Two issues seem to dominate the voting process for many Christians, especially Catholics: same-sex marriage and abortion. Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court 40 years ago, and therefore abortion is not going to be illegal in the foreseeable future. On a state-by-state basis, abortion can be restricted, but the president really has no role in this. Similarly, same-sex marriage is decided by the states, which the president again has no control over.
What he does, however, have control over are economic issues. Some people may agree with me, but in my view the Democratic Party much more accurately represents Jesus’ teachings to love the poor among us, as Republicans continually vote to defund welfare and food stamps and block efforts to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance, give undocumented immigrants citizenship, and expand health insurance coverage, which is detailed in the above article. Specifically on that point, Obamacare has already insured 2 million people and will insure millions more. Is it Christian to do nothing about the problem of 40 million uninsured people?
I believe abortion to be a very serious moral evil, and I can understand the traditionalist position on same-sex marriage, but considering the above pragmatic points, and in the economically populist spirit of Pope Francis, I will very likely be voting for a Democrat in 2016. I know this will be met with much heated debate, since I have perceived that this forum is dominated by Republicans.
So we have two types of moral issues, absolute (intrinsic) and prudential
On the absolute moral issues, (abortion, same sex marriage) where there can be no circumstances under which they are moral, the GOP has the correct view
Under what the Church defines as prudential issues, those to which the Church feels that there might be legitmate differences of opinion ( such as what tax rate is optimal, governmental support vs private charity) you feel that the Dems have
What you are then describing is that Christ would prefer governmental intervention vs personal donations. I would be hesitant in claiming that, as you will find no Biblical support. Christ’s message always involved personal giving.
For the rich young man, Christ asked that he give all that he had to the poor, but it seems that you would claim that Christ’s message would be for the rich young man to instead wait for his wealth to be taxed away instead.
Or take Matthew 25. Is the message there to actually feed the poor, or would simply voting for the government to take someone elses’ money and give that to the poor be an act sufficient to satisfy Christ?
As far as conservatives not carring for he poor, statistically, it is conservatives whose personal giving has trationally gone to the poor. Liberal giving tends towards secular institutions such as museums or universities.
Here is an interesting take from the NY Times (not exacty a GOP hotbed publication)
Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals…
“When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”
Here is another interesting tidbit from the article
Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent
I am not attacking private charity in any way, but it is woefully insufficient in dealing with the massive problems of our country, namely high rates of unemployment, low educational quality, low health insurance coverage rates, and extremely high income inequality with a banking system that has already caused one financial collapse. Nor do I really care whether conservatives or liberals give more to charity, as I am arguing whose political viewpoints are more in line with Catholic teaching, not who happens to be more charitable. And I think that Pope Francis would agree somewhat with my position (“the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism”). In Jesus’ time, such concepts did not exist, and Jesus was not a political leader so he would not argue politically anyways. What I am saying is that it does not matter which issues are always wrong, as the president has no control over them. What does it matter in that case? Looking at this from a pragmatic view, it is easier to see my position.
In Church teaching there are several defined issues that are intrinsically evil, that cannot be supported under any circumstances.
As such, there can be no universal health care, until Abortion is eliminated. The unborn will be subjected to death in the name of health care. There can be no right to a fair wage as long as abortion exists
Pope John Paul II stated so (and Pope Francis would have no objection )
Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.
So the question then becomes, if a party is to be considered as to fighting for rights, the very first place it would have to start is for the Right to Life. We have no political party that states that fully, but one party has made the opposite one of it’s major goals. The Democratic Party.
As far as unregulated capitalism. I too am 100% in agreement with the Holy Father, as is every Republican I know. The question is, where is this unregulated Capitalism? It is not in the US, as there are sheer volumes of regulations dealing with industry. EPA, OSHA, USDA , NHTSA, all fine example of whole governmental departments that deal with almost nothing BUT regulating capitalism. Add to that, local zoning regulations, and other local ordinances, you will will certainly agree that Capitalism in the US is FAR from being unregulated.
I had a conversation about this with an Irish priest. He spent 30+ years as a missionary priest in South American, prior to that he grew up in Ireland. He read the Exhortation in it’s original Spanish and he is convinced that this is in reference to Latin and South American, where there are no real oversights on industrial activity, on labor safety and on the environment. Government inspections are primarily means to collect bribes, NOT to enforce any meaningful regulation. He claims (as a European) that US industry is as regulated as any in Europe.
And as far as the limitations of private charity, that is effectively making a claim against God.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta once counseled a sister who was worried about the ability of the house that she was superior of to sustain itself. Mother Theresa counseled the sister “Do not worry about money, God has plenty of that”
Why do you not wish to exercise the same level of trust in God, and in our fellow man, as that saintly woman did?
