Is being Republican incongruent with humanitarian values?

Pope Benedict is often preaching on humanitarian values, such as ending world hunger. Several of the threads on CAF center on the incongruent nature between liberalism and Catholicism, but I’m interested in the incongruent nature between humanitarian values and being Republican.

My take is that any political party is more or less incongruent with Catholic values. Secular parties, especially in a two party system cannot be congruent with Catholic teachings. Each party tries to get as close as to the medium (Nash equilibrium) to get the largest number of votes and the medium in today’s culture is quite far from the ensemble of the Church’s social teachings. If you are an orthodox Catholic you will find yourself at odds with at least some aspects of both political parties.

No political party is motivated by Christianity.

That said, the Democratic party co-operates with evil and stands with evil on multiple positions that are indeed intrinsically evil.

Nothing about the Republican party is intrinsically evil. Certainly there are Republicans who partake in evil, many perhaps. And perhaps conservatism, especially fiscal conservatism isn’t the most effective way of spreading wealth and feeding mouths, BUT, it is not intrinsically evil.

So long as your intention and conscience is focused on caring for the poor and needy, you can take up either economic philosophy without jeopardizing the state of your soul. I don’t take a position, I let others fight about it. But I see no incompatibility with charity and fiscal conservatism nor fiscal liberalism. I SYMPATHIZE more with conservatism overall because I think it allows people the freedom necessary to offer TRUE charity.

Our faith must drive our politics, no matter to which party we owe our allegiance.

I do know the Republican Party gave us ‘Faith Based Initiatives.’ I also know the Democratic Party is supported by Planned Parenthood.

Draw your own conclusions.

One might say that I, IMHO, personally vote for the Catholic Party- that is- Pro - Life.

Amen…It is a world system…We are forced to pick one that is closest to our values…The one irony of it all is one party focuses on entitlments BUT the command it sent by Christ to His
followers to care/minister to the poor/needy…Our leaders are to be fair and care but noy take from the rich and give to the poor…Christ changes lives and expects those given much are accountable for much…But that is for those "In Christ…One thing about the
evangelical backing of Santurum is where is his catholic support(thats’ for another thread).

How we accomplish this is the million dollar question.

I completely agree. In single member plurality elections the candidates move to the center. If you pay attention in primaries the candidates are at the center of their party. As soon as they win they move to the center of the entire electorate. The Republicans are really the same product just packaged differently. The same people that elect Democrats one election cycle elect Republicans the next. What has changed about the people, the voters, in between that time? Nothing. The winning political party has just changed its packaging slightly to attract more voters.

Both American major parties (as well as the minor ones) fall short of Christian values. We have a duty to vote, however, and it is a matter of conscience for each citizen how to balance the shortcomings of the candidates.


Back in the election year of 2000, Mother Angelica said “Vote Life”.

I’ve never forgotten that and will always vote for the most pro-life candidate… Life is the most important issue, for without life we have death. If you are true pro-life you will support life from conception to natural death… I have read a lot of pro-choice literature that states pro-lifers are only interested in the life from conception to birth, then you’re on your own; I don’t think so. I’m very pro-life and those words gets my dander up

I always look at the biblical principal “Let those who won’t work, not eat” … This principal does not say “Let those who can’t work not eat” … So who do we give a hand of charity to? The children, the handicapped, the seniors who can no longer work and other who can’t work. >> So, let those who won’t work, not eat…

The Government has done a pretty bad job with these values though. Social Security is just a large mandatory ponzi scheme which is bound to fail. Medicare and health insurance in general needs to be reformed. So, the government may not be the best at delegating our funds and actually helping others. Humanitarian values should be left to humans to accomplish; the Government should be left to govern.

Time for some horribly inaccurate hasty generalizations.

If you really like the part of the Bible were Jesus threw out the tax collectors and believe that Sexual Morality is the most important thing Jesus gave us, and that government handouts eliminate the possibility to act charitably then you belong in this party.

If you believe that Jesus was all about helping the poor, providing free healthcare thro miracles, administering handouts to the hungry, and avoiding violence at all costs but you think the Bible’s notions of sexual morality are quaint then you vote for the other party.

