Skip to comments.Expect a Catholic exodus
Posted on 08/07/2003 12:42:11 AM PDT by swilhelm73
WASHINGTON - A profound and lasting realignment is likely soon to take place in American politics. Catholics, who for historical reasons have largely voted Democrat, will abandon the party in droves (just as social liberals have been, and are, abandoning the Church).
The realignment has been a long time coming. But it is unlikely to be possible any longer to ignore the fact that Church doctrine is incompatible with the policies of the party of the left.
At the general level, the Church insists on personal responsibility for individual actions, whereas the left is more likely to find societal or economic explanations for bad or criminal behaviour. On more specific and (now) non-criminal issues, Catholic doctrine holds that abortion and homosexual coupling are grave sins.
These two issues have become touchstones for modern Democrats. No one who hopes to be the party's presidential nominee can any longer admit to any doubt about a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.
There is more latitude on gay rights, but not much. Some Democratic presidential candidates do not endorse gay marriage, but they are finding it increasingly difficult to persuade the party's grassroots that they are genuinely committed to homosexual equality.
These two issues will likely figure in the 2004 election.
Senate Democrats are furious about a political advertisement that began airing last month that suggests they have a no-Catholic-need-apply litmus test for nominees to the federal judiciary.
The nomination in question is that of Bill Pryor, Attorney-General of Alabama, who opposes abortion both because he is as an orthodox Catholic and because as a constitutional expert, he believes the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was an abominable piece of jurisprudence.
Democrats would also doubtless seek to block the nomination of a Protestant who opposed abortion, so the charge of anti-Catholicism is imprecise. But as the commentator, Ramesh Ponnuru, has pointed out, Democrats certainly operate a beliefs test that amounts to this: No one who opposes abortion rights is suitable to be a federal appellate judge.
Thus, anyone who accepts Catholic teaching on abortion is unacceptable. Senators Patrick Leahy and Dick Durbin, among others, have denounced this suggestion as a calumny. But what really riles them is not that the suggestion is false, but that it is true. And being true, it is politically dangerous.
Democrats gathered pro-abortion Catholics, including a priest, on Capitol Hill last week and assailed what they claim is an intolerant smear. But no matter how they wriggle, the irreducible fact is this: If you accept Church doctrine you cannot take the Democratic position on abortion; indeed you must oppose it.
That may be a good reason to abandon the Church, but the Democrats cannot have it both ways. And since Catholics account for about one-quarter of the American electorate and have traditionally voted Democrat, this is a serious problem for the party. The Democrats have pushed the socially liberal agenda to the point where it excludes a vast number of long-time supporters.
U.S. President George Bush polls well among Catholics; his moral clarity appeals to many of them. And he has come to prominence at a time when the Democrats are making it difficult for faithful Catholics to vote for them with their eyes open.
Similarly with the issue of gay marriage, Bush and the Republican Party offer orthodox Catholics a natural political home. Senior congressional Republicans are considering a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Last week, in his final press conference before the summer recess, Bush appeared to support such a move and stated unequivocally that he regarded marriage as the union of a man with a woman -- nothing else.
And the Vatican was more challenging than ever on Thursday when the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith proclaimed: "The Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition [to homosexual marriage] clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
Thus, we are at the point where the mutual exclusivity of the Catholic and Democratic views has become impossible for intellectually honest people to ignore. Many people of good conscience are therefore leaving the Church, and many people of good conscience will leave the Democrats.
No political party should claim morality or religiosity for itself. Politicians rarely get away with even a hint that they are more Christian or religious or moral than their opponents. Voters punish such arrogance.
But voters also have the freedom to consider such matters, and they will find it difficult not to do so. The millions and millions of voting Catholics have never before been presented so clearly with a choice between their traditional political preference and their faith.
Rubbish. Some politicians, such as big city dems, have for decades pandered to religions. Clinton cynically paraded religiosity. Some politicians, such as secular humanists who inhabit the dem party, attack virtually every symbol of religion in the public domain. In San Francisco the dems have declared open season on the Boy Scouts because they are "Christian."
But the author's larger point is valid, the Catholic conservatives cannot much longer live the lie. The significance of this is it represents a wedge issue for Hispanics which the Republicans certainly should exploit. Hispanics will turn national elections for decades to come.
I'd go further and suggest it's becoming increasingly difficult for anyone who's a deist.
The Democratic Party is becoming, as the article says, more and more closely identified with scientism, humanism, and atheism. Those are the only "isms" which overlap easily with dialectic materialism, the native "ism" of Marxism.
Or perhaps I've overlooked something. Comments?
Yeah true. Maybe we should refer to fascism and eugenics as kissing cousins. ;-)
Actually, German National Socialism's closest cousin was......German Socialism. I took the trouble to read an online article once about one of the interwar intellectuals and his affinities, and there was a group of ex-German officers who were nationalists and patriots who, where they intersected with socialism, were the seedbed of National Socialism. It is one of the things socialists today like to dissemble or simply never bring up, that there was for a while in Weimar Germany a nearly seamless continuum of opinion from the nationalist Right to the Spartakist Left, and socialism and National Socialism grew up from very similar roots. Some of the people later imprisoned or even executed by the Nazis held opinions that were in the 20's not profoundly different from those of the Nazis themselves.
Actually, there was another stepchild of Darwinism that had specific Communist and Stalinist affinities, and that was Lysenkoism, which suggested that if, say, a fox dipped its tail in cream-colored paint, its offspring would have white tail-tips. This was part of the Communist fascination with control of nurture and thought control. Stalin actively promoted Lysenko and his students, some of whom survived Stalin and had to execute intellectual (and political) climbdowns in the 50's.
Good one. Or you could refer to it as Marxism as applied to gender-specific mobilization targets.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.