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Catholics for Kerry?
October 22, 2004 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Think that Bush has the Catholic vote sewn up? Think again. Despite the efforts of some to make Catholics one-issue voters, many Catholics are more concerned with the views on social justice [pdf] of the Church in this hotly contested [Real] race. It’s a weird year to be a Catholic voter.
posted by TungstenChef (22 comments total)

 
Links courtesy of my sister, who desperately wishes she had a Metafilter membership
posted by TungstenChef at 8:40 AM on October 22, 2004


Is she so desperate that she even reads MetaTalk?

No? Didn't think so.

I love to say "I hate to say I told you so."

Anyway, good post, TC, if supposedly ill-timed.
posted by soyjoy at 8:49 AM on October 22, 2004


What soyjoy said. Those articles do a good job of using Kerry as an example of the type of Catholic who actually engages [analyzes, tests, applies] in the teachings of Catholicism rather than the ones who just accept what the institution tells them.
posted by sciurus at 9:04 AM on October 22, 2004


From the "Social Justice" PDF...

People have a fundamental right to life, food, shelter, health care, education and employment.

I wonder why I always reflexively check for my wallet when I hear the phrase "social justice?"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2004


I wonder why I always reflexively check my wallet when I hear the words "privatization", "capitalism", "War on Terror", "Homeland Security", "Tort Reform", "supply-side economics", "Republican", "Alan Greenspan", "George W. Bush", etc. etc. etc. . . .

I think social justice is about DEAD LAST on my list of phrases that make me economically worried.

Just me tho . . .
posted by Boydrop at 10:09 AM on October 22, 2004


Seems to me that the Church (the Pope) is just as categorical on the issues of capital punishment generally and the war in Iraq specifically. Why don't these issues come up as well when discussing their support of Bush/condemnation of Kerry?
posted by psmealey at 10:17 AM on October 22, 2004


Those articles do a good job of using Kerry as an example of the type of Catholic who actually engages [analyzes, tests, applies] in the teachings of Catholicism rather than the ones who just accept what the institution tells them.

Yes, everyone that disagrees with you is a non-thinking person who has no mind of their own.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:21 AM on October 22, 2004


I think we're going with the term non reality-based rather than non-thinking.
posted by psmealey at 10:29 AM on October 22, 2004


non reality-based

So everyone that disagressss with you is delusional.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:32 AM on October 22, 2004


Nah. I was just trying to keep us up on the vernacular, not making a judgment.
posted by psmealey at 10:36 AM on October 22, 2004


My father has a sign that he waves on the street corner that reads "Cafeteria Catholics for Kerry."
posted by boo at 10:39 AM on October 22, 2004


Yes, everyone that disagrees with you is a non-thinking person who has no mind of their own.

Well, even though I never referenced myself in that comment I can see how you would take it that way. I'm fine with someone disagreeing with me as long as they have taken the time, put forth the effort to think about it themselves and can demonstrate that they have indeed done thought about it themselves.

If someone were to tell me that they justify their position solely because Foo Says So, then I would indeed say that they are non-thinking.
posted by sciurus at 10:51 AM on October 22, 2004


done thought about it themselves. I'm still a hick at heart, apparently.
posted by sciurus at 10:54 AM on October 22, 2004


Think that Bush has the Catholic vote sewn up?

Perhaps my (American-)Irish Catholic upbringing has skewed my POV somehow, but this seems like a strange assumption to me. Where is this being said?
posted by yerfatma at 12:07 PM on October 22, 2004


PSMeasley -- you're quite incorrect. The positions of the Church and its leadership on abortion, the death penalty, and the war with Iraq are each on completely different tiers.

The Church's position on intentional abortion, embodied in canon law, is that it is an absolute evil which no faithful Catholic may abide.

The Church's teaching on the death penalty, adopted more recently in statements of lesser authority than those regarding abortion, is that it is acceptable in principal but that the situations under which is appropriate are going to be rare, if not nonexistent.

The Church has no theological or legal view of the Iraq war, whatever. The Church does have a teaching on just war (which lies somewhere between the position on abortion and the position on death penalty). The Pope and certain other Church leaders made a personal intepretation of that teaching in the particular circumstances, and gave advice accordingly. The advice has no binding character upon Catholics.
posted by MattD at 12:44 PM on October 22, 2004


The largest move in the Republican direction in the past 16 years has definitely been of non-Latino Catholics, particularly weekly Mass-goers. A combination of social and economic issues is leaving them almost as Republican as white Evangelicals, and it could be parity before long.

I'm curious whether it will be happening with Jewish voters next. Some of the same things that foreshadowed this move among white Catholics 20-25 years ago are happening now with Jews -- the prominent of younger members of the demographic among conserative political movements, etc. Palestinians will be the Republican's opening here the same way abortionists were their opening with Catholics -- Kerry is taking a traditionally zionist view but the pro-Palestinian side gets more vocal and well-represented in the Democratic interest groups every year.
posted by MattD at 1:06 PM on October 22, 2004


MattD, no matter how hard you try to turn Pope John Paul into a fundy tele-evangelist, it doesn't work. the leader of the Catholic Church is one of the world's hardest critics of globalization, of savagely Darwinist capitalism, of the death penalty, of the Iraq War, etc
he often kicks the US administration in the teeth, during his Sunday homilies.

The Roman Catholic Church only agrees with Bush and fundy Protestants like him when it comes to abortion and stem cells and AIDS. only on these very narrow issues.
tough shit, huh?
Mel Gibson-loving Catholics are of course free to join Lefevrian cults.

anyway:

Archaeologists in Germany say they may have found a lavatory where Martin Luther launched the Reformation of the Christian church in the 16th Century.
The stone room is in a newly-unearthed annex to Luther's house in Wittenberg.
Luther is quoted as saying he was "in cloaca", or in the sewer, when he was inspired to argue that salvation is granted because of faith, not deeds.
The scholar suffered from constipation and spent many hours in contemplation on the toilet seat.

posted by matteo at 1:39 PM on October 22, 2004


While the vast majority of U.S. Catholics support capital punishment, Pope John Paul II has declared the Church's near total opposition to the death penalty. In his encyclical "Evangelium Vitae" (The Gospel of Life) issued March 25, 1995 after four years of consultations with the world's Roman Catholic bishops, John Paul II wrote that execution is only appropriate "in cases of absolute necessity, in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady immprovement in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." Until this encyclical, the death penalty was viewed as sometimes permissible as a means of protecting society. The universal catechism--book of rules--for Catholics had affirmed the right of the state to punish criminals with appropriate penalties "not excluding in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty."
From Para. 56 of Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), an encyclical letter on various threats to human life which Pope John Paul II issued on March 25, 1995.


_____________

Pope John Paul II has condemned US President George W. Bush today for his support for the death penalty.
"A free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception until natural death," the Pontiff told the president, who was visiting Rome.
(...)

posted by matteo at 1:45 PM on October 22, 2004


Pope urges world to avoid Iraq war


Pope condemns war in Iraq

Pope says Iraq war threatens humanity

but yeah, if Jerry Falwell gets elected Pope next time around, things'll change.
;)

____

Some of the same things that foreshadowed this move among white Catholics 20-25 years ago are happening now with Jews
nah. it's an old GOP wet dream. Jews, who have been persecuted for a few millenia, are a mainly progressive force of American politics. they were in the 30's, they were in the 60's, they are now (with a few ill-advised neoconned exceptions). this post 9-11 hysteria among a minority of Democrat Jews shall pass, too. also, Democrats will always nominate very pro-Israel candidates like Kerry. that's what counts.
posted by matteo at 1:53 PM on October 22, 2004


Thanks to matteo for backing me up as regards the Pope's condemnation of the Iraq war. As far as capital punishment goes, I had just assumed that the RC church had taken the same view that all of the mainline protestant demoninations have: that's it's wrong wrong wrong. So on that, MattD, I stand corrected.
posted by psmealey at 2:01 PM on October 22, 2004


Bush is a man of faith, Catholics! I have the outdoor advertising to prove it!


posted by skallas at 3:02 PM on October 22, 2004


Wow. Stunning, skallas...

Actually, Kerry could run a similar billboard, but in his, ONE would be underlined and not UNDER. This goes to the very heart of my criticism of Bush. He's the President only of his constituents, and to hell with those that disagree with them. Clinton, Reagan, Bush 1, Carter and Nixon were all ruthless, egotistical bastards, but at least I got the sense they cared about the well-being of the country as a whole and ALL of its constituents, and not just those that voted for them. /rant
posted by psmealey at 3:23 PM on October 22, 2004


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