Can I be a liberal and a Catholic?

Despite me being a “devout Catholic” even though I fall into sin like everybody else I strongly consider myself progressive/liberal.

I can’t be a conservative when a Catholic Republican makes fun of my heritage. A certain Catholic Republican politician (I won’t mention names) made fun of my heritage and said Spanish is a ghetto language and who thinks child labor (we are talking about 9 nine year olds not adults) is a great way to solve poverty in this country. Another Catholic Republican is “pro life” and considers himself to be Catholic yet wants to cut $40 million in food stamps. Keep in mind however that a lot of people who benefit from food stamps are not able bodied adults rather they are children.

I feel some Republicans are not in touch with the poor or with minorities. I feel like I just have to vote Democratic to promote social justice. Yes I know Republicans are “pro life” and Democrats are “pro choice” but can we really call Republicans “pro life”? Is sending people to war “pro life”? Is not caring about the environment “pro life”? Is not making sure those who are without food or shelter have what they need “pro life”? “Pro life” to me is more than just being anti abortion. What is the point of being anti abortion if you are not providing for those who are in need? We know that many of these people who decide to get abortions don’t feel they can become good parents or don’t want to be parents at all. So if we want to prevent abortion why do these people not want to provide services for these children?

We Catholics are supposed to be against abortion but we are also supposed to be for the poor and the vulnerable and yeah fetuses are the most vulnerable but we should help the poor and vulnerable here already. How can we help the most vulnerable of the population who are unborn if we can’t help those who already born. It is like me saying I want to go to Ghana and help the poor if I don’t even want to help my own family here in my house.

I am sorry if I offend any good Republicans here though.

Like Pope Francis, I consider myself to be a humanitarian. I desire not the liberal or conservatives, and so I will not vote. Instead, I will stay home and pray, knowing that we are one nation under God and that He will choose the winner. Either way, trusting in God, things are going to work out fine.

Of course.

Absolutely!

I am a Catholic and a liberal.

I have been a Catholic for 35 years. Until 2003 I identified as “Conservative” and then I opposed the Iraq War in an Catholic forum (not this one) and consequently was labelled and vilified as a “liberal”, even though my Catholic beliefs hadn’t changed and were clearly stated in my profile and other participation. So now I just identify as “liberal” when it comes to politics in Catholic circles because that’s the label I’ve been given.

You most certainly can!

Even though I’m a Classic Liberal, I personally think liberals bring a lot of good points to the table that a lot of my conservative friends tend to miss or not even focus on.

From the USCCB…

You can call yourself anything you want but if you talk yourself into voting for a liberal political ideology that is pretty much laying waste to life issues from A to Z then you may want to do some soul searching to see if you are placing more importance on your political ideology than on the teachings of Jesus.

“Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing and health care. … But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life.”

“Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community” (“Living the Gospel of Life,” 22).

Pope Francis says the same……

“Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.

If God chooses the winner, then why do we even bother?

We all have a duty to participate in electing officials who will (hopefully) guide us in the right direction. Abdicating your right to vote is not being responsible.

The question is not “can I be a liberal and a Catholic”? Christianity is above party and political ideology. A Christian cannot be pro-abort, pro-euthanasia, pro-sexual immorality. Christians can differ on economic issues and issues of prudential judgment.

I would simply say:

Catholics should not be Republicans or Democrats. We should be Catholics.

Both sides have some truth. The full truth is not found in either political field because the truth is in the Church.

That said…

I am very anti death penalty, very pro social justice, very pro immigration reform/path to citizenship, very cautious on war, and very pro worker (Union member).

But I am no democrat.

I am also very pro life, very pro marriage, very pro religious freedom, very pro personal freedoms, and generally conservative financially.

But I am no republican either.

So how do I vote,

I look at all these issues, and I rank them by most important to least and see how the candidates match up.

For me, I will rarely vote for a pro choice candidate…very rarely. To me stacking up all the issues next to genocide of infants…well that just doesn’t compare.

It’s like voting for hitter because even though he killed so many people he made cars affordable to the masses.

The priorities must be right. And life should be the highest priority.

