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Protestant South Becoming a New Catholic Stronghold
The National Catholic Register ^ | 5/8/13 | Stephen Beale

Posted on 05/09/2013 7:45:12 AM PDT by marshmallow

Dixie Catholics credit the strong Southern sense of community, and dialogue with faithful Protestants, with helping to power the Church’s growth there.

LINDEN, Va. — In the waves of turbulence that rippled throughout the Catholic Church in the 1970s, the nuns of St. Dominic’s Monastery found themselves forced to leave their longtime home in Wisconsin in search of a new one.

The nuns moved to a temporary residence in Washington, D.C., while looking for a permanent setting conducive to the cloistered, contemplative life they sought to lead. It would be more than two decades before they found one. When they did, it was what may seem a most unlikely place: the rural northeast of Virginia, considered one of the Protestant Bible Belt states of the South.

The story of St. Dominic’s Monastery’s southern move may be the story of U.S. Catholicism. New data shows that some of the fastest growing dioceses in the country are deep in the U.S. South.

The third fastest developing diocese is Atlanta, which saw the number of registered parishioners explode from nearly 322,000 in 2002 to one million in 2012 — an increase of more than twofold, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Atlanta also has the largest Eucharistic Congress in the country, with an annual attendance of about 30,000, according to an archdiocesan official.

Atlanta is not alone. Charleston has seen a 50% increase in parishioners over the last decade. Charlotte grew by a third, as did Little Rock. The Diocese of Knoxville, established just 25 years ago, is now the 25th fastest growing in the nation — and would rank near the top if those official figures counted as many as 60,000 unregistered Hispanic congregants, according to a diocesan official.

(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture
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1 posted on 05/09/2013 7:45:12 AM PDT by marshmallow
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thank you, Jesus.


2 posted on 05/09/2013 7:50:33 AM PDT by raygunfan
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To: marshmallow
Atlanta -- 322,000 in 2002 to one million in 2012

Charleston -- has seen a 50% increase in parishioners over the last decade.

Diocese of Knoxville -- number of parishioners has doubled
 
Charlotte -- Charlotte grew by a third
 
Little Rock -- Charlotte grew by a third
 
+ Bountiful vocations

3 posted on 05/09/2013 8:08:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: marshmallow

Thanks be to God!


4 posted on 05/09/2013 8:11:15 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation
Downside is that our cathedral (which was built in 1937 when there were maybe 20,000 Catholics in the whole state) can't even begin to handle a typical Sunday crowd. We were down there for a concert, and I think the capacity is around 500. Our parish church is 850.

It's a gorgeous building (if a bit more Art Deco than your average church), but they're going to have to do something.


5 posted on 05/09/2013 8:27:33 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: marshmallow

The pro-abortion/pro-gay marriage democrat party is basing their future on this.

They are praying for Catholic immigration to overcome the pro-life conservative vote.


6 posted on 05/09/2013 8:29:48 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: marshmallow

Makes sense...illegal immigration has swollen the catholic numbers.


7 posted on 05/09/2013 8:38:37 AM PDT by what's up
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To: AnAmericanMother

You are right, a beautiful church.


8 posted on 05/09/2013 8:46:58 AM PDT by LibertarianLiz
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To: raygunfan

Thank you illegal immigration.


9 posted on 05/09/2013 8:47:30 AM PDT by bonfire
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To: marshmallow
The Diocese of Knoxville, established just 25 years ago, is now the 25th fastest growing in the nation — and would rank near the top if those official figures counted as many as 60,000 unregistered Hispanic congregants, according to a diocesan official.

Couldn't see that one coming.....

10 posted on 05/09/2013 8:55:05 AM PDT by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: raygunfan; Biggirl
"thank you, Jesus."---Biggirl "Thanks be to God!"

Do you realize that this means the end of conservatism, that it means that the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Democrat party and American left takes over the United States and that Christians lose America?

Do you know that the anti-Christian left is hoping and praying for just this result, and that it is why they rewrote the immigration laws in the 1965 when the Democrats controlled the Senate, the Congress, and the Presidency?

This is a sincere question, do you know what this Catholic immigration means to pro-life conservatism and to the ascendancy and power of the anti-God left?

