Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson and Rev. Mr. Keith A. Fournier

9/29/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The ad will run for a week in Ohio, covering the Columbus, Cleveland-Akron, Dayton, and Youngstown media markets

Politics, like evangelization, is about convincing people to think and act other than the way they generally do.  Wagging your finger at those who disagree only pushes them away, perhaps permanently.

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson and Rev. Mr. Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/29/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Abortion, Pro-Life, Susan B Anthony List, Obama, Romney, Biden, Ryan, Republican, Democrat, campaign 2012, Social Justce, Deal Hudson, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) -  Several years ago I (Keith) participated in a Catholic Leadership event hosted by my friend, and the co-author of this column, Deal Hudson. I was asked to make a presentation. During the course of my comments I insisted that an authentic understanding of social justice should inform a new Catholic action for our time.

In the question and answer period after my comments, my friend the host made a suggestion that we get rid of the term "Social Justice" because it is used by 'the left". He asked me for my thoughts. I said that I strongly disagreed. I insisted that we take back the phrase from those who have stolen it, either on the "the right" or "the left".

I pressed instead for an authentically Catholic vision of social justice as set forth in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which, I insisted, should become the manual of every Catholic involved in our work in the culture.

As the lively discussion continued a man in attendance became so angry about my use of the term social justice that he began to shout and rushed the platform. Fortunately, he calmed down. He was angry, insisting the term was used by 'leftists' and I should stop using it. I did not, and I will not. However, sadly, he was correct on one front. The term has too often been co-opted.

The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church is not only for Catholics, other Christians or even just "religious people". It is for all people and all Nations. It is offered by the Catholic Church to all who seek to build a truly just society and promote the real common good. This teaching is called "social" because it speaks to human society and to the formation, role and rightful place of social institutions.

The truths and principles it offers can be known by all men and women because they are revealed in the Natural law. They are expounded upon in Revelation. This social doctrine is neither "left" nor "right", neither "liberal" nor "conservative" - within the contemporary politicized use of those words.

My experience at that conference reflected a trend I had experienced. Many have begun to use the phrase "Social Justice" in a disparaging manner. They may want to expose the errors committed by some who stolen the term "Social Justice" but they are not helping our cause.

However, I cautioned back then and emphasize again in this column which Deal and I have co-authored, our language really matters. Some words and phrases must be rescued when they are stolen. Social Justice is such a term. It lies at the heart of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church and, properly understood, is a key to building a new culture of life and civilization of love.

Today, I (Keith) was one of thousands to receive an "E-Blast" from a fellow Catholic which began with this line "Social justice Catholic officials are tipping the vote to Obama from inside the Church." It was one more mistaken misuse of the term Social Justice as a disparaging term meant to denigrate.  

It's sad to see well-intentioned Catholic leaders get carried away with heated rhetoric during a political season.  When Michael Voris proclaims eternal damnation for Catholics who may vote for Obama, it's bad politics, bad theology, and bad manners!

Who cares about manners, you may be thinking, when it comes to fighting abortion and same-sex marriage?  Manners matter even more in discussing controversial issues like these for the simple reason that when people hear this kind of blanket condemnation they just close their eyes to the message and the messenger.

Politics, like evangelization, is about convincing people to think and act other than the way they generally do.  Wagging your finger at those who disagree only pushes them away, perhaps permanently.

There is so much good a person can do when he creates an audience -- and good has been done here -- but this will only hand ammunition to those who want to characterize all of us as self-righteous, smug Catholics who care only about condemning, not educating, not edifying, and not converting.

Please do not encourage this type of inflammatory speech between now and Nov. 6. It will only hurt our cause!

Our friends at the SBA-List asked us to "watch our latest TV ad" titled, 'Barack Obama: Abortion Radical.'" And we did, and we love it!  The ad will run for a week in Ohio, covering the Columbus, Cleveland-Akron, Dayton, and Youngstown media markets.

It's amazing to us that Obama's stance against the Partial Birth Abortion Act as a state senator in Illinois, in other words, his pro-infanticide stance, never permeated awareness in Catholic voters around the nation in 2008. 

2012 promises to be a different matter and the Susan B. Anthony-List is doing its part, as it always does!  Given that Obama supporters are calling Catholics and saying Obama "is not pro-abortion," the message of the SBA-List ad may be obvious to many, but not to enough.
 
We thought our eyes must be deceiving us when we saw the news that the University of Notre Dame was inviting President Obama once again to their campus. The occasion is the "tradition" at Notre Dame of inviting presidential candidates to speak. The press release from Notre Dame reads:

Continuing a long-standing tradition, Father Jenkins [University president] and Rocheleau [student body president] addressed letters to each of the presidential aspirants, offering Notre Dame as a "forum for serious political discussion" on important issues facing the nation. The intent of the invitations, which include the candidates' running mates, is to provide the campus community a firsthand impression of the contenders and their messages.

Given the uproar following Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame in 2008, this particular "tradition" should have been ignored, at least for this election cycle. Traditions are not ends in themselves. They make sense only if they serve a worthy purpose, and no good purpose is served by inviting to the leading Catholic university of our nation the President who has knowingly violated the religious liberty of Catholics and their institutions. 

There's much chatter in the media about a recent Pew poll showing that Obama has opened up a significant lead (54 percent to 39 percent) among Catholic voters. Well, the devil, as they say, is in the details, especially when it comes to interpreting polls. If you go to the Pew web site and look at the actual study, you will see that Romney continues to lead Obama among white Catholics.

Once Pew added Hispanic voters to the white Catholic voters, the overall Catholic number changed dramatically, since only 24 percent of Hispanic voters presently support Romney.  What is described as a "surge" is simply the addition of self-identified Hispanic Catholic voters to white Catholic voters.

We strongly question the Pew story here for two reasons: 1) At present, Hispanic Catholic voters are still less than 20 percent of the overall Catholic vote in the U.S., and 2) the real battle among Catholic voters is among white Catholics -- that is where the election will be won or lost.

If polling starts to show Romney's lead over Obama among white Catholics weakening or strengthening then that will be news! That Hispanic voters, whether Catholic or not, will not be voting for the GOP candidate is to be expected after the unfortunate immigration meltdown among Republicans in 2005.  Remember, George W. Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2004 election -- those numbers will not return for a long, long time.

-----

Deal W. Hudson is president of the Pennsylvania Catholics Networks and former publisher/editor of Crisis Magazine. Deacon Keith Fournier is the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online and a constitutional lawyer who is currently writing his dissertation for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

In President Obama's war on religious freedom the people suffer another loss Watch

Image of A July 21 executive order has dealt a huge blow to the cause of freedom of religion in the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's July 21 executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual-self-identification has lead to strong criticism from several prominent U.S. bishops, calling the executive order "unprecedented and extreme." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Efforts against female genital mutilation could be thwarted by population growth Watch

Image of Due partly to community activism and legislation, the prevalence of FGM, which involves the cutting away of the external female genitalia, and the marriage of girls under the age of 18 has decreased slightly over the last 30 years, UNICEF said.

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Advances in fighting female genital mutilation, or FGM and child marriage could be offset by population growth unless the rate of progress increases, according to new data released Tuesday by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


FREE SPEECH VIOLATED: Tea party groups' lawsuit against IRS proceeds Watch

Image of Among the individuals named in the lawsuit is Lois Lerner, who headed the division that processes applications for tax-exempt status at that time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They're not going to take it - and they're taking their claims to court. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the Internal Revenue Service. The judge rejected a request by the federal government to dismiss all the ... continue reading


'Suing the president is the right path to go down here,' Boehner declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House of Representatives has no plans to use its own constitutional authority to withhold funding from actions by President Obama. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that if the president takes actions that exceed his constitutional authority, ... continue reading


Federal government says state death penalties are 'unconstitutional' Watch

Image of A federal judge has called California's death penalty unconstitutional. Surprisingly though, this judge is a conservative republican, a party that has long opposed federal overreach into state rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A federal judge ruled that California's death penalty is unconstitutional on July 16, claiming that the state's system is arbitrary, unfair, and cruel and unusual because of a lengthy process that leaves prisoners in the dark about their actual death row status. ... continue reading


'American people have a right to know,' Issa proclaims Watch

Image of Darrel Issa says that Simas' testimony was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California said administration claims that White House political director David Simas was immune from testimony were "absurd" and "deeply disturbing." Defying a subpoena, Issa has now set up a new high-profile fight ... continue reading


Cheat on your taxes? It just got a lot easier Watch

Image of If you still fear a knock at your door anytime soon, it must be noted that one's chances of getting audited vary greatly and are based on income.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you cheat on your taxes - or senselessly worry that some indiscretion in your recent past will have the Internal Revenue Service shortly breathing down your neck - things just got a little bit brighter. The GOP-controlled House has voted to slash the budget ... continue reading


While federal tax revenues are at an all-time high - federal government still running a deficit Watch

Image of What's the old saying?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While federal tax revenues continue to run at a record pace in fiscal 2014, their still no way out of the forest yet. The federal government's total receipts for the fiscal year closed last month at an unprecedented $2,258,565,000,000, according to the Monthly ... continue reading


President Obama accused of being insufficiently engaged in border crisis Watch

Image of President Obama wishes to make clear to parents and adults in Central America that there is no payoff for sending their children on the dangerous journey northward.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With hundreds, if not thousands of unaccompanied children streaming across the United States' southwest border with Texas - and more on the way - America's border security and policies may be in transition. Republicans and some Democrats have since accused U.S. ... continue reading


Put the spotlight - ON ME: Obama uses first person singular 99 TIMES in speech Watch

Image of In President Obama's recent speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"I," "Me," sand "My" were words used by U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech vowing unilateral action. In fact, Obama used the first person singular a whopping 199 times. This figure did not account for instances when he quoted a letter from a citizen or ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,2 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 36:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
6 your saving justice is like towering mountains, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:10-17
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 24th, 2014 Image

St. John Boste
July 24: One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter