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A Path for Catholics to Dump the Democratic Party
He’s not warm and fuzzy. He’s closed or combined enough Philadelphia churches and parochial schools (in order to pay church debts) to earn resentment from some of the local faithful. And I suspect he’s no favorite of Pope Francis, since he was rather glaringly overlooked by the Pope in the latest round of elevations to Cardinal. But Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has laid out a path for Catholics to turn away from the Democratic Party. Can we all agree that would be a good thing?
About those unthinking, backward Catholics
By Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. • Posted October 13, 2016
Back in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver. They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues. They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party. And they hoped my brother bishops and I would resist identifying the Church with single-issue and partisan (read: abortion) politics.
It was an interesting experience. Both men were obvious flacks for the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party — creatures of a political machine, not men of the Church; less concerned with Catholic teaching than with its influence. And presumably (for them) bishops were dumb enough to be used as tools, or at least prevented from helping the other side.
Yet these two young men not only equaled but surpassed their Republican cousins in the talents of servile partisan hustling.Thanks to their work, and activists like them, American Catholics helped to elect an administration that has been the most stubbornly unfriendly to religious believers, institutions, concerns and liberty in generations.
I never saw either young man again. The cultural damage done by the current White House has — apparently — made courting America’s bishops unnecessary.
But bad can always get worse. I’m thinking, of course, of the contemptuously anti-Catholic emails exchanged among members of the Clinton Democratic presidential campaign team and released this week by WikiLeaks. A sample: Sandy Newman,president of Voices for Progress, emailed John Podesta, now the head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to ask about whether “the bishops opposing contraceptive coverage” could be the tinder for a revolution. “There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages [sic] dictatorship,” Newman writes.
Of course, Newman added, “this idea may just reveal my total lack of understanding of the Catholic church, the economic power it can bring to bear against nuns and priests who count on it for their maintenance.” Still, he wondered, how would one “plant the seeds of a revolution”? John Podesta replied that “We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this . . . likewise Catholics United” (emphasis added).
Another Clinton-related email, from John Halpin of the Center for American Progress, mocks Catholics in the so-called conservative movement, especially converts: “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.” In a follow-up, he adds “They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what . . . they’re talking about.”
On the evening these WikiLeaks emails were released, I received the following angry email myself, this one from a nationally respected (non-Catholic) attorney experienced in Church-state affairs:
“I was deeply offended by the [Clinton team] emails, which are some of the worst bigotry by a political machine I have seen. [A] Church has an absolute right to protect itself when under attack as a faith and Church by civil political forces. That certainly applies here …
“Over the last eight years there has been strong evidence that the current administration, with which these people share values, has been very hostile to religious organizations. Now there is clear proof that this approach is deliberate and will accelerate if these actors have any continuing, let alone louder, say in government.
“These bigots are actively strategizing how to shape Catholicism not to be Catholic or consistent with Jesus’ teachings, but to be the ‘religion’ they want. They are, at the very core, trying to turn religion to their secular view of right and wrong consistent with their politics. This is fundamentally why the Founders left England and demanded that government not have any voice in religion. Look where we are now. We have political actors trying to orchestrate a coup to destroy Catholic values, and they even analogize their takeover to a coup in the Middle East, which amplifies their bigotry and hatred of the Church. I had hoped I would never see this day — a day like so many dark days in Eastern Europe that led to the death of my [Protestant minister] great grandfather at the hands of communists who also hated and wanted to destroy religion.”
Of course it would be wonderful for the Clinton campaign to repudiate the content of these ugly WikiLeaks emails. All of us backward-thinking Catholics who actually believe what Scripture and the Church teach would be so very grateful.
In the meantime, a friend describes the choice facing voters in November this way: A vulgar, boorish lout and disrespecter of women, with a serious impulse control problem; or a scheming, robotic liar with a lifelong appetite for power and an entourage riddled with anti-Catholic bigots.
In a nation where “choice” is now the unofficial state religion, the menu for dinner is remarkably small.
He even put this on Facebook, God bless him. He obviously does not see Trump in any way as a savior of the country, but he sees clearly what the Democratic party leaders are.
Catholic Bishops around the country, and other religious leaders, should follow this lead.Published in General
Moved to what? They already oppose Hillary Clinton, as you would know if you actually payed attention to anything #NeverTrumpers actually said!
Thanks for posting this, Pencilvania. Nice drawing, too.
We need to keep asking the question: What part of Abortion is killing a human being do these “Catholics” not understand?
Come on Umbra, let’s not get into recriminations.
This Catholic “Neither, Ever” was moved enough by considerations like this to go Unaffiliated (after 40 years as an [R]) and vote non-binary…And I don’t think I’m alone.
Sorry, but I’m sick of this “NR is for Hillary” meme. At this point there is no possible way it can be assumed to be a good faith error.
