Skip to comments.Voting Guide for Serious Catholics-Final?
Posted on 09/25/2012 10:17:05 AM PDT by pgyanke
In recent election cycles, 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).
By most estimates, the homosexual population is approximately 2% of the total. Yet our politicians are in competition with one another in courting their vote. Why don't the politicians speak of a Christian agenda when Christians comprise 85% of the population? Perhaps there are too many denominations to see them as a single group. Why, then, ignore the Catholics who number nearly 25% of the population as a single group? The answer is simple... our vote is divided nearly equally and our support has been nullified.
I lay the fault for this on nearly 40 years of shepherding negligence and even some negative advocacy. As the government has advanced into issues of life and death (Roe v. Wade in 1973 was a big one), our bishops have taken a step back and been cowed into silence lest they engage in "political speech." Rather than challenging the people and parties which have brought the culture of death to fruition, diocese are led in easily-ignored marches against policies. In a country guaranteed a republican form of government (government by representation) by Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, chasing policies is chasing vapors. Rather, the Church should direct their energies in educating their sheep on who must not receive Catholic votes lest they remain led astray by purposely misleading media voices.
I am told by many bishops that they must tread lightly lest they endanger the Church's tax-exempt status. This is ignorance and worse, elevating monetary considerations above spiritual! The Church is exempt from taxation not by government benevolence but simply because the state has no authority over the Church to enforce their demand. 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, freedom to speak and the only one to threaten the "most-sacred" tax-exempt status. Our bishops still remain silent in pointing out that President Obama and his administration directly attacked religious freedom in this country... even while suing the administration over "policy."
We are encouraged to look to each candidate as we evaluate our vote and not at the political parties as a group. The problem with this approach in our country today is that votes for even the most conservative Democrat in the House and Senate put Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid back into the leadership--two of abortion's greatest advocates. A vote for President Obama is a vote for the most abortion-friendly president in history. A vote for Democrats at state and local level is a vote to continue to fight against the advance of homosexual marriage. A vote for any Democrat is an endorsement of their vision for America. For this reason, I have culled the major party platforms for their positions on the five non-negotiable Catholic issues (abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, cloning, euthanasia and homosexual marriage). In no way do I assume that Catholics must vote GOP--this party is full of lying politicians as well--but their platform and agenda is at least not hostile to our Faith.
The Catholic Church doesn't have to endorse any candidate for Its voice to be heard. The bishops should, however, tell the congregations who should not receive our votes. There is no reason the Democratic Party, with support for three out of five intrinsic evils enumerated in their platform, should receive the courtesy of a lack of condemnation from our bishops. Our rallies and marches mean very little politically--although they are wonderful for fellowship--but 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 for its champions and do so forcefully. When the Democratic Party loses elections for advocating evil, then and only then will they change. At that time, we can return to an even playing field and get back to policy debates.
Time is short. I fervently pray the Church wakes up and educates its flocks to remove their support from the party advocating for evil... before they are elected to power once again and we take this country founded for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness further into a culture of death.
"The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights--for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture--is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination" -- Pope John Paul II, "Christifideles Laici"
According to Catholic theologians, five moral issues are intrinsically evil and must never be promoted by law. Intrinsically evil actions 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 closing and homosexual marriage.
Regarding a law permitting abortions, the Church teaches that 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. Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and is therefore homicide. The unborn 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 childs, who should not suffer death for others sins.
2012 Democratic Party Platform:2. Euthanasia
Page 52: President Obama and Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a womans right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.
[Editors note: Regardless of ability to pay means that taxpayer funds will be used to perform abortions without concern for the objections of those opposed to this intrinsic evil (such as faithful Catholics).]
Page 69: in his first month in office, President Obama overturned the global gag rule, a ban on federal funds to foreign family planning organizations that provided information about, counseling on, or offered abortions.
2012 GOP Platform:
Page 14: We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions gender discrimination in its most lethal formand to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia.
We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.
Page 33: Through Obamacare, the current Administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare. We, however, affirm the dignity of women by protecting the sanctity of human life. Numerous studies have shown that abortion endangers the health and well-being of women, and we stand firmly against it.
We call on the government to permanently ban all federal funding and subsidies for abortion and healthcare plans that include abortion coverage.
Page 34: We urge enactment of pending legislation that would require parental consent to transport girls across state lines for abortions.
Page 36: We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.
Page 45: The United Nations Population Fund has a shameful record of collaboration with Chinas program of compulsory abortion. We affirm the Republican Partys long-held position known as the Mexico City Policy, first announced by President Reagan in 1984, which prohibits the granting of federal monies to non-governmental organization that provide or promote abortion.
Page 46: The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groupsthe sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting developmenthave been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administrations social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.
Often disguised by the name mercy killing, euthanasia is also a form of homicide. No person has a right to take his own life, and no one has the right to take the life of any innocent person. In euthanasia, the ill or elderly are killed, by action or omission, out of a misplaced sense of compassion, but true compassion cannot include intentionally doing something intrinsically evil.
2012 Democratic Party Platform: Silent on this issue.3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
2012 GOP Platform:
Page 14: We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Page 32: We renew our commitment to the inclusion of Americans with disabilities in all aspects of our national life. In keeping with that commitment, we oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society.
Human embryos are human beings. Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo.
Recent scientific advances show that medical treatments that researchers hope to develop from experimentation on embryonic stem cells can often be developed by using adult stem cells instead. In fact, there have been no beneficial treatments to come from experimentation on human embryos there have been over 72 cures and treatments to come from adult stem cells. Adult stem cells can be obtained without doing harm to the adults from whom they come. Thus there is no valid medical argument in favor of using embryonic stem cells. And even if there were benefits to be had from such experiments, they would not justify destroying innocent embryonic humans.
2012 Democratic Party Platform:
Page 48: the President issued an executive order repealing the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research .
2012 GOP Platform:
Page 14: We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Page 34: We call for expanded support for the stem-cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictionswith adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cellswithout the destruction of embryonic human life.
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.
Human cloning also involves abortion because the rejected or unsuccessful embryonic clones are destroyed, yet each clone is a human being.
2012 Democratic Party Platform: Silent on this issue.5. Homosexual Marriage
2012 GOP Platform:
Page 34: We urge a ban on human cloning and on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos.
True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other union as 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.
2012 Democratic Party Platform:Additionally, in 2012 the Church took up the challenge to religious freedom laid down by the Obama administration sparked by the healthcare mandates of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In response, the GOP Platform includes a statement on this fundamental principle of our constitutional republic.
Page 53: We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.
2012 GOP Platform:
Page 10: Defending Marriage Against An Activist Judiciary
A serious threat to our countrys constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.
A Sacred Contract: Defense of Marriage
That is why Congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. The current Administrations open defiance of this constitutional principlein its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts makes a mockery of the Presidents inaugural oath. We commend the United States House of Representatives and State Attorneys General who have defended these laws when they have been attacked in the courts. We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.
Page 31: Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage
The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.
GOP Platform, General Statement on Religious Freedom, Page 12: The first provision of the First Amendment concerns freedom of religion. That guarantee reflected Thomas Jeffersons Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that no one should suffer on account of his religious opinion or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion.... That assurance has never been more needed than it is today, as liberal elites try to drive religious beliefs and religious believersout of the public square.
The most offensive instance of this war on religion has been the current Administrations attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion. This forcible secularization of religious and religiously affiliated organizations, including faith-based hospitals and colleges, has been in tandem with the current Administrations audacity in declaring which faith- related activities are, or are not, protected by the First Amendmentan unprecedented aggression repudiated by a unanimous Supreme Court in its Hosanna- Tabor v. EEOC decision.
We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government. We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our countrys Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedom in the public square. We assert every citizens right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious symbols, or submitting to government-imposed hiring practices. We oppose government discrimination against businesses due to religious views.
"While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." -- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (before he was Pope Benedict XVI)
* All of the information was culled from The Voters Guide for Serious Catholics and the major political party platforms as amended at their 2012 party conventions.
For your ping list, if you don’t mind. Want to get as much feedback as I can before going final.
The reason politicians don;t care about Christians is because Christians don’t care about Christians.
When was the last time anyone wrote a Congressman about the way Christians are discriminated against in Islamic State?
About how bullying atheists are seeking to do what the Communists never could - wipe God from public life in America?
Just today there was a news item about a County in Texas under assault by atheists for opening their governing sessions with a prayer.
Politicians will care when we do. When we vote, talk, write, call, e-mail and ACT in opposition to assaults on our religious beliefs.
Another problem is that silly church fathers are all for “social justice” and want more government handouts for freeloaders.
I switched parishes after a priest went sermonizing about socila justice. I interrupted his sermon and told him he was spewing un-American poppycock, and that he should be ashamed of himself...then I walked out...to scattered golf-clap applause.
That's what this effort is about.
Wow! Good for you! You get more than a golf-clap from me. The one change I would make is that the priest was spewing un-Catholic poppycock. What he was spewing was Liberation Theology which has crept up from Latin America and infected our diocese through like-minded bishops. If more people would call them out (not necessarily during Mass, but hey! It got their attention), it would help us all.
God bless you.
Endanger their tax-exempt status? I’d like to see them try. We’re the largest single denomination. It would blow up in their faces as if they were Wile E. Coyote.
You and I know that... now let's educate our bishops.
Catholic Answers Voters Guide:
“I am told by many bishops that they must tread lightly lest they endanger the Church’s tax-exempt status. ..”
Some things are not worth the price we are paying for a tax-exempt status.
Anyway, according to Father Pavone, of Priests for Life, no Church has ever actually lost a tax-exempt status.
Incidentially, Obama is the only president the bishops have ever sued.
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