IMHO Most CAtholics (the ones who dont go to church, subscribe to the 2nd party while most practicing catholics subscribe to first.

Both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party go against various teachings of the Church. The Democratic Party goes against the teachings on abortion which has resulted in the death of over 50 million human beings. The Republican Party supports the Death Penalty… however the Death Penalty is not always and everywhere evil like abortion is. True, it might be hard in modern times to find where the death penalty is not evil, but at least hypothetically such an instance could occur. Whereas there is never an instance where abortion is right.

So… those are the 2 main parties in the United States.

There are tons of parties in other countries in the world, and there are actually at least a dozen parties trying to establish themselves as 3rd parties in the U.S. (None of them have elected anyone to Congress… but some might have local representation, idk).
What I’m getting at, is there definitely are parties that are motivated by Christianity. Some of the small third parties in the U.S. might even fit under this.**

The question is perhaps more properly asked of the opposing party, in light of doctrines and platforms adopted in recent decades. If we go back to the mid 1960s and the great expansion in federal government “aid” to the poor, we see that, by nearly all objective standards, the poor are worse off today after the spending of trillions of dollars. Social programs have had the practical effect of helping to destroy society. Intent does not matter, when the result causes only the suffering it was intended to alleviate.

I would dispute that. I believe that voting is first of all pointless. The chance of your vote making a difference is next to nothing. You could do some actual good, like helping at a homeless shelter, with the time you would have spent in line voting. And if the choice is between two evil candidates then you have a duty not to vote. This is most clear in the sham communist elections where you do have a choice of candidates. I dont think US elections are much better, but I realize that is my opinion.

With the type of government we have, single member plurality, you end up with only two parties. The actual parties can change over time but you’ll still basically have just two major parties. The current parties we suffer under have enacted laws to ensure we will never get rid of them.

The Church avoids endorsing a political party or parties because their platforms change over the years. It use to be that the Republican Party was “the rich man’s party,” and the Democratic Party was the “working man’s party.” Some people still think this is the case, but closer examination reveals they no longer fit these bumper sticker descriptions. IMHO, whatever the faults of the Republican Party are, the Democratic Party is obsessed and fascinated by death and communism. This obsession and fascination are the prime movers of its dementia.

Death? THen why are democrats so interested in keeping people alive with entitlement programs? (for the pro-choice, once they are born)

The point being the fascination with Death probably speaks more towards to Republicans as they are far more pro-war and pro-death penalty. THe democrats on the other hand (erroneously) believe that abortion is not death since life hasn’t begun in the first place.

Well it would have been a milestone had the U.K. voted for proportional representation- but they failed to get rid of the first past the post there.

I think it’s possible in my lifetime that if you think voting is irrelevant bc of the two party Duopoly [staying faithful to my latin roots there], and a lot of other ppl also think that. Then eventually enough people are going to actually vote 3rd party. Then, once you have that going on long enough the 3rd parties will finally be recognized.

I mean, the U.K. had 12% of their people not vote for the main parties over there, I think that many people or more are dissatisfied enough to. But at the end of the day, they’re just too lazy to.

Well, I stopped really posting about the politics around here. I took to praying for Santorum. But, it now looks like Romney will get it. And, if Romney gets it… a Mormon who forced the Catholic Church to provide contraception in Massachusetts. I’m voting 3rd party.

And I’m going to cry bloody murder that Obama and Romney both are enemies of the Catholic Church.

The individual’s vote may not change much. But that line of thinking would preclude taking any participation in a larger effort. And, if no-one at all voted, a representative republic could not exist and would likely be replaced by a tyranny of some kind.

Political parties have died before in the USA, and they have been born. It could happen again, although until recently mass apathy has made that unlikely.


I think issues such as the Republican party being opposed to any form of nationalised healthcare could be a humanitarian issue. Effectively blocking a means to healthcare for everyone regardless of financial situation (because of an increase in tax) has real consequences for people. Forgetting Obamacare, being against something like the NHS in principle does seem like voting against your own interests and something ‘humanitarian’.

Also, I hear they’re opposed to giving financial aid to other countries? Could be an issue also.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit