Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson & Keith A Fournier

10/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Joy Allen will soon be telling her story from a major media platform. Watch for it early next week!


Various groups and individuals are registering their discontent with the form of these voter guides. Why? The guides do not distinguish between the "moral weight" of the various issues, what some call the "non-negotiable" or "settled issues" and prudential issues. 

Highlights

By Deal W Hudson & Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Faithful Citizenship, Voter Guides, Catholic vote, US Bishops, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, Pro-Life, Pro-Marriage, Pro-Family, Catholic Vote, Deal W. Hudson, Keith A. Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Things are really starting to percolate in the boiling cauldron of the "Catholic voter." 

The Obama campaign continues to "categorically deny" our reports of the anti-Mormon, and really anti-Catholic, calls made to a Catholic voter in Pennsylvania, Joy Allen. Peter Roff at U.S. News & World Report is staying on top of the story with a must read "On Catholic Push Calls, If Not the Obama Campaign, Who?"

Joy Allen will soon be telling her story from a major media platform. Watch for it early next week!

Now, to the growing concern over the voter guides being issued by state Catholic conferences. It became clear today that the voter guide issued in Pennsylvania, call it the "Alphabetical Guide to Catholic Issues" (my name, not theirs), was produced by collaboration from several state conferences, including our home state of Virginia.

The official title of this guide is "Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates" and contains the names of President Obama and Gov. Romney at the top, followed by a list of ten issues listed in alphabetical order:

Abortion
Death Penalty
Education Choice
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Freedom of Religion
Health Care for the Uninsured
Immigration
International Security
Marriage
Poverty Assistance

From the perspective of accuracy, we think the conferences did a good job in briefly and clearly describing the positions taken by the candidates.

However, various groups and individuals are registering their discontent with the form of these voter guides. Why? The guides do not distinguish between the "moral weight" of the various issues, what some call the "non-negotiable" or "settled issues" and prudential issues. 

If you take a look at the guides, you will see that the design and layout of the ten issues makes them appear equal in importance.  Abortion comes first only because it starts with an "A." Marriage, one of the few settled issues, comes in at the 9th position, because it starts with an "M." 

What makes an alphabetical presentation so disappointing is that it appears to ignore what the bishops themselves emphasized in their New Introduction, added last November, to "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." As the bishops explain in this passage about their intention in writing "Faithful Citizenship":

"It [Faithful Citizenship] does not offer a quantitative listing of issues for equal consideration, but outlines and makes important distinctions among moral issues acknowledging that some involve the clear obligation to oppose intrinsic evils which can never be justified and that others require action to pursue justice and promote the common good. In short, it calls Catholics to form their consciences in the light of their Catholic faith and to bring our moral principles to the debate and decisions about candidates and issues."

In other words, the voter guide issued by the state conferences seems to ignore the bishops' concern that issues not be presented in a "quantitative" manner, which is precisely what an alphabetical list is! 

Those issues, such as abortion, marriage, and embryonic stem cell research that involve intrinsic evils are not distinguished in any way.

This "all issues are equal approach" has long been the tactic of those who publicly support the election and re-election of pro-abortion Catholic politicians.  It's a shame, to say the least, that state Catholic conferences would seem to legitimize this tactic. 

But, there is more to be noted: The issue of "religious liberty," about which the bishops mandated a Fortnight for Freedom is mysteriously renamed "Freedom of Religion." Why?  The public debate over the HHS mandate has been about religious liberty all along, why suddenly change it to something else? 

We certainly hope it wasn't an attempt to play down the unified effort of the bishops to raise the visibility of this fundamental human right and its violation by the Obama administration. 

Another issue, which may be a bit pedantic on our part, but it's worth mentioning: "Health Care for the Uninsured" is listed as one of the ten issues.  Universal health care has long been a priority for the bishops and the USCCB; however, the bishops and the USCCB did not support the health care legislation because it contained federal funding for abortion and no conscience protection for health care workers. 

Why is this important to mention?  A vote against the Affordable Health Care Act should not be considered a rejection of universal health care because the bishops themselves urged Catholic members of Congress not to support it. 

What will happen in terms of practical politics in this?: The inclusion of "Health Care for the Uninsured" in the state voter guides will be used to put an "x" in the column of every member of Congress who voted against the Affordable Health Care Act. 

We are not yet sure how many state Catholic conferences used this form of voter guide, but we guess it's quite widespread.  Given the explicit warning of the New Introduction to "Faithful Citizenship", we never imagined the state Catholic conferences, which represent the bishops of each state, would issue a guide that presents issues in a "quantitative" manner. 

That the state conferences did, in fact, ignore the New Introduction is a serious matter, and we are sure this story is just beginning to roll out. 

We will keep you posted!

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... continue reading


President Obama fiercely hits the country with proposed $320 billion tax hike, explained in his annual State of the Union Watch

Image of Obama plans on spending his remaining two years in office helping the middle class experience the prosperity of the recovery.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two years before President Obama's departure, he has vowed to spend his remaining time "playing offense." In his annual State of the Union, Obama will address his proposal to increase tax hikes on America's "one percent." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parts ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder denounced as 'coward' and 'hypocrite' by former FBI agent Watch

Image of A former FBI agent says that Attorney General Eric Holder has used the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former FBI agent K. Dee McCown, who left the agency in 2008, has written a strong letter to Attorney General Eric Holder where McKown denounces Holder as a "coward" and a "hypocrite." McCown says he was compelled to write after the shooting deaths of two New ... continue reading


President Christie? New Jersey governor builds PAC for 2016 run Watch

Image of New Jersey Governor Christ Christie is likely seeking to run for president in 2016, setting up a political action committee that may be up and running as soon as February.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's actions have already made it abundantly clear that he intends to run for president in 2016, but the most recent sign from the Republican should silence all deniers. Christie is organizing a political action committee which ... 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, Hebrews 10:11-18
11 Every priest stands at his duties every day, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:1-20
1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 28th, 2015 Image

St. Thomas Aquinas
January 28: St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of ... 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