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 employees, well, too bad, says Obama. It is “not fair” to expect women who work for “large” Catholic hospitals and schools to pay for their own contraceptives, he told a reporter earlier this year.

Some of Obama’s advisers, including Joe Biden and his former chief of staff William Daley, warned Obama that this in-your-face secularism could cost him the Catholic vote. But feminists within the administration already had his ear and he moved ahead with the mandate.

According to the latest polling, this political high-wire act—seeking to win the Catholic vote while warring on Catholic institutions—is not impossible for Obama to pull off. Indeed, it looks like he is headed for an impressive finish. As CNN reports, “Obama leads opponent Mitt Romney among Catholic voters by 54% to 39%, according to the survey, conducted from September 12 to 16 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.”

How Romney could give Obama this large opening is a source of some bafflement among political observers. Romney’s selection of a Catholic running mate in Paul Ryan appears to have made no difference in the race. The two have largely eschewed moral issues, with Ryan even waiving the white flag recently on the issue of gays in the military. Restoring the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy would be a step in the “wrong direction,” said Ryan, dismissing the issue.

Romney ran an ad earlier in the campaign about “Obama’s war on religion,” but he hasn’t bothered to develop the theme.

Meanwhile, the bishops have sent plenty of mixed signals to Catholics about the race. Bishop Stephen Blaire, who heads up the US bishops’ “social justice” office, has fired off multiple letters to Paul Ryan, upbraiding him for his supposedly un-Christian budgetary plans. Blaire also felt that the bishops hit Obama too hard on the HHS mandate, fretting that their resistance could contribute to an “anti-Obama campaign.”

No doubt Blaire was pleased to see the nun on the bus, Sister Simone Campbell, roll into Charlotte for the Democrats’ convention. Obama continues to enjoy the patronage of the Catholic left, which has spent decades inculcating Catholic pupils in the notion that “social justice” and the platform of the Democratic Party are one and the same. It is no accident that Notre Dame conferred an honorary degree upon Obama for his “community organizing.” He is the “one” the Sister Campbells and Bishop Blaires were “waiting for.”

The Jesuits are in the tank for Obama too. The faculty at Georgetown ranked among his top donors in 2008, and the enthusiasm, evident in its honoring of Kathleen Sebelius earlier this year, continues. The Jesuit magazine America editorialized in support of the HHS mandate, which the Obama administration scooped up and used to neutralize Catholic opposition to it. At a White House meeting with officials from the US bshops’ conference, Obama aides invoked that editorial to lecture the Church on what Catholicism should mean.

Obama has perfected this divide-and-conquer strategy, shrewdly sensing that his Fifth Columnists within the Church would work for his reelection and that the bishops would prove too feckless to stop it. Even at this late date, even as Obama’s anti-Catholic agenda accelerates, the bishops continue to dither on such issues as withholding Communion from pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage Democratic politicians (there is still no uniform policy on that question) and sit on their hands while Obama-supporting Catholic colleges and universities sink ever more deeply into secularism.

Earlier this year Cardinal Timothy Dolan admitted to the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. bishops failed to catechize American Catholics in the Church’s teaching on contraception. This, too, explains Obama’s support amongst Catholics. They don’t care about his contraceptive mandate because they don’t care about the Church’s teaching on contraceptives. Forty years of bad catechesis can’t be undone by a “Fortnight for Freedom.”

If the news that the most anti-Catholic president ever is on track to win the Catholic vote doesn’t sober the bishops up and return them to orthodox basics, nothing will.

This column first appeared October 3, 2012 on and is reprinted with permission.

George Neumayr


George Neumayr is a contributing editor to The American Spectator, and a weekly columnist for Crisis Magazine. He is also co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.

  • Bob

    Obama is an enemy of the Catholic Church. Period.

  • respectlife

    Oh my gosh. How can anyone with an ounce of morality support this guy or vote for him. Left wing Catholics and institutions should be ashamed of themselves. They will face their maker some day and have to explain why…

    • John200

      They will also face the 60+ million aborted and have to explain why…

      Good comment, stimulated my comment.

  • The Catholic left who are for Obama because of their “social justice” beliefs remind me of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day who hyper-focused on the Works of the Law (Torah) rather than look at the bigger picture of humble, loving service to others. #1-to choose social justice over life for a defenseless fetus is just a warped sense of values. #2-“social justice” belongs to the people of the churches; not the government. Jesus didn’t command the government to feed the poor and clothe the naked. He commanded us Christians to do that. So they are wrong on both accounts. From the beginning, the Catholic church has spoken out against socialist regimes. These people need to wake up to what is happening and realize that because of their actions, one day Christians may be facing death just for being a Christian.

