Faithful Citizenship

Faithful Citizenship

Will Labor Issues Impact the Catholic Vote in 2012?

The emotionally-charged disputes over labor negotiations in states like Wisconsin and Ohio have led some Catholics on the political left to claim that the GOP will lose Catholic votes as a result.  It’s true that the history of the labor movement in the United States was closely intertwined with Catholic social teaching beginning with the 1891 encyclical of Leo XIII on capital and labor, Rerum Novarum.


The question needs to be asked, however, if Catholic voters, even those from backgrounds with ties to organized labor, will be sympathetic with the demands being made by unions in the face of huge state budget deficits.  Bishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee made a statement on “the Rights of Workers and the Value of Unions” that affirmed the Church’s support of the workers’ right to organize, but adds this does not mean that “every claim made by workers or their representatives is valid.”

In separate conversations this past week with two bishops, I heard from them that they considered Bishop Listecki’s statement to be right on the mark.  The position of the Church in relation to these labor disputes should not be to treat collective bargaining as a necessary facet of Catholic social teaching on workers’ rights. Indeed, it’s foolish, they said, to ignore the overall state of the economy and the growing deficit of state and federal budgets.


It’s my view, given the strong Catholic socially-conservative presence in the Tea Party movement, that there will be much less sympathy among Catholic voters in the traditional Catholic states of the midwest and northeast than some liberal commentators want us to think.

No one questions the right of workers to organize or the historical contribution of labor unions to a more just economy. But, as unions continue to make demands that dig an already deep financial hole deeper they will inevitably lose popular support.

For more on the question of how labor disputes will impact the Catholic vote take a look at

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Faithful Citizenship. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Activist Faith Happy Reading!   ...

posted 12:28:32pm Jun. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Gratitude In a Strange Place
The Three Wise Men, or Kings, bow down before the child Jesus in gratitude.  For me, 2011 was a year for growth in gratitude -- because I spent this past year fighting prostate cancer. I didn't see it as a Job-like tragedy but what often ...

posted 10:17:31pm Dec. 20, 2011 | read full post »

Can't Get Enough of Christmas Music
    I'm a Christmas music fanatic. A long row of Christmas music LPs still stands at dusty attention on my bookshelves. Names like Perry Como, Bing Crosby, the Kings College Choir, and Eugene Ormandy peek out from their spines. ...

posted 9:29:43pm Dec. 12, 2011 | read full post »

The Death of a Christian Man of Letters
    You may not have heard of him, but a Christian man of letters, one of our greatest, just passed away. A native of Georgia and educated at its University,  Marion Montgomery was a prolific writer. His works include three ...

posted 7:15:35pm Nov. 23, 2011 | read full post »

"How to Be" at Thanksgiving
  Thanksgiving may be the most underrated day in our annual rota of holiday observances. Lost in the midst of stories about our country's native Americans bringing food to the struggling British settlers is a more metaphysical and ...

posted 10:57:44am Nov. 22, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.