Reprimand from Pope Che coming in 3… 2… 1…
Rather reflexive comment…I wondered how long it would take…Incidentally, that reflects a rather Nativist/Know-Nothing take on the extent of papal authority. Kinda disappointed, actually.
I think that there are many misconceptions about the authority of the Pope, unfortunately many of them come from outside the Church. The Pope has the final say about the administration of Vatican City. In the matter of faith and morals the Pope and Magisterium (Bishops and Cardinals) of the Church act together. Political observations of the Pope are not binding on Catholics, although Catholics are forbidden to support politicians that propose intrinsic evils such as abortion and euthanasia. Pope Francis has spoken out against intrinsic evils. Pope Francis may be more liberal in matters of politics, but he has not sanctioned political actions that are contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The terms liberal and conservative do not apply to Catholic religious belief. The proper terms are orthodox and heresy when it comes to faith and morals concerning individual Catholics. One is either obedient to the teachings of the Church or they are not. Catholics may not choose what they wish to believe nor put what they wish to ignore into action. It is not a buffet.
I actually wasn’t addressing papal authority at all, just his habit reflexively apologizing for church doctrine when it comes to the intersection of politics.
Good job Pencilvania.
I’ve been ranting about this (mostly to myself) over here. I had included a link to the Archbishop’s column in the comments and am so happy to see that you have the full column on the front page. This is a big deal. I am glad Chaput called them out by name. Podesta is from Chicago and I assume he lives in DC so it would be good for Cupich and Wuerl to weigh in on this but neither of them has the guts or spine to do that.
I am glad to see powerfully written columns from the bishops, but until they start publicly chastising and penalizing the clueless (Biden, Pelosi, Kaine, Podesta, etc., etc.) the majority of Catholics who vote (unfortunately) will continue to pull the D lever.
Archbishop Chaput is one of my heroes. His book, Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life, should be a must read for any Catholic who votes.
Thanks again for writing this and getting it on the front page.
Let us not forget that Hillary Clinton, speaking at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit last year said:
So, just as when Obama said that if your enemy brings a knife to the fight, you must bring a gun (and then the IRS goes after conservatives), Hillary calls on the destruction of religious freedom and her sycophants and minions follow orders.
We keep acting surprised by these sorts of things. The Democratic party is and has been totalitarian for some time now. This just makes it obvious to folks who thought the view I just expressed was deranged.
They oppose Hillary Clinton by refusing to vote for Hillary Clinton’s principal opponent. With that kind of opposition, why does she need supporters?
Thanks Doug, for the history. I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church America (now ELCA) and now am Roman Catholic, not a really big leap BTW. The Lutheran Church was still reeling from events in Germany during the war.
One of Barak’s first moves was on Lutheran Missouri Synod’s schools (they are big on k-12) back in 2009.
The wiki leaks have validated my observations. that the democrat progressives despise the Catholic Church. The leaks also exposed their enormous ignorance of the Christian Faith.
My thanks to Archbishop Chaput
Point taken, still disappointed in the use of a descriptor like “Pope Che”, however…
What did Obama do to hurt the Missouri Synod’s schools?
This might be a good place to link to this:
That was excellent. Maybe you could get a bot to link that video to every post on Ricochet.
It should be obvious to all as it is to me as a former Leftist that no Christian can be a leftist and still be authentically true to Christ.
It has always been a Satanic movement.
The problem is Trump is also a Leftist only not as far Left as Clinton etc…
Not surprising. These are incipient fascists for whom the personal is political, the political is personal and you boy over there, put down that cheeseburger.
And the faithful have been ill served when the clerics fail to anethematize politicians who persist in suborning mortal sin. Don’t expect these revelations to change anything. Those who care already suspected as much. Those who do not are infatuated with the idea of choice being supported with tax dollars.
Hispanics are overwhelmingly Catholic. Trump needs to be shouting the Dem disdain for their religion from the rooftops.
Trump, I believe, is far more tolerant of the beliefs of others than the Democrats are.
yes @TeamAmerica; my memory is hazy after 7 years, but the case might have had to do with the promotion of women teachers, administrators, and discrimination laws. L.M.S. are traditionalist and women may not have positions of authority over men. I think the court ruled that the church/parochial school is not a business, therefore not subject to the same law.
I marked it mentally as obama’s first salvo against the Church.
Feel free to research and correct me, add details.
A better answer would be that they are already aware of this and factored it into their decisions.
Sorry, but I think it’s good shorthand. I’m not a Catholic, but I think JPII and Benedict were tremendous forces for God’s good. And I think your current Pope is working to undo much of their work. I think he’s exactly what people feared he was. I do not like the guy, and I’m deeply suspicious of him.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good was apparently created by non other than Soros – will is a big funder of Hillary:
Soros also funds the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice, whose ad promoting taxpayer-funded abortion was accepted by our friends at The Weekly Standard and published on the inside of their front cover.
Underneath which was an editorial notice about the offending ad: “Next time you’ll go on the &^%$#@# cruise, won’t you”