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Catholic Scorecard

posted by awelborn

Hill Democrats are getting one together

House Democrats are preparing a “Catholic Voting Scorecard” in an effort to show that Catholic Democratic lawmakers have adhered more closely to the position of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy on key issues than their Catholic Republican counterparts.

Democratic sources say Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Nicholas Lampson (D-Texas), both Catholics, are spearheading the project, which will compare the votes of Catholic members of both parties on a number of key issues that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified as its legislative priorities. Nearly 27 percent of House members are Catholic.

Via The Corner

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Kevin Miller

posted April 14, 2004 at 10:45 pm

The problem, of course, is that – as the hierarchy (both pope and US bishops) itself explains! – there is an order of priority among these issues.

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Earl E. Appleby, Jr.

posted April 14, 2004 at 11:34 pm

I’ve blogged on this on Catholic Kerry Watch, Amy, where a modest parlor discussion of the “seamless garment” concept to which I link the scorecard has ensued. (“Parlor” as opposed to the town hall meeting commentary your widely and wisely read posts generate. ;-)
Your thoughts would be most welcome.

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Daniel Baker

posted April 15, 2004 at 2:56 am

Bravo for the Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives! Every intelligent person knows that support for the USCCB’s farm policy covers a multitude of sins.

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Donald R. McClarey

posted April 15, 2004 at 6:06 am

We should designate this the “straining the gnat and swallowing the camel” project. How foolish. This will merely lead to further media spotlight on the Democrats’ “Catholic Problem”.

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posted April 15, 2004 at 7:07 am

I think we’d do well to strongly emphasize that Bernardin himself did not approve of using the concept of the seamless garment to devalue opposition to legalized abortion. In fact, he too saw, as Kevin says, a hierarchy of priorities, here.
See also pp. 288-290 of Robert P. George’s book “The Clash of Orthodoxies”, where he quotes Bernardin as “deploring” the misuse of his ideas.
And the comments of one of the Priests for Life here:

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posted April 15, 2004 at 7:21 am

Sadly, they are probably right. They probably do support USCCB “positions” more often than Republicans. This doesn’t show that they are more faithful to Catholicism, but the USCCB gets itself involved in liberal political causes more than it gets itself involved in proclaiming the Catholic faith.

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Dale Price

posted April 15, 2004 at 8:23 am

All of which is indisputably correct–for those lucky enough not to get snuffed in the womb.

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posted April 15, 2004 at 8:55 am

Let me take a wild guess, Reps. DeLauro and Lampson are pro-aborts? If so, this is just a shameless scam to manipulate the Catholic vote. The Catholics who are able to see this “scorecard” for what it really is wouldn’t vote for these jokers anyway. As for the rest of the Catholics who will buy into this nonsense, they’ll simply have one more reason to defend their pro-abort voting habits.

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posted April 15, 2004 at 9:00 am

Though I am not in agreement by any means w/most Dem positions, I do think that it is all to the good that they are aware that they must appeal to Catholic voters. Of course, the seemless garment theories must be de-bunked clearly. They are simply trying to justify themselves and Kerry.
I don’t think that the various economic and social problems, ie, poverty, family farms, etc. always require the leftist approach to government intervention. There are a variety of ways to improve poverty, etc., w/o going socialist. My best understanding is that Church doctrine does not require the adoption of Dem policies toward poverty, etc., yet, a pro-life policy is everthing to our beliefs.
The bottom line in my view, consistent w/the Church’s heirarchical approach of the various issues, is that if we don’t have life, nothing else matters. Therefore, a pro-life position must come first; there’s [or there should be] lots of room for debate within Catholic thinking on most other issues, i.e., economic policy.

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c matt

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:25 am

Which raises an interesting issue: How will you score a Catholic Grade Report on issues other than abortion? Is a vote against faith-based initiatives for or against Catholic teaching? Do these Demoncrat “Catholics” even know Catholic teaching? My gut feel is they will produce a “scorecard” that proclaims Demon Senator Beelzebub voted 90% with Catholic Teaching without any detail (meaning he voted against pro-life positions every time, but for higher taxes on the wealthy, more government hand-outs, etc.)

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c matt

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:30 am

And another question: Does voting with the U.S. Catholic heirarchy constitute voting with Catholicism?

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posted April 15, 2004 at 10:33 am

It appears that the list of issues may be stacked. GOP members as a group are only 10 or so points behind in the Dem-devised rating system. Just think if the list included issues of life (from issues of abortion to euthanasia), marriage/family, school vouchers and faith-based initiatives (which, in retrospect, I am not sure are so good for Cath organizations to retain their values). I bet the parties would score much more closely, or the GOP could end up ahead. Never know.

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Earl E. Appleby, Jr.

posted April 15, 2004 at 1:46 pm

Poppi, your crystal ball is quite clear. As I report elsewhere, DeLauro, a former Executive Director for the pro-abort PAC Emily’s List, received a 100% NARAL rating for 2003 and Lampson voted with Planned Parenthood 80% of the time between 1995 and 2001.
David, I appreciate your counsel and, in fact, link to Fr. Pavone’s charitable analysis in my report, although frankly the evidence suggests otherwise in my considered judgment. The bottom line is regardless of intent, the result of the “seamless garment” fiasco has been to provide a cover for Catholics who support baby-killing to pass themselves off as “pro-life”–whatever that means in today’s discount market.

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posted April 15, 2004 at 2:26 pm

By the way, Lampson (who unfortunately is my representative until the next election when the districts change in Texas) has about an 85% pro-abortion voting record. He lists himself as a faithful Catholic and neither Archbishop Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston or his own bishop Guillory of Beaumont have taken any public action. For your e-mailing pleasure, and please be respectful:
Bishop:Most Rev. Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D.,D.D.

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posted April 15, 2004 at 9:24 pm

I have to agree with SF. The US Bishops have advocated Democratic policies pretty faithfully on every issue except abortion and now gay marriage. They have also perpetuated the misinterpretation of the seamless garment by paying almost equal attention to economic policies as they do to issues of the fundamental human right to life. The Dems didn’t have to be geniuses to exploit this to their benefit.
Can I coin a phrase for the John Kerry approach to Catholicism? The Shameless Garment.

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Earl E. Appleby, Jr.

posted April 15, 2004 at 9:26 pm

Peggy’s perception is quite right in that the scorecard issues are tilted to inflate the rating of pro-abortion Catholic Democrats and allow them to pass as “pro-life.” Thus, as I report, the lowest rating among the 67 Catholic Democrats rated is 60%, while the average for the 49 Catholic Republicans is only 64%. The scorecard, like the “seamless garment,” is a sham.

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