    • But if the government does the work, the the Churches are off the hook and become irrelevant tombs of moral preaching, which is where the secularists what us. I wish the Catholic left would wake up to this simple fact, BEFORE we are executed for preaching the truth.

    • Adam_Baum

      The “Catholic left” is all left, and not at all Catholic.

    • leel004

      most one question….how can you be a left catholic…..either you believe the teachings of The Church OR you don’t. They DON’T , therefore they CEASE to be Catholic — PERIOD !

      • John200

        Yup, lefty supporters of contraception and abortion are the practitioners of a failed version of Catholicism.

        I won’t even bother to recite latae sententiae and the rest of the ways to excommunicate yourself. We are living among millions of excomm Catholics, including many whom don’t know they are excommunicated. That is because they were poorly (or not at all?) catechized.

        Your soul is too important to risk on contraception, on abortion, etc….. Isn’t it?

        Well, mine is.

        • leel004

          Amen John, Amen. Nothing is more important than the SALVATION of a SOUL.

      • The Truth

        You either belive in the teaching’s of the one True church, the Catholic Church or you are a protestant that attends a Catholic church. There is no sych thing as a conservative or liberal Catholic.

  • Suz

    I believe the world is perched on the edge of a cliff. This election will determine whether or not we will be pulled back from the brink of disaster or pushed over. I’m afraid………………

  • CSB

    I am so very, very sad. The devil is doing his job well, creating chaos and dividing people. He’s weakening us and we’re letting him win. Shame on those Catholic institutions who don’t see this and are allowing it to happen. They must know in their hearts that what they are doing is wrong. Why don’t they listen to their inner voice and follow the path that Jesus set forth for us?

    • Ford Oxaal

      Please don’t be sad. St. Escriva is fond of saying sadness too is from the devil, and we must convert sadness into heartfelt prayer, and then marvel how God works in such mysterious ways. God always brings forth a greater good. The harder the path, the greater the good.

  • Ford Oxaal

    Perhaps God is separating the sheep from the goats, especially since Vatican II: Catholics who have gone lukewarm will be vomitted out. Protestants who seek truth will dig a little deeper and discover the fullness of the faith, and the fog of misunderstanding will dispel. The vocations will come back like wild roses. And the wall-to-wall material wealth sqandered by the U.S.A. on vice will vanish. Muslims will discover that the Trinity does not mean three gods anymore than length, width, and height means three spaces, or red, green and cyan means no white light. Even atheists will see the light, because at least they think about God. Of course, we may be eating dandelions before we get there, but better that than to never arrive.

  • When the “average” Catholic sees the Church take NO action for decades to publicly chastise very high profile pro-abortion “Catholics”, the have been, in effect, told by action that it does not matter! What do you expect?

  • MJ

    I can understand why the Catholic vote is split when there are Bishops like Stephen Blaire who strongly supports the left wing Democrat version of social justice. How in God’s name does this Bishop support a social justice policy where the main tenet is the right to kill innocent life in the womb. That is far and away the priority of that policy and everything else is distant in importance. And if you try to exclude pro-life from other so-called social justice policies, you have become a useful idiot of the democrat party which is exactly what they want you to do.
    What about other social justice issues? The country’s largest cities have been run by Democrats for decades where they have imbedded these social justice policies and they continue to be mired in moral and structural decay. More and more money thrown at the problems haven’t resolved and may actually make them worse. Perhaps, Bishop Blaire, it’s not the money, but it’s the very policies you support!
    So why don’t you quit writing letters to Rep Ryan about his budgets and take a step back to see the immoral underpinnings of the Democrat party that you are supporting.
    Obama has played the Bishops to his advantage, split the Church’s vote, and God help us all if the Catholic vote goes to Obama and he gets re-elected. Many Catholic’s may not care deeply about contraceptives, but they do care that about the government mandating that church institutions provide them. And they certainly care about right-to-life issues. Faithful Catholics are getting sick and tired of the lack of clarity and lack of leadership from the Bishops on key scriptural issues. If clear leadership does not emerge soon, don’t be surprised that lifelong faithful Catholics will feel they have no choice but to look for that clarity elsewhere.

    • Adam_Baum

      I’m beginning to think that in addition to Philosophy, Theology-Economics should be required of Seminarians. Not the fantasy stuff (Marx, Keynes), but the real thing, starting with Hayek.

      • John200

        Catholic-inspired economic analysis —

        It would be a good thing.

      • pleasethink

        Yes Hayek is solid, unlike the Marxism they are getting…Also, it’s not wrong to write to a bishop and talk TO him instead of about him; esp if he is causing scandal. Many letters can change hearts..Katherine of Sienna wrote many to the Pope.

  • Colleen

    Great words Ford,
    I pray though, that when the going gets tough (and it will if Obama wins another election) the lukewarm Catholics will see the error of their ways and come back into full communion with the church.