You really don’t give a hoot about the Constitution, do you? Where is it written that the Federal Government has to take care of everyone? We are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, along the Federalist model, where the Federal entity has limited powers and the rest of things are taken care of by the individual states.

Prior to the rise of liberalism, religious organizations took care of helping the poor, but liberalism has worked to eliminating charitable organizations and pushed the taking care of the poor onto the Federal government so that it has now amassed more power than the Founders could have ever envisioned.

The Federal government has no right to take money from my personal labor to help YOUR favorite charities or causes. NO RIGHT WHASOEVER! It is not my mission here on earth to work hard so that the government can take more and more of my money and give it to others. Such an action is completely and totally immoral, and that is the major problem we have in this country. Leave me my money and the freedom to contribute to the charities I choose.

Look, if you liberals want to help out particular people or causes, why don’t you all get together and pool your own monies? That is the way you should do it, not force others to “contribute” by the power of the government gun. But no, you want to let the government take care of everything and that goes against everything this nation is supposed to actually be. We are now 20 trillion in debt mainly because of liberalism - and that says it all.

Be a Catholic, but ditch that dead end called liberalism.

Men and women are laying down their lives and coming home maimed and traumatized every day to ensure that you have the right to vote, and you have the audacity to come on this forum and speak so righteously that you’re too good to vote? How dare you…

Not to mention the fact that the Church recognizes our moral and civil duty to vote and says in the Catechism 2240 that is “morally obligatory…to exercise the right to vote.”

May God grant you a change of heart.

Bravo.

I think it’s important to look at the big picture here.

A few politicians may say things which offend us / shock us. That’s a sad fact of life, and a reality of political discourse in any country. Politicians are humans, and they often have to pander to a “lowest common denominator” in their quest for re-election. Given the choice, many of them would choose their party affiliation or desire for power over their religion. (For example, a local politician in my hometown is an avowed atheist, but strategically visits temples and “god-men” whenever an election cycle rolls around. :p)

However, it behooves us as Catholics not to be ruled by our emotions, but rather to look at Catholic social teaching and which politician / party’s platform represents it best. The individuals you mentioned may hold reprehensible views, but I doubt any of them can reintroduce child labour into your country.

I’m not an American, but from what I understand, neither party is completely in congruence with what the Church teaches. However, there is a hierarchy of issues. For example, abortion and joining the Communist Party are excommunicable offences; differing on social welfare programmes is not.

“Social justice” is often a nebulous concept. St Pius X (if I recall correctly) warned us that the tactics of “social justice” crusaders, framing everything in terms of “rights” rather than “charity”, actually divide and polarize society and promote class struggle. This is sinful.

Similarly, environmental issues should be taken with a grain of salt. Writers such as Wildavsky have pointed out the alarmism and exaggeration that is often used by the environmental “movement” to manipulate people’s fears.

In contrast to this, issues such as abortion and “LGBTQ rights” are absolutely black or white; there is no room for debate or negotiation there.

You’re fortunate to have at least some politicians who approximate Catholic social teaching in some regards in your country. We have none - our choice is between socialists, religious fundamentalists, “cult of personality” types, and Balkanizers who value their own local state or culture over our nation’s good.

Think about it. :slight_smile:

Is this a real “cut” in the program benefits or a “cut” in the proposed growth of the program… only in government budgeting is a proposed 10% increase in a program proposed by one party [for example the Democrats] that is countered by a 6% growth rate by the other party [Republicans] reported in the news as being a 4% cut … SNAP has grown 20% annually since 2007 - and has increased every year … never decreased thus it has not seen a real ‘cut’ from 2005 to 2007 the increase was very small compared to the 20% in recent years … but don’t forget - government assistance is not the only place people seek food assistance - their are many food banks that are run by charitable organizations and these also support people - we do not and should not look to a national level to feed people … there is no way that it is more cost effective to feed people by sending money to Washington DC - have it roll around several bureaucracies - then return to the local level to purchase food … the funding for helping those in needs gets eaten up by salaries and office space overhead …

I feel some Republicans are not in touch with the poor or with minorities. I feel like I just have to vote Democratic to promote social justice. Yes I know Republicans are “pro life” and Democrats are “pro choice” but can we really call Republicans “pro life”? Is sending people to war “pro life”? Is not caring about the environment “pro life”? Is not making sure those who are without food or shelter have what they need “pro life”? “Pro life” to me is more than just being anti abortion. What is the point of being anti abortion if you are not providing for those who are in need? We know that many of these people who decide to get abortions don’t feel they can become good parents or don’t want to be parents at all. So if we want to prevent abortion why do these people not want to provide services for these children?

