Skip to comments.Bush, Kerry court Catholic vote in tight election
Posted on 10/07/2004 11:28:47 AM PDT by NYer
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush (news - web sites) and Democratic rival John Kerry (news - web sites) are battling for support among Roman Catholics voters, an electorate divided between a Bible-reading Protestant president and a Catholic senator who supports abortion rights.
Bush, a born-again Methodist who signs off his speeches by saying "May God bless America," has never hidden his devotion to his faith, while Kerry has been more discreet about his religious beliefs.
But in an election that many predict will come down to the wire, both candidates are seeking to court as many voting blocs as possible. One-quarter of the US population, or 65 million people, is Catholic.
Bush in August made a speech before the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic charitable organization that claims 1.6 million members in the United States and Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
And in June he met with Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II at the Vatican (news - web sites).
Bush opposes abortion and backs a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, two key issues of concern among conservative Catholics.
In 2001, Bush banned the use of public funds for stem-cell research using human embryos, excepting those previously cultivated. The ban did not apply to private sector research.
Although Kerry does not usually talk publicly about his faith, he stole a Bush line last week when he concluded his televised debate with the Republican president by saying, "God Bless America."
The Massachusetts senator is often spotted in Church on Sundays receiving communion, but his position on abortion puts him in a difficult position with the US Catholic hierarchy, which has authorized its priests to refuse giving communion to politicians who support abortion.
Kerry has said that although he supports a woman's legal right to have an abortion, he personally opposes the procedure.
Although Kerry has voiced opposition to gay marriage, he opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex weddings.
Neither candidate has clearly won the Catholic vote, however.
A Pew institute poll released in mid-September showed 49 percent of Catholics favored Bush over Kerry, who garnered 42 percent of support.
In the 2000 election, a majority of Catholics voted for Bush. In the last 20 years, Bill Clinton (news - web sites) is the only Democrat to have won the Catholic vote, in his 1996 re-election campaign.
While Bush and Kerry seek out Catholic support, one political analyst says religion may not be a factor in the November 2 election.
"People don't vote based on their religious affiliation," said John White, a political science professor at Catholic University in Washington. "Being Catholic does not really matter to Americans when they go and vote anymore."
Although late president John Kennedy's Catholicism was an issue in the 1960 campaign, Kerry's faith has not been a concern in this mostly Protestant nation.
"Forty years ago, Catholics still felt the sting of discrimination, they still had yet (to get) into the White House," White said. "There was a strong sense of Catholic identity, nurtured by decades of job discrimination, ethnic discrimination. That has really come to an end."
* - The Paulist Center attracts Catholics uncomfortable with some of the Vatican's orthodox teachings or who otherwise feel alienated from the Roman Catholic Church.
The congregation includes gay couples, whose adopted children are baptized there, unlike in some other Boston parishes. In November, its leaders refused to read aloud during Mass from a letter opposing gay marriage, as requested by the Massachusetts bishops.
The center does not resemble a traditional church, but is housed among a row of brownstones. A band plays during worship, and the lyrics are projected onto the wall above the pulpit so parishioners can sing along.
Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list
Sounds exactly like a Madonna concert!
Do the priests were those cone-shaped bras?
p.s. Silly, unrelated question here. I rented Runaway Jury the other day, starring Gene Hackman and John Cusack. Dylan McDermott played Jacob Woods in the movie. I noticed that McDermott, however, was not included in the credits. I looked up the film and the cast and McDermott was listed as uncredited. Does anyone know the what and why of McDermott being uncredited? Thanks.
bump to read when I'm not at work!
I know that directors will often refuse to allow their name on a movie if they feel it has been mangled in the final cut. There is a made-up name that gets the directorial credit instead, but for the moment that name escapes me. Maybe McDermott wanted his name off the film.
Unfortunately, a majority of Catholics still vote for pro-abort candidates. Much of this can be traced back to the pro-abort, pro-homosexual Cardinal Bernardin, who misled millions with his false teachings. Bernardin is no doubt now enjoying "life" in Hell.
This is really great to hear. I am so embarrased by my fellow Catholics (esp. those in my parish) who have Kerry bumper stickers on. You can debate about what is the best method to help the poor or how to provide health care for those who do not have it but you can't debate the sanctity of life.
Vote Catholic, Not Kerry
Quite true. When a Protestant leaves his church, he will most often no longer consider himself to be Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. But a Catholic who hasnt attended Mass in 20 years will still consider himself Catholic (unless he has become a member of a non-Catholic church).
Which is worse, Kerry or the progressivists who encourage him?
Absolutely true! My fellow Catholics, to include, sadly, many priests, need to understand the difference between objective and subjective. Abortion is objectively wrong. It is murder (see Evangelium Vitae). Abortion is never acceptable.
Helping the poor, however, is subjective. Pro-abort Catholics need to grasp this concept.
I left my liberal parish about a year ago and now attend Mass at a parish with a priest who is faithful to the teachings of the Church.
Although Kerry has voiced opposition to gay marriage, = flip
he opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex weddings. = flop
Here is the way the media will spin this part.
A Pew institute poll released in mid-September showed 49 percent of Catholics favored Bush = Bush will be chastised for having the religious right favor him
over Kerry, who garnered 42 percent of support. = skerry will be praised for seeking support from "the other side".
"Irish" Johnny has also gotten a free pass on his statement that he believes life begins at conception. How in the world can someone believe that life begins at conception and yet support abortion? If it is a life and you kill that innocent life, it is murder. Yet the media has given Kerry a free ride on this matter.
It is one thing to claim to be Catholic, or a person of faith period, it is another to actually be one. You can't simply redefine the church so that it conforms to your own desires / beliefs and then claim to be a member of that church.
Sounds like my diocese ... ultra liberal bishop. You can make a difference. Begin by sharing this informatin with the other parishioners.
Faith in Jesus Christ, who is «the way, the truth, and the life»(Jn 14:6), calls Christians to exert a greater effort in building a culture which, inspired by the Gospel, will reclaim the values and contents of the Catholic Tradition.
The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; participation in the political process is a moral obligation.
Though not related, you may want to familiarize yourself with information at this link. Bruce Sabalaskey has compiled one of the most authoritative resources on what constitutes a valid mass.
Is Your Mass Valid?
Two years ago, I used that information to stop liturgical abuse in my parish ... and won.
However, like Screaming Eagle Red Leg, that was only the tip of the iceberg. It was time to leave. After attending mass at other RC churches, I found myself in an Eastern Catholic Church one day, was totally captivated by the reverence and returned the following Sunday. Once again, I left the church in a state of peace. That Maronite Catholic Church is now my parish. No communion in the hand, no Eucharistic ministers, and the consecration is said in Aramaic, using the words and language of our Lord at the Last Supper.
"The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church" -- Pope John XXIII
And I'll bet you thought the Catholic Church was just the the Latin Rite.
Yet the LIBERAL dumbocRAT media gives Kerry free rides on all matters.