Catholic vote

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

A Populist Election and Its Aftermath

Considering how many crucial matters were at stake during the recent election, including the right to life and religious freedom, and confronting the preponderant bias in the media and opinion polls, it did not seem melodramatic to hope for a providential Hand to guide things. Without mistaking optimism for hope, and cautioned by the disappointment [...]

Donald Trump and the Catholic Vote

Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election. Having already explained why this is a calamity for Catholics, and for all people of goodwill, I will not repeat those arguments here. Instead, I would make a different point. Those of us who recognize this disaster for what it is need to [...]

Should Catholics “Feel the Bern”?

Can a Catholic support Bernie Sanders for president? In recent weeks, several noteworthy figures (including Mark Shea, Charles Camosy, and Fr. Dwight Longenecker) have tentatively suggested it might be possible to do this in good conscience. It’s an interesting discussion insofar as it raises important questions about how we should view our relationship to the [...]

An Assessment of the New USCCB Document Faithful Citizenship

The U.S. bishops recently issued an updated version of their 2007 document on the political obligations of Catholics, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (FCFC). While an in-depth analysis of it cannot be undertaken in a short column, I offer some thoughts and an assessment of its main points and try to put it into the [...]

What the Tory Victory Means for UK Catholics

The British people have spoken, and their voice has confounded all expectations. Almost immediately after the polls closed in the General Election at 10pm on Thursday night, a nationwide exit poll indicated that the Conservative party, led by David Cameron, the prime minister since 2010, was going to win far more seats than predicted. What [...]

Abortion, Torture, and the Juice-Box Theologians

There is a movement well underway to convince faithful Catholics they do not have a political home in the Republican Party. The effort is comprised of former political conservatives who now believe they are more Catholic than anybody else and therefore have cast a pox on both political parties, which is just another way for [...]

When Good People Don’t Vote

Coming up on another Election Day, I notice my neighbors and friends getting a little competitive. They’re not political activists. They’re political apathists. For some, an election is a can’t miss opportunity to broadcast their general contempt and hatred for America’s political scene. It’s actually become a bit of a joke at this point, since [...]

The Bishops’ Fateful Decision Respecting the Unborn

In 1973 the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. It was projected that the decision would not just replace illegal abortions with legal ones, but that the total number of abortions would dramatically increase (it turned out by approximately a million a year). It was clear that there were only two remedies: the [...]

The Contradictions of Multi-Generational Liberalism

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds significant differences between younger and older liberals, differences that are not encouraging either to orthodox religious believers or to the older liberals. The Next Generation Left (NGL) are at one with older liberals on the social issues, notably abortion and homosexual marriage, and it is primarily [...]

Abortive Contraceptives and Pro-Life Rhetoric

An unforeseen, positive effect of the HHS mandate’s dramatic affront to religious liberty is to have brought renewed attention to the abortive effects of contraception. But there still needs to be far more discussion of their full moral import—for social policy, institutional behavior, conscience rights, voting behavior—and, ultimately, pro-life rhetoric. This essay makes two points. First, [...]

The Peril of Total Political Disengagement

In a recent column, I argued that Catholics should willingly lend political support to the Republican Party. The focus of that piece was on the contention that there is no particular principle on which the Republican Party and the Church are clearly and intractably at odds. For many serious Catholics, I suspect that that argument [...]

Do Republicans Deserve Catholic Support?

I can recall a time when I disliked being referred to as “a Republican.” Although I have consistently voted Republican throughout my adult life, I preferred to stress to friends and relatives that I was a Catholic and a philosopher, but that I had no special loyalty to any political party. Evidently this attitude is [...]

How to Recover the Catholic Vote

One of the reasons that same-sex marriage laws have proliferated so quickly is that their proponents are concentrated geographically in the nation’s power centers: New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Geography can be determinative in politics. Faithful Catholics are numerous, but we’re too spread out. This has weakened our position both as a voting [...]

Catholics Must Face Squarely the Dire Threat to Religious Liberty

Of the 427 weddings  in my  present parish during the past eleven years  (I have lost count of all the others), the band—for want of a better word—at the most recent reception was the loudest I can remember.  Conversation was impossible, so  some of a certain age complained loudly but not loudly enough and others [...]

Public Witness and Catholic Citizenship

Public witness on issues of public concern is natural for Catholics because we have a commitment to the common good and to the dignity of each human person. Those two pillars—the common good and the dignity of every human person—come right out of Scripture. They underpin all of Catholic social thought. That includes politics. Politics [...]

Catholics in the Tank for Obama

During a campaign event in 2011, a feminist stopped Barack Obama in mid-speech to ask him if he supported free contraceptives. Obama replied: "Darn tootin'!" According to Obama's secularist philosophy, this invented right to free contraceptives trumps the First Amendment's right to religious freedom. If religious employers object to financing the sex lives of their [...]

I Was Right for the Wrong Reason

It would be both dishonest and absurdly ironic (since my October 17 article in Crisis was about intellectual integrity) if I were to fail to point out and correct a rather serious oversight that it contained. I stated that the Church teaches that to vote for a candidate who supports abortion is to be complicit [...]

Biden and Ryan Represent Different Generations of Catholics

The past four years have witnessed a battle between different generations of Catholics in public life—Generation X Catholics have taken a very different path from Baby Boomer Catholics and those born before the boomers. Generation X Catholics have emerged prominently in the Republican Party. Many who were mentioned this year on Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential short [...]

A Case of Missing Integrity: Why Catholics Can Not Vote for Barack Obama

Lord Peter Wimsey, that aristocratic and debonair sleuth, remarked that “The first thing a principle does is to get someone killed.” He said so in the middle of Dorothy Sayer’s delightful book Gaudy Night, which, aside from being an entertaining mystery story is a book about intellectual integrity. What he meant was this: the moment [...]

Voting According to Catholic Principles, Not Partisan Politics

Election 2012 is upon us. Many are calling it the most important election in their lives. The candidates and supporters have routinely emphasized that the Presidential candidates, their platforms, and their voting records are complete opposites. The two main parties in the United States have extremely different visions on nearly every issue of importance. And [...]

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