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Democrats devise Catholic scorecard
The Hill ^ | 13 April 2004 | Michael Rochmes and Albert Eisele

Posted on 04/13/2004 5:06:16 PM PDT by MegaSilver

House Democrats are preparing a “Catholic Voting Scorecard” in an effort to show that Catholic Democratic lawmakers have adhered more closely to the position of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy on key issues than their Catholic Republican counterparts.

Democratic sources say Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Nicholas Lampson (D-Texas), both Catholics, are spearheading the project, which will compare the votes of Catholic members of both parties on a number of key issues that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified as its legislative priorities. Nearly 27 percent of House members are Catholic.

The votes, some of which go back several Congresses, include partial-birth abortion, human cloning, child tax credit refunds, the Defense of Marriage Act, global AIDS relief and HIV/AIDS funding, assistance to needy families and raising the minimum wage.

“Under the misconception that single issues such as choice or gay rights best represent their interests, Catholics are voting for Republican candidates with increasing frequency,” a document accompanying the scorecard stated. The document concluded that “Democratic House members vote with the Catholic interest much more often than their Republican counterparts.”

A preliminary copy of the scorecard obtained by The Hill, which a Lampson aide emphasized is still unfinished, shows that the 67 Catholic House Democrats received an average score of 76 percent, while the 49 Catholic Republican members averaged 64 percent.

Republican Catholic members were quick to criticize the scorecard.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said both the bishops and the Democrats are confusing means with motives. “Many of the issues they’re talking about really have nothing to do with actual Catholic teaching or religion,” he said. “It is interpretation of economic policy.”

He added, “For the most part, certainly on social issues and foreign policy issues, the Catholic bishops pretty much speak just for the Catholic bishops. I would say that they are considerably more liberal than the average Catholic voter is. Many of the issues they’re talking about really have nothing to do with actually Catholic teaching or religion. It is interpretation of economic policy.”

King said the Democrats are “attempting to make liberal Democrats look like mainstream Catholics.”

Frank Monahan, director of government liaison for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said his organization had nothing to do with the scorecard and doesn’t rank lawmakers.

“It looks like a fairly accurate list of issues, certainly not a complete list, of issues where we have taken position,” Monahan added.

Several prominent Catholic bishops and lay leaders recently have criticized the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), and other Catholic politicians, such as Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), for their support of abortion rights, stem-cell research, same-sex marriages and other issues that contradict Catholic teaching.

The issue was highlighted on Easter Sunday when Kerry took Holy Communion at a Catholic church in Boston despite the suggestion by Boston’s Catholic archbishop, Sean O’Malley, that Catholic politicians whose views deviate from Catholic doctrine should abstain from receiving communion.

In February, the archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond L. Burke, publicly stated that he would not allow Kerry to receive Communion, and last April, Bishop Robert Carlson of Sioux Falls, S.D., refused to confirm or deny a report that he had directed Daschle to refrain from calling himself a Catholic in his official biography because of his support for abortion rights.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, told “Fox News Sunday” that he is reluctant to deprive a Catholic politician who deviates from Catholic teaching of Communion and would only do so as a last resort.

Monahan said a task force in the conference has been assembled to develop a policy for dealing with Catholic politicians whose positions do not reflect Catholic teaching.

But in a report published in March, the conference stated that Catholics should not become single-issue voters: “The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine.”

The task force “is looking at everything,” said Monahan, adding, “It’s not formed around Senator Kerry or members of Congress. It’s dealing with Catholic politicians at all levels. Everything is on the table. They haven’t got too far down the line in their work yet. You’re dealing with a lot of bishops and a lot of points of view.”

Terry Carmack, chief of staff for Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.), noted that the preliminary scorecard obtained by The Hill does not include Republican issues such as school vouchers or faith-based initiatives. “I seriously doubt that a cherry-picked scorecard from our opponents will have any impact on Catholic voters in Louisville,” Carmack said.

Stating that the authors of the scorecard “believe that you have to be a liberal Catholic to be a good Catholic,” he added, “I can only speak for my boss. As a Catholic, she certainly understands that [Catholicism] is a worldwide religion. And you can be more liberal or more conservative and still be a member of the worldwide religion.”

Neither DeLauro nor Lampson would comment on the scorecards.

