God-O-Meter

God-O-Meter


Obama’s Lingering Catholic Troubles

posted by dgilgoff

scranton.jpgThe New York Times delivers a postcard from Catholic-rich Scranton, PA that spells trouble for Barack Obama:

Dozens of interviews with Catholics in Scranton underscored the political tumult in the parish pews. At Holy Rosary’s packed morning Masses on Sunday in working-class North Scranton and the Pennsylvania Polka Festival downtown that afternoon, many Clinton supporters said they were planning to vote for Mr. Obama, some saying they sided with their labor unions instead of the church and others repeating liberal arguments about church doctrine broader than abortion.
“I think that one of the teachings of God is to take care of the less fortunate,” said Susan Tighe, an insurance lawyer who identified herself as “a folk Catholic, from the guitar-strumming social-justice side” of the church.
But more said they now leaned toward Mr. McCain, citing both his experience and his opposition to abortion. Paul MacDonald, a retired social worker mingling over coffee after Mass at Holy Rosary, said he had voted for Mr. Kerry four years ago and Mrs. Clinton in the primary but now planned to vote for Mr. McCain because of “the life issue.”
The choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as Mr. McCain’s running mate had clinched it for him, Mr. MacDonald said. “She is anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage, anti-Big Oil, a lifetime member of the N.R.A., she hunts, she fishes — she is the perfect woman!”
One parishioner ruled out voting for Mr. Obama explicitly because he is black. “Are they going to make it the Black House?” Ray McCormick asked, to embarrassed hushing from a half dozen others gathered around the rectory kitchen. (Five of the six, all lifelong Democrats who supported Mrs. Clinton in the primary, said they now lean toward Mr. McCain.)
Mr. Madonna, the political scientist, said of the Catholic vote in white, working-class Scranton, “This is a tough area for Obama and some of it is race.”

It would seem that the Obama campaign knows it has to do something to gain back ground among Catholics. Doug Kmiec’s new book could be one step, but God-o-Meter wonders if Obama has something bigger in the offing, possible involving a cradle Catholic named Joe Biden.


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jjkans

posted September 17, 2008 at 3:46 pm


Its kind of funny that this is even still a question. Obama has no credibility with serious, practicing Catholics. Adding a cafeteria Catholic to the ticket hasn’t helped either. Its made him out to be even more of a panderer than he might have been before. You’re a pro-abortion candidate, fine. I just won’t vote for you. But, don’t trot out talking heads who claim to be faithful Catholics while they spit in the face of Church teaching by spreading falsehoods and defiling the Eucharist, and then have the gall to ask why we don’t support you. But, of course, those are just the opinions of a backwoods Catholic. Pax



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Dr. Ed

posted September 18, 2008 at 7:37 am


You wrote “This is a tough area for Obama and some of it is race.”
Why is it that if you do not agree with Obama you must be a racist?
I do not think Catholics are racist people. The explanation surely lies somewhere else.
Plain and simple, I think Obama can’t ‘close the deal’ because Catholics (and many others) are not convinced he is qualified. This candidate has been ‘rushed’ in on the shoulders of the celebrity makers, but once the candidate stops using the teleprompter it is all over for him.
In this time of crisis ordinary people (including Catholics) look for real solutions: We need to fix Washington. To do this we need people with executive experience, people with a track record of reform, people that have crossed the aisle to meet the others. People who have challencged their own party.
Probably, Catholics (and many others) believe the McCain/Palin ticket meets the requirements for the short list above, while the Obama/Biden ticket doesn’t.
It is not race, you see, it is just a matter of facts. Facts that ordinary people (many Catholics among them) are starting to see now that the ‘Glares of Celebrity’ are fading away.



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Christine Brown

posted September 18, 2008 at 8:35 am


Last night on TBN, Obama and McCain were interviewed by a pastor. Obama said he was a believer in God and that God keeps him in line. A far cry from what he has been saying about being an evolutionist. Of course, he must have changed his mind that there really and truly is a God! Hoorah! For it was God who gave us America and all of our traditional values, and God said we were blessed When we came over on the Mayflower years ago, EVERYTHING evolved around God Almighty. Our forefathers were all men of God causing God to bless us accordingly. When we fall off into sin in any form, that’s what brings the curses against the nation. What we all need to do is to REPENT of all of our sins and mean it and turn away from our wicked, vile ways. Then God will gladly restore America if we indeed do live our lives according to His precepts and laws. The first Great Commandment is to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. The second Great Commandment is to love our neighbors as we do ourselves. PTL!
Our forefathers only served two years in the White House, and received very, very little remuneration for what they did during that time. Our forefathers had the best ideas in doing what was truly right for America. They weren’t out to promote themselves or each other. They had what was best for our great nation of America in mind. And now there are very foolish people behind the scenes trying their best to strip us of our religious freedoms and our freedoms period. They would seek big government that would dictate to us what to do. Freedom would be a thing of the past. They want America to become communist. Ladies and gentlemen, we have to fight for that which is right. Bombard the White House with letters and calls and several different immoral issues. We all used to stand up for what is right, but sadly now every man seeks his own. We have become selfish and greedy and backslidden and God-haters. Let’s all rally around the goodness and godliness that has held our nation together all this time. AND ABOVE ALL, WE MUST LOVE ISRAEL. WITHOUT THEM WE WOULDN’T EVEN HAVE THE BIBLE. THEY WROTE,UNDER THE INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, OUR BIBLE. WE OWE EVERYTHING TO THEM. LET’S BE SURE NOT TO PUSH FOR THEM TO GIVE AWAY THEIR LAND TO THE PLO’S OR WHOMEVER ELSE. GOD GETS FURIOUS AND SENDS TSUNAMIS AND THE LIKE WHEN WE TOUCH ISRAEL. THEY ARE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE, AS HE IS A JEWISH GOD. HALLELEUJAH. WHEN WE ARE AUTHENTICALLY SAVED, WE BECOME JEWISH ALSO. SO WE OWE ISRAEL ALL OUR LOVE AND PROTECTION FROM HER MANY ENEMIES.–Together, there isn’t anything we can’t do in behalf of our America. PTL! (Praise the Lord!)



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marzacal

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:14 am


This just shows how racist a country we live in not to mention hypocritical bigots we are surrounded by. If Sarah Palin was anywhere a democratic ticket, she would catch complete HELL. Her lifestyle is the total opposite to the party not to mention NO experience. We all know what is happening here but no one is going to say it…Rules are made by you but not for by you. I love the lord and I am for a candidate that is the best for all of the US, not just for ME. I am a white man, life long republican and I am awake! You better start being true Christians because you will be judged! Vote the person…what are you waiting for…hard times to hit you before you truly think what is best…you know…the republican way



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marzacal

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:33 am


who are you to judge how much a person loves the lord…by how much he says he does on TV…if they show pictures of him at church would that be enough…what ever happened to being like-minded and saying that YOU have choices and I will not stand in the way of your choice BUT, if the wrong one, YOU will pay…is that gods way?? Is getting pregnant before marriage AS BAD as having an abortion or NOT as bad because some of us new Christians can relate…Isn’t all that is wrong…wrong?? Who would be the best VP, if something happened to the president…I want someone who will fight for ALL (again Gods way) and not just for my friends. Should YOUR loyalty to the lord be in question?? Mine isn’t.
Praise God…lord I ask that you wake up this nation and put our selfish ways aside…I ask you lord to help us all make the right choice based on ALL of you lord…in Jesus name AMEN



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God-o-Meter

posted September 18, 2008 at 9:40 am


jjkans writes:

Obama has no credibility with serious, practicing Catholics.

The New York Times story notes that nuns in Pennsylvania are phonebanking for Obama. Would you consider them serious, practicing Catholics?



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CatholicFirst

posted September 18, 2008 at 10:49 am


Obama will fail to get the working class Catholic vote unless he stops trying to buy it. Remember, these are the people who Kennedy inspired with; “Ask not what your country can do for you…” The Obama people are always confounded by social conservatives who vote against their own interest. Their surrogates claim that the social conservatives are being bamboozled by the Republicans. Well the four main cases against that theory sit on the Supreme Court. A promise by Obama to remove a pro-abortion litmus test on judges and to continue the Mexico City policy will go much further to win working class Catholics than more government help, no matter how dire the need.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 18, 2008 at 11:01 am


God-o-Meter:Since the vatican prohibits religious from being directly involved in partisan politics, I’d say these nuns are walking a thin line. They may be beautiful and good women with big hearts, who believe in what they are doing. Still, playing loose with Catholic teaching sort of removes them as typical practicing Catholics.



