Will it take a miracle to get Catholics to vote like Catholics?

Will it take a miracle to get Catholics to vote like Catholics?

**Please read on to learn about Tim Staples’
brand-new CD set called Five Non-Negotiables.
It’s yours for helping us distribute our famed voter’s guide.

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Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

It’s frustrating to admit it, but most Catholics don’t even think about making sure they vote in line with Church teaching. It never occurs to them to do so.

It’s not that they oppose Church teaching (most of them, anyway).

It’s that they either don’t know that teaching or haven’t realized that it should guide their voting habits.

The result is that Catholics vote pretty much like other Americans, which means they vote for candidates and ballot measures that undermine authentic Christian values. That’s much of the reason our country is in such a mess.

I’m sure you recall the popular campaign line, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

The economy is important, but that line should have read: “It’s the morals, buster!”

After all, you can’t get the economy or foreign affairs or anything else right if your morals are wrong.

If Catholics—who are about 23% of the population—had consistently voted in line with Church teaching over the last few decades (and had insisted that their elected representatives do likewise), things would be much different today.

We have virtually unrestricted abortion? We wouldn’t, if America’s Catholics had raised a ruckus about it forty years ago—and kept raising a ruckus.

We have embryonic stem-cell research? We wouldn’t, if Catholics had told Congress, “Not with our money, you don’t!”

We have same-sex “marriage” and euthanasia and even human cloning making headway? We wouldn’t, if Catholics had been persistent in voting according to Church teaching on these matters.

But the sad fact is that Catholics haven’t voted like Catholics. They haven’t really made their faith part of their civic lives.

Oh, sure, many of them go to Mass regularly, and they self-identify as Catholics when asked about their beliefs. But that’s pretty minimal, and it’s not enough. It’s not enough because we have a duty to apply our faith in the public square.

That’s right. Catholics have an obligation to live out their faith publicly, not just privately.

That includes learning about public issues, evaluating them, and then supporting or opposing them according to the teaching of the Church (which is simply the teaching of Christ, after all).

I know you’re in agreement with me on all of this, and no doubt you already apply your faith this way. You, at least, don’t hesitate to take your faith into the voting booth.

But what about the rest of America’s nearly 70 million Catholics? How do we get them to follow your good example and vote like Catholics?

Yes, it can be done—and I have proof.

I can’t offer anything as sure-fire as a miracle (I don’t have that much “pull”), but I can offer something that has a proven track record in getting Catholics to vote like Catholics: our Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.

Since 2004 this plain-spoken booklet has been turning Catholics who “don’t want to impose their religion” into Catholics who happily apply the Church’s moral teaching when in the voting booth (and elsewhere!).

The great thing about our voter’s guide is that it tells the reader how to form his thinking and his conscience, but it doesn’t tell him which candidates to vote for, which political parties to join, or which ballot propositions to endorse.

It’s all about principles, particularly as those relate to five key moral issues that are facing our country.

I already listed those issues above. We call them the “five non-negotiables.” Granted, they aren’t the only important issues out there, but we decided to highlight them because (a) they strike at the core of what it means to be a virtuous society and (b) they’re in play politically.

These five issues (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning, and same-sex “marriage”) are make-or-break issues when it comes to evaluating a society as just, wholesome, and, yes, virtuous. (And a society should be virtuous, because the ultimate goal of society is—or at least should be—to help us get to heaven.)

These five issues are in the news and on ballots throughout the country, which means that Catholics who vote like Catholics have a real chance to make a difference. (There are other non-negotiable issues that aren’t in play politically today. That doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It just means that there isn’t much we can do about them at the moment.)

As I said, Catholic Answers’ Voters Guide for Serious Catholics has a proven track record.

Over the years, we’ve heard from countless Catholics (and many non-Catholics too) who said our voter’s guide changed their minds and helped them see their duty as Catholics in the public square.

They said that in past elections they entered the voting booth with a fairly secular mindset. They didn’t give thought to applying Catholic teaching to what they were about to do.

But, after reading our voter’s guide, their attitude changed. They realized that they had to vote according to Catholic moral principles.

Our voter’s guide changed their votes—and a lot of other people’s votes, too.

Now just imagine if, say, another million or five million or ten million Catholics went through the same metamorphosis!

. . . ]

. . . ]

We’re using a bootstrap approach. Here’s how it works.

In 2010—as in 2004, 2006, and 2008—we want to distribute our Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics by the millions.

We want to turn Sunday-only Catholics into Catholics who apply Church teaching everywhere, even in the voting booth. With your help, we can.

We plan to mass mail the voter’s guide to Catholics around the country, so they can see it and say, “Hey, this is great! I want to distribute hundreds of copies!” We also want to send the voter’s guide to parishes and Catholic groups of all sorts, just as we’ve done in the past.

Our experience is that if we send out lots of single copies, we’ll be inundated with calls asking for boxes and boxes of copies.

When civic-minded Catholics see our voter’s guide, they realize its value and want to pass out copies left and right—precisely what we want.

We need to get those single copies into lots of hands for this to happen. That’s where you come in.

I’d be gratified if we could raise $200,000 toward this project. That would allow us to send out many thousands of voter’s guides, which in turn would induce the recipients to order and then to pass out many thousands more. It’s a multiplier effect.

But $400,000 will allow us to “seed” the country with twice as many voter’s guides, resulting in twice as many bulk orders, resulting in turn in twice as many Catholics ultimately seeing (and learning from) this highly effective booklet. Click here to donate!

The more generously you and our other donors respond to this appeal, the more effective this project will be.

How effective? I hope the number of people influenced by our voter’s guide will be so great that, come the post-election analysis, commentators will be forced to conclude that “Catholics Who Voted Like Catholics Made a Big Difference.” (That’s a headline I dearly would like to see!)

Tim Staples explains it all—engagingly and convincingly.

I thank you in advance for making a generous donation to this effort. But beyond my thanks I want to send you, as a token of our gratitude for your help, Tim Staples’ brand-new CD set called Five Non-Negotiables for your donation of $35 or more. Click here to donate!

On two CDs Tim explains, in his engaging and inimitable style, not just what the Catholic teaching is on these five issues but why all Catholics (and everyone else, for that matter) ought to subscribe to that teaching wholeheartedly—and how that teaching can turn our country around.

It’s really a fine pair of CDs. I invite you to listen to them yourself and then to share them with friends. Included in each set is a printed copy of our Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics—everything anyone needs to come to an understanding of Church teaching on these issues.

If you have followed our work during earlier election years, you know that our voter’s guide has made a difference—and it can make a difference again, if you and others sacrifice now so that more and more of our country’s Catholics can start acting like Catholics when in the voting booth.

Please be generous when you bring out your credit card.

We need lots of donations in the $50 to $100 range, but we also need lots in the $1,000 to $5,000 range.

(I dearly would love to reach that $400,000 total because it would mean a real impact on our society, but I promise that we’ll do the best we can with whatever you and our other donors give.)

Many thanks for your help with this project!

Best wishes in Christ,

Karl Keating
President, Catholic Answers

[Source: Email]

Perhaps, more accurately, you should ask when the majority of Catholics will vote how you think Catholics should vote. Catholics already vote like Catholics – how could they do any other?

If you regret that fact that the majority of Catholics voted for the president – that is a different issue.

Yes it’ll take a miracle. Yes most catholics don’t know or care about church teachings and their ramifications on government. Yes most catholics probably aren’t worthy of the designation. And many of them are so entrenched in their “I’m right, the church is wrong” attitudes, that they will never respond to any appeals on your or anyone else’s part, to include the Pope himself.

That’s just how things are.

EDIT: By the way, sending a donation because Mr. Keating is filled to the brim with pure awesomeness, and I hope he remembers the compliment when I say something on this forum that would otherwise get me banned. Not that I expect my compliment to even register, since everyone knows that Mr. Keating is so humble as to be immune to flattery.

2nd EDIT: I hope that Mr. Keating notices Beau’s snarkiness at Mr. Keating’s letter, and bans him instead of me. k thx bye~

Based on the absurd things I’ve seen in this forum, I’m pretty sure that I’d just as soon some Catholics not vote at all. The confusion between charity and social(ism) justice comes to mind. I don’t even want to think about how Catholics would in general feel about AGW in the voting both.

On the other hand, it seems incredible to me that liberals can ignore the ten commandments in support of social justice as comandeered by the USCCB, and at the same time have no problems supporting pro-abortion candidates because they have strong feelings about this so called “justice”.

I’ll stick with good old conservative values, thank you. They got us where we are and generally have served us better than putting our faith into pleasant sounding dictators.
As I heard tonight driving home, “I take great pride and it is a tribute to America, that all our poor people are fat.”