“We’re not ready to present this to the press,” said Aaron Schmidt, a spokesman for Lampson. “This project is still getting off the ground and won’t be ready for a couple of months. The members don’t want to discuss it with the press. They’d like to talk with the Catholic bishops first.”

Seven Democrats received 100 percent ratings on the preliminary scorecard: Reps. Jerry Costello (Ill.), Mike Doyle (Pa.), Dale Kildee (Mich.), James Langevin (Maine), Michael McNulty (N.Y.), Michael Michaud (Maine) and Tim Ryan (Ohio). Six others had scores of 90 percent or better, while Rep. Ellen Tauscher (Calif.) scored the lowest, at 60 percent, only slightly lower than Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who had 63.6 percent.

Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.), a leading opponent of abortion-rights legislation, had the highest score among Republicans, 72.7 percent, Only two other Republicans, Michael Ferguson (N.J.) and John McHugh (N.Y.) scored 70 percent or better, while Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla.) had the lowest score, 28.6 percent.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholicism; catholicpoliticians; catholics; catholicvote; liars; phonies
Seven Democrats received 100 percent ratings on the preliminary scorecard: Reps. Jerry Costello (Ill.), Mike Doyle (Pa.), Dale Kildee (Mich.), James Langevin (Maine), Michael McNulty (N.Y.), Michael Michaud (Maine) and Tim Ryan (Ohio). Six others had scores of 90 percent or better, while Rep. Ellen Tauscher (Calif.) scored the lowest, at 60 percent, only slightly lower than Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who had 63.6 percent.

Well, it's not too hard to win a game when you make up the rules.

1 posted on 04/13/2004 5:06:17 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: MegaSilver
What about devout moslem democrats....?


2 posted on 04/13/2004 5:10:20 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack ("We deal in hard calibers and hot lead." - Roland Deschaines)
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To: MegaSilver
Maybe the FReepers should start a Catholic Misery Card,
headed by Kerry, Kennedy, etc.. Both are an
embarrassment to the Christian religion.
3 posted on 04/13/2004 5:11:38 PM PDT by Smartass ("HANOI JOHN KERRY" IS A TRAITOR - BUSH & CHENEY IN 2004)
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To: MegaSilver
The issue was highlighted on Easter Sunday when Kerry took Holy Communion at a Catholic church in Boston...

AARGH! It WAS NOT a Catholic church! al-Qerry and Mrs Condiment have been attending something called a "Paulist Center"--a non-denominational church with NO TIES to the Vatican. Al-Qerry is making sure pix of him receiving communion are being floated about but the pix rarely mention the denomination of the church.

Regardless...he, Dasshole, Granholm et al should all be excommunicated!

4 posted on 04/13/2004 5:12:40 PM PDT by grellis (Mi sento male. Ho fatto un'indigestione!)
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To: MegaSilver
As a strong practicing Catholic, I have said before, and will say again. All the feel good programs in the world to feed and house the poor and medical care and environmental concerns won't do you a bit of good, IF YOU DON'T GET TO BE BORN!
5 posted on 04/13/2004 5:13:20 PM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: MegaSilver; Alamo-Girl; Ragtime Cowgirl; dubyaismypresident
Yes, let's all lie about honesty in government, crimes, rape, perjury, international socialism, and disrespect for the Bill of Rights ...

While paying lip service to illegal immigration (on the list), "woman's rights" and "minority rights" ....

Which the democrats interpret as reparations and extortion for EEOC lawsuits and abortion.

The democrats are the ones over and over committing voter fraud, but the liberal church will ignore that in favor a "illegal alien" rights.
But the democrats in the Clinton's' White House were the ones DEMANDING money from the Indians just to get represented in the Interior Dept.

They were the ones taking foreign money in bribes and "illegal campaign donations."

The Catholic Church talks of workers' rights but the democrats demand union extorted money and use union thugs to stifle protests.....

6 posted on 04/13/2004 5:13:46 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only support FR by donating monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: grellis
http://www.catholicsagainstkerry.com
7 posted on 04/13/2004 5:14:11 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave ("Let's roll" in 2004 ----- Vote GOP!)
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To: MegaSilver
Kerry defines Catholicism. No authority - apparently not even God - dares challenge him.

(At least by how he acts.)

8 posted on 04/13/2004 5:17:08 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: grellis
Regardless...he, Dasshole, Granholm et al should all be excommunicated!

Daschle HAS been excommunicated.

9 posted on 04/13/2004 5:17:13 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: MegaSilver
Really? I didn't know that.
10 posted on 04/13/2004 5:19:13 PM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: MegaSilver
If they had any sense, the bishops would tell these guys the same thing they say in their official documents--namely, that what is at stake in Catholic teaching is not a set of policies but a set of PRINCIPLES derived from the Gospel, and the Dems right now are totally out of compliance with the first and most important of those principles:
Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and assisted suicide.

11 posted on 04/13/2004 5:19:39 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: grellis
It WAS NOT a Catholic church! al-Qerry and Mrs Condiment have been attending something called a "Paulist Center"--a non-denominational church with NO TIES to the Vatican. Al-Qerry is making sure pix of him receiving communion are being floated about but the pix rarely mention the denomination of the church.

That's not true. The Paulist Center was dedicated by a Catholic bishop, is staffed by Paulist Priests, a religious order in union with Rome, and all the priests must have the "faculties" (permission) of Archbishop O'Malley to celebrate Mass. He has given them such permission.

The Paulist Center is a Catholic facility.

12 posted on 04/13/2004 5:19:58 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: MegaSilver
One of the great ironies of this age is that we have to elect Protestants to public office if we want to see Catholic moral teachings upheld in government policy.
13 posted on 04/13/2004 5:23:49 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Alberta -- the TRUE north strong and free.)
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To: sinkspur
The Paulist Center is a Catholic facility

I checked them out last week and sent them a not-so-nice e-mail. Because they ARE in communion with Rome.
14 posted on 04/13/2004 5:24:04 PM PDT by Integrityrocks
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To: MegaSilver
There's no doubt whatsoever that the Catholic Church has been taking political positions that have only the faintest connection to any question of doctrine. Catholic leadership is politically liberal, both here in the US and at the Vatican.

It's a strange situation where the Church is increasingly adopting political stances, yet criticizes liberal politicians who disagree on doctrinal matters that are part and parcel of the political spectrum the Church embraces. The way things are going, I wouldn't be terribly surprised for the Vatican to declare abortion a good thing within a few decades.

15 posted on 04/13/2004 5:27:19 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: MegaSilver
"House Democrats are preparing a “Catholic Voting Scorecard” in an effort to show that Catholic Democratic lawmakers have adhered more closely to the position of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy on key issues than their Catholic Republican counterparts."

This concept is such a joke! Utterly and completely laughable. But of course, the democrats will successfully spin it. They always do.

16 posted on 04/13/2004 5:28:07 PM PDT by TOUGH STOUGH (A vote for George W. Bush IS a vote for principle!)
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To: Integrityrocks
Tom Daschle's Duty to Be Morally Coherent

Bishop Robert Carlson denies that he issued a PUBLIC statement, but said that he HAD spoken with Daschle about the issue. Neither Carlson nor Daschle would comment on whether the excommunication had, indeed, taken place.

17 posted on 04/13/2004 5:33:03 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: MegaSilver
Are the 100%ers pro-life? Cool -- I didn't know there were any pro-life Democrats left.
18 posted on 04/13/2004 5:34:54 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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Read this Catholic Democrat. An interesting thread
19 posted on 04/13/2004 5:39:27 PM PDT by It's me
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To: MegaSilver
"The votes, some of which go back several Congresses, include partial-birth abortion, human cloning, child tax credit refunds, the Defense of Marriage Act, global AIDS relief and HIV/AIDS funding, assistance to needy families and raising the minimum wage.

“Under the misconception that single issues such as choice or gay rights best represent their interests, Catholics are voting for Republican candidates with increasing frequency,” a document accompanying the scorecard stated. The document concluded that “Democratic House members vote with the Catholic interest much more often than their Republican counterparts.”

Catholicism is not liberation theology. It is not the IRS collecting taxes for programs. It is not welfare, or tax credits, or increased funding for education or anything else.

It is social justice from the heart and hands and mind and spirit of a person that is enclosed in Jesus Christ.

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.
20 posted on 04/13/2004 6:31:14 PM PDT by OpusatFR (John Kerry - Cheezewhiz for the mind - marshmallow mush for the masses)
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To: grellis
al-Qerry and Mrs Condiment have been attending something called a "Paulist Center"--a non-denominational church with NO TIES to the Vatican.

This is not accurate. The Paulists are an order of priests founded by Isaac Hecker, a 19th-century Catholic convert in the Boston area. They are definitely Catholic, and they run the Paulist Center.

21 posted on 04/13/2004 6:38:30 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: MegaSilver
Daschle HAS been excommunicated.

I'm quite certain this is not true. Do you have evidence to support this claim?

22 posted on 04/13/2004 6:39:40 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: madprof98
If they had any sense, the bishops would ... "

Let's stop right there. If the bishops had any sense we wouldn't need to be having this discussion.

23 posted on 04/13/2004 6:41:10 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: TOUGH STOUGH
Utterly and completely laughable. But of course, the democrats will successfully spin it.

No, it's not a joke, and the Democrats don't need to spin it. The reality is that pro-abortion Democrat politicians are much closer to the positions of the American bishops than Republicans are. The bishops have succeeded in making all issues equally trivial by raising welfare support to the same moral level as abortion. It is the bishops who have created this situation, not the politicians.

Just to take one example, at a Catholic high school you're a lot more likely to see "Dead Man Walking" than "Silent Scream." In their hearts they care a lot more about the death penalty than they do about abortion. And after all, when pope John Paul II visited St. Louis and had his "youth convention" at the sports arena, he talked about the death penalty, not about abortion.

24 posted on 04/13/2004 6:46:56 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Integrityrocks
Certain inalienable rights : Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness........ Notice which right is listed first? Abortion is an infringement on that right, listed first!
25 posted on 04/13/2004 9:10:55 PM PDT by Just Lori (I chose life over abortion!)
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To: Maximilian
No, it's not a joke, and the Democrats don't need to spin it. The reality is that pro-abortion Democrat politicians are much closer to the positions of the American bishops than Republicans are. The bishops have succeeded in making all issues equally trivial by raising welfare support to the same moral level as abortion. It is the bishops who have created this situation, not the politicians.

Just to take one example, at a Catholic high school you're a lot more likely to see "Dead Man Walking" than "Silent Scream." In their hearts they care a lot more about the death penalty than they do about abortion. And after all, when pope John Paul II visited St. Louis and had his "youth convention" at the sports arena, he talked about the death penalty, not about abortion.


And this IS the point of so many "Catholics". They continue to vote for the party that says putting a human being to death "for a crime" is against our teaching(no one should die), yet they continue to vote for the party who puts innocent babies "who have committed no crime" to death every day. As a Catholic, how can you justify this? A person who has committed rape or murder should be allowed to live, while an innocent pre-born human being is murdered?
26 posted on 04/13/2004 9:25:19 PM PDT by Just Lori (I chose life over abortion!)
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To: MegaSilver
House Democrats are preparing a “Catholic Voting Scorecard” in an effort to show that Catholic Democratic lawmakers have adhered more closely to the position of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy on key issues than their Catholic Republican counterparts.

Democratic sources say Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Nicholas Lampson (D-Texas), both Catholics, are spearheading the project, which will compare the votes of Catholic members of both parties on a number of key issues that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified as its legislative priorities. Nearly 27 percent of House members are Catholic.

How can I get access to this "Catholic Voting Scorecard"? Can you point me in the right direction?
27 posted on 04/13/2004 9:32:42 PM PDT by Just Lori (I chose life over abortion!)
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To: Spanaway Lori
As a Catholic, how can you justify this?

1. It's not just Catholics who vote this way. Catholics vote in roughly the same percentages as non-Catholics.
2. I have no control over the behavior of the bishops.
3. Ultimately there is no justification. The bishops have turned apostate and renounced traditional Catholicism.

28 posted on 04/13/2004 10:01:39 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: MegaSilver
Ping
29 posted on 04/13/2004 10:10:05 PM PDT by AnimalLover
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To: Maximilian
I read the article to quickly and misunderstood the point. I thought they were comparing Democratic legislators to Republican legislators. I will have to endeavor to read more carefully.

Comparing the similarity between democratic legislators and Catholic bishops - that is indeed another story.

In recent history, there has been a greater concern about the death penalty, wrongly so, than about abortion. You are correct. To my great appreciation, in my parish, however, one of our priests is a leader in the pro-life movement.

30 posted on 04/14/2004 11:13:18 AM PDT by TOUGH STOUGH (A vote for George W. Bush IS a vote for principle!)
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To: MegaSilver
The RATS have no shame. In the 1990's, the Christian Coalition wanted to pass out voter guides to Catholics. The liberal media, several RAT politicians, and even some Bishops decried the move. Now the usual suspects plan to create a scam to give them cover for their anti-American, pro-socialist votes.
31 posted on 04/14/2004 8:03:25 PM PDT by Kuksool (9-11 happened when the RATS controlled the Senate)
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To: JohnnyZ; Clintonfatigued; AuH2ORepublican
Get a load of this scam.
32 posted on 04/14/2004 8:13:31 PM PDT by Kuksool (9-11 happened when the RATS controlled the Senate)
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To: Kuksool
I have a question about this. Is it too laughable to take seriously, or too serious a problem to laugh at?
33 posted on 04/14/2004 10:22:07 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
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To: Spanaway Lori
How can I get access to this "Catholic Voting Scorecard"? Can you point me in the right direction?

If I come across it, I'll post it here.

34 posted on 04/15/2004 7:57:47 AM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: Maximilian
I'm quite certain this is not true. Do you have evidence to support this claim?

Daschle made himself ineligible for Communion by remarrying without an annulment for his first marriage. Of course, as John Kerry demonstrates, that doesn't necessarily mean that he's stopped receiving Communion. Last year, though, word got out that he was ordered to remove all documentation referring to himself as a Catholic because he voted "no" on the partial-birth abortion ban. His bishop was asked if this was true, and would not answer the question directly, saying that it was between him and Daschle, but would say that he had talked to Daschle about the abortion issue.

35 posted on 04/15/2004 8:05:59 AM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: MegaSilver
Daschle made himself ineligible for Communion by remarrying without an annulment for his first marriage. Of course, as John Kerry demonstrates, that doesn't necessarily mean that he's stopped receiving Communion.

Of course you're right that they should all be consided excommunicated and shouldn't be going to communion. The question is whether the bishops will enforce the rules, and so far it looks like the answer is "No" with possibly 1 or 2 exceptions.

36 posted on 04/15/2004 8:49:14 AM PDT by Maximilian
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To: MegaSilver; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp IV; narses; ...
Democratic sources say Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Nicholas Lampson (D-Texas), both Catholics, are spearheading the project, which will compare the votes of Catholic members of both parties on a number of key issues that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified as its legislative priorities.

Wonder how they will score Kerry.

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


37 posted on 04/15/2004 1:39:43 PM PDT by NYer (O Promise of God from age to age. O Flower of the Gospel!)
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To: NYer
One thing to point out: the concress critters who scored 100% on the scorecard are not really well known. Check out the Planned Parenthood site on these people. They all receive a zero rating.

There are some democrats who claim Catholicism who truly do vote that way. They just aren't known much outside their districts. One of the group, I happen to know is a VERY devout Catholic. So it does exist.
38 posted on 04/15/2004 1:45:54 PM PDT by Desdemona (Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.)
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To: MegaSilver
Rosa DeLauro has always caught a bad vibe with me.


39 posted on 04/15/2004 2:35:05 PM PDT by Fast Ed97
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To: Desdemona; ninenot; GirlShortstop
Ah, but Rosa used to be my Congressthing when I lived in Connecticut and if she is a Catholic (other than by baptism in infancy) then so was the Marquis de Sade, Albert Camus, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Matt Bundy, Jeffrey Dahlmer and quite a few others. When Rosa first ran for Congress, she had a TV ad featuring her First Communion pictures. Public reaction by Catholics and by her Catholic opponent took that ad off the air in a few days and she stopped darkening the doors of Catholic churches thereafter during the campaign because everyone knew what she was and it was NOT Catholic as she wanted Catholic people to believe.
40 posted on 04/16/2004 11:34:06 AM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: MegaSilver
Daschle HAS been excommunicated.

Please provide a link or something to that info, thank you.

41 posted on 04/16/2004 11:52:06 AM PDT by Protagoras (When they asked me what I thought of freedom in America,,, I said I thought it would be a good idea.)
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To: Protagoras
See my post #17.

I got it slightly off. He made himself ineligible for Communion by remarrying without an annulment, and reportedly he was told to quit calling himself a Catholic by his bishop. The bishop would not confirm the latter; he would only say that he had spoken with Daschle about the abortion issue and that it was a private matter.

