Decision 2012 and the myth of the 'Catholic vote'


#1

Decision 2012 and the myth of the ‘Catholic vote’
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[/size]The most misunderstood voting bloc in the 2012 election is the Catholic vote. Why? Because there isn’t one.

The religious assemblage, which has evolved over the past century from a strong Democratic constituency into a national election bellwether, is no longer discernible from most other voter groups. As the community has become less homogenous and more assimilated into mainstream culture, so has its voting habits – sending many politicians on a fool’s errand in pursuit of the “Catholic vote.”

[size=3]“I think the Catholic vote is very fractured right now,” said Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., the editor in chief of “America,” a Catholic newsweekly published by the Jesuits.

Kind of a sad statement…is the Evangelical voters more consistent with Christian beliefs than Catholics? I don’t see how that can be the case.

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#2

[quote="Ecoclimber, post:1, topic:285289"]
Decision 2012 and the myth of the 'Catholic vote'

The most misunderstood voting bloc in the 2012 election is the Catholic vote. Why? Because there isn’t one.

The religious assemblage, which has evolved over the past century from a strong Democratic constituency into a national election bellwether, is no longer discernible from most other voter groups. As the community has become less homogenous and more assimilated into mainstream culture, so has its voting habits – sending many politicians on a fool’s errand in pursuit of the “Catholic vote.”

[size=3]“I think the Catholic vote is very fractured right now,” said Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., the editor in chief of “America,” a Catholic newsweekly published by the Jesuits.
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Kind of a sad statement...is the Evangelical voters more consistent with Christian beliefs than Catholics? I don't see how that can be the case.

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there are catholics who are against the war and for that reason won't vote for a republican.

the catholic vote is split....and i am one of the 10% that both parties try to get.


#3

[quote="Vatican2Rocks, post:2, topic:285289"]
there are catholics who are against the war and for that reason won't vote for a republican.

the catholic vote is split....and i am one of the 10% that both parties try to get.

[/quote]

The Democrat vote on the war on Iraq was divided with the majority voting against it in the House but the majority voted in support of in the senate. Recently Dennis Kucinich had a bill to end the war in Afghanistan, 85 Democrats voted yes, 99 congressional Democrats voted no. Democrats in the House Senate near-unanimously voted in support of the military force in Afghanistan.

Going to war is not a 'Republican' issue. Many Democrats voted in support of both wars.

There is no Catholic vote, I agree with the article. It is split along religious fervency lines. More devout Catholics who go to mass frequently are more likely to vote Republican, and Catholics who do not go to Church very often are more likely to vote Democrat.


#4

One must not be quick to dismiss this as a 'weakness' of the Church. One must understand that the Church's teachings - amongst many other things - emphasise two important topics that also happen to be relevant to the socio-political circumstances in the United States. The first is a deep-seated respect for life in all its forms, which has led to the moral stance against abortion and gay marriage, while the second is a call for social justice to help the poor, which has led to its extensive charity programs that make the Catholic Church arguably the largest charity organisation in the world. Both of these are closely related in Catholic teaching, as they all relate to respecting basic human dignity.

Unfortunately, in the United States, the parties split these two issues between themselves. The Republicans are the flag-bearers in support of life, while opposing social justice. Democrats claim to support social justice, while dismissive of our respect of life. It also happens that issues of abortion and gay marriage are non-negotiable issues in Catholic moral values, which should put Catholics closer to the Republican camp, but it's never as simple as just that. As a result, depending on how much each individual Catholic emphasises one teaching over the other, the Catholic voting bloc becomes split. The teachings were always meant to be closely related, but due to the way the American political system is structured between two big parties, they appear to be mutually exclusive (and indeed, many American Catholics believe this to be the case as well). Of course, there are many other issues that Catholics take into consideration when choosing a party to vote for, but as far as I'm aware, these two teachings seem the most important when comparing Catholic Democrats and Catholic Republicans.

The Evangelicals appear 'consistent', but we must remember that historically, the Evangelicals have been the backbone of the Republican party, and the Republicans draw their values and people chiefly from the Evangelical camp, and therefore they appear to agree most often. There is no coincidence that the Evangelicals would seem most consistent.

This is not the fault of the Catholic Church. It is a failure of the American political system to properly accommodate the teachings of the Catholic Church in its entirety. We only have to blame a long, painful history of anti-Catholicism in the United States for denying the Catholic Church a platform to stand up for itself, until only recently. :(


#5

One must not be quick to dismiss this as a 'weakness' of the Church. One must understand that the Church's teachings - amongst many other things - emphasise two important topics that also happen to be relevant to the socio-political circumstances in the United States. The first is a deep-seated respect for life in all its forms, which has led to the moral stance against abortion, contraception and gay marriage, while the second is a call for social justice to help the poor, which has led to its extensive charity programs that make the Catholic Church arguably the largest charity organisation in the world. Both of these are closely related in Catholic teaching, as they are all extensions of the same basic principle of respecting basic human dignity. :thumbsup:

Unfortunately, in the United States, the parties split these two issues between themselves. The Republicans are the flag-bearers in support of life, while opposing social justice. Democrats claim to support social justice, while dismissive of our respect of life. It also happens that issues of abortion and gay marriage are non-negotiable issues in Catholic morality, which should put Catholics closer to the Republican camp, but it's never as simple as just that. As a result, depending on how much each individual Catholic emphasises one teaching over the other, the Catholic voting bloc becomes split.

The teachings were always meant to be closely related, but due to the way the American political system is structured between two big parties, they appear to be mutually exclusive (and indeed, many American Catholics believe this to be the case as well). Of course, there are many other issues that Catholics take into consideration when choosing a party to vote for, but as far as I'm aware, these two teachings seem the most important when comparing Catholic Democrats and Catholic Republicans.

The Evangelicals appear 'consistent', but we must remember that historically, the Evangelicals have been the backbone of the Republican party, and the Republicans draw their values and people chiefly from the Evangelical camp, and therefore they appear to agree most often. There is no coincidence that the Evangelicals would seem most consistent.

This is not the fault of the Catholic Church. It is a failure of the political system to properly accommodate the teachings of the Catholic Church in its entirety. We only have to blame a long, painful history of anti-Catholicism for denying the Catholic Church a platform to stand up for itself, until only recently. By then, Catholics were already divided, and those hardliners in their respective parties started listening to the party whip more than they listened to the Magisterium, leading to the present situation where you have Catholics who openly support abortion or oppose helping the poor. :(


#6

[quote="Vatican2Rocks, post:2, topic:285289"]
there are catholics who are against the war and for that reason won't vote for a republican.

the catholic vote is split....and i am one of the 10% that both parties try to get.

[/quote]

The Democrat Party is just as pro-war as the Republican Party. That the Democrat Party is the "party of peace" is one of the biggest political myths out there. Its right up there with "The Democrat Party is the party of the working man".


#7

Both parties confuse the “Catholic” vote with predominantly Catholic ethnic groups. Hispanic, Polish, Italian, Irish, and French descendants living in the US have a lot of differences that have nothing to do with their common faith. Even bigger differences exist between Catholics who attend Mass regularly and those who rarely attend, especially on moral issues.

Is it surprising that first generation Hispanic Americans think about immigration issues differently than Irish Americans whose ancestors arrived in 1850?


#8

[quote="Trader, post:7, topic:285289"]
Both parties confuse the "Catholic" vote with predominantly Catholic ethnic groups. Hispanic, Polish, Italian, Irish, and French descendants living in the US have a lot of differences that have nothing to do with their common faith. Even bigger differences exist between Catholics who attend Mass regularly and those who rarely attend, especially on moral issues.

Is it surprising that first generation Hispanic Americans think about immigration issues differently than Irish Americans whose ancestors arrived in 1850?

[/quote]

Well, the Irish had to come over by boat straight to Ellis Island, where their entry was logged in by Customs and Immigration.


#9

[quote="Trader, post:7, topic:285289"]
Is it surprising that first generation Hispanic Americans think about immigration issues differently than Irish Americans whose ancestors arrived in 1850?

[/quote]

Actually I don't think they're as far apart as you imply.


#10

[quote="Ecoclimber, post:1, topic:285289"]

Kind of a sad statement...is the Evangelical voters more consistent with Christian beliefs than Catholics? I don't see how that can be the case.

[/quote]

Outside of the pro-life vote, there's plenty of areas for legitimate political disagreement amongst Christians.


#11

[quote="Scott_Lafrance, post:8, topic:285289"]
Well, the Irish had to come over by boat straight to Ellis Island, where their entry was logged in by Customs and Immigration.

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Only those who arrived in steerage went through the Immigration Centers of several cities. If a person arrived via 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Class passage, they didn't have to be inspected like cattle. It was the poor "refuse" of Europe that were processed and logged in.

As an aside, I was able to find the document at Ellis Island for my maternal grandmother, then 16 years old, the ship she arrived on, and what her destination was (her already arrived sister in Passaic, NJ) :)


#12

[quote="Trader, post:7, topic:285289"]
Both parties confuse the "Catholic" vote with predominantly Catholic ethnic groups. Hispanic, Polish, Italian, Irish, and French descendants living in the US have a lot of differences that have nothing to do with their common faith. Even bigger differences exist between Catholics who attend Mass regularly and those who rarely attend, especially on moral issues.

Is it surprising that first generation Hispanic Americans think about immigration issues differently than Irish Americans whose ancestors arrived in 1850?

[/quote]

You forgot Filipinos. And no, the Filipino people are not Pacific Islanders.


#13

[quote="Rich_Olszewski, post:11, topic:285289"]
Only those who arrived in steerage went through the Immigration Centers of several cities. If a person arrived via 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Class passage, they didn't have to be inspected like cattle. It was the poor "refuse" of Europe that were processed and logged in.

As an aside, I was able to find the document at Ellis Island for my maternal grandmother, then 16 years old, the ship she arrived on, and what her destination was (her already arrived sister in Passaic, NJ) :)

[/quote]

I didn't realize that about the non-steerage passengers. To me, the most striking point is that we let these people enter the country! We didn't bog them down for years with paperwork. We let them in and they went to work, and the country benefited. Yes, the new Irish, the Polish and German immigrants might have been discriminated against, but in the end they and their children, and the nation, benefited. Now, the nation seems to unduly fear immigration. And with the national fertility rate declining, that's not good.


#14

As to the Catholic vote, it used to be reliably Democratic, for several generation. But then the Democratic Party began to become the party of abortion and contraception, and now, homosexual marriage--all issues on which it takes positions antithetical to Catholicism. Thus, it lost and will continue to lose a great deal of the Catholic vote, at least from those who take their Catholicism seriously.


#15

Most ignorant Catholics believe in the democrat party's platforms. Sad to say most Catholics are protestants who haven't left the Church. If all Catholics believed what the Catholic Church taught, the CC would be one heck of a force to deal with.

Our Lady of Fatima's predictions about the CC are coming true. A great apostasy has taken a hold of the Church.


#16

[quote="Vatican2Rocks, post:2, topic:285289"]
there are catholics who are against the war and for that reason won't vote for a republican.

the catholic vote is split....and i am one of the 10% that both parties try to get.

[/quote]

Just becaue the President won the Nobel prize as a peacemaker doesn't make it so. Democrats love the warfare state as much as the republicans. I would also like to mention that the great majority of Catholics I know are warmongers. Mass on Sunday, cheering for drone bombings the rest of the week.


#17

Speculation


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