11 posted on 05/09/2013 8:55:26 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ansel12

Do you realize that many of the nominally Catholic immigrants are converting to evangelical Protestantism? They are swelling the ranks of the new mega churches. The mega church to which I used to belong (before I converted) started as a predominantly white church with some black members; now it’s jammed with Hispanics, to such an extent that there are Saturday and Sunday traffic jams and the church has constructed larger and larger new buildings, whose capacity is constantly outstripped by the growth in membership.


12 posted on 05/09/2013 9:15:40 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare--now a Marine Mom)
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To: ansel12
This is a sincere question, do you know what this Catholic immigration means to pro-life conservatism and to the ascendancy and power of the anti-God left?

Why do you feel the need to tell us that it's a "sincere question"? Are some of your questions insincere?

Is it because you realize that your shtick comes over as so ridiculous that some readers might laugh and think you're being frivolous?

You'd be right.

America has been committing demographic suicide for decades and now you're whining about "Catholic immigrants"? Republican appointed Supreme Court Judge Harry Blackmun wrote the majority opinion for Roe vs Wade and "conservative" America loved it and still loves it. Just like it loves artificial contraception. White America loves the pill and 2.3 kids.

You reap what you sow.

The latest version of this charade sees the Republicans trying to force their way through the door which says "homosexual marriage" so they can party with the Democrat "cool kids" inside and show the world that they're not "homophobic"

You're telling us that the Republicans are going to save us all from gay "marriage" and save civilization?

Go on, give us all another good laugh and say "yes".

13 posted on 05/09/2013 9:34:54 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: ansel12
This is a sincere question, do you know what this Catholic immigration means to pro-life conservatism and to the ascendancy and power of the anti-God left?

The Vatican may be squishy on a number of issues dear to the hearts of conservatives, but isn't the Catholic Church pro-life?

14 posted on 05/09/2013 9:37:53 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: ansel12
"Do you know that the anti-Christian left is hoping and praying for just this result,"

Your indictment of Catholicism ignores the fact that Catholics who actually practice their faith and attend Mass regularly are extremely reliable pro-life, pro-traditional marriage voters. Parish formation and growth is not simply looking at a population density map and setting up a revival tent, it is base upon actual numbers of parishioners and attendance. In many instances the growth of Parishes in the south is the result of the devout Catholics from the inner cities and the rust belt relocating to areas of greater conservatism.

Peace be with you

15 posted on 05/09/2013 9:39:25 AM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
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To: LibertarianLiz

Thank the Lord and St. Barbara it was never “wreckovated!”


16 posted on 05/09/2013 9:41:07 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: marshmallow

Because of nasty, personal responses like that one.

After the personal attacks then the rest sounded like a democrat, basically, right on brother and you guys deserve us turning this into a solid pro-abortion democrat nation.

Pro-life conservatives are not amused by your post.


17 posted on 05/09/2013 9:45:05 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: Fiji Hill
The Vatican may be squishy on a number of issues dear to the hearts of conservatives, but isn't the Catholic Church pro-life?

Something is odd about that, since Catholicism equals democrat political support in the voting booth. We just saw Biden and Pelosi, the two most prominent Catholics in America taking communion at the Vatican.

18 posted on 05/09/2013 9:47:32 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: Natural Law

No one is saying that ALL Catholics vote pro-abortion democrat, just the majority of them, consistently, that is why the increase in Catholic voters tells us what the future holds for America.


19 posted on 05/09/2013 9:49:58 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ottbmare

Yes I am aware that many Hispanic Catholics leave that denomination to join a Protestant denomination, and those are in play for the pro-life republicans.


20 posted on 05/09/2013 9:52:22 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ansel12
Pro-life conservatives are not amused by your post.

Well this one is.......... :-)

What's your position on artificial contraception, mister "pro-life conservative"?

We're waiting.......

21 posted on 05/09/2013 9:54:10 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

I was just looking at Catholic parishes in TX, north of Dallas (Dear hubby has a slight chance of being transferred). I would say, after looking at half a dozen, that half are more on the traditional side, featuring adoration, Knights of Columbus, traditionally inspired architecture, even if the building is new. The other half look like new parishes in my home state, California.

I would say, from that little study, half the Catholics who move there or are home grown in the current population boom will reinforce the God/family/patriotism/hard work vibe of the area, and the other half may drift a bit left.

I think that’s enough growth in “right” thinking people to keep Texas being Texas.


22 posted on 05/09/2013 9:58:56 AM PDT by married21
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To: marshmallow

Isn’t anyone here concerned by the fact that this article points out that conservatism/pro-life will be losing the South to the pro-abortion left?


23 posted on 05/09/2013 10:06:05 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: raygunfan; Biggirl
"thank you, Jesus."---Biggirl "Thanks be to God!"

True!

24 posted on 05/09/2013 10:06:35 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros->Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: ansel12
Isn’t anyone here concerned by the fact that this article points out that conservatism/pro-life will be losing the South to the pro-abortion left?

We must have read a different article. I didn't see that.

Isn't anybody here concerned that so-called "conservative Americans" think all that's necessary to be pro-life is to be anti-abortion, all the while using artificial birth control to block conception and stifle human life before it begins?

25 posted on 05/09/2013 10:10:10 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: ansel12
"No one is saying that ALL Catholics vote pro-abortion democrat..."

You need to work harder at reconciling your agenda with the facts. To make a statement that in increase in Catholic Church attendance is rejoiced by the left is out of touch with reality.

26 posted on 05/09/2013 10:11:24 AM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
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To: Natural Law

LOL, don’t just make up fake statements for me.

We all know that Catholic immigration into the South will result in moving the South left. To pro-life conservatives, that result is not good.


27 posted on 05/09/2013 10:20:44 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: marshmallow

The article is about the growth of Catholics in the South, we all know that will result in greater, pro-abortion democratic party strength.

That is a bad thing, not a good thing.


28 posted on 05/09/2013 10:22:51 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: marshmallow

Most forms of birth control are actually abortifacients. The Pill and IUDs are examples. I agree that the braying ‘prof-life anti-abortion) crowd are largely hypocritical.


29 posted on 05/09/2013 10:27:22 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: ansel12
The article is about the growth of Catholics in the South, we all know that will result in greater, pro-abortion democratic party strength.

No we don't "all know that".

Countries which have resisted the trend to legalized abortion have traditionally been those which have a significant Catholic heritage, or alternatively, are Islamic. An interesting and ironic factoid is that the Vatican's major allies in its long and often lonely battle with the UN to stop abortion being enshrined as a universal "human right", have been Islamic nations.

Sadly, it's Protestant anglophone nations like the USA and the UK which are in the vanguard of exporting abortion to all parts of the world.

30 posted on 05/09/2013 10:35:08 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: ansel12
"We all know...."

Don't presume to tell me what I or "all" know. What I know is that it was the majority ultra liberal Protestant and the unchurched vote that gave us two terms of Barak Obama. The continued attempt to shift the blame to wayward Catholics in an effort to indict all of Catholicism is a one trick pony that has come up lame. Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

31 posted on 05/09/2013 10:38:26 AM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
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To: Natural Law; marshmallow

What effect do you two think that Catholic immigration taking over the South will have on the southern vote, and the pro-abortion democratic party becoming totally unbeatable in national elections?

Your honest opinion.


32 posted on 05/09/2013 10:48:35 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ansel12
We all know that Catholic immigration into the South will result in moving the South left

Wake up. The ONLY conservative on a major party national ticket in the last election was a Catholic. Your Republican party hasn't nominated a real conservative for President since 1984. "WHAT WE ALL KNOW" is that neither major party has any real tolerance for authentic conservatism. No amount of idolatrous worship of the GOP will change that; neither will any amount of stereotyping of Catholics.

You seem desperate to convince FReepers that Catholics aren't real conservatives. If you think "Republican" and "conservative" are the same thing, neither are you. As far as pro-life is concerned, you ought to learn some history. Google "NSSM 200"to start.

33 posted on 05/09/2013 10:58:04 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Campion

None of that had anything to do with the fact that Catholics vote majority for the pro-abortion democrats, nor what that means if Catholics manage to move the South into the radical left column of the pro-abortion Obama party by increasing their numbers there.


34 posted on 05/09/2013 11:09:03 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ansel12
"Your honest opinion?"

All of my opinions re honest.