42 posted on 04/16/2004 12:05:04 PM PDT by MegaSilver
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To: MegaSilver
Thank you
43 posted on 04/16/2004 12:07:32 PM PDT by Protagoras (When they asked me what I thought of freedom in America,,, I said I thought it would be a good idea.)
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To: MegaSilver
these are the rules that must be followed:

Subject: THE FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLE ISSUES for Voting as a Catholic Voter before getting into Church social issues


YOUR ROLE AS A CATHOLIC VOTER


Catholics have a moral obligation to promote the common good through the exercise of their voting privileges (cf. CCC 2240). It is not just civil authorities who have responsibility for a country. "Service of the common good require[s] citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community" (CCC 2239). This means citizens should participate in the political process at the ballot box.

But voting cannot be arbitrary. "A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals" (CPL 4).

Some things always are wrong, and no one may vote in favor of them, directly or indirectly. Citizens vote in favor of these evils if they vote in favor of candidates who propose to advance them. Thus, Catholics should not vote for anyone who intends to push programs or laws that are intrinsically evil.


THE FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLE ISSUES


These five issues are called non-negotiable because they concern actions that are always morally wrong and must never be promoted by the law. It is a serious sin to endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any of the five non-negotiables.

1. Abortion

The Church teaches that, regarding a law permitting abortions, it is "never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it" (EV 73). Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.

The child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of his life. Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child's, who should not suffer death for others' sins.

2. Euthanasia

Often disguised by the name "mercy killing," euthanasia also is a form of homicide. No one has a right to take his own life (suicide), and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person.

In euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed out of a misplaced sense of compassion, but true compassion cannot include doing something intrinsically evil to another person (cf. EV 73).

3. Fetal Stem Cell Research

Human embryos are human beings. "Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo" (CRF 4b).

Recent scientific advances show that any medical cure that might arise from experimentation on fetal stem cells can be developed by using adult stem cells instead. Adult stem cells can be obtained without doing harm to the adults from whom they come. Thus there no longer is a medical argument in favor of using fetal stem cells.

4. Human Cloning

"Attempts . . . for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through 'twin fission,' cloning, or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union" (RHL I:6).

Human cloning also ends up being a form of homicide because the "rejected" or "unsuccessful" clones are destroyed, yet each clone is a human being.

5. Homosexual "Marriage"

True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other form of "marriage" undermines true marriage, and legal recognition of homosexual unions actually does homosexual persons a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.

"When legislation in favor of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral" (UHP 10).


WHICH POLITICAL OFFICES SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT?


Laws are passed by the legislature, enforced by the executive branch, and interpreted by the judiciary. This means you should scrutinize any candidate for the legislature, anyone running for an executive office, and anyone nominated for the bench. This is true not only at the national level but also at the state and local levels.

True, the lesser the office, the less likely the office holder will take up certain issues. Your city council, for example, perhaps never will take up the issue of human cloning. But it is important that you evaluate every candidate, no matter what office is being sought.

Few people achieve high office without first holding low office. Some people become congressional representatives, senators, or presidents without having been elected to a lesser office. But most representatives, senators, and presidents started their political careers at the local level. The same is true for state lawmakers. Most of them began on city councils and school boards and worked their way up the political ladder.

Tomorrow's candidates for higher offices will come mainly from today's candidates for lower offices. It is therefore prudent to apply the same standards to local candidates as to state and national ones.

If candidates who are wrong on non-negotiable issues fail to be elected to lower offices, they might not become candidates for higher offices. This would make it easier to elect good candidates for the more influential offices at the state and national levels.


HOW TO DETERMINE A CANDIDATE'S POSITION


1. The higher the office, the easier this will be. Congressional representatives and senators, for example, repeatedly have seen these issues come before them and so have taken positions on them. Often the same can be said at the state level. In either case, learning a candidate's position can be as easy as reading newspaper or magazine articles, looking up his views on the Internet, or studying one of the many printed candidate surveys that are distributed at election time.

2. It often is more difficult to learn the views of candidates for local offices because few of them have an opportunity to consider legislation on such things as abortion, cloning, and the sanctity of marriage. But these candidates, being local, often can be contacted directly or have local campaign offices that will explain their positions.

3. If you cannot determine a candidate's views by other means, do not hesitate to write directly to him and ask how he stands on each of the non-negotiables.


HOW NOT TO VOTE


1. Do not base your vote on your political party affiliation, your earlier voting habits, or your family's voting tradition. Years ago, these may have been trustworthy ways to determine whom to vote for, but today they are not reliable. You need to look at each candidate as an individual. This means that you may end up casting votes for candidates from more than one party.

2. Do not cast your vote based on candidates' appearance, personality, or "media savvy." Some attractive, engaging, and "sound-bite-capable" candidates endorse intrinsic evils and so should be opposed, while other candidates, who may be plain-looking, uninspiring, and ill at ease in front of cameras, endorse legislation in accord with basic Christian principles.

3. Do not vote for candidates simply because they declare themselves to be Catholic. Unfortunately, many self-described Catholic candidates reject basic Catholic moral teaching. They are "Catholic" only when seeking votes from Catholics.

4. Do not choose among candidates based on "What's in it for me?" Make your decision based on which candidates seem most likely to promote the common good, even if you will not benefit directly or immediately from the legislation they propose.

5. Do not reward with your vote candidates who are right on lesser issues but who are wrong on key moral issues. One candidate may have a record of voting exactly as you wish, aside from voting also in favor of, say, euthanasia. Such a candidate should not get your vote. Candidates need to learn that being wrong on even one of the non-negotiable issues is enough to exclude them from consideration.


HOW TO VOTE


1. For each office, first determine how each candidate stands on each of the five non-negotiable issues.

2. Eliminate from consideration candidates who are wrong on any of the non-negotiable issues. No matter how right they may be on other issues, they should be considered disqualified if they are wrong on even one of the non-negotiables.

3. Choose from among the remaining candidates, based on your assessment of each candidate's views on other, lesser issues.


WHEN THERE IS NO "ACCEPTABLE" CANDIDATE


In some political races, each candidate takes a wrong position on one or more of the five non-negotiables. In such a case you may vote for the candidate who takes the fewest such positions or who seems least likely to be able to advance immoral legislation, or you may choose to vote for no one.


THE ROLE OF YOUR CONSCIENCE


Conscience is like an alarm. It warns you when you are about to do something wrong. It does not itself determine what is right or wrong. For your conscience to work properly, it must be properly informed-that is, you must inform yourself about what is right and what is wrong. Only then will your conscience be a trusted guide.

Unfortunately, today many Catholics have not formed their consciences adequately regarding key moral issues. The result is that their consciences do not "sound off" at appropriate times, including on election day.

A well-formed conscience never will contradict Catholic moral teaching. For that reason, if you are unsure where your conscience is leading you when at the ballot box, place your trust in the unwavering moral teachings of the Church. (The Catechism of the Catholic Church is an excellent source of authentic moral teaching.)


WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH THIS VOTER'S GUIDE


Please do not keep this voter's guide to yourself. Read it, learn from it, and prepare your selection of candidates based on it. Then give this voter's guide to a friend, and ask your friend to read it and pass it on to others. The more people who vote in accord with basic moral principles, the better off our country will be.





The Vatican released a forceful "doctrinal note" on "Catholics in Public Life," which said: "A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals."
44 posted on 04/16/2004 12:11:20 PM PDT by Eternally-Optimistic
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To: All
Where did Christ call for the forced redistribution of wealth?
45 posted on 04/16/2004 12:15:44 PM PDT by Mr. Buzzcut
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To: Las Vegas Dave
catholicsagainstkerry.com

Good site. Thanks for the link. These practicing Catholics obviously recognize a spurious "Catholic" when they see one.

46 posted on 04/16/2004 12:16:25 PM PDT by Caleb1411
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To: NYer
In the March 29 issue of America ("The National Catholic Weekly") there's an article titled "Paying the Piper" which leaves no doubt that good Catholics should vote Democrat because their tax policy is more in line with "Catholic social teaching."

Grrr.

The person who spoke to our RCIA class on the topic of "social justice" went straight down the list of ultra-liberal objectives: we should have a state income tax (our state currently has no income tax), enact "living wage" legislation (every worker should make enough to support a family, no matter what the job they do), pay more taxes to help the poor, more taxes for education, we should have government health care, blah blah blah.

BTW, what in the world do these "living wage" proponents think would happen if they got their wish?

47 posted on 04/20/2004 1:58:41 AM PDT by wonders
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