That’s wishy-washy. There are non-negotiables for Catholics - not supporting candidates who actively support legal abortion being probably the biggest one. That’s a starting point. Unfortunately, too many catholics vote not according to right reason, but according to wrong-headed, stubborn party loyalty and false principles of “rights”. Those false principles are what caused so many catholics to vote for the current president.


People often seem to incorrectly set up morals and social justice as “opposing forces”. Yes, Christ tells us to live the 10 Commandments, to love God and neighbour (often seen with “the narrow gate”). He also said to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc (truly, in Matthew 25:41 those who did not are cosigned to hell). There is no hierarchy between them nor is it a question of “or”.

The correct answer is (of course) “both/and”. That’s not to say that all social programs should be government run, but in many cases the government is simply set up logistically to handle them (in my opinion).

Hence the generally-ignored-by-leftist-catholics principle of subsidiarity that demands that such programs be handled at the lowest possible level. Preferably at the individual/local/charity one, and a higher level only if absolutely necessary.

This was a very nice and polite way of trying to meet me, but I think I’m just plain stubborn about this. Here is my thinking…

Government (or any other political institution) is a bureaucracy. It has neither feelings nor morals. It cannot be charitable. It does not have a soul or a concience. Government will survive anyone who may have had good intentions to begin with. The Government cannot love anyone. It will change frequently…based on whims or current individuals and the way the wind is blowing. It may not even represent the will of the people from time to time.

Charity must come from the individual to be charity. Social Justice, as interpretted by the USCCB is too often relegated to the government to take action and force the reallocation of resources, against and in spite of anyone’s will.

I do not think I will get to Heaven by paying my taxes. I think I would be better off in God’s eyes to give of my bounty myself. I don’t think voting for someone to covet the fruits of another’s labor, and steal it to give to those less fortunate, for whatever reason, is charity, justice, or moral.

I am amazed at the number of people, some well meaning, who miss the distinction between charitable giving of ones own bounty versus making sure somebody else has their resources taken at gunpoint and given to another according to some government bureaucrat’s formula or desire to please his constituents. The latter is evil shrouded in "justice’. Even if not evil, it is inefficient, political, and influenced by all kinds of things that have nothing to do with charity.
There are plenty of non governmental non-profits who can manage the logistics of voluntary giving more in line with charity, than the government.

Of course this is only my opinion

Only your opinion, but a very well thought out and stated opinion. And one that I think happens to be correct. I think that for many, the obligation to charity is relinquished to government and that results in less effective individual charity. C.S. Lewis wrote (and I’m paraphrasing) if your charitible giving doesn’t make you have to sacrifice a bit, then you’re probably not giving enough. Furthermore, the government programs designed to help the poor, often have the effect of making the poor permanently dependent on the government and actually aggravates the conditions which contribute to poverty.


Perhaps they don’t agree with the teachings of the church?

^^ Then the question would be, “why join a religion you believe to be false?”.

These Catholics are either “Catholics” only second to being political partisans or they have been victims of misinformation and political propaganda which is tormenting their judgment.

Very sad indeed.

My God enlighten their judgment!

The response might be: “because they have good fish fry’s on Friday nights!”

You know, this wouldn’t surprise me if it were seriously true. It may even be one of the most sensible answers you’d hear from a Cafeteria Catholic.

If Catholics voted using a well formed Catholic conscience, than abortion would be illegal. The fact that abortion has never been reversed is proof that Catholics in large numbers vote opposite of the faith. Of course, there are many, many other issues that this applies to as well.

Because their family members belong to that religion…simple as that…no real belief or faith, it is a social and family club for large numbers.

To go along with the generally-ignored-by-rightist-Catholics principle of solidarity (all groupings of society working for the common good).

Subsidiarity is hardly consoling to the people who’ve been abused by more powerful interests and then are left to pick up the shattered pieces. What do you tell those who lost most of their retirement savings because of the greed of powerful looters? Fend for yourself and next time, think of subsidiarity? We need to be very careful about invoking principles. IMO too many conservative Catholics who have internalized the Protestant values which predominate in the Republican Party use subsidiarity as a fig leaf to cloak what really amounts to a philosophy of social Darwinism.

So why give to charity then? To someone like you we should just pay more taxes and let the government handle everything. It was the GOVERNMENT that caused the economic catastrophe we’re mired in. Freddie and Fannie, more than any other factor, caused this recession, and they still have not been regulated because of people who want every last bit of control over every possible facet of our lives in the hands of the federal government.

Leftist catholics use solidarity as an excuse for promoting totalitarianism.

Leftist catholic = oxymoron! [no such thing–impossible]

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