I have no concern about the consequences of anyone who votes Church teaching. That does not mean, however, that such Catholics will adopt a completely 2012 GOP platform view on all issues, though. If the GOP wants Catholic voters and get more of them to vote it will have to represent a more Catholic platform.

35 posted on 05/09/2013 11:11:21 AM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
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To: ansel12
What effect do you two think that Catholic immigration taking over the South will have on the southern vote, and the pro-abortion democratic party becoming totally unbeatable in national elections?

According to the article, the South is not being "taken over", like the yellow peril coming from the east. Catholicism is growing. That will lead to a "take over", only if the currently huge Protestant majority a) stops having kids, b) leaves or c) converts. And immigration is not the primary cause.

This is what the article says;

The Southeast does not have a monopoly on exponential growth. Among the top 25 high-growth dioceses, nearly half are in the U.S. Southwest, stretching from Fresno, California, the second-highest ranking diocese, to Laredo, Texas, the first. But there, Hispanic immigration is behind most of the growth, according to Mark Gray, a research associate at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

In the Southeast, however, something different is happening. In a region where churches sit on seemingly every street corner and billboards belt out Bible verses and calls for repentance, local Catholics say they have found fertile ground for the renewal of the Church.

“Our Protestant brothers and sisters have done us a great favor. Talking about faith here in the South is like eating, breathing, and sleeping,” said Randy Hain, a managing partner at Bell Oaks Executive Search in Atlanta and co-founder of The Integrated Catholic Life, an online magazine. “There’s an openness about faith here which makes it easier to be open about your faith if you’re Catholic.”

Southern Catholics will be Catholic. Surprise. They will live their faith and vote accordingly.

36 posted on 05/09/2013 11:14:17 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: Natural Law
If the GOP wants Catholic voters and get more of them to vote it will have to represent a more Catholic platform.

Since the Democrat party is the party that Catholics support and vote for, then they must represent the more catholic platform.

37 posted on 05/09/2013 11:18:05 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: marshmallow
Because of the same thing happening in California with Catholic immigration, California is lost to pro-life republicans forever.

The same is what the left hopes for in the South.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

38 posted on 05/09/2013 11:24:23 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ansel12

“What effect do you two think that Catholic immigration taking over the South will have on the southern vote, and the pro-abortion democratic party becoming totally unbeatable in national elections?”

The last Republican nominee was both pro-abortion and pro-gay marrage. Smearing Catholics with this smacks of false witness. I guess I’ll be the one to break it to you, the Catholic Church is pro-life. I am more concerned with Protestants and their pro-life hypocrisy; claiming to be pro-life while smothering children in the womb with pills and condoms.

Now let me ask a question. How do think the Protestant/evangelical genocide of babies over the last 50+ years via pills and condoms has affected the Southern vote?


39 posted on 05/09/2013 11:31:36 AM PDT by Owl558 (Those who remember George Satayana and doomed to repeat him)
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To: marshmallow

“and would rank near the top if those official figures counted as many as 60,000 unregistered Hispanic congregants, according to a diocesan official.”


Maybe all those Catholics are illegals from Mexico. Even their criminals are Catholic. They even have Patron Saints of crime.


40 posted on 05/09/2013 11:32:54 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: what's up; metmom
Makes sense...illegal immigration has swollen the catholic numbers.

Because the Roman Catholic Church encourages them. Another factor is Northerners moving South for the warmer weather and more favorable tax environment.

Charleston -- has seen a 50% increase in parishioners over the last decade.
Useless piece of data. It could be from one to two, or 500,000 to 1,000,000.

41 posted on 05/09/2013 11:41:47 AM PDT by Gamecock ("Ultimately, Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God." ¬óR.C. Sproul)
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To: ansel12
Because of the same thing happening in California with Catholic immigration, California is lost to pro-life republicans forever.

You mean like former governor Ahnult? A "pro-life Republican"? Republican and "pro-life" are not synonymous. Less so each day. Thanks for making my point.

To return to the point; Catholicism in the South. Southern California, Arizona and West Texas are not "the South". And the increase in Catholicism is not primarily due to immigration. Catholics are coming here from the north, Catholics are having bigger families and people are converting.

As a result, new Catholics in this part of the country will be mainly practicing Catholics who embrace Catholic teaching and who will not support an anti-life culture.

