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Greg Sisk at MOJ:

Given the tightening of the race at the end, Catholics for Obama rightly may take meaningful credit for the Obama victory. While exit polls show that a majority of faithful Catholics who attend weekly Mass were not convinced by the Obama appeal, a majority of Catholics overall did vote for Obama. And given the significant deficit for Obama among Catholics during the primary season, the efforts of Catholics for Obama may well have been decisive.
Catholics for Obama thus deserve our congratulations for a campaign well fought, along with our reminder that with victory and political power comes moral responsibility. All of us who grieve for the plight of the unborn in this nation must hope and pray that the promises made by Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec, that the lives of hundreds of thousands of unborn children would be saved by an Obama administration, will now be realized. Let us all join together in endorsing the Pregnant Women Support Act offered by Democrats for Life (and not yet endorsed by President-elect Obama).
And when emboldened pro-choice Democrats move to enact the Freedom of Choice Act that would strip away even the minimal protections currently in place for unborn life (and they will), we should expect that Catholics for Obama will speak forcefully against it and insist that its enactment would undermine the Obama pledge to unify the country. And when pro-choice Democrats seek to repeal the Hyde Amendment and use taxpayer money to finance more abortions (and they will), we should expect that Professors Cafardi, Kaveny, and Kmiec will speak as publicly and vigilantly as they did urging his election to remind President Obama that using the wealth of government to fund the industry of death contradicts the theme of the Obama campaign to move beyond the politics of division. And we all must join together as a united witness for life because, after all, lives literally depend on our faithfulness.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 11:34 am

And when Obama refuses to listen to their opposition and continues to implement his pro-abortion plan, what do we say to Kaveny et al? Politely say – I understand why you thought he’s listen to you? (I don’t) Or say didn’t we tell you that this belief that Obama will decrease abortions is unfounded?
I agree with Greg Sisk’s sentiment, but as soon as I read the line “Catholics for Obama may take meaningful credit for the Obama victory” I felt an overwhelming wave of sadness. That Catholics were responsible for Obama’s win makes my heart sink. I hope that they were all correct that Obama will save lives, but in my heart I know it won’t be true.
In the same way, I hope, like Greg Sisk, that Kaveny et al will come out and vocally oppose FOCA, but I don’t have much faith in that happening either. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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Sr. Lorraine

posted November 5, 2008 at 11:54 am

I wouldn’t give them that much credit.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the abortion issue was what turned the election. The economic crisis was the flash point. Up to that point McCain actually had a slight lead.
At least we can pray for the conversion of Obama to the pro-life cause. Greater miracles have happened.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Amen to that, Greg Sisk… just, plain old Amen. THere is a HUGE burden of proof upon Catholics who voted for Obama in this election.
Me? I voted Keyes, and slept soundly last night.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Who cares if something called Catholics for Obama existed? People who want to vote on other issues will do so whether or not some theologian says they can. There is always one out there but if there wasn’t how many would really change? The bishops were bishops and made their point. People who ignore the bishops and accept some layman’s definition of Catholicism need to be evangelized.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Forty years of mostly bad catechesis and bad preaching are coming home to roost — not to mention a lack of guidance from Catholic parents.
The good news is that things are getting better, and we have plenty of room to improve. :)

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posted November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

I’ll be interested to see if the Catholics for Obama approach to things pro-life will be applied to anything other than abortion.
I mean, suppose we take their approach towards, for instance, the death penalty. Let’s not try to change the laws, lets just try to work to change people’s hearts.
Or gun control. Let’s try to reduce gun deaths by taking away all regulations and impediments and make guns even more accessible.
Sigh. Can you tell I’m frustrated?
So we have the first American black president who appears to not care in the least that millions of black babies will never be born. Wow, high fives – isn’t that great? We’ve come a long way baby!
Yeah. I’m frustrated. Very.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I think you’re giving the so-called intellectuals way too much credit. How many of the Catholics who voted for Obama ever heard of Kaveny, Kmiec or Cafardi? Probably few, if any.
The problem is the loss of Catholic culture and the relativization of the statements of priests and bishops – i.e., statements by lay “experts” are placed on the same level. One bishop asked those in his diocese to consider their eternal salvation when they voted and the people at dotCommonweal couldn’t stop laughing/criticizing. And this attitude is prevalent throughout the Church. Lay experts are a dime a dozen and they really don’t speak to the eternal verities. That’s the job of the clergy, whether in the church itself during Mass or in letters issued to those in their parish or diocese. We have become so used to that “bright line” dividing those in the clergy, who are supposed to sit in church and the laity, who are supposed to run things in the “world,” that we’ve forgotten that the laity and their expertise should be entirely at the service of the Church and those who speak for the Church (the priests and bishops), not as a way for them to aggrandize themselves or elevate their public personas.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