As since you come from an Orthodox background, I am sure that you will respect the words of St. John Chrysostom
Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm.
Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again. Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold form the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would actually do moral harm. Material justice cannot be accomplished by compulsion, a change of heart will not follow. The only way to achieve true justice is to change people’s hearts first — and then they will joyfully share their wealth
Reading this, I see that St John and Mother Theresa shared a LOT in common. Both recognized that a change of heart that comes from trusting in God will achieve the material justice that we all seek.
Given that, which political party do you see that seeks to work that way as well, via a trust in God and free giving?
I’m a liberal Democrat but I must make two points concerning what you state. One is that although the President does not have direct control over abortion, he is in charge of appointing Supreme Court justices either pro-life or pro-choice, and they do have control over maintaining or overturning Roe v. Wade. My second point is that although the President does have some control over the economic matters you refer to, he has little control over the global economy and economic cycles which affect the United States as well as other industrialized nations.
I don’t think that the forum is particularly dominated by Republicans. However, it is overwhelmingly Catholic. The problem with the political situation as it currently exists is that much of Democratic policy is simply in opposition to Catholic morality.
Well, I am a lifelong Catholic and will NEVER NEVER ever vote for a Democrat. A pro life democrat, which are few, would NEVER have a chance of being voted President.
The Democrat platform includes support for abortion ON DEMAND, and they do NOT want any restrictions. Please do not fall for the lie that Democrats care about the poor! If they did, they would not have pushed the ACA through with little input from americans.
Catholics who follow their faith CAN NOT Vote Democrat. Look what is happening - the ACA has resulted in cancelled policies, higher costs (and somewhat unaffordable for many). a website that has many bugs and problems, and a president that is attacking the Catholic faith by trying to force faithful orgs. like Priests for Life to PAY FOR CONTRACEPTIVES which is contrary to the Catholic faith teachings and morals!
I am neither registered party - I am UNAFFILIATED, but it seems that most of the time the ONLY candidate I find that fits with MOST Catholic teachings (and none of the teachings say that the government is supposed to provide for the “widows and orphans”) are Republicans. They seem to be the only ones that are fiscally and socially conservative, believing in traditional family values and responsibility. Instead of giving Joe a fish, you need to teach him to fish. Not make him reliant on the government for that daily allotment of fish.
2 million enrolled doesn’t say anything about how many have paid for a plan. ‘Enrollee’ includes people who put a plan into a shopping cart. Don’t people on various retail shopping websites put items into their shopping cart and never go through with purchasing the item by paying for it? Obama administration has not released information on how many people have paid for their plans.
Regulating Medicaid. Nine states passed laws that would ban abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving federal Medicaid dollars. The Obama administration has taken a hard line in discouraging such laws, blocking many from coming into effect.
When Indiana was the first state to pass such a law, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent Gov. Mitch Daniels a stern letter. It warned that, should the state move forward, it risked losing all $4.3 billion of its federal Medicaid funds. The federal government stopped supporting Texas’s Women’s Health Program after the state blocked Planned Parenthood from participating.
Funding for nonprofits that provide abortions abroad. One of President Obama’s first acts in office was allowing federal funding for international aid groups that perform abortion and provide other health-care services. In doing so, he reversed a law known as the “global gag rule” instituted in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.
Reversing that rule has become something of a rite of passage for new presidents. President Bill Clinton reversed Reagan in 1992, only to have his decision overridden by President George H.W. Bush who re-instituted the ban. President Obama is the latest president to participate in the back-and-forth – presumably Romney, if elected, would reverse the United States’s rules on this issue.
Passing federal abortion regulations. Most abortion legislation happens at state level. In 2011 alone, states passed 92 regulations on access. But that does not rule out a federal role, as the president can also sign laws that change the abortion access landscape.
President George W. Bush was the last chief executive to sign a major abortion law. He endorsed the 2005 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, a law that banned a specific procedure used in late-term abortion cases. A legal challenge ensued but the Supreme Court ultimately upheld the new restriction, which remains in place today.
Appointing Supreme Court judges. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer are two reliable liberal votes at the country’s high court, both of whom have a lengthy legal history of supporting abortion rights. Both are also well into their 70s now and could soon step down, giving this election the potential to reshape the Supreme Court.
Abortion rights supporters aren’t even sure whether they have the votes, right now, to uphold Roe in the face of a Supreme Court challenge. If Romney were to appoint a Supreme Court justice or two, the votes would near certainly not be there.
