Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'Catholics for Obama'

It transpires that Senator Obama is just as pro-family as Sarah Palin. And the Obama-Biden campaign has produced piles of merchandise to prove it. Just read it and believe. Suspend all criticism and imbibe. Allow it to enter the deepest recesses of the consciousness without question or doubt.

There is a certain disquiet in the USA as to how anyone can profess to be pro-family and yet support abortion. It is a question the Obama-Biden campaign is confronting head-on. The feeding of the five million with ‘faith merchandise’ has been referred to as the boldest move since Christ drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, and this postmodern messiah is bathing in the shekinah glory of the media spotlight. The faithful may choose from ‘Believers for Barack’, ‘Pro-Family Pro-Obama’ and ‘Catholics for Obama’ buttons, stickers, banners and flags. And they are currently planning ‘Clergy for Change’ and ‘Pro-Israel Pro-Obama’ merchandise.

It is a crude attempt to win the religious vote – in particular the Evangelical and Roman Catholic contingent - for whom family values and abortion remain the highest of priorities. The Roman Catholic Church has said that candidates who promote fundamental moral evils such as abortion are cooperating in ‘a grave evil’, and so Catholics should not vote for them to advance those evils.

A Catholic voter’s decision to support a candidate despite that gravely immoral position ‘would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.’

The divergence between the Biden / Pelosi view on abortion and that of the Bishops is said to be simply ‘a running debate between Catholics’. But for many, abortion is the only issue: it concerns a fundamental teaching of the Church on justice and peace, serving the poor and advancing the common good — beginning with a fundamental priority on protecting innocent human life from direct attack, which abortion manifestly is.

The Catholic vote has historically been pivotal in deciding who occupies the White House. It has gone to the winning presidential campaign in every race since 1976, except Al Gore’s 2000 bid.

But Cranmer wonders why there are no buttons, banners or bumper stickers saying ‘Muslims for Barack’?


Blogger Holy Smoke said...

Unfortunately the number of "American Catholics" who have abortions is very high. It is time for the Catholic Church in America to get serious about what it means to be a Catholic. Obama is trying to divide the population by offering social reform and a relativist answer on moral issues.

Probably most of the muslims in the USA are not citizens and can't vote.

24 September 2008 at 09:23  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

The position is even worse than Abortion. Obama voted against infant resuscitation legislation that would have provided a duty on medical staff to come to the aid of a child born live having survived an abortion. At that point, of course, any consideration of the mother's health would have passed.

More importantly Obama thereby passed from supporting Abortion to supporting Infanticide.

This step across the moral chasm was too great for Hillary, Teddy Kennedy, and Nancy Pelosi, and thus Obama confirmed his crown as the most liberal/left wing of any Senator in the House.

Don't y'all love him at the Beeb

24 September 2008 at 10:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting politicking by the U.S. Catholic church that it focuses on abortion. The death penalty is a no-hoper given the average US citizens appalling appetite for violent revenge, and the old staple of sexual sin would of course draw attention to the remarkable number of randy paedophiles in its priesthood. And then there's the Iraq war which has, I believe, been deemed unjust but which is beloved by many, and then the question of torture. Torture is, like the death penalty, thoroughly approved of by the majority of US citizens "when necessary" and, in any case, mentioning torture might draw attention to the Church's own pioneering work in that area.

So abortion seems the only arrow in the moral quiver, even though the fundamental problem of the exact timing of ensoulment remains.

24 September 2008 at 12:08  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

It might be useful to hear what the US Catholic Bishops have said around this issue in their document about faithful citizenship.

The Bishops say this in paragraph 42:

As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.

In other words, one shouldn't vote for a candidate over a single issue, but it is legitimate not to vote for a candidate because of his position on a fundamental issue. Does this really need further explanation?

24 September 2008 at 12:35  
Blogger John M Ward said...

My uneasiness grows with every item of news I hear or read about Obama. This one is no exception.

