The Catholic Vote – An Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla Stalking Mr. Obama

Right From the Start

As the presidential election of 2012 draws near, nobody seems to address the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room – the Catholic Church and the assault of President Barack Obama on the tenets of the Church, particularly with regard to the issue of abortion. Let’s contrast the position of the Church and Mr. Obama.

The Catholic Church believes that abortion is the taking of a human life – an innocent human life. It makes no distinction between an abortion and murder. I stand with the Catholic Church.

In contrast, Mr. Obama is undoubtedly the most vigorous advocate for abortion on demand that has ever held the Office of President. So radical are his views and actions supporting abortion on demand that he was the sole vote while serving in the Illinois legislature to allow medical personnel to kill a baby born alive as a result of a botched abortion. While Mr. Obama and other liberals like to de-personalize this grotesque action, the fact of the matter is that this is a live birth by every medical definition and Mr. Obama voted to terminate it at the doctors’ discretion.

The surprising thing is that despite the Church’s unwavering opposition to abortion, the Catholic vote has traditionally gone to Democrats. That is most probably because of the illusion that Democrats care about the poor and disadvantaged; although their solutions never work and they have succeeded solely in building an ever increasing dependency on the largesse of the federal government. That illusion has persisted despite the fact that taxpayer funded abortion on demand has become a litmus test for any Democrat seeking their party’s nomination for any significant office. Be that as it may, based on exit polling, the number of self-identified Catholics voting for Mr. Obama in the last election was approximately fifty-two percent.

That illusion persisted despite Mr. Obama’s well publicized promise that the first piece of legislation that he would sign upon assuming the presidency would be the Freedom of Choice Act which mandated abortions for minor children without parental notification or support and would deny an “act of conscience” to Catholic hospitals and Catholic medical professionals. In other words, under the provisions of this Act, the licensing of medical facilities and personnel will be at risk if they refuse, as an act of conscience, to perform abortions on demand. (Fortunately that legislation never reached Mr. Obama’s desk, but he has been quietly implementing most of its provisions through executive orders.)

This illusion continued even after Mr. Obama promised during a speech at Notre Dame University that he would work to make abortion rare while at the same time he was rescinding executive orders from former President George W. Bush that banned federal funding to international groups that promote and perform abortions.

This illusion continued even after Mr. Obama at his meeting with Pope Benedict promised to do everything possible to reduce the number of abortions while at the same time he dispatched his representatives to the United Nations to argue that abortion on demand was a fundamental right for women and should be recognized universally.

Much of this illusion was fostered by the false notion that abortion cannot be viewed in isolation but rather must be viewed in “proportionality.” In other words if a politician or party supports other issues related to social justice, one can overlook the promotion of abortion on demand. There are any number of the Church’s clergy and religious staff that have supported this view. Fortunately, the most visible of these, such as Sister Margaret McBride of Arizona, who have actively and publicly supported abortions, have been excommunicated.

These views are unequivocally and diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict, the College of Cardinals and the Catholic Bishops have stated unequivocally the two critical elements to the Church’s position on politicians and abortion. First, the faithful may not support those who advocate abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. There is a consistency in these positions – opposition to the taking of innocent human life. Second, there is no such thing as “proportionality” in the Church’s opposition to these. In other words, there is not a balancing of a politician’s position on other matters of human rights – these are absolutes.

In recent weeks, bishops and priests have, usually at the conclusion of services rather than during their sermons, discussed the federal government’s assault on religion. But there continues to be reluctance on the part of the clergy to clearly identify those principally responsible. At one mass the parish priest spoke obliquely about the federal government’s action but treated it as if it was an amorphous entity without features or identity. At another mass, a monsignor went so far as to identify Kathleen Sebilius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, apparently unaware that voters can neither directly elect nor remove Ms. Sebilius. (By the way, Ms. Sebilius portrays herself as a Catholic despite the fact that she is one of the nation’s leading proponents of taxpayer funded abortion on demand.)

The Church has proceeded cautiously, though, for fear of the Obama administration attacking its tax exempt status – although race pimps like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton never seem to face the same reluctance in using their churches as political forums nor the same scrutiny from Mr. Obama’s administration. The Church has not specifically pointed its finger at Mr. Obama as the raison d’guerre for the new demands for taxpayer funded abortion on demand. It has stuck to reminding the faithful of the tenets of the Church.

Tying the pieces together is the job of a variety of Catholic organizations such as the Knights of Columbus which, this month, celebrates Respect Life Month and the highly respected Catholics Called to Witness which created the video entitled Test of Fire produced by Catholics Called to Witness that has gone viral on the internet. You can find the YouTube sensation here. And the responsibility falls to lesser lights like you and me to remind the faithful of the their obligation to the tenets of the Church.

So let’s be clear. If you are a practicing Catholic who does not support abortion on demand, then you cannot in good conscience vote for Mr. Obama. If you deem yourself to be a practicing Catholic and you do support abortion on demand, you need to seek guidance from your priest.