A president nominates not only supreme court judges, but judges to other courts and a president appoints people to other positions in his administration that if supportive of abortion, can advocate for abortion internationally, at the United Nations for example, which could have determinal effect on other countries, and their laws regarding abortion.
A president can revoke federal funding for abortion providing organisations, such as Planned Parenthood. During the time Obama has been president around nearly $2 billion has been given to Planned Parenthood. A president can sign or refuse to sign abortion related legislation.
George Bush signed into law a wealth of abortion restriction legislation
The Republicans have been dominated by the moneyed interests for too long. They keep the ‘social conservatives’ around for their votes but have done so preciously little for this constituency for so long that it isn’t a surprise that these articles are appearing, going so far as nominating the former pro-choice investment banker Governor Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate.
I am encouraged that there are some bucking the system - an internal war for the true heart of the Republican party is far overdue.
As they are now the welfare and food stamp system enslave people. Make no mistake, they are not there for the good of the American people but the increase in government size and control. We should help the poor, but they way it is structured now is not helpful but creating greater separation between the have’s and the have nots.
Here’s a video which helps explain the immagration issue pretty clearly. When watching keep this thought in mind: is our government really wanting to help the poor, or just get a bigger voting block to maintain power.
Some are bucking the system? Oh, you mean the Tea Party which doesn’t give one fig in its platform for the unborn, but is mainly concerned for the retirement funds of old white people. Not to mention the ‘heroes’ who claim to buck the system but instead advocate state legalization of abortion (the Paul-ians)
I see :shrug:
That has to be one of the most ignorant things I’ve ever read.
Jesus loved. But love has rules. For our own good and the good of others we don’t go around murdering children (abortion).
For our own good and the good of illegal immigrants, we don’t encourage them to kill themselves crossing the border and we should force the Mexican government- who is actually charged with taking care of them-- to stop their corruption.
For our own good we need to not spend money we don’t have- 6 trillion amassed in debt under one president alone. Tell me, good sir, how condemning millions of unborn people to a third-world living status helps them?
For our own good we should get rid of the minimum wage. The minimum wage prevents the very poorest and uneducated from making any money whatsoever.
For our own good we should reform welfare. Too many get locked into GENERATIONS of dependence.
Having the government give money to the less fortunate isn’t Christian charity, it is theft. You giving your money to the less fortunate is charity (and it works much better for the souls of those receiving the gift).
And people say that Catholics focus too much on abortion. Well, consider- nothing else we are tasked to do for others as Christians can be done if there are no others. EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO LIVE. Remember Christ’s words about harming children.
If you support the Democrat party, you support state decreed murder. And no other great things you want to do mean anything because you operate from a default position that life is meaningless.
This forum is dominated by CATHOLICS. The Democratic Party platform endorses the 5 non-negotiables: Abortion / Same Sex Marriage / Human Cloning / Euthanasia / Embryonic Stem Cell Research. These are evil and outweigh any economic policy from either party and cannot be ignored for social justice causes. To vote for any candidate that endorses any of these is cooperating with evil and is not allowed. By the way, Obamacare is hurting many more American families and small businesses than it is helping. If it really does what the Democrats claim it will do, then 100 million Americans would be signed up already and urging their friends and family to do the same. It is the biggest legislative disaster in the history of the United States.
Obama wants more and more of our tax money to pay for abortions. He and many Democrats want fewer restrictions on abortions. The right to live is the number one right people deserve. I in good conscience, could never vote for a candidate that promotes, supports, or wants to fund abortions.
No, not the Tea Party - though their challenge to the traditional system has exposed the faults. I refer more to the states passing legislation and signing into law that deter or prohibit abortion. We’re getting pass the days where you get the lip service or one house of legislature passing a bill (see Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill”) and the other sitting on it and doing nothing. Furthermore, there are signs that social conservatives are organizing to challenge the moneyed interests (see politico.com/story/2014/01/social-conservatives-fundraising-101666.html).
Ideologies are meaningless where results are concerned.
What part of the last 5 years, where the Democrats have controlled the White House and Senate the entire time and set the agenda, has helped the middle class or poor in the most vital ways? We have more people below the poverty line than any time in history.
Even if they truly cared about the poor more than the right of the political spectrum (which you have not demonstrated, so could you give me some examples of what you mean?), the fact is they haven’t done anything to lift those people out of poverty.
So why should anyone be a Catholic Democrat (nationally) again?
This issue has nothing to do with Presidential power. The Democratic Party Policy supports abortion.
“Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.”
It is not morally correct to support or vote for a party that has a policy positively supporting Abortion.
That a party also supports secondary rights does not mean that thirty pieces of poverty reduction justifies support for abortion. Your priorities need to be re-examined.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.