Of course, all of your whining would be moot if Americans started having kids. See the Islamic invasion of Europe. You contracept at your peril.

42 posted on 05/09/2013 11:45:26 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: ansel12
"Since the Democrat party is the party that Catholics support and vote for..."

If you want an honest opinion I want an honest premise. I know we have been over this ad naseum, but only half of self identified Catholics actually vote and of those slightly more than half vote Democrat. The GOP will not have any more success with those who have abandoned Catholic teachings than the Church has, but there are a vast number who cannot stomach voting for either party. Try to win those.

If you are the face of the GOP it gives me another reason to not vote GOP. Continually telling us how screwed up we all are because of the actions of a few is as honest as me telling you that all Republicans are screwed up because of the record of Olympia Snow and Chris Christie.

And while you are at it why don't you harp on the vast number of evangelicals and fringe protestants who prowl these threads who refused to vote for Romney because he was a Mormon.

43 posted on 05/09/2013 11:48:08 AM PDT by Natural Law (Peace is not the absence of war, it is the completeness of communion with God.)
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To: Owl558

That ignores the relevant facts of the reality of politics.

Catholics are pro-abortion democrat voters, the immigration of more of them into a conservative region or state only serves the pro-abortion democrats.

The majority of Protestants vote against the democrats, the majority of Catholics vote for them.

The South being diluted with mass Catholic immigration will only lead to more power for the pro-abortion left, that is the true witness.

Believing that people who vote for the pro-abortion/gay marriage platform are more holy and good and true to Christianity than those who vote against it, is freakishly bizarre.


44 posted on 05/09/2013 11:54:20 AM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: Natural Law

See post 38, the fact that the members of the Catholic denomination vote as a majority for democrats is a real problem, much less of a problem than the 80% of the Evangelicals who voted against Obama.

An increase in Evangelical numbers means the country moves right, an increase in the number of Catholic voters, means the country moves left, so ‘prowling’ Evangelicals are hardly the problem.

The vote man, the vote determines whether the left or right prevails, when we know that bad news is being reported, as in this article, then it saddens us, it is not a time to rejoice in how wonderful it is that the left is gaining voters.


45 posted on 05/09/2013 12:02:35 PM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: Salvation

I wonder if Catholic radio has anything to do with this.


46 posted on 05/09/2013 12:03:28 PM PDT by diamond6 (Lord, please have mercy on us!)
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To: ansel12
ROFL........here's some more news on your "conservative pro-life" Republicans in California.

Schwarzenegger says gay marriages should resume in California; Obama still opposes them.

Got that?

The great "pro-life" GOP was out in front of even Obama on this one in California. Too funny.

Fess up. You're a Democrat aren't you?

47 posted on 05/09/2013 12:16:47 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Gosh the misinformation is astounding.

This idea that a person who thinks the GOP is not sufficiently conservative and pro-life must always vote democrat and for Clinton and Obama and Al Gore, doesn’t make sense, Obama is the most pro-abortion president in history, the democrat party is officially pro-abortion and pro-homosexual etc.

The idea that the Southwest and California Catholic growth is not pro-abortion voting democrats, is absurd also.

Catholic growth is what killed California and is what the left counts on to kill America.

It is the voting that determines who wins and with what agenda.


48 posted on 05/09/2013 12:19:05 PM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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To: ansel12
LOL....see post #47.

Looks like even Obama had to play catch up to the "pro-life" GOP on the subject of gay marriage in California, eh? Way to go!!

Still think the GOP will save civilization?

49 posted on 05/09/2013 12:24:53 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

So in your mind, Catholics are correct in voting FOR the democrat party and AGAINST the GOP?

This isn’t about weak catholic turn out, or the Roman Catholic ex-governor of California, or Catholics voting third party, or Catholics finding the GOP not pure enough.

This is none of that, because the real problem is Catholics eagerly voting democrat, they didn’t choose Clinton and Clinton, and Al Gore, and Obama and Obama, because the GOP was LESS pro-life and conservative than those democrats.


50 posted on 05/09/2013 12:36:31 PM PDT by ansel12 (Sodom and Gomorrah, flush with libertarians and liberals, short on social conservatives.)
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