There are times when I wonder who he might really be. I get a gold chill whenever I contemplate what the American people might be about to let themselves (and the rest of us) in for...

24 September 2008 at 13:44  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

Catholics in this country have a similar dilemma - but as your Grace has remarked, there is a dichotomy between the parties. With a few honorable exceptions, Labour would wish to squash any further discussion except the degree to which abortion regulations should be further relaxed.

The Conservatives are at least willing to listen and engage in debate rather than just quote the party line. This is shown when we have written to our MPs.

On a lighter note, I've been trying to find an anagram for Barack Obama (who sounds like a character from Asimov's Foundation series)

The best I can do so far is

aka 'a car bomb'

Can your communicants do any better?

24 September 2008 at 14:59  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Regarding anagrams, there is more scope with "Barack Hussein Obama", though its till isn't easy to find something of value.

My best are:

I am a crash abuse knob
I am OK as a beach burns
Ouch! A man breaks bias
I'm a cause: abhor banks

There are plenty more...

24 September 2008 at 17:29  
Blogger Max said...


I must say that your article is extremely interesting!

Catholics (and my parents are Catholics) and evangelicals (my grandmother is one) sometimes do amaze when some of its members display a lack of consistency in their beliefs and ideals.
The concept of family is extremely valued (and God knows I value this concept more than anything) but then the rate of divorce (here in Portugal - Catholic country) has doubled since 2003 - what is the church doing? Evangelicals divorce less.
Abortion is prohibited (I am utterly agains it), but if certain conditions are met than it is not: where is the consistency? (and here I am not talking about the church, because even here the church is utterly against vaccuming a child only because the baby presents defects of some sort, or if the mom is in danger, or if she has been raped. No, I am talking about the Catholics who are inconsistent pro-life). Evangelicals are more consistent.

The Catholic Church should ask itself why so many of its members decided to leave, and why it produced so many sudden atheists and agnostics. But I volunteer to bring some light: for speeches like these "candidate who promote fundamental moral evils such as abortion are cooperating in 'a grave evil'". Well, well, well...not the best way to convey the Message is it? The Church is the last church to be speek of "moral evils" given its history...

Now, Senator Obama, is pro-choice (not pro-abortion, which is a whole different thing), does that make him evil? I don't think so. Some are pro-life and then go and take the lives of doctors and women who perform abortions, is this evil? Yes. Many are pro-life in public, but when they find themselves in an "awkward" situation...they have an abortion; is that evil? I don't know, but it is hypocritical for sure.
Governor Palin claims to be pro-life (a pseudo one, since she defends that if a mother is in danger than she can choose to have an seems to me that once you choose, you become a pro-choice).

I agree with Catholics: being against abortion is "protecting innocent human life from direct attack".

"Why are there no buttons, banners or bumper stickers saying 'Muslims for Barack'?" - excellent question! Could it be because he is Christian (thus an infidel? A Dog from hell?)? Could it be because they don't want to ruin his chances of actually winning this elections (for being connoted to Muslims - as the Republican party tried to do by associating Senator Obama's name to the religion)?

The American Catholics should vote on the right candidate, not because he chose not to judge people who decide to make an abortion (after all that is between the Creator and the creatures), but because he is the right one to lead America in these troubled times.

Excellent article, and thanks for allowing me to discuss this issue here.


24 September 2008 at 19:48  
Anonymous Smith Dorrien said...

Abortion notwithstanding, at least Obama has shown some Christian commitment to marriage - unlike 'Shagger' McCain ...

24 September 2008 at 20:01  
Anonymous Dave said...

Is Obama a true Christian or a Muslim?
Does he really believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ? Can Obama pass the Jesus Test?

Take the Jesus Test to find out if you are a true Christian at

25 September 2008 at 01:11  
Anonymous Morus said...

Let me decode this for you, Your Grace.

A prediction, on which I am prepared to stake a significant sum of money:

Irrespective of who wins the White House, Roe v Wade will not be overturned in the next four years.