Republicans and Conservatives want to and d***o provide services ***to children after born … this again is just more hype … have you ever went to a Crisis Pregnancy Center and worked there or spoke with the people who operate homes for unwed mothers and their children … have you ever helped a family pay rent, by groceries and even get a job because they were considering aborting a 3rd child they did not feel they could afford? Have you ever opened your home to a teenage mother with child? I have and know many people who have … its the liberals who tell you we don’t care for children after they are born who never do those things … they do want to keep people on welfare - generational poverty … Have you read the book “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” and “White Ghetto” by Star Parker … if not please do and start a thread on what you learn

We Catholics are supposed to be against abortion but we are also supposed to be for the poor and the vulnerable and yeah fetuses are the most vulnerable but we should help the poor and vulnerable here already. How can we help the most vulnerable of the population who are unborn if we can’t help those who already born. It is like me saying I want to go to Ghana and help the poor if I don’t even want to help my own family here in my house. …

Being for the poor does not mean you look to the government to provide - Jesus never said become a tax collector for Caesar - he did say render to Caesar what belongs to him … but he also said for us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned and preach the Gospel - not the government. Too many think its the rile of government to meet every social need … it is not …

Also - the Good News includes turning away from sin. That means that you do not encourage people to continue to live lives where children are born to unwed mothers, men get to create families they never intend to support. It does not meant that people get to live off the work of others when they could be working themselves …

St. Paul had to deal with this … where people stopped working and expected others to provide … St Paul sad the one who does not work does not eat … now obviously he did not mean children, he did not mean those who were sick, disabled or too old … but even in the earliest days of the Church we obviously had issues just as we have today.

Ok. I think that you can hold beliefs on issues which the Church hasn’t magisterially taught.

No voting for, say abortion.

You can vote for liberal economic causes.

I’m disgusted by most every politician at this point.

:thumbsup:

I disagree with most of your points, but certainly you can be a Catholic and a liberal, with the correct definition of liberal. You need to be a pro-life, pro-real-marriage liberal, but certainly you can be a liberal.

The only thing you have to be careful about is calling yorself a liberal. Because in a lot of places, being a liberal implies being pro-abortion. You don’t want to be, “Hey I have this friend who’s Catholic, and he’s pro-choice!” when you haven’t ever said that, but he just assumed it because you said “liberal.” So I would avoid giving yourself any label at all unless you are in a position to clarify your position on life at the same time. There are too many labels anyway.

However, when it comes to voting, as Jon S put it:

I mean, when you spell it out, saying, “Person A kills people but gives to the poor, however person B doesn’t kill people but gives a little less to the poor,” it sounds a bit odd if you say Person A is better.

And even that is assuming that the dichotomy is actually correct. I believe I read somewhere (which is to say, I might be making this up but if so it’s not on purpose) that self-identified conservatives actually give more to charity.

And besides that, there is a big difference between not caring for the poor, and not wanting the government to take my money, eat about half of it in bureaucracy and waste and fraud, and then maybe give some of the rest to the poor.

–Jen

Robert never gave the impression that he was too good to vote. He simply chooses not to. A point of view with which I disagree completely.

But people fight for his right to be able to choose.

I don’t vote either, and after a 20 year navy career with numerous deployments on fast attack submarines chasing Soviet submarines, being part of a generation of Americans who won the Cold War, ensuring you continue to speak English and not Russian I ask you the same question. How dare you?

I didn’t serve so people would do your bidding. I served for freedom, your and those who do not choose to vote.

The real audacity is not in the poster you are speaking to not voting, but the real audacity is your dragging the good names of dead and maimed heroes, whom if you asked them, would say they made their sacrifice not just for the right to vote, but just as much for their right NOT to vote.

Shame on you!

:thumbsup:

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