saw their advent with the SCOTUS decision Roe v Wade in 1973. Despite our formation as a representative republic, this issue was decided by unelected judges rather than the representatives of the people. Where the people have voted, they have mostly voted to limit abortion. Unfortunately, judges have remained roadblocks to enforcing limits on abortion.
Similarly, the courts have also been the vehicles to legalizing homosexual marriage. Where the people have voted, they have almost universally voted in favor of the traditional practice of marriage and rejected homosexual marriage. Such actions have politicized the courts where jurisprudence has taken the place of legislative action by the peoples representatives. Now, one of the most lasting legacies of a presidential administration and congressional session is the political leanings of the higher courts where social agendas are implemented without the consent of the governed. The announced retirement of a judge is a profound political problem for the agenda of the Democratic Party rather than a simple replacement of a jurist. Confirmation hearings become spectacles of character assassination against those who support a traditional reading of our founding documentsespecially on the right to life.
By the highest estimates, the homosexual population in America is 4.5% of the total. Yet our politicians are in competition with one another courting their vote. Why don't the politicians speak to a Christian agenda when Christians comprise 65% of the population? Perhaps there are too many fractious denominations vying for their own priorities to be seen as a single group. Why, then, ignore the Catholics who identify as 20% of the population? The answer is simple... Catholics have become balkanized and are no longer a single group of our own. Our voices and votes are split almost equally and our support has been nullified. We have been left adrift in guidance and subsequently divided and conquered.
It is nonsensical for a Christian to support a politician for his social agenda while that same candidate advocates for evil. The candidate is the champion of the positive as well as the negative positions! This is a failing of Church leadership and the parishioners who have not taken the time to educate themselves. Surely, our Bishops would not countenance votes for a candidate from a political entity which honestly labeled itself the Anti-Catholic Partyand yet, Church leadership coddles a Democratic Party which opposes bedrock issues of our faith.
As Christians, we are charged to fully form our consciences to make wise choices. This article does not engage in hyperbole or political meanderings. It simply quotes the national party platforms and policy positions pertinent to the issues of life. The intent is the honest formation of the Christian conscience in identifying those not worthy of the Christian vote.
I am told by many bishops and priests that they must tread lightly lest they endanger the Church's tax-exempt status. This is ignorance and worseelevating monetary considerations above the spiritual! The Church is exempt from taxation not by government benevolence nor the 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue code, but simply because the State has no authority over the Church. The Church predates the State. Before 501(c)(3), the Church was exempt from taxation. Repealing its protection under the Internal Revenue Code doesnt change the nature of the relationship between the Church and the State.
No church has ever lost its tax-exempt status for speaking the truth. In the end, by not challenging the people and parties championing the culture of death, our bishops have empowered the only major political party which has ever threatened their freedom to worship, their freedom to speak, and their tax-exempt statusthe Democratic Party and their enablers. Our bishops were only passively-aggressive in pointing out that President Obama and his administration directly and openly attacked religious freedom in this country... while Catholics were suing the government over "policies and Christians were forced to violate their consciences by the courts. The best defense we are allowed is a strongly-worded letter or a march in the streets while we remain ignorant in regards to voting our Catholic faith.
In the 1950s, Senator Lyndon Johnson was frustrated by the power of non-profits in politics. He introduced the Johnson Amendment to IRC 501(c)(3) with the express purpose of curbing such influence. Amazingly, the bishops have willingly followed the dictates of the State in preaching only what the government allows them to preach!
Our bishops claim to not feel free to speak on politics but the politicians do not feel so constrained. Matters of life and death have become political issues and, rather than confronting them head-on, our bishops have ceded the ground to the politicians. , but our bishops fail to return fire when it comes time to vote. Its time for the Bishops to step back onto the solid ground of Magisterial teaching in matters of faith and morals and regain the mantle of Pastor by leading their flocks in the most basic of civic responsibilities.
Thats not to say that the USCCB has been silent. While the political guidance on abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning has been somewhat tepid, they have been very critical of the Trump administration. They have even suggested canonical penalties for Catholics who participate in enforcing existing immigration law. Bishop Stowe of Lexington, KY, called President Trump anti-life! His justification? Trump is selfish. Isnt that just the human condition? Just because Trumps flaws are on full display through an oppositional Press doesnt make him a bigger sinner than the rest of usand certainly not more that his political opponents. Sadly, such powerful statements havent been made against those who have made intrinsic evil a plank in their party platform.
I do not assume, however, that Catholics must vote for the GOPthis party is also full of flawed politicians. At least the GOP Platform and agenda are not directly hostile to our Faith. We can have policy debates with this and other non-hostile parties. The Catholic Church doesn't have to endorse any candidate or party for Her voice to be heard. This isnt a call for political advocacy. It is a call for the public recognition of the political reality where one major political party supports evil. The bishops should forcefully tell their diocesan members which parties and candidates have not earned Catholic votes and are actually wolves in sheeps clothing. Its one thing for a politician or political party to be neutral in faith issues but quite another to stand in direct opposition to the faith of their constituentswhile still expecting their vote.
There is no reason the Democratic Party, with support for intrinsic evil openly enumerated in their platform, should not be condemned in every diocese in America.
Our rallies and marches mean very little politicallyalthough they are wonderful for fellowship. Our votes are the currency of our republic. If we want to end the evils of the culture of death, we must withhold our votes from its champions and do so forcefully. When the Democratic Party loses elections for advocating evil, then and only then will there be change. When the Democratic Party is no longer able to champion abortion, our pro-life efforts will finally achieve victory. At that time, we can return to an even, political playing field and get back to policy debates on the other issues of the day.
The USCCB isnt the only Catholic organization in the world failing to actively confront evil in their midst. In 2017, the Catholic Bishops of Ireland issued a joint statement prior to a major Irish election. In this statement, Catholics were encouraged to consider the issues of poverty, Brexit, life, and care for the environment. The most notable result of this election is that Irelandone of the most Catholic nations on Earthhas now legalized abortion. What initially became legal is also becoming mandatory. Catholic Hospitals are now under pressure to abort children in Ireland.
Boldness and direct confrontation is needed when faced with intrinsic evil. The message Catholic leaders in America should learn from the Irish election is that general pronouncements do not equal leadership. Bishops either tell the faithful how to exercise their faith in their vote or leave them to the machinations of the media and politicians who are very direct in lying exhortations. The silence of the bishops condemns the faithful to the predations of the liars of the world.
Its sad to admit that President Trump has been more effective at ending state-sponsorship of abortion than the Catholic Church in America. Despite his efforts, he is still an object of derision by some bishops who attack his character. Its not too late for the bishops to raise their voices but their tardiness will be consequential. When history looks back on these days, who will be seen as more significant in defense of the unborn?
Why is this message specifically targeted at the bishops? Those in the pews who have taken every excuse to support a party and candidates advocating for intrinsic evil wont listen to their brothers and sisters or even priests. There is great diversity of thought on these issues and anyones differing opinion is just thatdifferent. This message must come from those given authority in the Church and it must be unequivocal. Failing to correct wayward souls is dangerous to bishop and layperson alike (Ez 3:18). This call to action is a call to mercy.
I pray those seeking the truth will read this and spend even a small amount of time confirming its veracity. Then, I hope Christians will vote like Christians.
How you can help... speak up to your priests and bishop. The more they hear it, the more they will be encouraged to act. The Left is relentless in shutting down Catholic (and Christian, in general) voices. Just yesterday, Fr James Altman was reprimanded by his bishop for daring to speak the truth that "no Catholic can be a Democrat. Period." This rebuke came after a letter-writing campaign by the infamous Fr James Martin.
Pray and spread the word!
How about “following the Bible for the Catholic voter”?
Our left-leaning pew-mates think they are. This message isn't needed by the conservative Catholic. It's a call to the bishops to speak forcefully from their authority at those who support the culture of death. It will take their authority to change the hard hearts of leftist catholics.
Exactly. Gods way or mans way. Ill take the former.
Of course believers in the Nine Suggestions could do so...and usually *vote* for the Rats. That shouldn't surprise anyone.
I’ve been a Catholic voter in a Catholic town for most of my life, and I’ve sadly concluded that the average Catholic voter HAS NO COMMON SENSE.
Election after election I’ve seen them reflexively pull the “D” lever for candidates who had never met an abortion they wouldn’t vote for. Because Republicans are Robber Barons. And Democrats are Fo’ Da Workin’ Man. And Great Uncle Stan marched with Father Coughlin in the 30’s. Or whatever.
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HERES HOW THEY TREAT CONSERVATIVE CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS WHO DONT SUPPORT STUFF LIKE THIS
And why there is no such thing as a Conservative Dem in Congress an example is Illinois 3rd district
Todays Democrats werent happy with his funding votes against abortion and on being the only congressional democrat to vote NO on allowing men to to call themselves a women and compete with women in college sports.
Those who live in Chicago already voted at their local public library. But in the reshaped 3rd Congressional district Daniel Lipinski lost because of redistricting. Of a district which had previously included adjacent Chicago city wards to his 23rd.
That was a district where those city wards were predominatly composed of traditional value family oriented Catholic/Christian communities opposed to funding such things as abortion and LGBT activities rather that dealt exclusively with city issues such as a subway L service and the Stevenson Expressway. Those Wards were reliable William O Lipinski supporters of Dans father. But since most had areas with hispanic last names those areas were redistricted and assigned to the Gutieriezs district. Those results are posted below which actually tear up the concept of a neighborhood and pit people against each other by using division.In some of those wards areas of city blocks which were zoned exclusively for single family dwellings residents suddenly found their neighborhood having houses torn down and being replaced with multiple apartments with the units not required to furnish parking facilities and many renters were illegals. Much of which fit the plans for the suburbs
That so many Jews vote D is an equal mystery to me.
Precisely. As is the fact that so few priests are willing to take to the pulpit to try and correct this thinking.
I’m as pro-life as they come, but the GOP hasn’t done much on abortion either. Roe vs. Wade still stands after 47 years of pro-life efforts. I think most Catholics have given up on either party doing anything on the abortion issue, to be honest.
They may be weak pro-life but at least they are pro-life. The Democrats make no bones about being pro-abortion. I wish our side had fire for the issue but it beats the fire of the Democrats for taxpayer-funded murder.
Trump has been strong on this issue... the strongest so far. Let’s give him a Congress that will work with him rather than oppose him and see what happens.
They may be weak pro-life but at least they are pro-life.
Are you talking about what they say or what they do? Most GOPers can be trusted to pay lip service to pro-life causes, but when push comes to shove they do nothing about it. Because if they actually did something about it then they wouldn't have as many faithful pro-life voters like you and me turning up at the polls. It's actually in their own selfish interests to do nothing about the beast of abortion.
Trump has been strong on this issue... the strongest so far.
What exactly has he done?
Lets give him a Congress that will work with him rather than oppose him and see what happens.
I'll do what I can to vote red, statewide and locally, but keep in mind we controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency from 2016 to 2018 and the abortion issue wasn't addressed then either.
When Roe v Wade happened, what were they supposed to do? If you aren't willing to shoot people for it,.... it stands.
What did we do when prayer was banned from school and the 10 Commandments were removed? If we had shut down the country when prayer was removed and impeached said SCOTUS's, we would be a lot different today. The best we can do now is restrict abortion or full out war. It's not all Republicans fault. In the end it's our fault.
Just like was started in this forum, how many Catholics vote Democrat every election and why do priests not cut them off of the Eucharist and other Sacraments?
When Cumo, any Kennedy, Pelosi, Kerry, et al, can vote to kill babies and then go to church and participate, that makes the church just as culpable in the murder of children.
I had dreams of Ted Kennedy getting buried in a potters field with a homeless preacher, but instead he got the Catholic church and all the trimmings. Do you think God wasn't watching?
What exactly has he done?
President Trump was a relative unknown on these issues prior to his election. Although he had sympathized with the pro-choice view in the past, he claimed the pro-life position in the 2016 election due to a personal experience. Since his election, he has fulfilled his promises with the nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court and stopped indirect taxpayer funding of abortion through Title X family planning programs.
He has gone even further. Since taking office, President Trump has taken many steps to ensure tax dollars are not used to subsidize the taking of innocent human life. He got a record number of conservative judges confirmed during his first year; allowed states to defund Planned Parenthood; defunded the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund; restored and expanded the Mexico City policy banning taxpayer funds for groups that perform abortions overseas; and exempted organizations with moral objections against providing abortifacient drugs from the Obamacare Health and Human Services mandate.
In 2020, President Trump also became the first sitting president to speak in person at the annual March for Life. Although some critics say his pro-life stance is political posturing, he has done more for the pro-life movement than any of his predecessors.
Going beyond the excerpt above... he just released his list of Supreme Court hopefuls. All solidly anti Roe v Wade.
Once Roe v Wade was decided, you can't just say "whoops, I want a do over!"
No, but Roe vs. Wade is literally older than I am. In all that time somehow Republicans have failed to appoint a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe vs. Wade. Nobody expects overnight results but when it drags on this long I have to wonder about how motivated the GOPe really is about the right to life.
When Roe v Wade happened, what were they supposed to do? If you aren't willing to shoot people for it,.... it stands.
File a countersuit against Planned Barrenhood on behalf on the unborn. After a suitable Supreme Court is selected of course.
Just like was started in this forum, how many Catholics vote Democrat every election and why do priests not cut them off of the Eucharist and other Sacraments?
I'm guessing because that could lose them their tax-exempt status.
Remember the Moscow rules: once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.
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