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."
He says life begins at conception.
Kerry believes this and still does not want to forbid the taking of that life, the life of someone just as innocent as he was at that age.
What sort of person is he?
I have also found the Eastern Rite to be quite beautiful. Although I have not made the switch, I enjoy attending their Mass. Very spiritual. And at the particular Eastern Rite Parish I sometimes attend they have a huge photo of JP II prominently displayed in their lobby, a rarity in my archdiocese.
There is a name for this
Oh..no...I know about the Eastern Rites who are in communion with Rome. I have never attended their Masses but have been interested. Yes, the brouchure you have is very good. Also, there have been a number of articles in COLUMBIA (K of C monthly) talking about the role of religion and faith in politics. I think that they are starting to realize the importance of this election.
I think that some of our bishops are willing to take a stand (and it is about time) as well as some of our Catholic organizations. However, there are too many bishops who are cowards. If they are not willing to stand up, then how can they expect the faithful to do so? How can we expect politicians to respect us or listen to us?
Bush's lead with Catholics must be shrinking by the day. Yesterday AP said Pew had Bush up 49/39! AP LIE ALERT!!!!!
I went through a similar experience at my old parish, but I didnt prevail. Liturgical abuse was rampant and I sat down and wrote my priest an 8-page letter, outlining the abuses and providing Church authority for the correct way to celebrate Mass. The priest and I met and talked about it and he agreed that I was right in all aspects, but that he wasnt going to change anything.
He agreed that we should kneel during the consecration, but that the kneelers made too much noise going up and down. He agreed that only a person with Holy Orders could give the homily, but he needed a break every now and then. Etc., etc., etc.
I also got sick and tired of extraordinary ministers in jeans, T-shirts, and tennis shoes.
It was not easy to leave a parish where I had spent several years making friends, but when I finally did it, it was quite liberating.
Yes, many of our bishops are horrible cowards, mine included. I would go so far as to consider him a pro-abort. Sickens me.
Any Catholic who votes for Kerry isn't really a Catholic. With his views on abortion, and ditching his first wife when she was having emotional problems, etc., etc., he has nothing to offer Catholics. He's against everything they believe in.
I dated an Episcopalian once. He said he's a "J.V. Catholic." Thought that was pretty funny.
In a sense, this is true--and a good thing too. Denominationalism no longer matters in the way it once did, even for Catholics. Hence, there's no big move to put a Catholic in the White House this year.
But in a much more important sense, Christian faith certainly does matter to many voters. In fact, just the other day there was a great article posted here about the Values Voters (about 20%), and they are going overwhelmingly for Bush.
You are so right! Fortunately, there are some excellent resources available on the internet. Here is one of my favorites.
Solemn Warning! The following organizations are those who claim to be Catholic but dissent from the Truth as handed down from Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Divine Word, to His Apostles and their successors, the Pope and the Magisterium. These organizations are truly following in the footsteps of JUDAS - Just Undermine Doctrine And Spirituality. While they claim to be Catholic, they promote a man-made religion of unfettered pro-sin "choice" by the individual answerable to no one but himself (herself for the feminist reader), while promoting the spirituality of pagans. We all know what the serpent said to Eve; "you shall be as Gods" (Genesis 3:5).
This article is a lie. See the details on my post, but:
1) Bush lost to gore 50/47
2) Gore won and won with Catholics, clinton was not the only rat to win Catholics
3) Pew said 49/39 NOT 49/42 BIG DIFFERENCE.
No need to switch! A Roman Catholic may attend the Divine Liturgy at any Eastern Catholic Church and fulfill their Sunday obligation. They may even join the parish! It's like the best of both worlds. Which Eastern Rite is it that you attended?
Good for you!! There will be a hefty price to be paid some day; may God have mercy on those prelates who have driven their flocks away.
I agree with this statement, but am amazed by those in the church who support Kerry over Bush.
My son is an 8th grader at a Catholic school and he's very politically charged - he's well known for his conservative views. He makes a point of finding who among his teachers are his "allies" and which are his "foes". One of the few nuns still teaching at the school is an unabashed Kerry supporter, and my son refers to her as "The Democrat Nun". But even at his young age, he sees a huge conflict there and has asked me on several occasions, how a nun could support someone who supports gay marriages and abortion.
My son tries to argue politics with this nun, although she refuses to do so at school (wish the public school teachers were so careful in spreading their views to students). I believe however, it's too difficult if not impossible for her to justify to him how she as a nun, can support someone who stands for everything she teaches against, and she knows it.
The Eastern Rite Mass I sometimes attend is at a Byzantine Catholic Church. Including the prayers (chants) prior to the formal Mass, it takes about two hours.
Our Archdiocese also offers a Latin Mass each Sunday, although the Archbishop clearly doesnt want too many people to know about it. It is not advertised (I only learned of it from a friend who attends a relatively orthodox parish) and it is held in a small chapel located in a flop-house section of downtown where parking is almost impossible, even on a Sunday morning. I think that our pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality Archbishop simply wants to be able to report to Rome that he offers the Latin Mass.
I was hoping that when the liturgical abuser left we would get an orthodox priest, but when Father Tinker Bell showed up, that was the last straw.
I just had to ensure that I got a seat in front of a fan!
ROFL! Ditto! Don't know about your diocese, but here at least, the general pattern is that the 'tinkerbells' are awarded the big parishes. The more orthodox priests, who speak up, are shipped off to the most remote parishes with the lowest attendance.
Two events sent me over the edge.
The first was the untimely "suicide" of an orthodox (whistle blowing) priest, who returned from a retreat to find a message on his answering maching inviting him to come down to the Chancery, ASAP. There, he was handed a document by the bishop's right hand man, denying he was the 'author' of a memo addressed to the Cardinal, identifying the multitude of abuses in this diocese. After signing the document, he was told to return on Monday for a personal meeting with the bishop. He was found dead on his kitchen floor, lieing on a blanket, face down, 24 hours later.
The 2nd event that shook me to the core was watching a Eucharistic Minister in my parish, drop a consecrated host on the ground, turn towards the 'tinkerbell' pastor for guidance, receive none, bend over, pick it up and toss it back into her Pyrex glass communion bowl.
After witnessing this display of total disrespect, I buried my head in my hands and asked our Lord to guide me to a holy man, a valid liturgy and a welcoming community. The response was swift. That is when I arrived at the Maronite Catholic parish, lost my heart and soul to the beautiful liturgy and total reverence for the Eucharist. I have never looked back. Our community includes a formerly RC couple who switched to the Melkite Catholic Rite while living in PA. There are no Melkite Catholic Churches in Albany NY, so they attend the Maronite Catholic Church.
Even without switching rites (though I am toying with the idea), you may find this article interesting.