The Democrats would never do it, the Republicans would hate to see it lost as a future campaign issue, and even if a President wanted it, the Democratic Senate would never confirm Supreme Court Justices who would overturn it.

George W Bush had both the House and the Senate controlled by his party, the biggest reelection vote in history and two nominees to the Supreme Court, and he never made any headway. Abortion is a complete non-issue - Americans could elect His Holiness or Marie Curie, and it would still make no difference.

For this reason, Catholics are fully justified in looking at some of the other life and death issues - war, economic strife, disaster relief - and making their choice on the issues that will actually be affected by who is in the White House.

As a Catholic, I would be a little uncomfortable seeing someone who refused to renounce the endorsement of Pastor Hagee. Obama might believe things that are antithetical to my Catholicism, but I am confident that he does not hate Catholics. The same cannot be said for Sarah Palin's church, or some of the endorsements that John McCain has failed to renounce.

25 September 2008 at 10:30  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

Make your predictions as much as you want, but beware! Time will prove you a false prophet.

Don't kid yourself. Roe v. Wade is due to face its reckoning. The next president will replace one if not two pro-abort judges. And if you see a problem with a Democratic senate, maybe you and so-called Pro-Life Democrats need to challenge the party more than you have. Look at its explicitly pro-abortion creed.

Your evaluation of the Bush presidency in regard to abortion is seriously misguided.
Do you remember the first days of Clinton? He removed restrictions on US funding abortions abroad. Bush restored those restrictions.
That said, Bush has consistently appointed federal judges who do not have a radical pro-abortion anti-family agenda. But, the ideological Demokrats, who are somehow never challenged by Democrat "Pro-Lifers," always oppose those appointments.
Bush has also used pro-life phraseology in his speeches. This is something of great importance to the Pro-Life cause.
Bush has prevent creation of new embryos for federally funded testing.

But, people like you seem only too eager to look away while Obama votes for - unrepentantly- partial birth abortion.
Abortion is not a "non-issue" even if you want it to be so. In fact, your buddy Obama sees it as such an important issue that he has promised to make it a fundamental human right!

Oh, and nice try with the Hagee issue. It sounds like the old anti-Catholic argument. "I won't for a Catholic, because he obeys the Pope." So what if Hagee doesn't like Catholics? How long has McCain known Hagee? He only seems to have joined him because the Episcopalians went batty. How long has Obama known America-hater Wright? At least McCain has the balls not to betray a "mentor" in order to fool people who want to be fooled into voting for him. Meanwhile, Obama has received endorsements from terrorist leaders abroad [Qadfi, Castro, Kim Il-Jung].

25 September 2008 at 18:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is a Unborn murder. He is for killing the unborn. Any Catholic voting for this Animal should be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Obama is not for Pro Family or for the Country of Isreal. In his book words from his own mouth

"If there is a war I will be with the Muslim" this are his word in his book.

26 September 2008 at 01:39  
Blogger King Athelstan said...

In 36 years since Roe vs Wade 24 have been under Republican administrations, yet it remains in place. Why therefore is this issue at the centre of debate when nobody will actually do anything? We left footers seem to do pretty poorly in US elections anyway, so not much hope for Biden then.

26 September 2008 at 02:06  
Blogger Katherine said...

The Obama - Biden campaign is winning tremendous support among American Catholics, though part of the success is the McCain campaign's lack of any wide Catholic outreach. He has limited himself to careful engagement of reliable conservative Catholics but done nothing to even speak with Catholics who are not part of that narrow network.

26 September 2008 at 23:18  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

To Katherine:
I think the "outreach" argument is lame. No candidate should pander to any religious group. He or she ought to clearly enunciate his or her political positions and prinicples, and be willing to receive challenges to those.

But, Obama is running on charisma of being young and multi-ethnic. It's cool these days. Older white men are not cool in pop culture. Sadly, pop culture is the true common religion of the USA. So winning support among Catholics often mean winning support among those who think being Catholic is being a member of a club or just a nice feeling.

