There Goes The Catholic Vote Too

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by JamesL, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. JamesL


    Obama's Catholic Strategy in Shambles
    By Michael Gerson

    WASHINGTON -- In 2009, Notre Dame University set off months of intra-Catholic controversy by inviting a champion of abortion rights to deliver its commencement address. When the day arrived, President Obama skillfully deflated the tension. He extended a "presumption of good faith" to his pro-life opponents. Then he promised Catholics that their pro-life convictions would be respected by his administration. "Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion," he said, "and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women."

    Catholics, eager for reassurance from a leader whom 54 percent had supported, were duly reassured. But Obama's statement had the awkward subordinate clauses of a contentious speechwriting process. Qualifications and code words produced a pledge that pledged little.

    Now the conscience protections of Catholics are under assault, particularly by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). And Obama's Catholic strategy is in shambles.

    Shortly before Obama spoke at Notre Dame, the ACLU of Massachusetts brought suit against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), seeking to eliminate a grant to their programs helping victims of human trafficking. Because Catholic programs don't refer for abortions, the ACLU alleged that public support amounts to the establishment of religion.

    The Obama Justice Department defended the USCCB grant in court. But last month, HHS abruptly ended the funding. It did not matter that an independent review board had rated the bishops' program more effective than those of its competitors -- or that career HHS employees objected to the politicized handling of the grant. HHS announced it was giving preference to grantees that offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care." This was described by one official as "standard procedure." So it is now standard procedure in the Obama administration to deny funding to some Catholic programs based solely on their pro-life beliefs.

    The process that produced the HHS decision remains murky. The USCCB has filed a Freedom of Information Act request requesting more details. But it is difficult to imagine that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was not involved in a matter of this much obvious controversy. Sebelius -- an outspoken pro-choice Catholic -- has a long history of conflict with Catholic authorities.

    Broadly applied, the HHS policy would amount to systemic anti-Catholic bias in government programs. And the provocation is one in a series. HHS has drawn conscience protections so narrowly that Catholic colleges, universities and hospitals -- any Catholic institution that employs and serves non-Catholics -- will be required to offer health coverage including contraception and drugs that cause abortion. In global health grants, new language is appearing requiring the integration of family planning and "reproductive health" services, effectively barring the participation of Catholic institutions. Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, calls these policies an "assault which now appears to grow at an ever-accelerating pace in ways that most of us could never have imagined."

    The main victims of this assault are not bishops but the poor and vulnerable. USCCB-sponsored human trafficking programs, for example, provide employment assistance, legal services, child care and medical screening. But because case managers won't refer for abortions, HHS would rather see these programs shut down in favor of less effective alternatives. This form of anti-religious extremism counts casualties.

    It is also politically incomprehensible. Obama's Catholic outreach is being revealed as a transparent ploy a year before he faces re-election. A portion of the Democratic coalition -- including civil libertarians and pro-choice activists -- has decided to attack and marginalize Catholic leaders and institutions. And HHS is actively siding against Catholic organizations.

    "We are in a war," Sebelius told a recent pro-choice meeting. Opponents of the administration, she said, are trying to "roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America." This is no longer the "presumption of good faith." It has all the hallmarks of a vendetta.

    How will the White House respond? More specifically, how will the Catholic chief of staff and America's first Catholic vice president respond? They gave up their own adherence to Catholic teaching on abortion long ago. But are they really prepared to betray their co-religionists who still hold these beliefs?

    Sebelius is becoming a political embarrassment at an inconvenient time. It will be significantly harder for Obama to repeat his appeal to Catholic voters while a part of his administration is at war with Catholic leaders and Catholic belief.
  2. You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.”
    — Bertrand Russell,
  3. Well Bertrand,

    We have gay marriage, divorce rates in toilet, plenty of unwed mothers is the way to go, the ten commandments in the crapper too. Societal progress is moving for the betterment of all at an alarming rate once we get the Christian values out of the way.

    The catholic church is consildating, no one can be bothered with that hocus pocus. Prison population should drop very soon, too, now that religion is out of the way. It's a fucking moral utopia out there since he wrote that.
  4. and all these things are happening in a nation where up to 80% claim to be christians. funny how that works. cause or effect?

    The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious
    affiliations of inmates. The following are total number of
    inmates per religion category:

    Response Number %
    ---------------------------- --------
    Catholic 29267 39.164%
    Protestant 26162 35.008%
    Muslim 5435 7.273%
    American Indian 2408 3.222%
    Nation 1734 2.320%
    Rasta 1485 1.987%
    Jewish 1325 1.773%
    Church of Christ 1303 1.744%
    Pentecostal 1093 1.463%
    Moorish 1066 1.426%
    Buddhist 882 1.180%
    Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%
    Adventist 621 0.831%
    Orthodox 375 0.502%
    Mormon 298 0.399%
    Scientology 190 0.254%
    Atheist 156 0.209%
    Hindu 119 0.159%
    Santeria 117 0.157%
    Sikh 14 0.019%
    Bahai 9 0.012%
    Krishna 7 0.009%
    ---------------------------- --------
    Total Known Responses 74731 100.001%
  5. Someone has gotta help me out here with these %, The largest inmate population is African American and what are the all catholic?
  6. jem


    the leftist troll strikes again.

    1. what a joke of a stat... you seem to be stating 100% of the people in prison are religious.

    Note 86% of the country indentifies itself as christian so even with your lying stat less than 86% of the prisoners are christian.

    the leftist troll strikes again.

    1. what a joke of a stat... you seem to be stating 100% of the people in prison are religious.

    Note 86% of the country indentifies itself as christian so even with your lying stat less than 86% of the prisoners are christian.
  7. nutmeg, all the black American people I know have religion. And I really never meet the black American who is atheist.
    What I really see is in the USA you have choice for abortion. No one force you to have abortion. Every girl can have her baby if she want to.
  8. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Those who continue to quote tinkerbell, please put him on ignore. You will find this section to be far more intellectual with him gone. Trust me.

    If you're worried you might miss something, don't be. Once you do it, you are free of it. The only time you are reminded of the stupidity is when someone quotes him.
  9. pspr


    Are you referring to Pee Drinker or IQ 47?
  10. JamesL


    #10     Nov 16, 2011