  • This Catholic is most definitely not in the obamination line.

  • MRzeppa

    This like Jews voting for a Muslim. Also, if you read any of the “Voter Guides” put out by (fill in the blank).. Catholic Conference (not in Catechism) you may see that dealing with poverty has more to do with taxation and letting the state do the Church’s work (not in the Catechism) than Catholics doing it them selves(in the Catechism). This reminds me of Joe Biden’s paltry donations to charity. In the “Voter Guide” in Michigan from the Michigan Catholic Conference you see the death penalty which under certain conditions is allowed per the Church put on par with abortion, and euthanasia even though there is no death penalty in Michigan. It is not on any platform or agenda. This is only a cover for “pro-choice” Catholics to vote democrat.

    • John R

      Wow what is this a propaganda arm of the Religious Right?Where religions want to dictate who we put in office? Where are we the Middle East where there is no separation of State and Religion? Instead of focusing on one issue,why don’t you focus on which leader is the best leader for all Americans, not just the rich . How about a leader who concerns himself with all Americans including working class and poor people and people of color. You do remember poor people don’t you? Jesus certainly did. I am of course talking about President OBama. President OBAMA does not hate or dislike any religion, he may not always agree with everything some Churches stand for but that does not mean dislike or hatred. President Obama has a one of the most difficult jobs in the world, representing and governing all Americans in a very demanding and challenging world. We are a very diverse nation from all walks of life. Things are not always in terms of all or nothing, you’re either all for us or all against us. Yes vote for conscience/soul but please do not let cast a vote based on some dogma. John R.

      • John200

        You might consider Catholic faith and then revise your comment. You are evidently quite innocent.

        • The Truth

          Last time I checked I didn’t find Jesus advocating redistribution of wealth in the Bible. The “poor” don’t need free contraceptive’s, they need to grasp the teaching’s of the Catholic church. Social dysfunction leads to poverty. The family being destroyed leads to poverty. And who’s destroying the family? The secularist Democratic Party led by the Marxist Obama. you can’t be “poor” unless you’re born. Mother Teresa said if abortion isn’t wrong, then waht is?

      • pleasethink

        Obama has made it public and very clear he is radically ahead of even abortion-providing Planed Barrenhood by being the only senator that voted on a bill to let abortion survivors (a born baby ) die. America has never had that stage of barbarism in its history. He’s NOT for everybody… he’s for no one but himself. Please name something he has done for the poor. They are much worse off than before he took office. I think household debt for each American is now a whopping and unpayable 54,000 dollars!

  • chris

    Well for one thing, I know people who call themselves Catholic and have never stepped a foot in a Catholic Church. These people say they are because either their parents were ex-Catholics or grandparents were practicing Catholics. Second you have the holiday Catholics. They dont take the sacraments and only go on Christmas and Easter out of tradition. Then you have the traditional every Sunday, Holiday and Holy day Catholics. The unfortunate thing is these so called polls include all these people as Catholics. We know only the last are true Catholics. This is your 45% not for Obama. Their is a small group of liberals within our church trying to bring it down. But that tiny % will only make us stronger. True traditional Catholics would never vote or Obama.

    • The Truth

      After reading and aquiring my own beliefs, much to my chagrin there are many many many “catholics” that attend Mass every week that have no clue, I repeat no clue as to the teaching’s of the Catholic Church. I hadn’t been “catholic” for over 30 yrs. and now realize after returning, that there hasn’t been any Catholic teaching for over 60 yrs. I attended a “catholic” high school. had “catholic” relative’s. But until I read true Catholic teaching’s and listened to dozens of Evangelical Protestants ( which seem to hold more to the truth than most church going “catholics), I stopped attending church. I will say this, it’s a breath of fresh air to finally read some posts from “traditional” Catholics. But I’m still confused over the term “traditional”. If you are Catholic you’re Catholic, if you actively disagree with Catholic Truths, you’re not a catholic, you’re a protestant. And you’re not Evangelical either. They have more of the truth than you.

      • pleasethink

        Help us to pray for and remind the Bishops of their duty to be our ‘Shepherds”, even if it is out of season not (unpopular) That really is their only duty….EVERYTHING ELSE IS BUSY WORK!!!! We need to patiently write respectful but truthful letters and let them know we are on their side, but they need to start acting like leaders instead of hiding behind chancery “advisors” We are in a unique time that perhaps God has allowed us to have the grace to see through the fog and we can joyfully and yet determinedly have a resolve to remind what needs to be done. Sometimes we find we are the only one in the parish. that’s OK. (The Catholic truth remains the same, regardless of numbers or popularity!:)

  • Mrs. G

    Good news! I saw that your poll of Catholics showing them at a depressing 54 – 39% in favor of Obama was from September. I figured these numbers might have changed somewhat since the debates, since not only was Romney somewhat unknown before the debates, he actually handled himself very well each time. Many people know him a lot better and seem to like him a lot more since those debates. I did a little digging and found this stat, dated 10/25/12:

    “The president saw a reversal of appeal among Catholic respondents in Virginia: 49 percent said they’d vote for him in the latest poll, down from 64 percent who said as much in Wednesday’s results.”

    That is from a NewsmaxZogby poll. I’ll keep looking to see if there is good news elsewhere!

    • The Truth

      There are considerally more protestant’s in the church than Catholics. Sad but true.

  • Tom

    From a very broad perspective of the Catholic Church in America much has changed since Vatican II when the then regimen of post-secondary education entailed the rigorous
    disciplines incident to the study of Christian apologetics, eschatology and
    Thomistic philosophy which, undoubtedly, were most demanding, magnificently
    enlightening and rewarding. Reduced to one simple concept, what has changed during
    the span of multiple decades is simply “focus”.

    With this change in focus, we – as a culture of confused souls – have exchanged principle for politics, relegated the eternal lessons of the Baltimore Catechism to
    the back shelf and replaced them with our own set of self-centered egregiously
    flawed rules and procedures.

    We have embraced expediency at the expense of eternity. In a most disturbing fashion, we have forgotten the core response to the one simple and elementary question – “why
    did God make me?” – a basic question, the answer to which we once so well knew
    and proudly heralded.

    As a predominantly Christian nation, we have permitted the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be replaced by the “Pro-Abortion” tripartite alliance of Beelzebub, the NARAL crowd and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Playboy magazine outsells Our Sunday Visitor while “God Bless America” has become a treasonous epithet.

    We have permitted the prenatally lobotomized relativist thinkers du jour to supplant the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church in our thought processes.

    We have embraced a style of expedient manipulation in lieu of forceful frontal confrontation with the patently absurd and fatally flawed egalitarian carpe diem doctrines
    of the times.

    Lest anyone is offended or has their sensitivities bruised or feelings hurt upon being
    confronted by the reality of theological veritas, we genuflect at the altar of contorted ecclesiastical Political Correctness to such a degree that it has replaced the Promise of Fatima. The once simple and humble concept of public prayer is now as feared as a diagnosis of diphtheria was a century ago. The writings of the likes of John Henry Newman, St. Thomas More, Fulton J Sheen, Joseph Fessio, S.J. and Daniel Lord, S.J. have been supplanted by the blather of the social engineers of the day a la ‘Bill
    & Hill’, Kim Gandy and Gloria Stinem.

    Theology classrooms of the esteemed academe known as institutions of Catholic higher education have been commandeered with elastic theologians of the elite
    higher education cabal. This while their university president, notwithstanding
    exhortations from the local Ordinary not to proceed, boldly markets his
    institution’s proud “Catholic traditions” by bestowing honoraria on the globally recognized
    and “esteemed” pro-abortionist – Barack Hussein Obama. (Might it be credibly postulated
    that: one surely never wants to miss the opportunity to fill the alumni giving
    coffers notwithstanding that it may entail a brief dance with the devil. Obviously, as the rationalization is glibly unfolded, we are assured that such conduct need not be of concern as same is merely an “unintended consequence” flowing from the attainment of a greater good and, therefore, a morally permissible course of action.)

    In short, as a culture our society has surrendered its core principles by crafting a Faustian pact with the devil himself; a “pact” through which economic and political
    advantage trumps the Ten Commandments and the Natural Law and all of the once
    “good news” we gleaned from that now out-dated and long forgotten Baltimore

    The “surrender” of which we speak has most assuredly visited upon us the urgent issues that demand our attention as believers: abortion; immigration; our obligations to
    the poor, the elderly and the disabled; questions of war and peace; our
    national confusion about sexual identity and human nature, and the attacks on
    marriage and family life that flow from this confusion; the growing
    disconnection of our science and technology from real moral reflection; the
    erosion of freedom of conscience in our national health-care debates; the
    content and quality of the schools that form our children.

    Might we ever expect to wake up?

  • Anti-Life Catholic politicians, i.e, democrats, should have been the first to suffer the effects of ex-communication from the church–a LONG time ago.

    • John200

      Many of these unfortunates have excomminicated themselves latae sententiae.

      But they don’t know it, perhaps because the bishops don’t push the point.

  • leel004

    Satan has MANY friends , and confusion and desire of self satisfaction are his worm holes

  • Craig

    It isn’t Romney’s responsibility to “reach out” to Catholics, not this year (however he has done a good bit of that). If the Catholics of this Nation can’t see the unmitigated disaster that a second Obama term would be, that is on us as Catholics.