I don't know what you mean by "conservative" Catholics. But if you mean Catholics who actually take Christ's teachings seriously than you are perhaps right about the "narrow network," especially in regard to the choice of McCain or abortophile Obama.

Do "progressive" Catholics still listen to the Lord? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us that it is the "narrow" way that leads to eternal life. If "conservative" and "narrow" means abiding by Christ's Church's teaching, than I pray I be considered so.

27 September 2008 at 16:33  
Blogger Katherine said...

To Katherine:
I think the "outreach" argument is lame. No candidate should pander to any religious group. He or she ought to clearly enunciate his or her political positions and prinicples, and be willing to receive challenges to those.

I tend to agree with you and for most of my life that was the way both parties were. The Republicans introduced the program of directed Catholic outreach and I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the rest of us cannot stand on the sidelines.

But, Obama is running on charisma of being young and multi-ethnic. It's cool these days. Older white men are not cool in pop culture. Sadly, pop culture is the true common religion of the USA.

I wouldn't know too much about that. I'm on the far side of 80 myself.

So winning support among Catholics often mean winning support among those who think being Catholic is being a member of a club or just a nice feeling.

I will take it that you know best about Catholics who think your way. Of the meetings and house parties Catholics for Obama has held, I have been amazed at the prayerfullness, deep faith and yearning to know God's will among the particpants.

I don't know what you mean by "conservative" Catholics.
Catholics affiliated with the Republican Party, if you want a standard with more objective lines.

Do "progressive" Catholics still listen to the Lord?

In my experience, yes.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself tells us that it is the "narrow" way that leads to eternal life. If "conservative" and "narrow" means abiding by Christ's Church's teaching, than I pray I be considered so.

If that is what it means, I pray so too. On the other hand, when I first moved from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, I was exposed to a socially and politically conservative element of Catholics who took the "narrow" view that some members of the faith were to sit in the back pews of the church and receive communion after other members of the church.

I pray that sort of "narrow" and "conservative" practices not be seen again in the Church or in the hearts of Church members.

27 September 2008 at 17:24  
Blogger Kathy said...


Even IF 90% of priests were pedophiles would that still make abortion o.k.??? I don't understand the "reasoning" that questions how the Church can take a moral stand against anything because of the priest scandal.

29 September 2008 at 22:29  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

I thought my comment was posted, but it seems it wasn't.
I just thank Catherine for proving my point with your experience in DC many years ago.

There are Catholics today who support abortionist politicians just as there were Catholics in your past experience who supported racist politicians and policies. Church teaching declares both abortion and racism as intrinsic evils.

Your experience reminds us that we should not allow sinful behavior of the past to lead us to justify sinful behavior in the present.

Catholics who support pro-abortion politicians and policies are just as bad as those who support pro-racism politicians and policies, actually even worse!

1 October 2008 at 23:57  
Anonymous Chris said...

To me pro life also means taking care of those who are here already...the old, the poor, children, veterans of a war that should have never been started.

Many more are suffering from these atrocities in the "richest" country in the world. I don't believe in the death penalty either of which both candidates do. But sometimes we have to choose what is more important for the good of all.

We have had 8 years of a so called pro life Christian in office who not only didn't ban abortion but also has made living for the poor, elderly and middle class even worse! I am sorry but I have to vote my conscience and more people will be helped with Obama.

I am Catholic and I am voting Obama.

6 October 2008 at 16:48  
Anonymous chris said...

And rereading what I wrote...I am NOT sorry I am voting for Obama. It was typed under different context than I suspect some readers may take it.

6 October 2008 at 16:51  
Blogger Joshua said...

I would be remiss to point out that there are more that 2 people running for President here in the United States of America. Our liberal and neo-con media outlets would have our choices narrowed down to just two blokes, but the fact remains that when we get our ballots in November we will see all 6 official candidates on the ballot; not just two.

And as a side note to this comment, how a Christian could support a presidential candidate who confirms the killing of innocent children as a womans choice is beyond Ludicrous.

7 October 2008 at 15:13  

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