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God-o-Meter

posted September 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm


CatholicFirst–
Interesting point. Can you point GOM to the Vatican prohibition on partisan politicking?



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priceofliberty

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm


I hope the council of bishops is looking at some of these responses. Its one thing to not vote for someone because the church disagrees with an issue. But its another to not vote for someone on race.
Discrimination is definatly a moral sin.
If they aren’t going to address this I don’t think they have any business telling the laity how to vote.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm


God-o-meter:Canon 287;2 Clerics are not to have an active role in political parties and in the direction of labor unions unless the need to protect the rights of the Church or to promote the common good requires it in the judgment of the competent ecclesiastical authority.
I also remember JPII teaching in Mexico City that clerics are not social workers and warned them not to dilute there gifts on temporal interest (paraphrased)
I am not saying these sisters are wrong, my point was that it is not typical so where they may be practicing Catholics, they are a bit out of the ordinary.



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God-o-Meter

posted September 19, 2008 at 9:20 am


CatholicFirst–
Do you think the bishops who criticize Biden/Kerry/Pelosi are also wrong by that standard? Or do you see that as more issue-based (around abortion) than candidate based. Bishops also can claim that with Biden and Pelosei, they “started it” by challenging the Catholic Church’s position on abortion in public.
Your thoughts?



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Eric McFadden - Former Director of Catholic Outreach - Clinton Campaign

posted September 19, 2008 at 9:55 am


The Republicans have long used Abortion as a proxy or a moral veneer to hide behind when other issues such as the economy are a complete failure for them. That is the case now, but also after reading this blog and NYT piece it is apparent that it is being used to hide the race issue as well. I ran into this in PA during the primary, but did not figure some would be so open about it, nor would it have an impact. I now believe that race will play a major role underneath the veneer of abortion as the right tries to trump Obama on the economy. The Bishops must speak out on the intrinsic evil of racism.
The Bishops are simply conflicted at times on the state of life. They argue that all abortion at every stage of conception is a sin against life, but they do not condemn war or nuclearization that guarantees a mass loss of life. The same also applies to other life issues such as capital punishment, poverty alleviation, disease control and food insecurity. It is the inconsistency of their life arguments that confuse people.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 19, 2008 at 11:59 am


God-o-Meter: It is problematic to state that while you agree with the Catholic Church on abortion that does not translate into public policy. They are saying that they believe as the Catholic Church that the unborn are fully human but they can not protect their lives. It is different than saying that the unborn child is not a human therefore not deserving of human rights. In the case of Biden and Pelosi, they went even further by publicly offering an alternate view of the Catholic Church’s position.



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CatholicFirst

posted September 19, 2008 at 12:30 pm


Eric McFadden: I am small town Catholic in the Philadelphia area and I can’t help but see your post as race baiting. I’ve been in the pro-life movement for 25 years and have worked with hundreds of social conservatives from PA and never once, never once, seen any evidence of racism. Racism exists, to be sure but your assertion is way out of line. Your claim to the Bishop’s “inconsistency” on life is fallacious. For one, the Bishops are very clear concerning the subjects you cite. Although I have not seen any encyclicals on food insecurity, something tells me the Bishops would be for that. All issues are not equal. Wars are sometimes necessary and we can argue the particular instances. Capital Punishment was once necessary and now the Church teaches it should be “very rare, if not practically nonexistent.” BTW, didn’t Clinton run home to execute that mentally challenged man during the 92 campaign? 42 people were executed in the US last year. Abortion claims 42 people every 16 minutes. I am a Great Society democrat so I’m not so sure Obama will eliminate poverty but I know strong families will go a long way to help. For the Catholic Church abortion is the direct killing of a innocent human life there isn’t much room for maneuver there.



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leslie alexander

posted September 21, 2008 at 4:19 pm


Practicing Catholics know there is an inherent contradiction between worshipping God and supporting a ticket that thinks it’s okay to kill unborn children–or in Obama’s case–let them die if they happen to survive the abortion. This is not rocket science. Practicing Catholics, at least most, think unborn life and babies are worth protecting–and this is a central, identifiying isssue for them. It is part of who they are, and most of them will never leave it behind. Feed the poor but kill the unborn?–it dosn’t make sense and they know it.



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Kelly Grant

posted October 6, 2008 at 11:46 pm


Doesn’t your bible say that “though shall not judge”. Why, then do you feel qualified to decide what another person should do with their body? If you feel they are committing a sin, let God judge them.



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