What is up with all of these blogs – Catholic ones and conservative ones – offering congratulations to Obama? Would you write
“Adolf Hitler has been appointed Chancellor, and we offer him our most sincere congratulations”
“Benito Mussolini has been appointed Prime Minister, and he has our congratulations”
“Saloth Sar, the U.N. has decided that your government is the real government of Cambodia, congratulations!”
No, no, NO. This is not a game. People are going to lose their jobs, homes and rights under an Obama administration. Every pro-life achievement of the past 30 years will be lost once he becomes president and signs FOCA.
Why on earth would I congratulate such a man, or his enablers?

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posted November 5, 2008 at 2:12 pm

I think Sr. Lorraine may be correct in assessing an Obama victory based on the economic crisis…however, that was cold comfort when my husband reported being the only one who voted for McCain at his job as an executive in a very large Catholic social service agency run by the diocese.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Maureen is right in thinking this is a problem of catechesis. It cannot be solved by some pastoral letters each election year. Catechesis is a year-round, life-long process.
On the other hand, the measure of success of catechesis should not be whether or not the laity obeyed their bishops in the voting booth. It’s still about the proper formation of individual consciences, not about collective political action.
Lastly, if the bishops feel so strongly about certain political issues, they shouldn’t be so delicate about their fear of losing their tax-exempt status. The pussy-footing that went on this year because the bishops didn’t want to cross the IRS guidelines for tax-exempt organizations was indicative to many that they didn’t think this was really all that big of a deal. Should we only directly oppose intrinsic evil up to a point, but not if it endangers our secular financial position?
The USCCB document was a good example of “balanced” writing……..but should it have been balanced?

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posted November 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Something about all this has not been sitting well with me. If we discuss the implications of the election and the “what comes next” with the assumption that the results are a result of rational processes, we risk careening off into unreality.
In my view, the tide of popular enthusiasm of Barack Obama cannot be attributed simply to the media’s bias, voter registration drives and the imbalance of campaign funding. Mark Levin of the National Review Online expresses something we ought to ponder:
“I honestly never thought we’d see such a thing in our country – not yet anyway – but I sense what’s occurring in this election is a recklessness and abandonment of rationality that has preceded the voluntary surrender of liberty and security in other places. I can’t help but observe that even some conservatives are caught in the moment as their attempts at explaining their support for Barack Obama are unpersuasive and even illogical. And the pull appears to be rather strong.”
The rationalizations of “Catholics for Obama” that at some level Obama was the preferable “pro-life” candidate are a sterling example of the victory of wishful rationalization over reasoning. In Barack Obama’s own words:
“With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women’s fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade. The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.”

If prominent Catholics not only supported Obama but went as far as to begin political organizations based on such fatuous foundations in the face of the avalanche of evidence that was available, how can we expect that rational accountability and re-evaluation will ever take place? If we are dealing with elements that are (dare I say it) delusional, it is equally delusional to expect them to play by the rules of the Rational Game.
I don’t mind making logical arguments in the public forum. I just think it’s a misguided use of resources to expect that they will have much impact. Amy, I don’t know anyone who was directly influenced by Catholics for Obama, but they didn’t need to be. The tide sweeping the U.S. (of which Cs for O is a symptom, not a cause) picked them up and carried them off just fine.
So what do we do now? I’m feisty and I’m not just going to sit here. And, figuratively speaking, I can see Russia from my house.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Jim’s comment

“Lastly, if the bishops feel so strongly about certain political issues, they shouldn’t be so delicate about their fear of losing their tax-exempt status.”

really hits the mark for cowardly bishops, but many American Catholic bishops – while claiming to be “against abortion” – are actually “pro choice” and we’d all be foolish to think otherwise.
A document like “faithful citizenship” can only come from a committee that doesn’t feel strongly about anything but itself.
Like Bishop Martino of Scranton said, “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me”.
Can’t you all wait for Biden to trumpet his Catholic credentials as VP? I can see him – like Pelosi and other apostates – receiving communion without any action by Archbishop Wuerl (regarding Archbishop Wuerl’s comments about Pelosi in August, I think it’s fair to call them “just words”, as Obama himself would have put it). Pity…

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posted November 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for linking to that, Amy.
Don’t hold your breath, Greg Sisk.
(I suspect he isn’t)

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Paul M

posted November 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Kmiec is not stopping, but is being encouraged by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. According to Cal Catholic Daily he is to give a lecture at St. John’s Seminary (the LA seminary) entitled, “Catholics and the 2008 Election: Are We a House Divided?”
According to an announcement on the seminary’s web site, Kmiec’s lecture “will be an examination of the prominent role played by the American Catholic community in the 2008 election, from Bishops educating candidates on ensoulment to alternative ways to be pro-life to the selection of running mates.” In addition, said the announcement, Kmiec will discuss “Were Catholics too single-issue to pick wisely on the full social Gospel of the Church?”

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Thomas Hart

posted November 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Maybe the bishops should borrow a leaf from the Obama playbook and buy a half hour infomercial on the major networks. Have one or more of the bishops, a scientist, and a pro-life atheist like Nat Hentoff discussing when human life begins. Show pictures, stills, sonograms of life in the womb. Do the basic catechesis that life begins at conception.
Follow up by making an example of the pro-abortion politicians (Biden, Pelosi, Kennedy) by excommunicating them. Film the ritual and release it to the press.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Please, Please, I wish people would stop saying that Catholics were helpful in electing Barak Obama as the president of the United States.
To my mind, any person who identifies his or herself hemself as a Catholic, and supports Pro-Choice, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Gay Marriage or Assisted Suicide has excomminicated themselves from the Catholic Faith. They do not need to have this declaration from a Priest, Bishop, Archbishop or Pope. They have separated themselves from God.
So Catholics did not help to elect Obama.

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Sr. Lorraine

posted November 5, 2008 at 6:20 pm

The other thing that I find so frustrating about the position of Kmiec and his ilk is the way they identify the “full social Gospel” of the Church with the left-wing platform of the Democratic party. More and more government handouts and bailouts are not the answer to poverty.
After Katrina, I read the story of a young black woman had been on welfare in New Orleans. She was displaced to a northern state. While there, she got some training and got a job and was well off to making a good life for herself. Had she stayed in New Orleans, she probably would have been on the welfare rolls indefinitely. This is not to deny that some government programs can help people. But the deeper question is: do those programs help people get on their own feet, or perpetuate them as wards of the state?

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posted November 5, 2008 at 8:24 pm

To everyone who isn’t Catholic, Catholics are responsible for making Obama president.
We might claim that the Joe Bidens of the world, and the Nancy Pelosis, are not Catholics, but the American Catholic Bishops won’t even say that.
And as long as the Catholic Church won’t excommunicate its evildoers, we simply can’t proclaim the Gospel to those who might be receptive to it.

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posted November 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Nothing i’ve read from Kmiec suggests to me that he will say a thing in opposition of Obama’s championship of FOCA. Indeed, in his open letter to Archbishop Chaput in Public Discourse, Kmiec seems to think that a constitutional amendment is the only recourse for the legal protection of unborn life.
How Kmiec can think such an amendment possible is beyond me. If a majority of the electorate just voted for the most pro-abortion candidate in history, how on earth does Kmiec seriously propose to get a pro-life constitutional amendment through Congress (with a two-thirds majority in each house) and then the legislatures of three fourths of the states?

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posted November 5, 2008 at 10:23 pm

@ Thomas Hart
Oh, don’t tease. I’d like to see the things you propose so much that I’d buy very expensive tickets.
(Still feisty and probably a bit cranky)

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posted November 5, 2008 at 10:52 pm

If we wait for these Catholics who supported Obama largely funded by Soros and led by pro choice idiots, we would be better off waiting for hell to freeze over. They will not be visible again until the next election.

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Chris M

posted November 6, 2008 at 7:38 am

#18, even excommunication doesn’t make these folks non-Catholics. It just makes them excommunicated Catholics.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 11:24 am

I see the problem of Catholics voting for Obama as ignorance of Catholics’ of their faith. The bishops just talking out about pro-life just BEFORE an election is obviously not enough. Catholics are not taught their faith properly – it ends in 11th grade. Our Prodestant breathern continue reading the bible, have faith meetings, etc in their churches. They are so much more engaged in their faith due to their stronger leadership. In my parish, there was not a word on the pro-life issues during this election years. The clergy have failed miserably educating their parishners.

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